Meet Mariel Gomerez-Rodriguez, the Dominican A&R Visionary Building Her Legacy

“When you make the right art, the universe will figure it out for you,” Mariel Gomerez-Rodriguez says before quickly affirming, “It always did.”

This sentiment rings true in the corridors of Parkwood Entertainment—the production, management, and entertainment company founded by Beyoncé Knowles Carter. One name among many greats resonates with the promise of innovation and connection: Mariel Gomerez-Rodriguez. Her journey from playing the piano in Queens, New York, with sounds of the Dominican Republic origins surrounding her, to award-winning A&R work is nothing short of remarkable and inspired by one question, “Why not?”

Gomerez-Rodriguez‘s path to working with some of the biggest names in music began in Howard Beach, a predominantly Italian neighborhood in Southern Queens. There, she juggled the dual experience of being the only Black student among her classmates from kindergarten to eighth grade and only speaking Spanish at home. In seeking to relate to these different areas of her life, Gomerez-Rodriguez found that music was her sole connector.

“Music was the one thing for me that was common across the board,” she explains. This early realization laid the foundation for her career, a path she never anticipated she was paving. She recalls collecting CDs at a young age, never knowing that she’d end up in the hallways of Atlantic Records as an intern for legal and business affairs, which blossomed into an expansive career in music. She interned in branding and marketing at Roc Nation and held roles in booking at SOBs and as a studio assistant at Premier Studios. Each role taught her a new side of the music business.

Reflecting on her journey,Gomerez-Rodriguez emphasizes the importance of embracing every facet of one’s passion. “You have to learn every aspect of what you’re doing,” she asserts, drawing inspiration from her parents’ entrepreneurial ventures, particularly her mother’s foray into opening a bakery and learning real estate. “If you love something, you’ve got to love it all the way through and understand how it works. That’s really how you change things.” This ethos propelled Gomerez-Rodriguez to pursue a master’s degree in music business while juggling a full-time job and launching a recording studio, The Penthouse Studios, in Times Square.

“When you realize that the odds are against you either way, I always thought, ‘Why not?’”

She recalls working from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., taking the train to her night classes from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., and working until midnight. Then, she decided to pivot her career to explore the creative end. So, she sold her portion of the studio and reapplied to internships, landing one in the finance department at Parkwood. “I’ve been here for eight years,” she declares with a hint of disbelief.

The daunting choice to embark on a new path begs the question: What gave you the courage to embrace this change? “When you realize that the odds are against you either way, I always thought, ‘Why not?’” she shares. “I’m a woman of color, and on top of that, I’m also Latin. On top of that, I’m in the LGBTQ+ community. I knew that even to get into a room, I had to do double or triple what anybody else would have to do.”

That’s exactly what she did. Now, she’s the A&R behind Grammy-nominated work and multiple famed artists. More notably, she has solo A&R’d the highly acclaimed album Renaissance from Beyoncé, followed by the groundbreaking Cowboy Carter, further underscoring Gomerez-Rodriguez‘s visionary approach to A&R. As a key figure behind the scenes, she played a vital role in shaping the newest album’s narrative and sonic landscape. “History is forever rewritten,” she tells Remezcla of the album and poses the question for listeners, “What is country?” Going back to the question of “Why not?” it’s easy to see Gomerez-Rodriguez‘s passion in questioning the limitations we impose on ourselves.

Still, working behind some of the most talked-about albums, Gomerez-Rodriguez says her most important work lies in the rising artists she works with. From bringing in Chloe x Halle’s first gold single “Do It” to working with emerging artists like Raye and Chavi Leons, Gomerez-Rodriguez is ensuring that she’s not just opening doors for herself — but using her education and talent to hold the door open for voices often overlooked by mainstream narratives. 

Her collaboration with Raye, an independent artist, marked a significant milestone for Gomerez-Rodriguez. “Raye’s story is probably the most important story for me out of everything I’ve ever done,” she shares. Gomerez-Rodriguez recalls traveling to the U.K. for five years to stand by the young artist’s side, helping her navigate meetings. The dedication paid off, as RAYE signed with the label Human Re Sources in 2022 — a Black-owned distribution company acquired by SONY, to which Gomerez-Rodriguez was Head of A&R during the company’s transition. Together, they brought out Raye’s debut album, and her single “Escapism” reached No. 1 in the U.K. Most recently, RAYE made history at the Brit Awards, having been the first artist to rack up seven nominations and win six awards, including Songwriter of the Year and Album of the Year. 

Gomerez-Rodriguez (Right) with Raye (Left)
Read more

That isn’t Gomerez-Rodriguez‘s only proud talent build, as she’s also staying close to her roots with Chavi Leons, a bachata artist from New York City. Bringing it back to her Dominican background, she feels a sense of responsibility that fuels her passion for working with Leons. “The same way that people fight to make sure that certain languages, cultures, or traditions are passed along, I don’t want to leave this earth without making sure that Bachata is seen and heard in a worldwide way,” she proudly proclaims.

Gomerez-Rodriguez (Right) with Chavi Leons (Left)
Read more

Her pioneering efforts, from a country music project with Beyoncé to elevating the genre of Dominican Republic’s “country music,” embody a full-circle moment — a testament to her quest for musical connection since her childhood. And for Gomerez-Rodriguez, who has her sight set on production now, this reflection of her work is rooted in her go-to advice, or as she reflected: “Don’t let anyone define you and make sure your voice is heard.”