Charlie Walk, the former Republic Group president who departed the label in 2018 has launched a new venture — albeit not in the industry where he made his name.
Though he remains active in the music space, running his Music Mastery distribution company and managing talent, he’s now jumping into the beverage business, partnering with hospitality veteran Derek Gonzalez on Frozaritas, a new frozen margarita spot in Miami. The venture marks an extension of the business relationship between the two men, who previously launched the outdoor nightspot, restaurant and event space Pilo’s Tequila Garden in Miami, where the first Frozaritas location will be based.
“Frozaritas is elevating the frozen beverage industry with vibrant flavor combinations, organic ingredients, top-tier tequila, and innovative lifestyle concepts with influences from Miami + Mexico, the world’s ‘Cocktail Capitals,’” reads a page on the Frozaritas website. Flavors at launch include Classic Frozarita, Mango-Rita, Strawber-Rita, Piña-Rita and Rosé-Rita.
Walk and Gonzalez plan to scale the Frozaritas operation “in the next few months/years through various concepts relevant to each market,” according to the website, which notes that the company will ‘work with organizations dedicated to creating positive social change.”
True to his music-industry roots, Walk’s new business is accompanied by two songs designed to hype the Frozaritas brand: “All You Need Is a Frozarita” and “Got Myself a Frozarita,” both listed under the name TacoPapo (which also serves as Gonzalez’s Instagram handle).
Walk also previously tried his hand in the hospitality business with Kobe Club, a steakhouse opened in New York City in 2006. It closed in 2009, a year after Walk and his partner, restauranteur Jeffrey Chodorow, opened another Kobe Club in Miami (closed).
Republic Group placed Walk on leave in January 2018 after former colleague Tristan Coopersmith published an open letter that month accusing him of sexual misconduct when they worked together at Columbia Records. That February, four more women came forward in an article published by Rolling Stone, alleging further misconduct by Walk during his tenures at Columbia, Epic Records and Republic, whose flagship label, Republic Records, hired Walk in 2013.
In the Rolling Stone story, Walk denied all claims in a statement that read in part, “I did not do these things and this is not who I am. Throughout my career I have always sought to conduct myself professionally and appropriately. It is upsetting to be presented with false claims from long ago that I know to be untrue and were never reported.”
Walk worked in the promotions department at Columbia from 1990 to 2005 and served as president of Epic from 2005 to 2008, when he departed the label to run his marketing and advertising firm, JWALK. He joined Republic Records in January 2013 as executive vp in charge of marketing, promotions and publicity efforts before being promoted to president of Republic Group in February 2016. At the time the allegations were made, he was also serving as a judge on the short-lived FOX talent competition series The Four alongside DJ Khaled, Meghan Trainor and Sean “Diddy” Combs. Following the accusations, he ducked out of the Season 1 finale and resigned from the series in advance of its second season.
On March 25, 2021, Walk sued his former attorney, Mark Kasowitz, along with Kasowitz’s New York firm Kasowitz, Benson, Torres, alleging that Kasowitz had “botched” his representation of Walk amid his Republic departure, leading to “catastrophic results” on his career. In response, the firm demanded Walk immediately dismiss the $60 million suit, calling it “frivolous.” The case remains active in New York Supreme Court.
Following his exit from Republic, Walk consulted for Steve Stoute’s UnitedMasters and other music industry players. In 2019, he was named “World Unity Ambassador” at the blockchain-driven social music competition platform Music World Cup. That same year, he founded the membership-based music and video distribution and artist development platform Music Mastery.
UPDATE 11:10 AM EST, 1/12/22: This article has been updated to highlight Walk’s ongoing ventures in the music business.