A deep, knowledgeable, and insightful woman, Jazzmyn "RED" Rodrigues impressed us with more than just her music in advance of the upcoming Women in Music Boston Spotify showcase. Motivation, influences, and family are just a few of the things we spoke about during our recent interview. Read below for excerpts from our conversation, edited for length and clarity.
KL: Just to start, could you tell me a little bit about where you grew up?
JR: I’m originally from Massachusetts. I lived in New York for a time as a child, and then came back, but I’ve been a resident of Brockton, Taunton...I just say I’m from Mass; I’ve been kind of nomadic in that sense. I grew up in a pretty musically-inclined family. My dad rapped and my aunt rapped and sang. So they were two really big influences for me. I started rapping when I was seven years old. As soon as I could make sentences, I was starting to write rhymes. One of the funniest things is that my friends from middle school will pick me up, even now, and say 'Remember when you used to rap at the school dances?' I sold my first mixtape in middle school. It was an interesting childhood.
KL: Music has always been a big part of your life then.
JR: Absolutely. I’ve found that I’ve always been a person who kind of looked around at the world. Things have tested me and I’ve wanted to talk about them. When I talk about them, I’m bringing them to the surface for other people who maybe can’t communicate how they feel, what’s going on in their community, or what’s going on in their own bodies or own lives. So it was a release in many ways at first but then it became a vessel of communication for anyone who could relate.
KL: So it sounds like you’re very purposeful about your music then. You see it having a purpose connecting with people?
JR: People say to me, 'How do you go about writing?' Usually, I have to be in the middle of an intense emotion. It’s usually when somebody makes me angry, upset, when something hurts me... it always comes from a place of emotion. Across the board, humans can relate to emotion. You might not be able to communicate verbally, but someone knows when someone else is hurt or angry. You can feel that on a human level. Even sometimes when I don’t mean to write things with a purpose, it comes out because the emotion is the driving force behind it.
KL: You mentioned that your music responds to the world around you. Do you find that it’s been responding to the current political moment?
JR: Yeah. Outside of music, I have my Bachelor's degree in communications and media studies, and I have a minor in Africana studies. I was a pretty woke kid — my mom was a political science major. The whole time she was going through school, she was teaching me. She had me when she was 19. So growing up, I had this extra history teacher in my house. And my dad, he was a street dude, and he passed on that knowledge to me. So growing up, while I was cultivating my skills, my singing and my rapping, I was always tied to the community. I was always tied to what was going on and able to view things through different lenses. Tupac is my idol. His music...I gravitated to it. When you have those influences, your music has to reflect that, because it’s part of you. I had to talk about these things because they moved me so much. I have a song that talks about police brutality and violence in the city. How did we get here? When you have these things that have happened over the past couple of years, you look at Mike Brown, Trayvon Martin, Philadno Castile, Jordan Davis. I have black brothers, sisters, cousins, nieces, nephews, cousins. I have to talk about this, because it’s my life at the end of the day.
KL: It’s a really interesting moment. You have some musicians who are choosing to engage, like Kendrick Lamar, but then you have so many who are choosing to ignore it.
JR: I’m really concerned when it comes to women in hip-hop too, because there are no mainstream women in hip hop who are actually talking about what’s going on. We just had a women’s march. There’s no female rapper to address that and that’s problematic for our girls at the end of the day.
KL: Why do you think there aren’t any mainstream women in hip-hop addressing these kinds of issues?
JR: I think that hip-hop is a very male-dominated world. It’s always been misogynistic in some ways. So I think with that mixture, it makes it not only difficult for a woman to get into the industry, but even more difficult for a woman who has an opinion, who is talking about something, to get that backing behind her. It’s a society problem and then it’s a music problem, and then it’s a genre issue. I can only speak to my own genre, but looking to hip-hop, we had Queen Latifah, we had MC Lyte, Lauryn Hill, and various other female rappers who were very conscious in the '80s and '90s, and then we really got away from that. You haven’t seen any major female rappers who are popular and who have a message in a long time.
KL: Yeah, I feel like it’s been like that across genres too. The topics musicians have been addressing on a mainstream level has become less serious.
JR: In the '90s, you had what we have now —the Cardi Bs and the Nicki Minajs, but you also had the Lil Kims and Foxy Browns and that kind of thing. You had choices. Right now, these little girls don’t have it.
KL: Where do you see your music headed in the next few years?
JR: I’m hoping all the way up! It’s a more difficult road for me, because I’ve chosen not to bend or conform to what the world might want me to be. I’ve chosen to be who I am. I’ve decided for myself to not be pigeonholed. This can make things a little more difficult because people can hear me one day doing Positive Vibes Only, but another day another emotion hits me and a real hunger comes out in the track. I know it’ll be more difficult because of the path I’ve chosen.
KL: At the same time, being true to yourself is so essential, especially if you’re trying to make the kind of music you’re describing, conscious hip hop and conscious rap, it’s essential to stay true to yourself.
JR: Honestly, that part is easy for me personality-wise. Respect how I feel, respect my ideas, and that’s fine. It translates into the music, and it translates into my stance on my career. If you like me, I love you. But if you don’t, that’s okay.
KL: Is there anything else in particular that you wanted to talk about?
JR: How much of a driving force my brother was for me. He was murdered in November. He was a music artist out of Rhode Island and he was really kind of on his way. He was doing his thing, and that was taken away from him, and he was taken away from us. At a very crucial time for me, when I wanted to give up music, he took me under his wing and pushed me. So I always like to make sure that he gets his shine as long as I do, because without him, I wouldn’t have gotten here. I wouldn’t have been doing the Women in Music Boston Showcase at Spotify if he hadn’t come through for me years ago to say, ‘You have talent, and you’re going to do something with this whether you like it or not, because I say say so.’ That’s something I always like to mention. That’s my gift back to him for everything he’s done for me. His name is Carlos ‘Lokolos’ Rivera.
WIM LA is proud to team up with ASCAP to honor Women Behind the Music on October 5th at Bardot in Hollywood! Honorees will include Ashley Calhoun (VP of A&R, Pulse), Ericka Coulter (Snr Director A&R, Epic Records), and Kirby Lauryen (singer-songwriter). Additional details are below. WIM LA would like to cordially invite our members to attend!
This event is invite only. To express your interest in attending please sign up HERE:
*Please note that you will receive a direct invitation from ASCAP that will require you to RSVP to save your spot.
We look forward to seeing you there!
Last week, Kristina Latino spoke by phone with Marcela Cruz, a Revere-based musician who’ll be performing in Women in Music’s upcoming Spotify Showcase (Boston) and we would like to share such interview with our readers.
Born and raised in Lowell, MA, Marcela moved closer to Boston partially to make it easier for her to work more closely with producers in the area. Speaking with Marcela at once put me at ease and made me want to impress her; she has that rare combination of confidence and humility that makes it clear that she both knows where she’s going and is thankful for the community that supports her. Marcela has had an amazing year; after releasing her first EP last year, she’s been touring, performing, and making more and more of a name for herself in town. She has a tringle called "Fight For It" coming out in the next month. During our conversation, Marcela and Kristina talked about her musical style and influences, being vulnerable in your lyrics and onstage, and the purpose of music.
The interview below has been condensed and edited for clarity.
Kristina Latino: If you could describe the kind of music that you make, how would you describe it?
Marcela Cruz: I would describe it as music that makes you feel good. It has R&B, kind of pop, splashes of other genres in there...but lyrically and sonically, I think parts take you back to the '90s. I am very much a product of the '90s, so you definitely hear my influences vocally in a lot of the riffs that I use.
KL: Who would you describe as your musical influences? I read on your website that you named some women with really big voices, and you have a really big voice yourself, so I’m wondering who influences the way you make music.
MC: Sure; I’m definitely really big on big voices. I grew up listening to a lot of Lauryn Hill, Mariah Carey, Christina Aguilera...I absolutely love all of her riffs and I think that’s one factor that’s the same across all of the vocalists that I listened to growing up. Also JoJo – those are definitely huge influences.
KL: I grew up in Worcester, and when JoJo started getting big, everyone was like “Oh my god, Massachusetts girl!”
MC Yeah, I love her – I wish she were bigger now. I feel like she’s so underrated, but she’s amazing.
KL: Yeah, I really agree. Do you write a lot of your own music, or collaborate with others to write it?
MC: I do both. I love writing my own music for sure, and it’s a skill that I’m still working on. I had the pleasure of working with a lot of great songwriters in the area, as well, and that’s helped me grow. On this last project that I released, about half of the songs on there were songs I had collaborated with other songwriters on.
KL: How do you think your music responds to your life experiences? Do you write from a place of what you know, or do you write and kind of explore things that you think about? What comes into your writing?
MC: It definitely extends more from my own personal experiences. It starts with one thought and keeps going from there. I would say the majority of my songs are from personal experiences, but there are the occasional songs that I’ve written that are based on friends’ situations or random thoughts that cross my mind.
KL: Are there specific topics that you find yourself returning to again and again, or does it change a lot as your life changes?
MC: I definitely gravitate toward writing a lot of love songs or heartbreak songs, which is funny, because recently I wanted to challenge myself and not write about love. Love has been taking a backseat more recently. So we’re releasing a project in the next month that focuses more on my singing career, and it’s more of a motivating but also personal approach that I took for writing this project. It doesn’t focus on love at all but that’s definitely something that I always find myself writing about.
KL: Working on a project that’s more focused on a career, something that’s unique about being an artist or a musician is that it’s both empowering to share your art with people and be on stage and perform, but at the same time its’ very vulnerable to share that part of yourself. How do you feel about being a performer and sharing personal material? How do you find that interacts with your life?
MC: It’s something I’m still working on. I know at the beginning I was writing a lot of personal material and the first thought was, ‘Oh my gosh, this person is going to know this is about them,’ or maybe writing something I don’t want my mom to hear or don’t want her to see me perform (though it’s never anything too extreme). I think I’ve come to find the beauty in being able to share some of those experiences, and what’s helped me get there is that I’ve gotten messages from people saying, 'Oh my gosh that sounded like exactly what I’m going through right now.' So that’s really helped me forget about who exactly is listening to my music within my own personal circle. I’ve come to love that about my performances and being able to share my music.
KL: That’s great. On that note, I was reading recently about a musician who was wondering about the purpose of being a musician. Is it to bring people joy, connect with someone, teach someone something...what do you see the purpose of your music being?
MC: I would say all of the above. Singing and writing makes me feel good. I’ll be in rehearsal just singing and it’s almost unexplainable. It completes my day and makes me feel happy. At the same time, I’ve come to love how much it inspires others or motivates others in their lives. It’s really beautiful that people can connect with my experiences and just enjoy the music.
KL: How would you say your music has evolved over the past months and years?
MC: Lyrically, I’ve found myself growing. I’ve been trying to challenge myself and really get out of my comfort zone and try to write about different things, collaborate with artists who I usually don’t work with. Vocally, I’ve been trying to sound better and stronger and be a better performer, as well. At the end of the day, I still have a long way to go, but I can definitely feel the growth.
KL: What do you think is next for you?
MC: I want to complete my first full album. I released my first EP last year, but we’re starting to work on my first full album. I want to keep traveling and sharing music beyond the Boston area. That’s next!
We chatted with Carrie Hall, the manager of Royalties and Events at Spirit Music Group who serves as a vice chair for the WIM events committee. She thinks all of you are amazing.
Success is such a personal concept – we all see and define it differently. How did you personally define your success?
I love that you said it that way… “personally.” I define my success by how many promises I’ve kept to my younger self, for many reasons, not by salary or title. The only things I’ve ever known for sure I wanted to do – personally – was be with my partner, Jason, move to NYC, and have some cats. Check, done. Professionally, all I’ve ever been good at is writing, editing, and knowing a lot about music, and I’ve been very lucky to parlay that into a career that allows me to utilize all three passions and aptitudes.
What advice would you give women who want to enter your side of the industry? What are your top three tips?
1) Be a malleable, proactive team player who is happy to focus and multi-task. Be a Jane of All Trades – that makes you indispensable. Be one of the helpers. Befriend all departments. Learn the business of your business.
2) Read The Plain and Simple Guide to Music Publishing, and
3) If truly starting out, intern across various departments at a publisher to figure out where your interests and strengths would be of service.
How have the personal and professional experiences in your life contributed to your success today?
My experiences have made me equal parts extremely focused, uncompromising, scrappy, and tender. I was born and raised in Florida, and trying to figure out how to get from there to here is, shall we say, challenging, because there weren’t many opportunities there for my chosen path. My partner and I ran a mobile software company for a decade, so I didn’t even have contacts in music. One day, I woke up with a mortgage in Tampa and realized that I had gotten so far off track and away from “me” that I/we decided a move to NYC was necessary. So, we sold the house and drove on up the eastern seaboard a year later.
It wasn’t until I started blogging and writing about music online, building a portfolio while working from home in Florida and later, Manhattan, that I got an internship at an indie music magazine based in Williamsburg in 2007, a boom time for the music scene in New York (recently covered in Lizzy Goodman’s awesome book, Meet Me in the Bathroom). After paying my dues, I was given the opportunity to interview members of The Strokes and Interpol, photograph music festivals, and learn the ins-and-outs of editing a music magazine. This period of time allowed me to make contacts at record labels and publicity houses, and inspired me to pursue a different career path where I could be part of a songwriter or artist’s support system, rather than just another person in the crowd with an opinion, a pen, and a camera.
So, long story short, I started out in music journalism, interned, and temped around to get my foot in the door in various music business emphases, moved to publicity, stage production licensing, and now publishing – and truly, I talked a big rationale game to land those positions because I honestly/naively thought I was qualified! And really, the only thing I had going for me was that I just really, really didn’t want to let 14-year-old me down, not necessarily because my resume was the best one. The part of me that got obsessed with the movie Pump Up the Volume and how crucially it changed and informed my perspective at such a young age…that’s the part of me that went into hyper beast mode pursuing this industry. I did my homework. I taught myself the applications, the constructs, the lingo. I’m a quick, albeit obsessive, study. Passion, belief in my abilities and potential, respecting the struggle, and knowing where I come from is what drives my success.
Can you share with us some of the challenges you’ve faced?
I’ve taken some lumps over the years at certain companies, especially verbal abuse, denied meal breaks, extremely low pay, harassment, and not being considered for upper opportunities for various reasons, with my gender being one of the reasons I’ve literally been given, or that I was too “old” to be a beginner. I had one boss tell me that I needed to get a thicker backbone because I winced when she called me a really nasty derogatory term insulting my intelligence and mental acuity that I won’t repeat here. I shouldn’t need a thicker backbone and become hardened and callous and non-empathetic just because you can’t be professional, or frankly, a decent human being. In fact, the challenging atmospheres I’ve found myself in have only further convinced me of the importance of leading with kindness and being of service. It might seem thankless a lot of the time, and you might feel taken for granted, but it's always better to add more than you subtract in whatever circumstance you find yourself in, personally or professionally.
What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned?
In a nutshell: Grow up, show up, step up. Be interested. Be loyal. Be kind.
What do you think is the most pressing issue women in the music industry face in your region?
NYC is blessed to be filled to the brim with extraordinarily talented and brilliant women who bring it day in and day out. So there’s a huge competition factor. But, the most pressing issues I’ve seen in various places and heard about is two-fold: certainly, the pay gap, and also, just not being considered for upward motion career tracts at companies in this industry, or even being given well-earned superlatives and/or promotions, while male counterparts move right on up the title ladder and are praised left and right. Not all companies in this industry are like this, of course. I had one situation where a male executive (who refused to promote women and thought we should be grateful to even be employed) asked me in a job interview if I was planning on getting pregnant any time soon, or if I was currently pregnant. Good times.
Who inspires you, and why?
I’m inspired by people who stand in their truths, who never stop searching, learning, and growing. So, with that in mind, these are the folks I always pay keen attention to: Leonard Cohen, Bono, Alison Mosshart, Bridget Everett, Justin Vivian Bond, Issa Rae, Murray Hill, Kendrick Lamar, Jack White, and Kanye West.
What do you look forward to accomplishing at Spirit Music Group in the next year?
Recently, I started working with the admin team to learn more about their duties and stepping in and helping where I can. I look forward to doing more of that in the next year.
Tell us more about how you got involved Spirit Music Group. What is your ultimate goal and what do you need to take it to the next level?
Funnily enough, I saw a job posting for Spirit on the WIM mailing list. Naturally, I immediately took my shot in a very Eminem-“8 Mile” sort of way. “Mom’s Spaghetti,” right? This was another situation where I had convinced myself I was the best person for the job because I love tedium, understand the nuances of client contracts and am well versed on their catalog…and not because I had the heavy music publishing background going for me. I had passion and was ready and willing to dig in and put in the hours. Spirit is an extraordinary place filled with incredible human beings who are the best at what they do, and we have a wonderful time doing it. I’ve never laughed with a group of people harder, or felt more welcome to grow and be myself, in my life than I do with my Spirit family.
My ultimate goal, however, is to finish writing this novel I’ve been working on for over 10 years, and learn how to develop it into a screenplay. I’ve been a writer my entire life and so long as I keep my promises to myself, it’ll get done.
WIM LA is proud to team up with CA Vegetarian Food Festival to present a stage featuring up and coming talent as well as offer members an exclusive discount.
CA Vegetarian Food Festival was founded by Sarah Gross and Nira Paliwoda, founders of U.S. Veg Corp. Veg Fest will be packed with expert speakers, chefs, athletes, amazing food vendors, and kids' amusement-makers. In addition to the usual highlights, for the first time they are building an Innovation Pavilion. This corner of the festival will showcase the brands and technology driving the world’s most environmentally-friendly and most humane meat, dairy, and eggs--which, of course, is the vegan kind.
This year’s festival benefits Mercy For Animals whose mission is to put an end to animal cruelty.
**WIM LA members receive 40% discount on any ticket types by using the code WIMLAVEG at check out. You can purchase your tickets here
WIM LA will present some great talent on their stage including LA Com member Natasha Pasternak performing at 1 PM on September 17.
Meet up with fellow WIM members on Sunday to catch some live music and try some food! Meet up details are below:
WIM LA will be hosting a meetup at CA Vegetarian Food Festival and the host will be WIM LA's chapter lead, Sari Delmar! Come hang with us while we soak up the Californian sun and indulge in good food, while being serenaded by WIM LA's very own committee member, Natasha Pasternak.
Raleigh Studios (5300 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90004)
September, 17, 2017 @ 12noon pm
You must purchase your own ticket. Please purchase your ticket prior to the meetup here. **WIM LA members receive 40% discount on any ticket types by using the code WIMLAVEG at check out.
If you are joining for the meet up please RSVP to LA@womeninmusic.org
Guest blog from Sari Delmar (WIM LA Chapter Lead & WIM Board Director, also blogger on workplace productivity via http://fairgame.biz)
Strategy. We throw the word around often, but do we really, truly understand what it means? When I started out in this industry 10 years ago, I don’t think I did. It wasn’t until I spent years navigating and making mistakes that I felt what a truly great strategy coming to fruition meant. Now, when I’m lucky I’ve been able to look back and say, “Hey, that happened because of this, like I had planned.” And when it works just right, well that’s a pretty cool feeling.
To me, strategy is the outcome of a number of carefully planned and plotted events and decisions. Great strategy is a mix of timing, experience, skill sets, patience, and intuitively knowing when to step in and change something. I would also argue that truly great strategy has a bit of magic in it, something you just can’t describe that helps move things forward.
These five steps break down what strategy means when it comes to your career, and provide a tactical path for implementing more of it in your day-to-day actions. I hope this demystifies “The Big S” and helps you move forward in the direction of your dream career, whatever direction that may be.
Visualize your ideal outcome and work backwards on how you’ll get there. Do you hope to run a team? Work at a big brand? Found a startup? Get as detailed as you’d like and actually understand why these goals are important to you.
Separate the road map into tangible tasks that can be addressed in smaller chunks. What can you do today that is going to get you closer to your goal? Ask yourself this daily. The road map can be messy or thorough – whatever works for you. It can be scribbled on a notebook or typed in a nice PDF. Don’t fuss over what it should include or how it should look, just get it in writing enough for it to make sense to you. Read it over and commit to it. This might be a good time to consult industry professionals or others who may have more experience in strategic planning in your field. They’ll help you refine the plan and ensure it’s realistic.
Identify people or groups that can help you along your road map and get you closer to the end goal. What is it that you’ll need from them? How are you going to get in touch with them or get their attention? Make a small, local list and grow from there. Start a database Excel sheet so you can keep track of your interactions. Remember to touch base with your contacts every so often, and be organized.
Once the network is identified, start reaching out to these people and finding ways to work with them. Sometimes it’s a give and take – and you might have to do something outside of your road map in order to get them to do something that’s outside theirs. Get comfortable with this idea! Example: one of your ideal mentors needs someone to help them with their personal social media outlets. You may be trying to move away from digital marketing and towards interior design, but if you help them with social media you will gain their trust and support.
Also, keep your network list handy if you run into any obstacles on your path. Sometimes the way to weasel out of an annoying situation is closer than you think.
Share your goals and vision with other people in your support network, as they’ll help you keep focused and might even have some contacts of their own to donate to the cause! People are drawn to others’ ambitions and goals.
In addition, it’s important that you check yourself. You don’t want to forget or get sidetracked on this very important mission. Set up reminders to reread the road map weekly. This will keep it fresh in your mind and make it easier for you to deal with the day-to-day grind that goes along with achieving your goals. It also plants a seed in your subconscious, which will help to steer you in the right direction.
This is the hard part. You actually have to grind it out – really get your hands dirty. Don’t mindfuck yourself into procrastinating and not actually following the items you wrote on the road map. You’ve made it this far, and staying focused is a key part of the process! Go the distance and fight for every opportunity that gets you closer to the end goal. Sometimes your hard work seems like it isn’t getting you anywhere or feels anti-climactic, but, trust me, the only difference between you and every executive that’s more successful than you is that they stayed focused throughout this phase. Successful people will tell you that there’s no magic or glamour in what they do until they look back at a later date. Keep your head down!
Nothing epic or huge happens overnight. You can do everything in the world to get closer to your dreams every single day, and it still may take 10 years to achieve them. Know that good things are heading your way. The best part of strategic wins is that sometimes when you’ve reached the goal, you don’t even notice. It’s as if you’ve fallen in love with the process in the meantime. But when you do shake yourself and notice, boy, does it feel great! Hang in there until then, and don’t waste energy counting the days!
Lots of people get discouraged sticking to a particular strategy, especially if it gets trickier than they had originally expected. Especially if you are job hunting it’s easy to feel the power is not in your hands. Sometimes it’s hard to find the same excitement and passion you had when you were devising your road map as when you’re actually carrying out the strategy one or two years later. You might not be in the same headspace anymore. Remember that strategies can change, but to really achieve your goals, it’s important that you fight for the success of your strategy, and give it your all. Don’t give up on it when things get rough! Expect that there will be roadblocks and take pride in overcoming each one of them and keeping your head high.
Now go forth and achieve your wildest dreams,
Fair Game is a website and blog committed to sharing tips, advice, and spreading the word about the benefits of great organizational culture and effectivity. Every company deserves to be a healthy and progressive workplace. Founded by Sari Delmar, Fair Game was launched in January 2017.
Join us for a panel discussion among music industry professionals about their unique experiences in finding their individual career paths. Specifically, how they entered their field overcame obstacles, and continue to develop their careers. Panelists include leading ladies from Universal Music Group, Creative Artists Agency, Matrix Artists, Nona Entertainment, and LACM Guitar Department. More details below!
Wednesday, August 23rd
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
The Garage @ LACM Campus
300 S. Fair Oaks, Pasadena, CA 91105
Free for WIM members & LACM Students (males and females).
RSVP early as seating is limited!
Not a member? Sign up here: http://www.womeninmusic.org/join
Have questions about this event? Please contact email@example.com
For more information on Women in Music, please visit womeninmusic.org
ABOUT OUR PANELISTS:
Molly Miller, Musician & Head of LACM Guitar Department
A Los Angeles native, Molly Miller has performed, toured, and recorded with the likes of Jason Mraz, Wynton Marsalis, Ashley Clark, Bushwalla, Kenton Chen (The Sing Off), and Morgan Karr (Spring Awakening). She grew up playing guitar on stage in a band with her four siblings, performing on national television, and winning music awards all around the country. In May she graduated with her Doctorate in Guitar Performance from the University of Southern California’s prestigious Thornton School of Music, where she also received both her Bachelors and Masters in Music.
Monica Hyacinth, SVP, Digital Marketing Innovation, Universal Music Group
Monica leads the development and implementation of innovative digital marketing strategies for Universal Music Group’s artists and labels around the world. Since joining Universal Music Group in 2011 Hyacinth has spearheaded digital initiatives for a host of superstar and internationally successful artists including the Rolling Stones, Avicii, 5 Seconds of Summer, Ariana Grande, Sam Smith, Imagine Dragons and many others. She previously held a number of digital marketing roles at a variety of music and media companies including EMI and Reuters.
Jennifer Horton, President of Matrix Artists
Jennifer brings over 13 years of hands-on experience in strategy, deal-making and execution on both major and independent levels. She and the [matrix] team members represent a diversity of backgrounds and expertise. Horton’s clients have included Amber Rose, Ciara, Chris Brown, Elise Neal, Esther Baxter, FKi, Gil Smith, Lamorne Morris, Lil Kim, The Rej3ctz, Shanell, members of The Pussycat Dolls and Danity Kane and many more. She has consulted for top publishing companies, management companies and record labels including APG/Atlantic Records, Chris Brown Entertainment (CBE), Grassroots Productions, Phase Too, Young Money and more
Michelle Pesce, DJ/Founder Nona Entertainment
Michelle grew up in Youngstown, Ohio with a deep love for 80s & 90s hip-hop and pop. During her burgeoning career in personal publicity at the entertainment PR firm Wolf-Kasteler, she worked with some of the top actors and musicians in the world. Pesce attended Woodstock '99 and was moved by the energy created when you mix some of the world's best musicians and 200,000 fans. It was over that 3-day experience that she was inspired to start DJ'ing and soon after bought a set of Technics turntables to teach herself the craft.
Pesce has become one of the most sought-after DJs performing at parties and clubs in Mexico, France, Spain, Canada and Kenya and is a staple in the Hollywood Event Scene. From her local and international gigs playing old-school hip hop party jams to rocking A-list crowds at events for the Academy Awards, Golden Globes and multiple film festivals, she is in high demand. She is also the only DJ to ever spin 4x at music's biggest night - the Recording Academy’s Official Grammy After-Party. Pesce's presence in Hollywood even landed her a gig playing herself on "Entourage" and performing live on the #1 national morning show, "Good Morning America" multiple times. She regularly spins for top tier clients such as Instyle, GQ, W, Vogue, Vanity Fair, Glamour, Marie Claire, People, Entertainment Weekly, HBO, Paramount, Fox Searchlight, Warner Bros, Viacom, NBCUniversal, Audi, Google, Motorola, Samsung, Soho House West Hollywood, The Toronto Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, The Clinton Foundation, Women In Film, LAXART, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Saint Laurent, Marni, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Vera Wang, Fendi, Marc Jacobs, Tod's, Club Monaco, BCBG, 7 For All Mankind, Levi's, H&M, Puma, Nike, UTA, CAA, WME and private parties for numerous actors and musicians. A list of recent events can be found in the events page.
Shannon Fitzgerald, Tour Marketing - Creative Artists Agency
Shannon Fitzgerald is a Music Tour Marketing Agent at leading entertainment and sports agency Creative Artists Agency (CAA). Shannon is based in the Los Angeles office and works with promoters, labels, managers, and venues to create opportunities for clients in the areas of marketing, ticketing, and digital, among other initiatives, across the agency’s roster. Among the artists with whom she works are Chicago, Earth, Wind & Fire, Logic, Little Dragon, Counting Crows, Pentatonix, Modest Mouse, Glass Animals, and Kesha.
Fitzgerald began her career at Pinnacle Entertainment in 2003, then moved to The Madison Square Garden Company, where she served as Campaign Planning and Operations Director. She joined CAA in 2013.
Fitzgerald graduated from DePaul University with a degree in Communications.
It’s that time of the year again - SXSW’s Panel Picker voting process is now open!
For several years, WIM has proudly worked with SxSW to host panels and events that promote the accomplishments of women in our industry. This year, we have proposed two events for inclusion in SXSW 2018 in Austin, and we need your VOTE to ensure we can bring them to life!
First, WIM has proposed to host a panel entitled “Break the Ceiling + Bridge the Gap”, which will explore the current status of the gender and wage gaps, impact these barriers have had on women in our industry, and how we can negotiate beyond them. We will explore the different challenges that women face in negotiating for themselves and others and offer tactics to become a better negotiator in any deal.
Secondly, WIM has proposed a MEET-UP that will give women and men the opportunity to meet with each other and members of our community. On top of the amazing networking attendees will experience, they will also have the opportunity to learn more about WIM and the resources that are available to women in our industry.
For more info on WIM Meetup & Panel and to enter your VOTE, which we truly appreciate, please visit:
Thank you from all of us here at WIM! We’ll see you in Austin!
WIM Great Britain and WIM Northern Ireland partner, Help Musicians UK, has launched a campaign to fund a unique, new 24/7 mental health service.
Help Musicians, the largest provider of health and welfare support for the British music industry, has announced MUSIC MINDS MATTER - a new campaign for music industry-wide support of the world's first dedicated 24/7 mental health service for people working in music.
The MUSIC MINDS MATTER campaign launched today, with the funding platform at www.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/Music MindsMatter
Help Musicians is Britain’s largest independent music charity, serving the music industry for almost 100 years. It has identified a ‘mental health crisis’ in the industry, which has led the charity to initiate a unique Mental Health Fund with an investment starting at £100,000.
The announcement of the campaign sees HMUK call for ‘arm in arm’ support from the industry and philanthropists to match its investment pound for pound, as a response to the tragic, untimely death of Linkin Park lead singer Chester Bennington.
MUSIC MINDS MATTER will fund the ground-breaking 24/7 mental health helpline and service, launching late 2017, that will combine listening, advice and signposting with clinical, medical, therapeutic and welfare support for those who need it. The charity remains committed to campaigning, educating, and encouraging conversations about mental and emotional wellbeing.
Just doubling the Help Musicians investment, with a minimum of £200k, will allow the mental health service to be sustainable beyond 2018. The charity can then continue to proactively raise money for the new fund, with ambitions for roll out with global partners in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
The campaign is already gaining support amongst high profile musicians:
Rou Reynolds, lead singer of Enter Shikari, said: "Whilst creating and playing music has a wonderfully positive influence on mental health, it is not an all encompassing elixir for the vast swathes of mental health problems that our society breeds. The music industry has a dark history with the tragic loss of too many amazing people to suicide, so I’m very happy to hear about Music Minds Matter and support them in all they’re about to do."
Adam Ficek, ex-Babyshambles drummer, said: “From my time spent in the music industry at both grass roots and top level I have seen and personally experienced the struggles within. From the elevation of fame to the collapse of worth, there needs to be a network in place to support the complexities of artistic human suffering within the commercial environment. The Music Minds Matter initiative is long overdue and a warming glow of growth for all those involved in the pursuit of professional musicianship. I thoroughly welcome this initiative from both my position as a psychotherapist and professional musician.”
Matthew Leone, bassist with Madina Lake who toured with Linkin Park in 2007, said: "I’ve had the great fortune of spending time with Chester on Linkin Park’s 'Projekt Revolution'. He was a rare breed of immeasurable talent, and equal humility. He, along with the rest of the band, are among the kindest, sweetest and most embracing artists, particularly when considering the enormity of their success, that we’ve worked with. If a comprehensive, full-service mental health resource like Music Minds Matter had existed, perhaps Chester, his family and the world could have been spared of this tragic loss. In corresponding with Linkin Park's management, I’m confident that we, along with the industry’s support will be able to follow this campaign through to a successful conclusion. This unique service will revolutionise the way musicians and the music industry think about mental health. It’s been a long time in coming and I strongly urge the music community to support this brand new fund. I am also delighted to be joining Help Musicians as their International Music Liaison Executive at this time - it is a cause I feel incredibly strongly about and more so after the tragic death of Chester Bennington."
Richard Robinson, CEO Help Musicians added: “For generations and generations, the music industry has lost some of its brightest talent and future stars due to the scourge of mental health and related issues. The situation is now urgent and we can no longer allow this to continue. We have decided to make this landmark investment as a precursor to a dedicated service – but we cannot undertake this work in isolation. We need the music industry to step up, arm in arm with Help Musicians, and match our support pound for pound, so we are proud to launch the MUSIC MINDS MATTER campaign. The forthcoming specialist 24/7 mental health service will be a global first and go hand in hand with Help Musicians’ traditional health and welfare support, which offers advice and often financial support to people in the industry across a wide range of issues.”
Help Musicians has been seeking to launch a new mental health service since the launch of the Can Music Make You Sick? research study in May 2016, which found that people in the industry are three times more likely to suffer from anxiety, depression and other related problems.
For more information, please visit Help Musicians UK's website.
We are thrilled to announce the launch of our Los Angeles Chapter online with our newly designed site focused on increasing the exposure of WIM’s West Coast happenings. Explore the site to learn more about our Angelino members, local network opportunities and overall WIM services!
In addition to our newly designed website and logo, WIM LA members can look forward to announcements on our Monthly Meet Ups, and you can even host your own!
Monthly Meet Ups will be member hang outs throughout the city where members can casually connect. Whether you are in Silverlake, Hollywood or Santa Monica, we promise to sprinkle fun networking opportunities on every side of the I-405. Your feedback is very important to us as we strive to continue to grow our community. If you are a member and interested in hosting a Meet Up, please email us your ideas and feedback to LAmeetups@womeninmusic.org
First Meet up - August 3
Join us for our FIRST monthly meet up on August 3rd at the Santa Monica Pier Twilight Concert Series,
featuring a performance by the enchanting and empowering
*RSVP if you can make it to LAmeetups@womeninmusic.org and we will send you details closer to the date.
*going forward, members can find meet ups on the home page of WOMENINMUSICLA.COM
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