Success is such a personal concept – we all see and define it differently. How did you personally define your success?
Throughout my career, I’ve had a lot of ups and downs. I’ve been lucky enough to have my books published, but I’ve also been made redundant [in] my chosen industry three times. It’s been really tough to keep looking for new roles, but also to find ones that I enjoy. Writing is such a huge arena to play in and it’s been tough going from writing about bands to writing about brands. I’ve taken some positions over the years that have been considered 'smart' roles because the money has been really good. But I was miserable each time. Ultimately, success to me isn’t about how much you’re earning, which band you got to see backstage, or how often you’ve been published. It’s about coming home at the end of the day and being happy with what you’ve accomplished. If I can walk through the door and think, 'Yeah I did good work today that I’m proud of,' then that’s all I need.
What advice would you give women who want to enter your side of the industry. What are your top three tips?
Don’t work for free or settle for unbelievably low pay. So many people think writers or those within the music business have dream jobs and that we should just feel lucky to do this for a living, no matter what the pay. But it’s just not true. It’s like any job. You work hard and you deserve to be compensated adequately for your efforts.
It’s OK to say "no."
"No" is a full sentence and you don’t need to jump at every single opportunity that presents itself. If something comes your way but it doesn’t feel right or doesn’t align with your ethics and morals, say ‘no’ and walk away.
Try to find a mentor.
I was lucky enough to have someone take me under their wing for the first few years of my career. If you’re able to find someone, you’ll soon realize [that] their advice —both personal and professional— will be invaluable. Also, it never hurts to have someone else on your team.
How have the personal and professional experiences in your life contributed to your success today?
Professionally, being faced with a rapidly changing industry, regular redundancies, and a few company mergers has taken its toll at times. You often sit back and wonder if you’ve done something wrong or if you’ve chosen the wrong field.
But on the flip side, these kind of unexpected sideliners are what builds character and forces you to up-skill and branch out into other areas. After years working as a successful entertainment journalist, I thought that’s all I would ever be doing. I loved it, I knew what I was talking about, and I’d made a lot of wonderful contacts throughout the years. But now, I’ve been forced to find work as a writer within another part of the media (advertising and branding) and it’s given me an entire new skill set. Copywriting is so different from journalism, but it’s another skill to add to my bow and I have to be grateful for the little lessons along the way.
Personally, I’ve had an ongoing battle with two autoimmune conditions since I was quite young and trying to battle the stress of work with staying healthy —mentally, physically and spiritually— can often be really difficult. But I think having the real knowledge and understanding of how important it is to take care of yourself and put yourself and your health before work has helped me create a balance where I can do the things I want professionally without running myself into the ground.
The balance for me is so important because frankly, I have no other choice but to make it work. And for me, there’s no job in the world that will ever matter more than staying healthy for me and for those that I love.
Can you share with us some of the challenges you’ve faced?
Besides the redundancies, I’ve also faced a number of challenges as a woman – more specifically as a woman who looks a lot younger than she is. I’ve worked in music, movies, television, advertising… you name it. The sexism has been rife and the ageism hasn’t been much fun, either. Between being hit on during interviews with celebs to having to dumb myself down around industry heavyweights, it’s been quite disheartening at times.
But I reached a point a while ago where I decided that wasn’t going to happen anymore and that I was going to be myself and stand up for myself no matter what. It hasn’t been easy and I’ve missed out on opportunities because of this. But it’s what I had to do in order to be happy with myself at the end of the day.
What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned?
If you have a good idea that you really believe in, write about it! Don’t wait for someone else to do it. Don’t wait for permission from anyone and don’t wait until you flesh it out more in your head. Grab that pen and go!
What do you think is the most pressing issue women in the music industry face in your region?
While there’s still a lot of sexism and inequality in the media industry, I believe the biggest issue for women in music in Australia goes deeper than that and delves into the territory of personal safety. We hear too many stories of sexual assault, abuse, and uninvited attention at gigs and events, as well as recounts from female performers about abuse at the hand of their male band members or management. It’s not OK, and that kind of behaviour can never be seen as acceptable. For every story that we hear about online nowadays, there are so many that don’t ever get spoken about again. We need to support these women so they feel comfortable speaking out, seeking help and fighting for justice.
Who inspires you, and why?
I’m inspired by so many different people each day. From my specialist who saves lives each week across Australia to my younger sister who threw it all in to start her own business to my mother who’s worked non stop for the last 35 years and my father who took on the 'Hausfrau' duties and taught us very early that gender roles in the home were nonsense.
What To Do When You Can Say #MeToo: A Guide to Discussing Sexual Harassment/Assault (Part 1)
By Jessica Sobhraj (Jessica@womeninmusic.org)
This is the first in a two-part series by Women in Music about sexual harassment and assault. The first part provides practical resources, tips, and clear action steps that you can take now if you are experiencing sexual harassment or assault. For the second part of this series, Women in Music, alongside trained therapists, will host an online event open to the public that will address the mental health-related issues by examining real experiences - your stories. To share your story anonymously for potential inclusion in the event, please email us at MyStory@womeninmusic.org.
If you’ve been following the #MeToo movement, you are aware that sexual harassment and assault are horrific realities that virtually every woman faces. If you are a woman, you may have known this all along, from your and your friends’ personal experiences. Statistically speaking, 1 in 3 women have experienced sexual harassment at work and 71% of incidents go unreported. Every 98 seconds, another person experiences sexual assault.
Women in Music represents over 4000 women across 12 chapters and has hosted discussions on this and many other issues we face worldwide. What we’ve learned is that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to handling sexual harassment or assault. Each woman has her own unique set of circumstances and level of comfort when discussing her unique experiences. As a community, it is our duty to support each other however best we can. Whether you work in a company, operate on your own, or are a bystander, we hope that you will find something helpful here.
What Is It?
Sexual harassment and assault can take many forms. Here are just a few examples:
Demeaning or condescending communications.
Suggestive or direct communications (text, emails).
Inappropriate requests, such as the use of sexual favors as currency.
Raises, promotions or other benefits that are directly linked to your engagement in inappropriate relationships or contact.
Threats to your position or employment that are directly linked to your engagement in inappropriate relationships or contact.
Inappropriate, unwelcome, forced, and non-consensual touching or sexual contact.
What You Can Do:
As a general rule of thumb, if you feel uncomfortable, whatever behavior is causing that feeling is probably not ok. Here are a few suggestions of things you can do right away:
If you are experiencing it:
Call out the behavior.
Be firm and specifically state which behavior was inappropriate.
Do not apologize for “bringing it up,” “making things weird,” etc. At the very least you are educating that person and more importantly, you are making it clear that the behavior has to stop.
Save emails, text messages, notes, screenshots, and document each interaction. This will be critical information if you need to take further action.
Forward the documentation to a confidante for safe keeping.
Utilize the documentation guides by Better Brave - these guides will help you to communicate your thoughts clearly around incidents if you need to report them.
Know your state or region’s policies:
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission provides a resource center for victims of sexual harassment including policies and guidance.
RAINN , an organization that specifically helps victims of sexual assault, provides an overview of each state’s local statute of limitations.
Speak to someone:
While there are resources available to deal with the professional and legal issues, you should also consider speaking to a counselor about the mental and emotional issues. They are just as important and can have a long lasting impact on your mental health.
If you are employed, consider consulting an employment attorney to discuss your rights.
Feminist Majority has created a list of hotlines for every state for groups and agencies that deal with sexual harassment.
Victims of sexual assault can call or live chat with a RAINN representative 24/7.
File a complaint:
Escalate complaints to the authorities, especially if you feel like you may be in danger.
If employed, file a complaint with your Human Resources department.
File a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or your state’s local agency
If filing with the EEOC, you should do so within 180 days of the incident.
If you have witnessed it:
If you see it happening, take a stand:
If you witness something you believe to be harassment or assault, immediately express to that person that their behavior was inappropriate and made you uncomfortable. It’s on all of us to ensure that the behavior stops. Not taking a stand can reflect poorly on your reputation too.
Respect the victim’s comfort level:
These experiences and stories are unique to each person. The way someone confronts these issues should be in a manner that they feel comfortable doing so. Be supportive and avoid pressuring others to publicly name accusers or tell their story if they do not want to.
If you are an employer or work in human resources:
Develop a policy for dealing with harassment and discrimination. The Society for Human Resource Management has a template you can use.
Ask your Human Resources department to lead a talk or seminar about these issues.
Create a diversity and inclusion program (WIM will be highlighting how to do this and interviewing leaders that have successfully done so soon).
Contact us. We are more than happy to work with you on developing initiatives.
This is the first part in our ongoing series on this topic that we will continuously build on. If you have questions, comments, or other resources you would like to see listed here, please reach out to us!
Janesta is the founder of women-run Rocking Horse Road (RHR) and Coversion Music. Initially known for her music supervision work with RHR from Canada via London, her team gained notoriety for creating the music for the Moonlight trailer campaign. RHR's sync with the Philips Norelco campaign featuring a cover of "It's Your Thing" led to the creation of the much-needed Coversion, The Sync-Focused Covers Catalog, already a go to for key music supes around the world. She was a finalist for best video game music supervision for Music Week's Sync Awards and Coversion just had it's first sync debut in a Macca's (Australian McDonald's) campaign with an incredible cover of Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, "You Really Got a Hold on Me".
Success is such a personal concept – we all see and define it differently. How did you personally define your success?
Success to me is being able to do what you love, while also being able to make a living and inspire others to follow their passion. I left a salaried job within a small music region to jump in to the unknown and try and make a go of it in music licensing. If I hadn’t made that change, I would not be where I am now. I wouldn’t know the people I know. I wouldn’t be answering this interview on a plane from London to LA… and I wouldn’t be as proud of myself as I am now. I am doing what I love. I am learning more all the time. I am pushing myself forward and following my own path. That, to me, is success.
What advice would you give women who want to enter your side of the industry - What are your top three tips?
Reach out to others and ask questions, don’t be afraid to learn new things – no one knows it all. And make real relationships - Don’t be fake. Be you.
Professionaly, I can say, without a doubt, that my time at Sonic Entertainment Group in Halifax, NS and my time with Mike G, Louis Thomas and Wintersleep gave me the basis for everything I know. I started at the company as office manager and dabbled in PR, as label assistant, in live events, and worked in artist management – which was where I spent the majority of my 8 years there. Being on the management side introduced me to all sides of the industry, since you need an understanding of a little bit of everything to do a great job as a manager. It enabled me to have a clearer understanding of where an artist, label, management, publisher, sync agent and music supervisor all stand in terms of clearing a placement before I even opened the doors to my licensing company. Though, I admit that I learned much more on the Sync Agent and Music Supervisor side since diving in to that.
Personally, as an only child for 8 years, with 2 working parents, I think I learned to do a lot on my own. Not in a bad way, but in an exploratory way. I taught myself certain things such as how to ice skate, or how to play bass, etc. I think that instilled a degree of do-it-yourselfness that if I didn’t have, I might have been even more nervous to start my own company.
Breaking in to the industry as a newbie was hard. Even coming from a music industry background, the sync world is its own world and I highly underestimated that. Saying that, I followed my own advice and approached people organically and made some real relationships. I really want to get to know people and make a genuine connection whenever possible.
SLEEP ON IT.
If we’re talking about Canada’s east coast, I would say the lack of mentorship programs for women in the industry WITH women in the industry. There are a few organizations that help fund mentorships but they themselves are not funded enough to be able to really offer a real solid mentorship cycles. There are industry leaders who are willing to put in their time, but young women still need to be able to afford to eat, or to travel to the opportunity, or live in a safe space while they are learning.
My Grandmother because she always did what she had to do. She is still the family’s matriarch, and its firm center. At the same time she spent her career working in social work, helping kids in a group home where she was the house mother. Every kid that went through there called her ‘Mom’. She could be incredibly tough at work if the situation called for it, but had the softest heart in the world at home. I have never in my life felt scared of her – only the purest love. But somehow, you always knew.. you do as Nanny says. I still do. It’s a respect that it not demanded, but ‘it just IS’.
What do you look forward to accomplishing at Coversion in the next year?
We are excited to keep building our reputation as THE go-to for sync focused cover songs for media. We have owned masters, licensed masters and can make bespoke masters tailored to a music supervisor’s needs.
Tell us more about how you got involved in Coversion What is your ultimate goal and what do you need to take it to the next level?
I started Rocking Horse Road Productions, my music licensing house, 5 years ago. We’ve seen many briefs come in looking for new versions of recognizable songs over the years, and started to hear a lot more cover songs in ads, trailers, films, etc. From that – Coversion was born. We make sync focused cover songs for these types of placements and have become the first go-to catalogue specializing in sync focused covers!
My ultimate goal with the company is to be able to provide quality for music supervisors and to help their projects resonate with audiences. To be able to induce goosebumps or illicit some type of feeling from the viewer while watching a film, an ad or a trailer – that is the stuff that #synclife is made of ☺.
We are looking forward to getting on more briefs lists to help that goal along, so add us to your briefs lists: email@example.com!
Check out their websites and follow them on below social media!
I find success in growth. The growth of my skill set, as a designer, as well as my personal growth as a young professional navigating the music industry.
Observe excellence and be excellent. In the beginning, be a fly on the wall and observe the people around you, listen to what they’re saying, and pay attention to what works. I wouldn’t be where I am if it wasn’t for my excellent mentors I have had the privilege to learn from.
Ask for what you want and what you deserve. Rarely do people just give you what you want or deserve, so you need to stand up for yourself and communicate what you want or believe you deserve.
Find a side hustle. Find ways to get involved in the music industry outside of your 9 to 5. It’s a great way to network with other people and gain outside experience.
I’ve always been an artistic person and took a lot of art and design classes throughout school that have helped refine my eye as a designer. Also, I’ve had a few internships that have allowed me to gain the music industry experience I needed to work at Roc Nation.
The biggest challenge I’ve faced recently, having been working now just over year, has been finding the appropriate work-life balance for me. I’m finding out that it is very different for everyone and that it’s important to prioritize your health over everything.
The most valuable lesson I’ve learned has been to know my worth. Self-doubt is inevitable when you look around and there are so many successful people in this world. But I now understand that my success is a unique journey and I need to be proud of what I’ve accomplished and be vocal about it.
I believe the industry is still male-dominated. And as a Latin woman, that can be intimidating. I frequently catch myself apologizing for all kinds of things that don’t make sense. Never apologize for taking up space or for being successful.
My Art Director, Michelle, who I work with every day, inspires me the absolute most. She has so much experience in our field and her knowledge of our craft seems endless. Her direction while working on projects inspires me to be better and look at things differently.
What do you look forward to accomplishing at Roc Nation in the next year?
I look forward to designing album packaging for artists. I design mostly for digital, but I would like more experience designing for physical releases. Also, I look forward to stepping into more of a Junior Art Director role, assisting our Art Director at photo shoots.
Tell us more about how you got involved in Roc Nation? What is your ultimate goal and what do you need to take it to the next level?
My ultimate goal is to build my career at Roc Nation. This is where I got my start interning, and I have been in love with the company since Day One. My plan is to continue to work hard, stay dedicated, and time will tell what the next step is for me.
You can follow Dominique
Instagram @ domalommm
LinkedIn @ https://www.linkedin.com/in/dfalcone94/
and check her portfolio at www.dominiquefalcone.com
Steph Quaye is a music professional committed to building community through music. In addition to being a singer/songwriter, she manages an Afrobeat/pop collective called People’s Champs, and has recently joined the Board of Women in Music as an Events Chair. She currently helps lead operations for all performing arts programming at BRIC, a non-profit arts organization in downtown Brooklyn, N.Y.
To me, success means having the resources -—time, energy, money — to create the life that I want for myself. That involves me producing (and supporting the production of) music and engaging events that allow people to build genuine connections with each other. I want to put all that I have into celebrating art and building intentional community, as they are both fundamental to how I view the world personally and professionally.
— Have conversations with people who are doing the work you’re interested in doing.
— Ask thoughtful questions.
— Don’t let perceived differences get in the way of building new relationships.
I left my home in N.J. when I was 13 years old to attend a boarding high school in New Hampshire — no, I wasn’t a troublemaker! Being in such an academically and socially intense environment taught me the importance of managing my time and communicating well with different kinds of people. In addition to my ‘day job,’ I’m involved with a number of organizations that have me working on many different projects simultaneously, so I rely on those time management and communication skills every day.
While music has always been a big part of my life, it wasn’t integrated into my career until about tw0 years ago. My professional life centered around business and accounting — I’m a licensed CPA and used to work at a Big Four accounting firm— while my personal life was where I expressed myself musically through writing and performing. A major challenge I faced was coming to terms with the fact that, though I was at a great firm and had a ‘stable’ career, I wasn’t happy with what my life looked like. Leaving behind a career that I had spent many years preparing for was incredibly scary, but it was important that my professional life engage my creative and analytical skills equally. I’m glad I made the leap!
The most valuable lesson I’ve learned is to do what I can, with what I have, to leave spaces better than I found them. This was a part of the ethos of a choir that I was a part of when I lived in Boston (hey Kuumba!), and it has been my personal philosophy ever since. By focusing on contributing in both large and small ways to any space that I occupy, I’ve created meaningful relationships and been offered great opportunities. It’s often the little things that get you noticed and open doors.
Feeling like they have to make themselves smaller to accommodate the egos of people in power. We’ve got to take up more space, ladies!
Writer, director, and actress Issa Rae is a huge inspiration to me. She has built her career by creating nuanced stories featuring characters of color in a refreshing way and has done so on her own terms. I want my music and the events I produce to be similarly engaging and relevant, and seeing her thrive has definitely encouraged me.
What do you look forward to accomplishing in the next year?
Layered vocals bring me immense joy and I’ve performed background vocals for some amazing artists on varied stages — from C’mon Everybody in Brooklyn, N.Y. to Bonnaroo in Manchester, Tenn. While I love supporting other artists, I want to continue to explore my artistry and share my musical perspective with the world. New tunes are coming soon, so look out for them!
What is your ultimate goal and what do you need to take it to the next level?
My ultimate goal is to not only produce creative and memorable live music experiences, but also to help musicians build community around their work. In order to take it to the next level, I need to connect with like-minded professionals with great ideas — let’s collaborate!
Soundcloud - https://soundcloud.com/iamstephquaye
With a lifetime love of music and a natural pull towards advertising, Moira McCarthy has spent her career pursuing her passions. After half a decade consulting on multicultural advertising campaigns, ranging from Coca-Cola to Nike, Moira moved onto Audio Network, Inc., where, during her tenure, she was responsible for fostering the company's presence in the U.S. market through business development, marketing, and creative leadership. At Audio Network she played a key role in placing the music for the Volvo social media campaign, “The Greatest Interception,” which won the 2015 Cannes Direct Lions Grand Prix for Volvo and Grey Worldwide. Her roster of agency clients included Droga5, BBDO, Havas, Leo Burnett, McCann, KBS+P, Y&R, McCann, and many others.
She is now leading business development, marketing, and music for GrupoSpiro, a global production company specializing in entertainment and brand partnerships stretching from music placement to groundbreaking experiential events.
Success is such a personal concept — we all see and define it differently. How did you personally define your success?I define my professional success in having the privilege to be stimulated creatively and work doing something I love every day, with amazing talent surrounding me.
What advice would you give women who want to enter your side of the industry - What are your top three tips?
First, never be above any job in the industry because there is absolutely always something you can learn from it. The second would be the complement to that: Know your worth and do not be afraid to confidently ask for just compensation and treatment.
Third — build true friendships in the industry; the hours can be long and the work grueling at times, and those friendships make each day, even the hard ones, a blast.
A career as a college athlete and working through jobs that I despised early in my working years taught me the value of self-discipline and patience. On a personal level, the amazing support of my family to pursue my dreams has been a huge driver of success.
Navigating a professional life in my early twenties was exceptionally challenging and I faced a ton of obstacles, but to name a few: insane hours, unwelcome sexual advances, and rampant unprofessionalism. The consequences of being too afraid to stand up for myself then taught me a lot about gracefully but confidently standing up for myself later in my career. Though much has improved in the past decade, we still have a long way to go and I feel strongly that banding together, the women of the music industry can change the narrative long-term.
Always, always, ALWAYS take the high road.
Enormous and serious issues still challenge women everywhere in the workplace, especially when it comes to equal pay and women’s rights. But I’m inclined to think the most pressing day-to-day obstacle is the pressure to be one step ahead. There is always another show, another event, another conference, and I think a lot of women still feel the need to work triple overtime in order to achieve their goals in our primarily male-driven industry. The hustle is wildly important, but so is sleep. Work your ass off, but also know that the flu and a temperature of 102 doesn’t belong at Mercury Lounge on a Tuesday night.
My mother — the strongest, most resilient, most optimistic woman I have (and am confident will ever) meet. Also, Oprah and Beyonce, for very obvious and wonderful reasons.
You can follow Moira at:
For me, balance is everything. I’ve never been the kind of person who has one specific, be-all-end-all dream, and subsequently, I have a zillion interests and ambitions. While I do feel that’s what makes life so amazing, it also means I usually have about a million of those zillion things up in the air at any given time. I think that when I can manage to balance, let's say, 10 of those things up in the air, and still have a smile on, I can count that as success.
What advice would you give women who want to enter your side of the industry? What are your top three tips?
Don’t take it personally
Play to your strengths
Know everything there is to know about everything
This is a huge question, because I feel like success can’t really be measured in terms of ‘I’m successful today,’ but rather all the personal and professional experiences I’ve had so far have been sprinkled with moments of success. That’s hard to realize in our goal-oriented industry, but it’s the way life is, and it’s so important to stop every now and then in the midst of it all and celebrate the successes.
I reached a point last year where I was stuck. I wasn’t sure I wanted to move forward along the career trajectory I had set for myself, but I also wasn’t sure what else there was to do. So, I started talking to as many people as I could to figure out next steps. For me, it was applying to business school, where I am now, and I think I made the absolute right decision. But for anyone, that moment of recognizing you don’t want to go down the path ahead, and making the decision to either pivot or run in the opposite direction, that's always the toughest, but also the most important part of working towards your goals.
Just because someone says you can’t do something doesn’t mean that you have to back down. You can always find a way to make your life what you want it to be.
Who inspires you and why?
Honestly, I’m amazed by so many people in this world that it’s hard to pick just one. But right now I love Cindy Gallop. She gives these amazing and totally inspiring speeches, mainly to women, where she talks about her career in the advertising world and the hurdles she overcame, and gives the best, no-nonsense answers at Q&As I’ve ever heard. I’m hoping she’d approve of my answers in this one!
How did you get involved at CBS? What is your ultimate goal and what do you need to take it to the next level? What do you look forward to accomplishing at Columbia Business School in the next year?
I studied English and Art History in undergrad, and have always been more liberal arts inclined. But I needed a way to expand my horizons in the business world. I decided that business school offered me the concrete tools and connections to make that transition, and I applied!
I’m looking forward to so many things at CBS, but I think most of all, I can’t wait to experience as many different career paths as I possibly can. It’s so rare to have the time and opportunity to stop and actually decide what to do with our lives, I am not going to leave any rock unturned.
You can follow Emma on Instagram at @hamsterfeed
When you hear “Girl, You'll Be A Woman Soon” do you think of Pulp Fiction? How about Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time”? Probably Romy and Michele's High School Reunion, right? What about The Kills' "The Last Goodbye"? Are you running to buy Under Armour ala Michael Phelps?
A well-placed song can raise the emotional connection and significance of an on-screen scene in a way that stays with us. So how does that song make it into that scene? What did the writer do to put themselves in a good position to be considered for such a magnificent moment?
In our panel discussion on crafting commercial music, we will hear from leaders in the major label and sync industry on the process of writing music with the aim of making a huge impact (through sync, landing a major label deal, and more). From a label A&R song-focused perspective, music supervisors in charge of finding music for big-name productions, and a media company licensing tracks every day, these women are at the TOP of their game and ready to share tricks of their trade. Their expertise and well-developed ears give them great insight into how writers, managers, publishers, and A&Rs in the industry today can point themselves towards mainstream success.
In addition to the talk, we will host a live demo constructive critique of music submitted by WIM LA members and UCLA students. The panel will listen to 30-second song clips and give live feedback on the overall commercial and sync-ability of the tracks. They will share inside tips on what they look for, what trends to follow, and how to write music that speaks to the masses.
Wendy Goldstein - EVP, A&R @ Republic Records
Rachel Levy - SVP, Film Music @ Universal Pictures
Kasey Truman - Music Supervisor @ ChopShop
Lauren Ross - Co-Founder @ Terrorbird Publishing
Moderator: Robyn Booker - Snr Director, Film/TV Music @ Downtown Music Publishing
Date and Time: Monday, November 13, 2017 | 7pm to 9pm PT
The Jan Popper Theater, UCLA Campus (Westwood)
445 Charles E Young Dr E, Los Angeles, CA 90095
Parking: The closest parking on campus is Garage 2 - then make your way inside the Schoenberg Music Building where you will find the Jan Popper Theater. Campus Map here.
Thank you to our amazing partners - we couldn’t do it without you!
- UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music
- UCLA Radio
This event is only open to active WIM LA members and UCLA Students. If you are not one of those you must join to attend!
WIM LA Members and UCLA Students can RSVP:http://wimlaucla.eventbrite.com
HAVE YOUR SONG CRITIQUED:
If you’re interested in having your song played and reviewed by the panelists during the session (and you are an active WIM member OR UCLA Student) you can submit your song here by November 2nd.
Please note the following:
Song submissions and tickets are open to WIM Members and UCLA students ONLY. RSVPs and submissions will be cross-referenced and you will be removed from the list if you are not a WIM member or UCLA student.
Can't wait to see you there!
Jessie Massabni is no stranger to WIM - she is the Membership Director that services all of our nearly 2000 members! We sat down with Jessie to learn about her history and hear her advice for advancing as a Woman in Music.
Tell us about yourself: How did you get involved in the industry and how did you get involved with WIM?
I’ve always been passionate about music. It’s fascinating to see how music can bring people together, create memories and no matter what language you speak and where you are in the world it is a powerful medium that connects us all.
I started writing songs when I was living in Canada and decided to move to New York to pursue my passion. Being new in the city, WIM played a big part in my life. I joined WIM about two years ago and was amazed by all the opportunities the organization offers and how it truly focuses on its members with a core mission to help and see everyone thrive in their career. As a member, I was so grateful for the knowledge I gained and the connections I made along the way. I was excited for the opportunity to join the Women In Music team, seeing the impact it had on me I wanted to be part of something bigger that can help others.
Work smart - have a clear/specific vision of what you want to achieve. Create daily goals and never be afraid to make that call or knock on doors you'll be surprised how far this can bring you. Make quick decisions and trust your instinct.
Patience - everything takes time and connecting all the little dots you create along the way will bring you closer to your goal.
Persevere - no matter how hard sometimes it gets never give up. Keep going even though you don’t know if you are on the right track; keep going, everything will make sense as long as you persevere, have patience and work smart.
Last but not least, support one another - helping someone can go a long way without expecting it.
My experiences helped me grow, gain strength and confidence, which lead me to set a clear vision of my goals and brought me closer to my purpose. No matter what I am going through I am always learning and that itself is a blessing.
There will always be challenges to overcome at different phases of a career. They are part of the journey that determines if you are ready for what’s to come. One challenge was finding my true purpose and that clear/specific vision of what I wanted while staying authentic and true to who I am. Basically knowing your worth and value without settling for less.
Another challenge is making fast decisions. I’m a perfectionist and I tend to dwell on it. I’ve taught and pushed myself to decide in the present moment and surprisingly it always ends up being the best decision. When you make a fast decision you follow your heart and don’t have time to overthink so you basically are being true to yourself and save so much time which is the most valuable asset in life. Some choices might not lead you to the result you want but it’ll teach you a lot so you can never fail. You always win in some ways.
Always be humble, grateful and curious.
What has been your favorite thing about being apart of this industry and WIM?
I’ve always been told that the music industry is competitive but what I’ve discovered is the contrary. It is a community that thrives on collaborating and helping each other, which is definitely my favorite thing about being part of this industry and WIM.
People! Everyone I meet inspires me in some ways.
What do you look forward to accomplishing in the next year? What do you need to achieve that goal? (this of this is an ask of anyone reading).
I’m working on a few exciting songwriting projects and I’m always looking to collaborate with passionate artists and producers while continuing on being part of and working with WIM as it expands and helps members around the world. I’m looking forward to help and inspire more and more people in this coming year.
You can follow Jessie at:
"Speak it, Make a Plan, and get it done!" This is the mantra and life philosophy of Houston native Erika Smith. In business and in life, her goal is simple — to create new waves and to ride the ones that head her way.
I've learned to look inward with regards to success. What are my goals? How can I do my best? If I always look at other people to define my success, then I'll never feel successful. Maybe it's not ‘the industry way’ of looking at it, but it's the way I've been able to practice self-care in an environment that puts self last.
A)If you demand seat at the table, you better be ready to bring it. I know for me, I'm so used to ‘fighting’ for my seat at the table that I forget about the real process. What you do at the table matters just as much, if not more, than fighting for a seat at the table.
B) Give yourself permission to “SELL YOURSELF!!!!” Men do this easily and they tend to speak more highly of themselves. We tend to talk down our accomplishments and overlook our talents.
C) It's okay if you can't do it all at the SAME TIME. We can do whatever we put our mind to but maybe part of doing it all is not doing it at the same time. I'm at that place now in my career.
Interesting question. I'm sure it's all played a role, but it's kind of hard to pinpoint. For example, when I worked at the Talent Booking Agency, I shined because I know the Gospel Music world really well. I'm a follower of Christ from Houston, Texas, and prior to moving to NYC, I worked at a faith-based school. I never would have thought to connect the three (or four) but those experiences helped me to shine.
My biggest challenge would be with myself — my mental. I believe that if you (I) can get your mind right, the rest is MUCH EASIER!
Most valuable?? That's a tough one. I guess the most recent valuable lesson I've learned is to not be afraid of the ‘NO.’ The Nos will lead to a ‘YES!’
There’s not a lot of women in certain sectors of music, so the empathy for something is lacking. I lucked up a bit at my agency. I was the only woman agent and they were very accommodating and supportive with my pregnancy. That's rare in this business.
My former students and my son. I want them to see that ALL things are truly possible. If it can happen for me, it can definitely happen for them!
What do you look forward to accomplishing at your company in the next year?
This should answer the next two questions. I left Universal Attractions Agency to focus on motherhood. That time allowed me to really think about my first love, which is event planning, producing, and programming. I plan to focus my time and resources into that. It looks like working for a company, pursuing independent projects,and just getting MY BUTT OUT THERE!!!
You can follow Erika on:
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