This article was written by Ailie Orzak - an intern at Cyber PR, a student at Tufts University, and a lover of all things music - under the supervision of Jenn O'Hagan, the PR Director at Cyber PR. This article features the stories of 15 incredible women who made their mark on multiple genres in the music industry including rock, country and pop. Their memoirs shine a light how their lives influenced their career, and how their work, in turn, empowered the world. Read on to discover your next book from this list of page-turners!
Boys in the Trees
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Esteemed singer-songwriter, Carly Simon, leads her readers through the twists and turns of her remarkable life in this memoir, “Boys in the Trees.” From her musical beginnings in The Simon Sisters to her famed solo career, this book captures the slow dismantling of her family as old secrets tore them apart as well as moments musical inspiration and personal growth perfectly. Pick up your copy here!
Never Broken: Songs Are Only Half the Story
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From a rugged and difficult upbringing in Alaska to homelessness in her teenage years in California and finally to her extraordinary career studded with several platinum records, singer-songwriter Jewel’s life is just as emotional as her award-winning music is. Her memoir, Never Broken: Songs Are Only Half the Story, gives you a peek into insecurities, love, loss, and self-discovery, with writing that is heart wrenching and incredible, just as her music makes you feel.Grab this captivating read here!
Girl in a Band
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Sonic Youth emerged from the NYC underground in the 1980s as a game-changer in the rock and roll industry, bringing with them not only a fresh, punk sound but a new aesthetic that impacted the world of visual art. In Girl in a Band, Kim Gordon tells the story of Sonic Youth’s transformative career as well as her experience as one of the first women in rock and roll. In this account of a woman paving her way and forming an identity within an abrasive industry — Gordon remains as edgy as her music, as wise as her years, and powerful in her own right. Uncover more here.
M Train/Just Kids/Year of the Monkey
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Patti Smith is heralded as a poet, a champion of unconventional punk, and an iconic performer. She has published several beautiful books, including Just Kids, M Train, and her latest Year of the Monkey. Smith’s writing is intellectual and evocative while featuring her beautiful prose as well. Patti’s career was based on her ability to bend the expectations of women in rock, and her writing shows she can dominate the page just as she did the stage! Get your hands on her work here.
Coal Miner’s Daughter
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Country music legend, Loretta Lynn’s career speaks for itself. Not only is she the only woman recognized by the Academy of Country Music as the Artist of the Decade for the 1970s, she is also a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame. As a songwriter, she’s studded with No. 1 hits and Grammy’s, but her life speaks louder than any award could. In her memoir, Coal Miner’s Daughter, Loretta recounts her rise to stardom out of deep poverty in Kentucky. Though married at 13 and a grandmother by age 30, she built a career around her family and difficult marriage. Order your copy of this memorable and influential read here!
A Natural Woman
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Carole King may have had one of the greatest solo careers of all time, made even greater by her legacy as an incredible songwriter, having penned hits for The Beatles, Aretha Franklin, and The Monkees to name a few. Her memoir, A Natural Woman, focuses on her personal life — the love for her four husbands, anecdotes on how she coped with fame, and her journey as an activist. The accolades of her career are but a brief mention, and instead, we get a beautiful peek into the life of such a music industry icon.You can grab her memoir here!
Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys
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Selected by the New York Times as one of the best memoirs of the last 50 years, Viv Albertine’s Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys is a no holds barred account of her experience as a woman in the male-dominated punk scene as she rose to fame with her band The Slits. It’s a raw and honest telling of the riot grrrl movement and a woman staying true to her roots when confronted with the push to conform. Check out this fierce memoir here!
Between a Heart and a Rock Place
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Nominated for a 2020 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the infamous Pat Benatar needs no introduction. She paved a way for women in rock, and in her book, she writes, “For every day since I was old enough to think, I've considered myself a feminist … It's empowering to watch and to know that, perhaps in some way, I made the hard path [women] have to walk just a little bit easier.” When at times, rock and roll was such a boys club, Pat Benatar recounts how she asserted herself in the industry, empowering all of us readers along the way. Read her powerful book here!
Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl
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Carrie Brownstein led the feminist punk rock movement of the 1990s alongside her bandmates of Sleater-Kinney, spearheading the riot grrrl scene and building a space for queerness in hardcore rock. She went on to develop Portlandia, of which many of the sketches drew inspiration from her experience in the Pacific NorthWest music and indie scenes. Her memoir is a fresh account of her experience as a young woman who found her life changed forever by music, performance, and a fierce desire to redefine how gender is perceived in punk rock. Grab her book here!
Dirty Blonde: The Diaries of Courtney Love
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Always the controversial figure, Courtney Love emerges to tell her side of life as a trendsetting rock musician and wife of a rockstar - the late Kurt Cobain. Whether you love her or hate her, this memoir is an enticing compilation of Love’s successes, mistakes, personal anecdotes, and upbringing. When we say this one’s juicy… we mean it! Seriously, Courtney fired her ghostwriter for being a bit too tell all. Grab your copy and let us know what you think!
Lady Sings the Blues
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Billie Holiday left a rose-tinted legacy on the jazz scene of the 1930s and 1940s, but during her lifetime, her reputation was plagued with drug abuse and legal troubles. Her autobiography, Lady Sings the Blues, tells the tall tales of her career, personal struggles, and experience as a Black woman in the pre-Civil Rights era. It’s raw, and upsetting, but a work of art just like Billie herself. Buy yours today!
Cyndi Lauper: A Memoir
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There’s no denying Cyndi Lauper is an international icon — her music, style, fresh take on 90s pop, and score of Broadway Show Kinky Boots have all made her a worldwide name. In her self-titled memoir, the “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” singer leads us through her life detailing her childhood in Queens, NY to her career filled with activism, acting, and nonstop hits. It’s funny, real and the story of a remarkable, pop heroine. Check it out here!
Sounds Like Me: My Life (So Far) in Song
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If you haven’t wailed the lyrics to “Love Song” at some point in your life, you’re missing out (and we also kind of think you’re lying but we digress...) This catchy and empowering single from 2007 was Sara Bareilles' debut release and the very beginning of a long and successful career. With 7 award-winning records, Sara consistently writes songs from that heart that depict raw, beautiful emotion and this book is no different. This her collection of essays, Sounds Like Me: My Life (So Far) in Song, she takes you behind the scenes featuring her childhood, inside stories behind her biggest tracks and how she maintains integrity in the commercial music industry.Enjoy Sara’s work here!
Reckless: My Life as a Pretender
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Though Chrissie Hynde is THE face of The Pretenders, she has created a legacy for herself by bending gender expectations in rock and roll and showcasing her songwriting capabilities both in the band and in her solo career. Hynde has long proved that she can outperform her male counterparts, and her memoir, Reckless: My Life as a Pretender, tells the story of the jagged beginnings of her career. This rough-around-the-edges, coming of age story shines a light on the first-hand experiences of one of the greatest female rock stars of all time. Order yours today!
I’ll Never Write My Memoirs
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There’s hardly a facet of the entertainment industry that Grace Jones hasn’t made a name for herself in - music, modeling, acting and her memoir, I’ll Never Write My Memoirs, adds the title author to her boundless career. Readers follow her from her childhood in Jamaica to her career in Paris and NYC to her present life in London. It’s a whirlwind of a worldwide journey, filled to the brim with her triumphs in the multiple industries she worked in. Get a closer look at Grace's life here!
Written by Ailie Orzak, supervised by Jenn O'Hagan :
Ailie Orzak is an intern at Cyber PR. From event coordination and marketing, to community management and performing, the PR Director of Cyber PR , Jenn has glanced behind-the-curtain in many areas of this industry. Well-versed in all things Cyber PR, Jenn works with artists to identify if they’re a perfect fit for our company and if so, which services will be the best match. Find out more about Jenn and Cyber PR here.
Ready to FALL into AUTUMN with some slammin music created by a female-fronted band? Well, I got you! Take a listen to SLANT’s recent cut called “La Danse,” and be awesomely surprised!!
“La Danse” is a booming energetic track filled with edgy synths, intergalactic vocal FX, groovy soundscapes, and a guitar solo that is nerve resurrecting. The storyline is about living out loud on the dancefloor and living YOUR best life - a message that transcends the dancefloor and resonates in every aspect of living.
With this one single, SLANT has redefined Glam Rock, because there’s one mean bass threading through the track laying down a Funky foundation, so it’s all things Funk Punk spliced with Glamrock creating a clever mix which alters surrealism and brings it up into the listening range. From the raw, but polished, chorus, on to the front woman flexing her tightly reigned vocals that are authoritative but nice, “La Danse,” is a gift!
If only Soul Train were still in existence in 2020, this would be the track to push the show into 2021, but for right now, just settle in and FALL into this jam.
CONNECT WITH SLANT :
Written by Lakisha 'KiKi" Skinner :
Lakisha "KiKi" Skinner is a USA-based Indie Music journalist and freelance writer who has been crowned a "word-crafting artist" by her global following of Independent Music artists. She is a part of an Alt. Rock band and is the owner of Klef Notes entertainment business blog. Lakisha has been the editor for a Backstreet Boy and has written pieces for Dr. Jimmy Star. If she is not crafting words, you can find her buying another pair of shoes to place inside of her over-cluttered closet. You can read her work at www.KlefNotes.com and follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/The0riginalKiKi.
The entertainment industry is full of collaborations and partnerships. Artists are creating together and companies are partnering together. Each party brings something new and unique to the table; elevating their work. One such partnership has been built between Womxn Crush Music and Rag House Media.
Womxn Crush Music is doing a Virtual Tour. There will be multiple artists playing virtual shows in cities around the country. Each show will be broadcast and promoted like any tour. Rag House Media will partner with a representative from Womxn Crush Music to put a spotlight on one artist for each tour stop. They will also be working closely with Womxn Crush Music to help with organizing and promoting the tour.
I had the opportunity to interview the founder of Rag House Media, April Duran, about this collaboration and her company.
Thank you for taking the time to speak about your partnership with Women Crush Music.
What can you tell me about Rag House Media?
We are a video podcast studio located in Southern California founded by April Duran who also has her shows, RAW interviewing singers/bands and Rag House Radio interviewing girls/women in sports, music, business and entertainment.
How did Rag House Media begin?
In 2014 after April was working for Live Nation in the OC and LA areas she had an idea to create Rag House Records an all female label. Throughout the years Rag House evolved into a radio segment and now a media studio for everyone.
What is the mission of Rag House Media?
To assist business, entrepreneurs, singers, bands to have their own media outlet.
What do you drive for with the business?
We are located in the outskirts of the LA area so our mission is to provide services for those with affordable pricing. Also to go live and/or on location to interview those starting out to gain more exposure and traffic.
How did the partnership with Women Crush Music come about?
I saw the post in “Women In Music” and loved what WCM was doing.
Why is this partnership a good fit ith Rag House Media?
We both share the same mission to support and promote women in music.
What kinds of things do you plan on doing with Women Crush Music?
Assisting in their tour to provide media for their shows and anything that works there after.
What is the goal of entering into this partnership?
To cross promote, assist in media and networking.
Any final words?
Love what WCM is doing!!
Connect with Rag House Media : Website | Instagram | Facebook
Written by Amanda Epstein :
Amanda is an avid music lover and supports independent artists in various genres. She writes for music publications in her spare time to share her love of music with the world, as well as learning to be a musician herself. She believes that music has to be experienced and not just heard.
We may be living in a digital world where we can instantly access music, but still, getting your music played on radio stations is one of the most effective ways to promote your song and reach the masses. Radio promotion isn't easy. It actually involves a very competitive market, most especially when it comes to large commercial radio stations.
But this doesn't mean that some radio stations are unreachable. A lot of them are. What this means is that you have to get a good glimpse of how it works for your song to be heard on the radio.
Why does radio promotion still matter?
Despite how advanced the world is today, plugging your music into radio stations is still very important because it helps you build a human connection between your audience and your music.
It might sound a little bit old, but the radio is still where a lot of curators thrive. It is also where many people discover new music.
It’s also because of some connection with the voice behind the microphone that some people still listen to the radio. The audience feels familiar with the host as they have been hearing it for a long time.
Here's How You Can Plug Your Music to Radio Stations
Know Who to Approach
The very first step that you must do when you want to plug your music to radio stations is knowing who to contact.
If you want your music to be played on a large radio station, find the contact details of the person who decides on the tracks to be played. This could either be the program host, the show producer, or the station’s music director.
But if you opt for smaller or local radio stations, getting in touch with them is a lot easier. You can just give them a call, or you can simply look into their social media pages for the contact details that you need.
There are radio stations that accept submissions on specific formats only, so make sure you check them out before submitting them.
Know How to Submit Your Music
After finding out their contact details, what now?
The most common way to approach radio stations is to submit a press release with links to your new track. When sending out an email, make sure that you make it as attractive and informative as possible. Make it stand out so that they can easily notice it, but go straight to the point and stay professional
Furthermore, ensure that your tracks are clearly labeled. A link to the song is more favorable than an MP3 file attached to the email.
It would even be better if you send out an electronic press kit with images of the band, the artwork, the lyrics, the updated biography, just in case the radio station decides to promote your music on the website as well.
Start Pitching to Local Radio Stations
Reality speaking, your song won't be played to large radio stations right away, not unless you own the radio station. Radio airplay is more competitive than you thought. You are not the only person trying to get their song on air; there are probably hundreds or thousands of people like you on the waiting list.
There is nothing wrong with starting on local stations. Besides, a lot of famous songs are played on small radio stations first.
And, pitching your song to them is way easier. There are a lot of independent stations, college radios, and web radio stations that accept submissions from up and coming artists and bands which you can use for your songs to be played on air.
Also, getting in touch with genre-specific stations is a huge plus. This is perhaps one of the most effective ways to get airplay.
Create a Buzz
One of the most important yet most difficult steps that you must do when trying to pitch your music to radio stations is by creating a buzz. What does this mean?
Creating a buzz means creating hype around your music to the right people. If product marketing has a target audience, music pitching has one too.
If possible, develop a local fan base which can help radio stations notice you easier.
There is no specific formula on how you can successfully create a buzz for your music. But my advice is to be active on social media: share every single news of airplay on each station you get a chance to be played on, with your fans. It doesn’t seem much, but the impression will be sensational!
Wrapping It Up
Getting your song played on radio stations will take a lot of your time, some rejections, and a lot of dedication. But once you hear your song on-air, everything will become totally worth it.
Most importantly, make sure that you are targeting the right radio stations that are suited for your type of music. Choose a stage where you matter, and you are appreciated, because most of the time, there is nothing wrong with you or your approach, but what is wrong is that you are dealing with the wrong audience/radio.
Lastly, be realistic and persistent. Do not allow rejection to stop you from doing what you love. Keep going, always!
Written by Fanny Hulard
Fanny Hulard is an independent publicist, multi-talented artist, and creative. She holds a long and successful musical career, from renowned musician to Grammy member music professional, she’s also an author, blogger, video director, painter, and educator. Instagram | Twitter
Artist Interview : Lisa Danaë drops music video for single “Starlet,” owning your identity and empowerment
Filipino-American artist Lisa Danaë is back with her single “Starlet,” a proclamation of her values as an artist and a woman. A child of the nineties, Danaë’s California vibe comes through in her vulnerability and raise-the-roof empowerment in the single. No quiet tune, ”Starlet” is full of energy, with party-starting grandiosity and force. The single captures Danae’s initial desire to emulate her pop heroes—from Taylor Swift to Christina Aguilera—and then follows her epiphany that she is her own starlet. This message of owning your identity is spot-on for our current moment in 2020.
Here’s to Danaë’s single awakening in her listeners the same take-no-prisoners belief in their own beauty and limitless potential! “STARLET” is the first of three singles she will be releasing this year. She routinely performs livestream shows and regularly releases a talk-music podcast called Sound Scrub.
Your new single Starlet comes out during a time of great social change. How is this single--and your music in general--a great message for this cultural moment?
During this time, a lot of people have lost their jobs, their homes, and their daily routine, which has created social shock. The majority feel lost and experience self-doubt, which has led to discussions about mental health and self-awareness. My music is about inclusivity and facing challenges that lead to self-acceptance and self-love. So in a time where society is currently facing a major shift, I want to be a light and spread positivity.
As a Filipino-American, what are some challenges you have encountered in your musical career? Do you have any advice for other Filipino-American musicians trying to make it in the music business right now?
Since I’ve been in the music industry, there is not a lot of representation in not only the Filipino-American community, but the Asian community as a whole. This hasn’t been explicitly said, but just the fact that I’ve been turned down and taken advantage of so many times and noticing how there’s not really attention on, not only me, but other Asian artists, is really discouraging. I’ve been told by a brand that my image didn’t fit, and I just thought they meant aesthetically. But recently, their CEO stepped down because of racism allegations in the workplace, so it kind of makes me wonder. It took me a very long time to learn how to be comfortable in my own skin and be proud to be a Filipino-American. Sometimes I feel like I definitely tried to push away my culture and “Americanize” just so I could fit in, but it was very forced and made me feel uncomfortable. I’d rather stay true to myself and stand out, so I hope other Filipino-American artists learn to embrace that if they ever feel alone.
Your music has been compared to Halsey and Taylor Swift. Are these influences in your music? Have you had other musical influences? If so, what was their effect upon you as an artist?
I think lyrically I can be unapologetic in my writing as I, again, want to be authentic and honest with things that happen in my life, which is very similar to the style of writing from both women. When I was younger, my parents would listen to Etta James, Michael Jackson, Queen, KISS, Ella Fitzgerald, The Commodores, and many more, so they definitely encouraged me to be well-rounded and listen to different genres. As I got older, I was very into No Doubt, ‘NSYNC, Christina Aguilera, Mariah Carey, Britney Spears, Celine Dion, Alicia Keys, and so many more artists. To me, music is a universal language, so I feel like I pull inspiration from any artist and any genre.
How did growing up in California influence your music career?
California is a very fast-paced environment. Everyone is always hustling and I’ve been moving nonstop since I was little. I was very involved in school and had many extracurricular activities such as violin lessons, piano lessons, art class, dance class, volleyball, etc. I’m also known to be an over-achiever, so I think being around that type of environment my whole life has really pushed me to constantly work on my craft and learn how to do a lot of things so I could manage everything myself and not wait around for anyone.
Do you see any new opportunities for musicians right now as we navigate this pandemic? How are the challenges of social distancing helping musicians to develop new ways of reaching their fans?
I think it’s time for independent artists to come into the spotlight. I think what’s happening right now is a lot of the music we hear on mainstream radio all sounds the exact same. As an independent artist, you’re able to stay true to yourself and make the art that you feel passionate about, which is more authentic and genuine. Not many signed artists are allowed to release whatever they want, which can essentially hinder your craft. I think now more than ever, we are all looking for something relatable, so I think we’ll start to see a shift. With that, a lot more independent musicians, who may not have been able to book gigs or couldn’t afford to tour, are able to dive into live-streaming, so now they can be heard from around the world. And then there is, of course, social media which allows you to showcase more of your personal life as well. I think each social media platform like Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, etc., allows you to have a different personality, which is really cool and can help keep your content fresh and allow fans to see all sides of you.
Your messages about identity and being a woman will resonate with today's listeners. What are the challenges of being a female musician in today's music industry?
Women are constantly scrutinized and judged off of what we wear, how we act, and what we say. As I’ve mentioned, I have struggled being a Filipino-American in the music industry, and as a female artist, I’ve actually had men admit they fear how independent I am and I didn’t really know how to take that. I don’t understand the term “act like a lady” when men can just walk around and do whatever they want without being held accountable for their actions. The music industry is very confusing in the ways it exploits women. It’s like they want us to exist because we still live in a society where “sex sells,” but they somehow want us to be submissive to men, and they think it’s cool to criticize our every move. Women definitely walk a fine line. I also can’t stand how the industry likes to pin female artists against one another as if we’re just porcelain dolls being auctioned off to the highest bidder. At this point, I’m just tired of it, and I, again, just stay true to myself and really try to show my support to other female artists as much as I can.
With your single's release of July 24th, and the video for the single release date of September 9th, what have been some of the challenges leading up to this point?
“STARLET”’s release was originally scheduled for June 19th, which is actually my birthday and the reason why I chose that date. I decided on that date before the COVID-19 pandemic hit and I was a little worried about the timing, but decided to stick with the initial release. But then the tragic events of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement started happening at the end of May. I was in the middle of filming the music video and in the middle of my marketing campaign, but I just couldn’t focus. Something felt off and just icky as I continued to promote, and I started feeling really selfish, so I decided to postpone the release because I wanted to redirect my energy positively in other ways. As a result of these events, I was actually able to find another meaning behind “STARLET” that I didn’t initially think of when we wrote this at the end of 2019. Overall, I don’t want to look at these events as challenges, but more as an opportunity to take the time to self-reflect and grow.
Written by Cynthia Darling
Cynthia Darling is currently working toward her MFA in Creative Writing with the Bluegrass Writers Studio at Eastern Kentucky University. She holds an MA in English from Boston College and has taught high school English for the past 20 years. Cynthia’s literary work has appeared in Louisiana Literature, Schuylkill Valley Journal, Wanderlust Journal, and as part of the literary series Quiet Lightning. She has written for Teaching Music magazine, New York Family magazine and All About Solo. Check out her writing here: www.cynthiaburnsdarling.com
FEATURE FRIDAY : Alina Smith talks new single, sexism in the Industry, KPOP and why the industry is going digital
Multi-hyphenate artist Alina Smith - one half of the internationally acclaimed female writing/music production duo LYRE - recently dropped “Girl That Was Perfect,” her first single in five years. In conversation with Womxn Crush Music, Smith delves into the rising trajectory of digital in music, working with digital content creators and KPOP artists as a premiere music producer, sexism in the industry, creating safe spaces for women in music and much more.
“Girl That Was Perfect” is your first single in 5 years. How did the break from your music to focus on producing for other talent help you find yourself?
Wow, what a great question. When I decided to hang up the artist towel five years ago, I didn't think I would ever come back to it. I had spent about a decade at that point, jumping from country, to pop, to R&B and having no idea of who I was musically or as a human, really, so moving away from it felt like a huge relief. But the funny thing is, the more I produced and wrote for others, the more I began to understand what hadn't worked for me as an artist in the past. For example, a few years ago I used to push some of the artists I worked with to sound like other artists in an attempt to seat them into a niche. But it became apparent very quickly, the best way to record an artist is to bring out the unique elements of their voice, not make them sound like others. It made me realize I used to do the same thing to myself. I tried to stuff myself into some arbitrary box. So, coming back to it now, my #1 motto is to keep things real. My real voice without unnatural artifacts, my real stories, and instrumentation I truly gravitate toward.
What is the message or inspiration behind the single?
I wrote GTWP about overcoming body dysmorphia and bulimia. It's something I struggled with heavily in my teens and twenties, so when I first sat down to write for myself the concept aggressively burst into my mind. It was definitely painful to write - I cried the entire time - but also such a great release. It felt like I was shining a light into this dark dusty corner of my mind. Suddenly, that corner wasn't so depressing or scary anymore.
After the break and producing for others, how has your personal sound evolved? How would you like it to evolve going forward?
Again, an awesome question. When I was an artist five years ago, I was in country music, which, being super honest, was never my true passion. I enjoy the genre, but I only chose to be in it because I thought it would make me successful. Bad move LOL. Now, with "Girl That Was Perfect" and other music I have coming up, I'm actually creating music I'm deeply excited about. If it wasn't my own, I'd still listen to it and love it, which I think is a good sign. Sonically, I'm pulling from my inspirations growing up: Michael Jackson, Usher, Alicia Keys, Pussycat Dolls. Expect aggressive pianos, lo-fi strings, and a heaping of programmed drums. It's blatant 2000's bacchanalia and I love it!
Tell me about your journey. From LYRE to becoming a premiere producer for influencers to now coming back to your own music, what was the turning point for each arc of your life in music?
Every turning point in my career has been accompanied by some turmoil. When I first decided to set aside my artist project, it was a pretty dark time for me. My team had just pitched me to every major label, and everyone said no. My publishing deal was on the line, and I was told that unless I got other artists to record my songs right away I'd be dropped. That's when Elli and I started pitching our music to K Pop. We wrote seven days a week for months and almost immediately started getting cuts (our songs recorded) in that genre. Starting LYRE with Elli truly saved me.
I'm not surprised that I'm returning to my artist project in the year of COVID. It's been incredibly tough in many ways, and a definite break in LYRE's workflow. For the first few months of quarantine, none of the artists we usually work with could come over to the studio, which freed up our schedule quite a bit. Having all this free time to think about my life trajectory made me realize I deserve another chance as an artist. It's exciting to see something that inspires me so much grow out of such a weird time. But, as they say, sh*t makes the best fertilizer.
What are the fondest memories you have of working with influencers like Niki and Gabi, Nikita Dragun, Kenzie, etc? What’s something you’ve learned working with some of today’s top creators?
I'll never forget how well-mannered Kenzie was when we first started working together. Every time I would tell her I liked a vocal take of hers she'd say, "Thank you so much!" She's always been a genuinely sweet and kind person. And the first memory I have of Nikita Dragun is her strutting into the studio with full makeup on, gorgeous pink wig swaying. I loved seeing how she was so unapologetic about who she was!
You have always worked to create safe spaces for women in the music industry. What needs to change in regards to women’s safety particularly in music?
I think there needs to be a lot more education around the topic. A lot of male producers don't realize that certain behaviors they think are funny or even complimentary are actually microaggressions against women and that, unless they specifically make efforts to make girls and women comfortable in their studios, they might not be. And, of course, there needs to be a lot more female and non-binary producers, writers and engineers! Which is why my partner Elli and I are so excited to be in this field, not only doing the work but also sharing it online. Currently, we run a Youtube channel where we share a lot of production tips and tricks, and it's always so rewarding, getting messages from young girls that are inspired by what we do.
In your own experience, what has been the most effective and empowering way to overcome sexism in the music industry?
Being good at your job! When your work is excellent, those gender presumptions that "girls can't do this or that" pop like balloons pierced with a pin.
Music is constantly evolving and particularly now with the lack of live music, the digital space has become the prime hub for musicians. In your opinion what are the pros and cons of this evolution?
Wow, you're really hitting me with some great questions. I think there's good and bad there. Obviously, for musicians that mostly make their living playing live gigs this is disastrous, and my heart goes out to them. For writers, I think it can be tough too, because the modus operandi in the industry is in-person songwriting sessions, and not a lot of people are comfortable doing those right now. I think the silver lining is the advancement of remote writing technology like Listen To by AudioMovers. I can stream my Ableton session to my collaborator in Nashville, and they hear it with minimal delay. Elli and I have written some great songs remotely during this time, which makes me hopeful for the future. So far, it's been very difficult for those that don't live in music cities like LA to be taken seriously in the writing scene. But I feel like this might change because of this remote writing revolution we're experiencing.
How do you see music in general evolving going forward? What are innovations you predict or even wish would happen?
It's been really interesting to see how the advancement in tech has made it so much easier for new musicians to enter the space. I remember back when I was starting out in like 2005, our digital audio workstations didn't have anywhere near the capabilities they do now. You really did have to rent out a professional studio to get a good-sounding song. Now you can make stuff on a laptop that sounds better than songs with $100K budgets did in the '90s. I'm hoping this ease of creation will bring us a lot more exciting new music. Music from those who back in the day could have never afforded to enter the field. It's exciting!
What qualities do you believe independent digital creators have that allow them to compete with and succeed against major label acts?
There's something insanely powerful about digital creators. You don't only get to enjoy their content, you also get to know them, which creates a strong creator-viewer connection. To give you an example, I'm obsessed with the Sims (a popular life simulator game, for those who don't know), and I watch this creator lilsimsie on Youtube make videos about the Sims. Not only do I enjoy the videos, I also enjoy seeing Kayla (lilsimsie) on a regular basis. I feel like I know her personally; it's almost like hanging with a friend.
When you're able to create this kind of bond with your audience, any music you put out will be well-received by them. But it will be especially poignant if the music reflects your personality. I've seen this a lot with Gabbie Hanna, who is a creator I work with. Her songs are deeply personal, and her fans connect to them on that personal level. It's a conversation between her heart and theirs. As a traditional media artist, especially if you're brand-new, that level of intimacy with your audience is pretty difficult to achieve.
What advice would you give a young woman who’s looking to find their footing in music?
Surround yourself with supportive women! I know there's some stigma around women being competitive around each other's success, but I think it's a big load of BS. I wouldn't be anywhere I'm at today without the love and support of my partner Elli!
You pursue a wide range of interests whether music, visual art, writing and even podcasting. How does each facet of your creative identity enrich your life?
The funny thing about pursuing a lot of creative endeavors is that the lessons you learn from each of them bleed into each other. For example, I used to be a pretty impatient songwriter, but writing a novel for almost two years now has taught me an insane level of patience, which I now apply to songwriting. Podcasting is a pretty new pursuit for me, but it's surprisingly helpful when it comes to writing my book. Interviewing people on the show makes me dig into their backstories, teaches me to understand them on a deeper level, which is a skill I can now bring to my fictional characters.
I love the idea and concept of your podcast “Crossover Creative”. What inspired the idea for it?
Thank you so much! As I've mentioned in the previous question, I'm a pretty broad creator, which is something I feel has been stigmatized a lot in our culture. There's a certain level of commodification going on. It's a lot easier to stuff people into neat little boxes - "singer", "writer", "woodworker" - as opposed to viewing them as something limitless. So, that's where my podcast "Crossover Creative" comes in. I want to shed light on the creative lives of polymaths, to let every artist tuning in know: it's okay to be your unabridged self.
What is the one struggle of being a polymath/crossover creative that not a lot of people realise or know about?
Even if you have enough time for all of your pursuits, switching constantly, bouncing between them can be very overwhelming. It's a bit of a tightrope walk. On one hand, you're getting to grow leaps and bounds and do all the things you love. But if you take one wrong step, you're tumbling into a sea of stress LOL. I talk about this a lot on the podcast: managing not only your time, but also your energy and mental health as a polymath.
Are there any other interests you’ve yet to explore completely? What’s something you’d love to delve into?
I would love to write a non-fiction self-help book! It's a genre I haven't explored before, but I do feel like I'm pretty good at writing inspirational tweets LOL. That's the fun thing about being a polymath; you never know when an idea's gonna hit you out of nowhere. I try to never question inspiration. If it speaks clearly enough, I know I have to pursue it, whatever it is.
What’s been the most memorable or surreal moment in your career so far? What’s next for you?
It was pretty cool when Gabbie Hanna's songs "Honestly" and "Honestly (Encore)" went #1 on iTunes and beat out artists like Drake and Cardi B on the chart. They were the first songs we created with her, so Elli and I had no idea what to expect. It definitely wasn't this.
My next big goal is to finish writing my book "Influencer". I'm currently on draft 2, and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Whatever happens to it, it will be a great feeling just to have a finished manuscript in my hands!
If you had to condense the incredibly diverse career journey you’ve had into three words, what would they be and why?
Weirdo Strikes Back. I feel like a lot of artistic people feel like outcasts growing up, and I was definitely one of them. I wasn't exactly bullied - I was tall and mouthed off at anyone that tried - but it still left a residue on my mind, that feeling of not fitting into any group, knowing that a lot of my peers didn't connect with me. I spent my 20's just trying to get people to like me. It feels amazing being in a place now where I can be my full self and not care if anyone thinks I'm too out there.
Finally what’s one question no one asks you in an interview you wish you were asked?
People don't usually ask me what I do for fun. I think it's easy to assume I'm this robotic person, who works 24/7, but that's completely untrue. For me, it's really important to unwind and feed my creative brain with some things that inspire me. I'm a huge Harry Potter fan, and I love anything themed to the books: HP puzzles, HP video games, HP humor on Youtube. I also really love reading, especially fantasy and sci-fi genres: anything that helps me re-envision the world! As an ex-workaholic, I have to confess: learning to relax has been hard, but it's also been a huge boost to my creativity. The more I allow myself to just be, the better my art becomes. If there's one thing I could impart to other artists it's that you don't need to create from open wounds. Let your scars inspire you, but keep 'em closed, for goodness sake, and enjoy your life.
Written by Malvika Padin
Malvika is a freelance music journalist and publicist based in London and born in India. Currently the Editorial Coordinator at #WCM, she is also the Online Editor for alternative music magazine Discovered and one of the admins of Facebook journalism community 'The Journalist', founded by German-Indian journalist Johannes Koch. Malvika is most passionate about giving rising artists a chance to shine, and is also keen to focus on diversity and people of colour in the creative space. Email : email@example.com: Twitter/Instagram : @malvika_padin26
EXCLUSIVE PREMIERE : Amyra explores freedom to love unapologetically on track and video 'On the Run' ; announces presales for debut album WITNESS.
Multi-hyphenate creative Amyra announces the presales for her compelling debut body of work WITNESS -out September 15th- with the video for vulnerable yet impassioned single ‘On the Run.’
A musician, playwright, author and activist, Amyra artfully blends music and poetry to deliver powerful performances focused on anxieties that rest within inequalities and injustices of the current world while prompting healing. Described as “a testimony, a hymn, a battlecry,” WITNESS is a work of art that celebrates love, blackness, and womanhood as it urges anyone listening to dance out of the shackles of societal captivity with strength and peace.With heartfelt lyricism that borders on a brilliant stream of consciousness, WITNESS gives the world a view into Amyra’s world as she urges listeners to introspect and overcome the weight of silence to find their way to the freedom that awaits them on the other side.
Her latest offering from the album ‘On the Run’ is this empowered artist’s journey to learning to love themselves and others, finding safety in an unsafe world that makes hatred and fear its weapons. Speaking of heart-wrenching experiences that inspired the track, she says “ I wrote On the Run during a time of excruciating tension, Alton Sterling and Philando Castile had just been murdered and my spirit didn’t quite understand how to feel safe in my body. As a Black woman I often find myself shifting paradoxes, even when at peace I am forced to decide whether I am Black or Woman. On the Run was an attempt to write myself into a safe place. It is an odyssey of love. It is about the overwhelming fear of loving a black body as a black body.”
She continues,” It analyzes the cyclical madness that has made this history of violence all we know to expect. We did not come here as slaves, we were made into them. There was a time before this, before the theft of limbs and melody, before the constant bloodshed, a time when we were free, free enough to love unapologetically. My hope was that this song could take us there, or at least remind us that this time and place existed before and will again. I was born on the run and will not rest until I wake to a morning without mourning.”
With her timely and impactful music, Amyra speaks out for every Black person targeted by the ignorance of the world, and Amyra’s work teases out narratives that deserve to be explored. An urgent look into themes of love and loss, bliss and bloodshed, WITNESS is just the brave beginning of a long fight.
The presale will be available on Amyra's bandcamp page : https://amyraleon.bandcamp.com/
About Amyra :
Musician, playwright, author and activist AMYRA has performed throughout the United States and Europe collaborating with the likes of The Apollo, BAM, BBC, Roundhouse, Amnesty International and more.She composed Una Mujer Derramada in collaboration with Sivan Eldar commissioned by and performed with Lisbon's Gulbenkian Orchestra, the Montpellier National Opera, and the Paris Chamber Orchestra. She is the inaugural recipient of the Battersea Arts Centre Phoenix Award which led to the 2019 London premiere of her debut play VASELINE.She is also the author of Concrete Kids (Penguin 2020), Freedom We Sing (Flying Eye Books 2020) and Darling (Walker, Candlewick 2022) . Amyra has shared stages with Common, Robert Glasper, Nikki Giovanni and more.
This was written by Malvika Padin, journalist and editorial coordinator of #WCM
When I embarked on my entrepreneurial journey, I only had my experience as an artist to guide me through the ups and downs of building what is now #WomxnCrush Music. Over the last few years I’ve been able to hone those skills, learn countless new ones and coach creative entrepreneurs on how they can translate the skills they already have to help propel their business aka their artist careers.
Contrary to what most people believe, entrepreneurship is an art form. A lot of it does encompass trial and error, there are plenty of late nights, creating from scratch, collaboration - much like when making music.
Last week during our South Florida/Atlanta #WCMOnTour stop, I was lucky enough to moderate a panel on How To Think Business When You’re A Music Creative, featuring Gabriela Ortega, Sr. Label Manager at Warner Music Latina and Audrey Gámez the Education Director of C4 Atlanta, an organization that offers professional development courses for artists looking to further their creative businesses and personal artistic careers.
We discussed the many layers of being an entrepreneurial artist and while there are many different moving parts (as with any business), here are some tips that might help you get started.
“The idea that you only need arts entrepreneurship at the beginning is a myth - learning throughout your career is important longevity.” - Audrey Gámez
ADMINISTRATIVE WORK IS STILL IMPORTANT WORK.
Regardless of whether you are a singer, songwriter, producer,etc. - if you’re a creative and are actively working on pursuing this as a full-time career, you should have an LLC. One of the first steps in propelling your artistic career is to acknowledge that it is indeed a business - with expenses and revenue streams. Having an LLC protects your personal assets and separates them from your business. You’ll have a much easier time with taxes and will be able to have a separate business banking account for all of your artist career transactions. Other important administrative tasks: copyright those songs and track those royalties!
LEARN THE DIFFERENT PARTS OF YOUR BUSINESS.
Regardless of whether or not you have a team, it is crucial for you to understand how all parts of your business function. Know where your money is coming from, know where it’s going, learn what effective marketing is, stand up for what is important to you. Basic knowledge of all of these things will help you build out the team of your dreams and know if they are making good decisions for your career.
“You may not have that person but you can be that person, take a digital marketing class, learn adwords,etc. Knowledge is power.” - Gabriela Ortega
BUILDING A TEAM IS IMPORTANT.
While being knowledgeable about all of the aspects of your career is key, as you grow you’ll need to hire experts and outsource different tasks. Having someone else represent you not only elevates your status when securing gigs, press, etc. but also can help relieve you of some of the non-creative work related to building your biz. If you don’t have the funds to hire someone just yet, see who in your circle may want some artist managerial experience. You can build your own little brand ambassador team to help you at any point in your career. Don’t feel like you have to do it all by yourself.
BUILD AN AUTHENTIC BRAND.
Your brand is your artist business personality. Identifying your core values, where you see yourself in the future, what gives you energy and what takes it away is going to be the backbone of your brand. Gabriela lets her clients choose three or four pillars of things that are important to them and bases a marketing campaign around those. It makes creating, executing and sharing of those campaigns more natural and it will resonate with the audience you want to attract. Your business is an extension of you, don’t forget that!
DEVELOP YOUR NETWORK.
Connections rule the music industry so don’t be afraid to reach out to someone who you’re hoping to learn from. However, doing this thoughtfully can make or break the conversation. Learn how to pitch yourself, always offer something in return in exchange for their time, and never ask for a direct connection to someone. Once you’ve connected with someone, express gratitude towards them often and don’t just check in when you need something! And even if they cannot help you now, they may be able to in the future so never shut anyone out. Really fostering these connections will help in the long run.
#WomxnCrush Music’s mission will always be to create opportunities for our community of rising womxn songwriters and our aim is to host more webinars like these to continue fulfilling that mission through one of our main programming pillars - education. We have so much more in store for you for the rest of 2020 so stay tuned!
See you (virtually of course) on our next tour stop of Portland/Seattle starting this week with our showcase benefitting The Old Church and next week for our panel on Mental Health in The Music Industry. RSVP for both here.
*This piece was written by #WCM’s Founder and CEO, Ashley K. Stoyanov. Keep in touch with her on IG at @ashleykstoyanov or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org - she loves hearing from the community!
Stella Gotshtein is a Tel-Aviv based performing artist and audio engineer. I first learned about Stella while scouring YouTube for clear, concise lessons on basic mixing concepts. Stella recorded a series of videos for Waves Audio that were exactly what I was looking for. I was so impressed with her teaching and communication style that I emailed her to connect. Stella agreed to chat with me via Zoom so that I could learn more about her career in audio, her musical projects, and the growing studio scene in Tel-Aviv.
How did you get started in audio?
I went to record drums for a song of mine. I already wanted to find a studio where I could become an intern, and I came to this studio where they recorded mostly hard-core metal music, which was not my type of thing, but somehow I felt the engineer was very strict. I really liked it and I felt like he could teach me. I just asked if I could help him. I would help him and ask questions. It was one or two years that I was there, and then a big studio opened the position for assistant engineer and I got in. There I slowly became an engineer myself. I was also reading a lot of books, sitting with other engineers, and recording at home. I’m really grateful that I got to work in a big studio.
What’s the audio scene like in Israel?
Everything is happening in Tel-Aviv. We’re trying to get this industry growing. There are a few big studios, but it’s very limited. It’s small, but there are a lot of talented people.
One thing I noticed about your experience is that you do everything!
You can’t do just one thing here. These days, right here, there’s just not enough work to do just mixing. It’s possible, but it’s hard. I feel like, personally, I always was really interested in trying to master a lot of things. With time, I do understand that I actually want to focus.
If you were to focus on one thing, what do you think that would be?
I would say making music, but it's always a hard question because I love mixing and recording, so it’s hard to choose. I really love studio recording, maybe the most. Producing [other artists] doesn’t come easily to me. It never has. I really put my heart in it and I go to sleep with it. If you put your heart into something you don’t feel fits, it’s hard to wake up in the morning and go do it again. So I love producing, but it’s really, really specific.
What are you most excited about working on in the future?
There’s an artist that I work with, Assaf Amdursky, who’s very talented and a big thing in Israeli culture. We are working on one album and starting another album. We built his studio together and for the last three years we’ve been working there. It’s a big honor.
I’m also releasing my own album, which is the most exciting thing for me. It’s an album that I was recording for the last two years and that I produced myself. Someone else is actually mixing it. I recorded it half at my studio and half at Amsdursky. My studio has a window to the sky. I love it.
About Stella Gotshtein :
Stella Gotshtein is a Tel-Aviv based performing artist. Graduate of the Music-Technology department in Bar-Ilan University. She released one solo album, two side project albums and collaborated with many great musicians in Israel and abroad. Parallel to this she has developed her production and engineering skills and spent hours working in recording studios. Today she's a producer and mixing/recording engineer at Assaf Amdursky's studio. Stella also composes music for dance, film and art installations and is a guest teacher for Omni Sound Project.
Social Media Links : Website | Instagram Facebook
Written by Lisa Machac
Lisa Machac is a musician and director of the Omni Sound Project, an organization dedicated to being the most accessible point of entry to the music and audio industries. Omni Sound Project strives to provide affordable opportunities for learning to under-represented communities as well as spotlight the talents of female and gender non-conforming audio professionals.
Social Media Links : Website | Instagram | Facebook
In August we celebrate the birthday of the late, great Aretha Franklin. We’ve dedicated this post to her as well as other monumental women of soul. This article was written by Kiara Marques, a student at Fordham University and a self-proclaimed concert junkie, under the supervision of Jenn O’Hagan, PR Director at Cyber PR.
Years of Prominence: 1960s-2018
When the world thinks of soul music, they automatically think of one name: Aretha. Aretha Franklin is best known as the woman who established the 1960s golden age of soul. Although her legacy has garnered her the title of the “Queen of Soul”, she was so much more. A singer, songwriter, pianist, and civil rights activist, Aretha Franklin revolutionized the artistic culture of the United States.
Having won 18 Grammy Awards, she is one of the most honored musicians in Grammy history, in addition to being the first female artist to be honored in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. Some of her classic hits include “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I loved You)”, “Think”, and of course, the infamous “Respect”. Franklin’s talent as an artist who could not only sing soul, but countless other genres, also earned her the title of “Greatest Singer of All Time” by Rolling Stone in 2010.
In addition to her musical accolades, she was a powerful voice of not only music, but justice, fighting for women’s rights and the Civil Rights Movement alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Some of the most revered contemporary R&B musicians such as Beyonce, Mariah Carey,, and Mary J. Blige have drawn inspiration from Aretha, who paved the way for female soul singers all over the world. The Queen of Soul will truly always be esteemed as music royalty, and her legacy as a trailblazer in the industry will forever be remembered.
Years of Prominence: 1960s-2011
Etta James is widely known as a woman who defied genre, having conquered the soul, R&B, blues, rock and roll, jazz, and gospel genres. She is remembered best for her hit “At Last”, the song that would define her as a legend in music. James’ intensity as a singer with her deep and earthy voice has accredited her for bridging the gap between rhythm and blues and rock and roll music. Her talent also won her a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, eight Grammy Awards, and inducted her into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993. Her influence is heard today in the music of superstars such as Adele and Christina Aguilera, and her iconic legacy is one that earned her spots on Rolling Stone’s lists of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time and the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time.
Years of Prominence: 1960s-1980s
Gladys Knight is a singer and songwriter known as the “Empress of Soul”. She rose to prominence as the lead vocalist of the R&B/soul family musical act Gladys Knight and the Pips. The group put out several hit singles such as “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” and “Neither One of Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye” and toured with iconic musicians such as Diana Ross and The Supremes, before Knight’s departure in pursuit of a solo career. With her massive hit “Midnight Train to Georgia” and recording the theme song “Licence to Kill” for the 1989 James Bond film of the same name, Knight amassed massive success as a solo artist. With seven Grammy awards, a spot on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and being regarded as Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Singers of All Time, the Empress of Soul is an absolute powerhouse in the music world.
Years of Prominence: 1950s-1990s
The “High Priestess of Soul”, better known as Nina Simone was a singer, songwriter, pianist and civil rights activist whose unique approach to music blended gospel and pop music with classical. Having been a musical prodigy since the age of four, and having attended the Juilliard School of Music, Simone was an exceptional talent. With the success of her 1958 hit “I Loves You, Porgy”, she became a major breakout star.
Simone is widely regarded as one of the most influential recording artists of the 20th century and broke many norms in the music industry through her use of social commentary in her music. She was heavily involved in the Civil Rights Movement as well, performing and speaking at major civil rights meetings such as the Selma to Montgomery marches in 1965. Because of her legendary talent and activism, Nina Simone won the Grammy Hall of Fame Award, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and received honorary degrees in music and humanities from Amherst College and Malcolm X College, leaving her with a legacy that will never be forgotten.
Years of Prominence: 1970s-1990s
Roberta Flack is a singer known for her hit singles "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" and "Killing Me Softly with His Song", with which she became the first and only solo artist to win the Grammy Award for Record of the Year for two consecutive years in 1973 and 1974. Throughout her career she has successfully overtaken the worlds of soul, pop, folk, R&B, and jazz, and has received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame as well as four Grammy awards and thirteen nominations. Aside from her musical ventures, she advocates for artists’ rights to their own music as a member of the Artist Empowerment Coalition and founded the Roberta Flack School of Music in the Bronx in 2006.
Years of Prominence: 1960s-1970s
The Supremes were a pop-soul group made up of Diana Ross, Florence Ballard, and Mary Wilson, that took the music industry by storm in the 1960s, making them the most commercially successful vocal group in America to date. Their popularity spread throughout the world, rivaling the success of even The Beatles, with twelve number one singles on the Billboard Hot 100. The peak of The Supremes’ career coincided with a pivoting movement in the civil rights era, and their influence helped change the public image of African Americans during that time. They received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988 as well as the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1998. Additionally, the group is regarded by Rolling Stone as one of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time”. The Supremes made it possible for future black R&B and soul musicians to succeed, and for that reason their legacy is truly empowering.
Years of Prominence: 1960s-Present
Patti Labelle is a singer, songwriter, and actress whose career has spanned over sixty years, earning her the title of the “Godmother of Soul”. Her fame began in the early 60s as the lead vocalist of vocal group Patti Labelle and the Bluebelles, who released hit disco song “Lady Marmalade”, which would be inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. Their popularity got them the cover of Rolling Stone magazine, making them the first black vocal group to land the music publication’s cover, in addition to being the first pop group to ever perform at the Metropolitan Opera House. After the group disbanded in 1976, Labelle pursued a solo career and found much success, selling more than fifty million records worldwide. She has also earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, has earned three Grammy awards, and is on Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Singers of All Time list.
Years of Prominence: 1960s-Present
Dionne Warwick is a soul singer and songwriter whose pop and R&B styled sound has earned her over fifty years of success as a musician. Her career began with the relative popularity she found as a teen as part of family group The Gospelaires, before high-profile artist Burt Bacharach discovered her talent and potential as a solo artist, leading her to release her first hit single “Don't Make Me Over”. Throughout the 60s, Warwick became the first crossover artist to receive a dozen consecutive Billboard Top 100 hits, and through 1998, eighty of her singles made all Billboard charts, making her one of the most-charted female vocalists of all time. She has sold over 85 million records worldwide, and is a six-time Grammy award winner, among these making her the first female artist in Grammy history to win both Best Pop Vocal Performance and Best R&B Vocal Performance in the same year, for the singles “I’ll Never Love This Way Again” and “"Déjà Vu". Besides her musical ventures, Warwick has also been an activist for many causes, serving as the U.S. Ambassador of Health, and being one of the first musicians to highlight public awareness of the AIDS epidemic, raising millions of dollars for the cause.
Years of Prominence: 1960s-1990s
Widely regarded as the first female soul superstar, Mary Wells was known as the “Queen of Motown”, helping define Motown as a record label in the 60s with her smash hit “My Guy”. She eventually left Motown and she found less success, but her choice in fighting for artistic freedom was not ignored. Wells’ legacy helped introduce soul music to a much wider audience. A true music pioneer, she was celebrated with a Pioneer Award from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation, and “My Guy” earned a spot in the Grammy Hall of Fame. In 2017 she was also inducted into the National Rhythm and Blues Hall of Fame.
Written by Jenn O'Hagan :
From event coordination and marketing, to community management and performing, the PR Director of Cyber PR , Jenn has glanced behind-the-curtain in many areas of this industry. Well-versed in all things Cyber PR, Jenn works with artists to identify if they’re a perfect fit for our company and if so, which services will be the best match. Find out more about Jenn and Cyber PR here.
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