Photo by Valerie Bendish of VBPR
Friday’s event at The Yard: Herald Square gathered nearly 30 women of all ages, backgrounds and points in life for our Songwriting Tips & Tricks Workshop. Producers, songwriters, music enthusiasts and students mingled with curiosity and excitement as folks poured into the workshop space. The three panelists came from various, diverse backgrounds. Dana Calitri shared her experience with publishers and labels, including Universal and Virgin, getting her first big cut with N'Sync, and how her career has progressed since then to her now teaching and practicing sound healing. Cassandra Kubinski has always taken a more DIY approach to her career, and her current musical agenda is centered on breaking the barriers of gender in the industry. Divinity Roxx, perhaps most well known for her bass playing and touring with Beyonce, comes from a hip-hop and rap background. Since then, she has turned her focus to her own career as an artist and songwriter, starting her own label and publishing company in the process.
The panelists started their discussion with the business aspect of the music industry, specifically the experience of signing with a publisher or label, the importance of staying connecting to industry folks, and the rewarding process of finding the right people to co-write with. They each provided insight on their personal approaches, leaving attendees with some great takeaway points:
The second half of the event allowed for an interactive discussion, in which our panelists critiqued the creations of five attendees. We reviewed everything from a piano ballad, electronic pop, and folk songs. The panelists discussed the lyrics, production, and the overall experience of listening to each song, which created such an insightful, inspiring energy of women in music coming together to help each other succeed. All three panelists emphasized the power of female collaboration and camaraderie - an environment of support for all female musicians to create a better industry for the ladies.
Overall, the attendees were excited to have found a platform of other music folks engaging with ins and outs of songwriting and the industry. Thoughtful sharing from both the panelists and workshoppers made this event as enjoyable as it was helpful.
Recap by: Nadia Deljou
Nadia is a radio and music industry professional who enjoys photography, playing guitar, and a good Hefeweizen. You can find her on Facebook or connect on Instagram at exit___only