Q: How’d you know you wanted to be an artist?
CLOE: It’s interesting, I wasn’t really raised around music. All my life I just surrounded myself with it, and I’ve never questioned it once - all the proof I need is in all the ways music has helped me. This is definitely the case with my depression and anxiety, and just my overall emotional intensity.
So you first started writing songs to deal with ways you were struggling emotionally? Does that carry into your songwriting today?
When I started writing, it wasn’t always complete songs. A lot of times they were just thoughts or stories. Music to me was finding a moment of escape—from myself, other people, the world—where I could get away from reality by getting lost in my mind. I still have my music and writing now to get me through darker times when it feels like I can’t handle even one more text message, one more news article, whatever it may be. With a complete song, I can really get lost in my words and ideas. So music has always been a safe place and still is now.
Your lyrics seem like maybe the most important part of that process, etc..Tell us about your lyrics..
Lyrics are where I can really pour anything and everything out into the music. I think that as an artist, my emotions are my art, and lyrics are how I get them all out of my head and onto paper. I can turn sadness into a story, I can turn a feeling into anything. One of my songs is actually about overthinking, and all the fear that is a part of my anxiety. It goes: “I’m anxiously waiting for all this to end,” as in I need to get out of those webs of thoughts I scare myself with. Another lyric of mine, “I need my escape, just like everybody does,” is from one of my songs that talks about going numb, your mind being overcome by darkness.
You certainly don’t shy away from darker things in your music. Do you think that aspect of your music helps you and your listeners?
Like I said, my songwriting is definitely where I feel safe escaping to and releasing all the things from my head that would otherwise drive me insane. That’s why my music is dark - but I think we all have that darkness and we all need some kind of space where we can recognize that without fear or shame. In a way I think my music gives people a little of that darkness, and my hope is that it is a chance for listeners to acknowledge their darker emotions. That is always one of the first steps to healing - I know that from my own experience.
Connect with Cloe on socials:IG: @cloewilder
Congrats! You just played a gig...but what do you do next? We’ve put together a simple checklist (or as we like to call them - the 5 S’s) of things to do to post-show wrap up.
SAY THANK YOU: At the end of your set, say thank you to the venue, other acts, and anyone else who helped put on the show. When you get off stage, say thank you again to anyone who came, the door person, audio person, etc. Basically, say thank you to everyone you can before you head home!
SETTLE UP: After your gig, go to the door person and let them know you’re ready to settle up. They’ll either settle everything right there, or bring over whoever takes care of it. This person will usually walk through how many people came, the door percentage/math, and what your cut is. Make sure to double check everything, count your money, and ask any questions if you have them while you’re still there!
STICK AROUND: If you have time, it’s always great to stick around after your show near your merch table or the bar to catch the next act and support them, as well as connect and network with anyone who came out to see your show. If people took time out of their day to see you play, it’s always nice to chat with them for a little bit afterwards!
SAY THANK YOU (AGAIN): The next day, email the booker/ venue and thank them again for a great show. It’s also great to post in the Facebook event page thanking everyone who came out - and maybe even doing some personal shout-outs on social media!
SOCIALS: Speaking of social media, be sure to also post any photos/videos from the event on your socials and tag the venue/other acts.
Congrats on a great gig! By using the five steps above to wrap up your show, you can ensure a better chance of getting re-booked, keeping connections, and deepening your relationship with your fans. Onto the next gig!
Rubi Skilton has been the #WomenCrush Music CL (Chapter Leader) since the very beginning of the chapter in early 2018. Since then, she has developed not only a hard-working, passionate team but a beautiful community in one of the biggest music industry cities in the country. The LA #WCM chapter has a residency at Republic of Pi every third Tuesday of the month where they showcase rising women songwriters and a speaker to educate members of the community about the industry. Get to know the force behind #WomenCrush Los Angeles in this #CLSpotlight.
How was working with #WomenCrush Music impacted your life? (What you’ve learned, who you’ve met,etc.) Oh gosh...It's been such an incredible journey so far. I've gotten to be really in touch with the scene out here and really connect with incredibly talented women, not only in LA but all around! It really has put a different perspective about the industry and how truly powerful we are as women and when put together we are unstoppable. Thanks to #WCM I've learned so much about myself as a songwriter and as a person. It just really brought everything together and confirmed what I strongly knew since I was young; collaboration and female empowerment is truly what I live for.
What is one thing you want the #WCM community in your city to know about you? I love collaborating but I also really like being there for people. So- if you ever need someone to talk to, or something is bugging you or there’s a lot going on and you just need to vent... my email is always available. Also, I’m a confidence coach! So, if you need any of that. Let me know!
What has been your favorite part of being the face of #WCM in your city? I think just being able to network and meet all these kick ass ladies while putting events together. Funny how I hate being the center of attention but I love #WCM and our LA chapter.
What do you have planned for the future of your city? We are planning a HUGE event and hopefully this will really bring more ladies and all genders throughout to support our chapter. Our main focus is to grow this year and let everyone know #WCM and what our mission is.
How did you first get involved with the music industry? I've been writing lyrics since i was 7 years old but professionally probably when I was a senior in high school, around 17/18 years old. I started managing a local metal core band and that same year I put together a music festival. I had no idea what I was doing but it happened, and it was fun!
Who is your favorite touring woman artist? Why? I'm going to go with Demi Lovato. She's just so talented and vulnerable and her music is so raw and ripped down at times. It's just incredible. Her story is just breathtaking and I just find it incredible how strong she has been just as much as i love how she has had her weak moments and she isn't scared to talk about it.
What is one song you wish you would have written (by a woman)? Peter Pan by Kelsea Ballerini or Still Into You by Paramore
What’s your advice on people who want to get into the industry? Just frikken do it yo! Hell, what’s the worst that can happen? It doesn't work out. If you're truly passionate, have the patience to hear A LOT of "NOs", and don't mind hard work. Do it. Also, don't do it for the money or fame because that will just lead to you being unhappy. Just sit back and enjoy the ride. Don't give up your morals for a recording and definitely let connections and relationships happen naturally. It takes time but it's one hell of a good time.
What is your least favorite part of working in the music industry? How people view it as an unattainable career or how people think it's always a competition. Just relax, there’s room for all of us.
If you feel comfortable --- has there ever been a time you have felt unsafe or treated wrongly in the industry because you’re a woman? Tell the story and how you’ve overcome it, how you’re dealing with it,etc. I just feel like we all have at least one story. Just remember you're not alone. Ever.
What has been your favorite #WCM experience in LA so far? Do you have any exciting plans for the chapter in 2019 you want to disclose? Hard to say but, I think towards the end of 2018 has been my favorite. We were able to get a residency at Republic of Pie in North Hollywood as well as combine forces with #CultureFix. We just had our first discussion yesterday (Jan.15) at our January showcase. Let’s just say, 2019 will be a year of growth for the LA chapter. Many more events and a lot of fun networking to come.
Not only has Rubi been slaying her role as CL, but she also started her own women’s lifestyle blog, Ladies Code which launched in December 2018. You can follow her on socials at @rubiskilton. Be sure to join the LA Facebook Community Group to be kept in the loop about all things #WCMLA.
Congrats! You booked a gig...but what comes next? In order to make sure you’re serving your fans as well as showing the venue what you’ve got - it’s time to promote! We’ve put together a simple timeline with guidelines for promoting your upcoming gig that we think will come in handy.
ASAP ONCE YOU’VE CONFIRMED BOOKING: Share & Invite people to the Facebook event page! As soon as you book your gig, you should create a Facebook event from your artist FB page, if the venue or promoter isn’t already taking care of it (if you’re playing a #WCM show, we’ll take care of it). Once the event page is up, invite all your friends through the event page, and personally message them via FB or text to make sure they’ve seen it.
AT LEAST THREE WEEKS BEFORE THE SHOW: If you’re going to reach out to press and invite them to the show, now is the time! Make sure to check with others involved to coordinate any outreach so there is no overlap.
AT LEAST TWO WEEKS BEFORE THE SHOW: Share the flyer! If you (or the promoter/organization) have created a flyer, two weeks out is a great time to share it on your socials! If no flyer has been created, it’s super easy to create a quick, free, flyer in Canva by putting text over a photo of yourself.
PROTIP: If you’ve created the FB event page, update the cover photo of the event with the flyer.
ONE WEEK BEFORE: Consider sharing a Spotify playlist to get people excited for the gig. This playlist can include your set list, or a mix of all the artists playing that night. If you’re playing a #WCM show, #WomenCrush Music has Spotify playlists for each city that you can share!
PROTIP: You may also want to send out a few texts to remind friends, family, and fans, that the show is a week away. Social media is great, but never underestimate the power of personal outreach!
2-3 DAYS BEFORE: Continue to share FB event page and consider posting something “behind the scenes” - like a photo of your setlist or video of you in rehearsal, to create hype before the show. If you’re playing a #WCM, now is a great time to share our About #WCM flyer, or our about us video!
THE DAY OF: Remind everyone the event is tonight! Post on all your socials and send friends & family encouraging texts remind them of the event and letting them know you hope to see them there.
KEEP IN MIND: If you’ve secured any press pieces for the showcase, be sure to share those as well and always tag and thank the outlet who wrote the piece!
KEEP IN MIND: If you’re working with a promotor or an organization like #WCM, let them know if there is anything in particular you’d like them to promote. For instance, if you have a new release or new music video out, share it with them and ask them to post it! Then you can reshare on your own pages thanking them for the love.
After The Show: Be sure to share any photos or videos you captured during the event, and tag & thank the venue, other artists, and anyone else involved!
To our wonderful community,
I’m writing to you today (on my 27th birthday) to express my gratitude for supporting #WomenCrush Music in 2018. Last year was our first full year in action with a growing team of 30+ volunteers. We developed our programs, launched a blog, created merch -- we’ve become a brand that people are starting to recognize. That alone is something to celebrate, and getting to share all of our accomplishments with you is the greatest birthday gift I could ever ask for. Here’s a list of some of our 2018 wins that I’d like to celebrate with you:
As the Founder AND Directress, it’s easy to get caught up in all that’s to come, but truly, this team that I’ve been given by the universe is a group of very special people. With their dedication and passion, I have no doubts that 2019 is going to be our biggest and best year yet. With my primary focuses being on fundraising and expanding our programs, I also hope to bring on more sponsors and partners to not only help us spread our mission but also to reward our community. I’ll be travelling to different cities to speak on panels, meeting our leaders and community members in person, and listening to what they need.
I first started #WomenCrush Music in 2017 because I was in search of a community, women to be inspired by, women to support, women to collaborate with and now - I have that and so much more. While this organization started purely because of what I WANTED, it has become about what women in this industry NEED. My promise to this community, is to always keep our mission: to connect, educate and inspire rising women songwriters at the front of everything we do. My promise to myself as I enter my next chapter of life, is to do everything in my power to be a better leader for my team, and a mentor for this community.
Thank you for being on this journey with me. Raising a glass today to 2019 (and to being 27)! Cheers, friends. Let’s connect soon.
XOXO, BOSS LADY
- Ashley Kervabon-Stoyanov
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