Photo by Raven Adams
Dear #WomenCrush Music Community,
As most of you know, over the last three years, our mission has been to connect, educate, and inspire women songwriters. We’ve hosted over two hundred showcases, educational workshops, and networking events across sixteen North American cities and created a community of over five thousand individuals who want to see more rising women songwriters topping the charts and headlining at their favorite festivals.
For the last six months, the #WomenCrush Music team has spent countless hours brainstorming and strategizing changes for 2020. We’ve analyzed our programming, checked in with our advisors and volunteers, and surveyed artists to see what they really need to be able to continue making waves in their careers. The results helped us decide the way to move forward is to actually go back to how we started - we have to go back to our roots.
I started #WCM by hosting regularly scheduled events for fellow women songwriters and I did it for one reason, and one reason only - to make friends. I was in a new city and had trouble finding a community so I decided to build one of my own. Through this local community, we were all able to share resources (producers, bandmates, etc.), find openers for our shows, co-writers, and have a support system who would go to each other’s gigs. Large promoters and media quickly caught on, volunteers gravitated towards the mission and wanted to help. Everyone could feel how important this sense of community was.
2020 has been an incredibly intense year - personally, I went through endometriosis surgery, a traumatic car accident which left me with several pelvic and spinal fractures and now, along with everyone else in the world, finding my way through this global health pandemic of COVID-19. I’ve been stuck home for about 6 weeks now, and my support system has been essential to me not absolutely losing my mind during this time. Social distancing has not meant isolation - it’s meant engaging with my tribe more than ever.
The month of March is not only International Women’s Month, but it is also when we celebrate #WomenCrush Music’s humble beginnings. Our industry has evolved since 2017, but the need for us to band together to amplify our voices and presence in this industry has not. Since the start of COVID-19, I see countless posts of “virtual hangouts” and more and more “women in music” Facebook groups being created. Now more than ever, artists are looking to be seen, they want to be heard, and they want to be understood.
I am beyond grateful to say that March 2020 marks year 3 for us, and it’s going to be different. Our mission is slightly shifting to simply creating opportunities for women songwriters through community - because at the end of the day that community, that sense of belonging, is what will keep us all going. We'll be putting our focus on the needs of our community first so that we can truly make a difference in this still male-dominated industry with our programming. In 2020-2021, we are looking to bring our programming to new cities by partnering with university music programs, launch campaigns with publishers and distributors, and more.
While all events and other initiatives will be on hold until the Fall, we hope to be able to connect with you all through our social media and bring you new music, news, and opportunities through our blog, The Crush and our Facebook Groups (#WCM Southwest, #WCM Southeast, #WCM Rocky Mountains,#WCM Northeast,#WCM Midwest and #WCM West Coast) and our monthly newsletter.
It’s been an amazing journey thus far leading #WomenCrush Music, and I thank you all for your continued support. I’d also like to take this time to ask - how can we better support you? (Seriously, don’t be shy.) Please let me know by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. I always love hearing from our community so don’t be afraid to shoot me a message if you want to collaborate, learn more about how to get involved or just say hey.
Until next time - and stay safe out there!
Ashley K. Stoyanov :)
Founder/CEO of #WomenCrush Music
In 2019, FLETCHER, queen of the “unlovers club,” unapologetically sung her way through the aftermath of heartbreak on her EP ‘you ruined new york city for me.’ Now she’s back to slay 2020 with a new single, “Forever,” a pop club-banger about prioritizing self-love and all the exploration that comes with it.
In an interview with Tmrw Magazine, FLETCHER described “Forever” as being “a song about meeting a special someone you could see yourself spending the rest of your life with, but you know there’s so much more that you need to accomplish on your own.” The pre-chorus sets the tone, airy synths illustrating the confusing and at-times chaotic, yet fun and liberating feeling of being a 20-something and discovering yourself before you can discover anyone else: “I wanna be young and party/Be dumb and never feel sorry/Become a freak with my body/I wanna be young and party/I'm tired of taking my phone out/Tell you I'm not comin' home now”
The music video is a nod to the fact that the journey to discovering who you are is a forever kind of thing, and there’s never a “right” or “wrong” way to do it (do it however you want). All types of womxn are celebrated, representing different races, sizes, and sporting different looks: in one shot, FLETCHER and her crew of bad-ass womxn are in black, mesh outfits embracing their bodies and sexual dominance (be on the lookout for when FLETCHER swings her almost 10 foot braid like a whip). Another shot sees them in matching tank tops and checked cigarette pants with combat boots, highlighting that womxn can dress however they feel most comfortable (and that combat boots are certainly a vibe). One of the most striking visuals is the one of everyone in matching menswear-inspired suits, each one a corresponding color of the rainbow, representing the LGBTQIA+ community.
FLETCHER continues to solidify her place in the industry as an artist with not only amazing music, but as an artist who cares about and continues to give voice to representing all kinds of humans, especially those who are self-discovering.
Listen to “Forever” on Spotify, YouTube, Google Play, and Apple Music. Catch the fierce music video below, and keep up with FLETCHER on her website, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter.
Review by Anna Sejuelas
Anna Sejuelas is a New York-based LGBTQ+ writer whose work has been published in MTV, This Bitch Magazine, Her Campus, College Candy, Medium.com, and FLURT Magazine. The way she writes and sings is the way she wears red lipstick and leather jackets: classic and with a purpose. You can read her work here and find her on Twitter and Instagram.
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