Front and Center: SIR Nashville General Manager, Laura Ford

The WiMN’s Front and Center is a weekly column that showcases accomplished women who work in the music and audio industries. We spotlight successful female performers, manufacturers, retailers, educators, managers, publicists, and everyone else in between. Want to be featured? Learn how here.

Front and Center: SIR Nashville General Manager, Laura Ford

By Leslie Buttonow

For those not familiar, SIR (Studio Instrument Rentals) is the nation’s premier provider of musical instruments/gear rentals and rehearsal facilities for musicians preparing for music tours or TV appearances, as well as for major festivals. They are located in most major cities across the country, and Nashville is no exception. Laura Ford has worked at this location for the past 29 years, first as their office manager, and then after a few years, as their first and only female general manager – a position she holds to this day.

Although SIR Nashville is located in the heart of “Music City,” they serve a territory that spans far and wide, including cities such as Dallas, Charleston, New Orleans and Detroit, delivering gear rentals directly to a wide array of performance venues. With that kind of responsibility and geographical coverage — and the ever-changing nature of tour productions — they need someone who can stay organized and exemplify the expression “grace under pressure.” Luckily, Laura Ford is just that person.

To find out more, visit

The WiMN: You’ve been driving the bus at SIR Nashville for quite some time. What are some of the day-to-day business areas you’re responsible for, and how many people are on the team at your location?

LF: There are 15 of us altogether. I do a lot of paperwork and accounting, but I also research and make a lot of the purchasing decisions, and do research on touring and recording trends to keep up with the equipment demand.

The WiMN: What are some things you feel have kept you successful in your career over the years? Any particular habits, skills or personality traits you find especially helpful?

LF: For one, you have to be a complete crazy person with multi-tasking. You have to stay calm with everything that's thrown at you. Nothing stays as planned, and so every moment, you need to think about how to solve problems. Shows and tours hardly go off as planned, but if you can get everything to work at the end with minimal stress for everyone involved, then you've done your job well.

The WiMN: SIR celebrates its 50th anniversary this year – that’s a LOT of artist support! Are there any favorite artists you’ve worked with during your time there, or stories you’d like to share?

LF: In my 29 years, I have a ton of stories. Once I came around the corner of the hallway at our facility and ran into Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings comparing open heart surgery scars. They turned to me with their shirts open and asked me whose scar looked better. Yeah, I told them to button it up; I wasn't going there! Ha ha!

Another time we had a big snow here in Nashville. I let all my employees leave to get home and I was waiting for the last order to cancel. Eddie Money walks in the door complaining about the Nashville drivers in the snow. He had called to have someone pick him up because he didn't want to drive with all the crazies, and he proceeded to tell me that I needed to shovel so people could get in our parking lot. I told him it was fine and that it would be gone tomorrow. Just then, the phone rings and it's my last customer cancelling their order. When I got off the phone, I was looking for Eddie to find out when his ride was coming. He wasn't in the lobby or in the back. I looked outside to check if he was there, only to see that Eddie Money had grabbed our shovel and was shoveling our parking lot!

That's just two of many...

The WiMN: Working with all of those artists, tight deadlines and last minute requests must be stressful at times. How do you and your team keep your cool during those times and work through it together?

LF: I think for the most part, I keep my staff calm because I stay calm. I always remind them that getting upset only hurts them and doesn't get the job done. Plus at this point, I think we are all used to it.

The WiMN: What has your experience been like as a woman in the industry––any challenges you’ve had to overcome?

LF: When I first started, I really was the only woman in a higher position in this end of the business – the male-dominated end of the business. So there are always challenges; unfortunately, even now. You have to do it right and do more without complaining. Then you earn the respect of the male counterparts. But it’s great to see that there are a lot more women in my end of the business now.

The WiMN: Any advice for young ladies looking to break into the performance side or business side of the music industry?

LF: Definitely go to school and remember as a woman you have to do it right and do more. Once you earn the respect of the males, then the playing field is even – sad but true.

The WiMN: Are there any big tours or festivals you’re preparing for currently that we can expect to see in the spring or summer?

LF: Our two huge events we do in June are Bonnaroo and Firefly Festival. They’re a very big undertaking, but very satisfying when all goes well.

Front And Center: Blues Rock Guitarist, Samantha Fish

The WiMN’s Front and Center is a weekly column that showcases accomplished women who work in the music and audio industries. We spotlight successful female performers, manufacturers, retailers, educators, managers, publicists, and everyone else in between. Want to be featured? Learn how here.

Front and Center: Blues Rock Guitarist, Samantha Fish

By Laura B. Whitmore and Myki Angeline

Guitarist Samantha Fish, best known as a blues player, ventured into a different sound with the release of her fourth solo album, Chills & Fever (Ruf Records). The record was released on March 17.

Collaborating with members of the blues/punk band Detroit Cobras, and adding a New Orleans horn section, Fish puts a new spin on classic soul songs from the '50s and '60s including covers of "Hello Stranger" by The Capitols, and "Hurt's All Gone" by Irma Thomas.

The album has already received rave reviews from The Huffington Post and more. Guitar World said, “Chock full of swampy guitars, New Orleans-style horns and fronted by Fish’s powerful, blues-tinged vocals, I can’t think of a better representation of this story of regret.”

We caught up with Fish to discuss her inspiration behind the album, and find out what it was like to move into this new direction. She also shares her experiences working as a woman in the music industry, and the steady rise of women in music.

You can purchase Chills & Fever on her website here.

WIMN: Let's talk about your new album. What prompted you to move in this direction?

SF: To me, it was a logical evolution of the band. I have so many different influences that make me who I am as a musician, and right now in the trio, soul music has played such a big part of my vocal style. My favorite singers are soul singers – it's the stuff I try to emulate when I am singing, so it made sense to me to pull more of that into an album. We had the opportunity to pick from really great songs!

WIMN: How did you select the songs for the new album?

SF: It was a mix of songs between me and the producer, Bobby Harlow. Bobby knew of all of these incredible '50s and '60s girl groups like the Ronettes, and he pulled together some really incredible material – obscure stuff that I hadn't heard before. We sent music back and forth for months saying "check this out!" before whittling it down. I am a huge Nina Simone fan, so a Nina song got on the record. "Crow Jane" by Skip James is on there as well. I know that's not soul, but to me It felt like a cool song that needed to be redone. Not to make it sound like we were rigid in our perimeters in picking material; we wanted great songs we could redo with a horn section and keys. We featured members of the Detroit Cobras, so the sound is like Detroit soul/punk rock band meets New Orleans horns, and whatever the hell I'm doing. It was just fun!

Not to make it sound like we were rigid in our perimeters in picking material, we just wanted great songs we could redo with a horn section and keys. We featured members of the Detroit Cobras, so the sound is like Detroit soul/punk rock band meets New Orleans horns, and whatever the hell I'm doing. It was just fun!

WIMN: Do you think there is a growing appreciation for this style of music?

SF: I think so. I definitely think people are digging back into the older class of music like this because it's good, it's timeless, and it doesn't go out of style. Over time it seems like people end up going back to the things that are tried and true, so if there is another resurgence of that, it makes sense to me.

WIMN: Your guitar sounds amazing. Can you tell us a little about the gear you are playing with?

SF: I am in such a gear transition right now! I have so many cool guitars, but my main axe is the Delaney guitar, which is a custom build that I have been playing for years. I have also been playing a new model SG which I am really in love with. For my acoustic sets, I play with a Taylor guitar, and then of course I have my favorite cigar box guitars – they're a mess! My favorite one I am holding together with duct tape. I have people come and give them to me all the time. It's the coolest, sweetest thing, but I am so attached to the one that I play, that I just keep taping it back up. Right now I am looking at getting a Jaguar, and I am getting another Delaney custom made (a 335 or 339). This is the year I am expanding my guitar arsenal.

WIMN: Would you say your approach to what you are playing and your tone changed for this new album?

SF: We were doing it all on vintage gear for this album, like Supro amps and really crazy old tube amps I had never even heard of before. They had tiny wattage and we would just crank them up. We had a lot of fun using vintage amps. I used my guitars and just dialed them to different tones. I got a guitar tech last year, and I had never used pedals before, EVER. I just wasn't a pedal person. I would just plug into a tuner, and then into a big amp.  It was just about the amp, and the guitar for me. Slowly but surely my new guitar tech would say things like, "oh, you should try this Octave pedal. It's going to sound bad ass!"  I fell in love with it because it was fun. I used Tremelo and Octave pedals on this album too.

WIMN: Will you be touring with the Detroit Cobras? Are you trying to get your touring band together?

SF: We are piecing it together at the moment. Kenny Trudick, who played drums with them for a long time, and had played guitar for Kid Rock years ago, is joining my trio, which includes my bassist Steve Nawara. We are working on the horn section and the keys out of New Orleans.

WIMN: Do you see more girls coming out to your shows now than you have in the past?

SF: I do! I see more women and that makes me feel good. I am seeing diversity at our shows, especially with the blues crowds who are generally a little bit older. I am seeing the numbers of male and female evening out, which is great.

It's really cool to see young girls at a show. We played in Columbia, Missouri and there was this 15-year-old girl who came out. I felt bad because I popped off with a couple of bad words, and she was right in the front. I didn't realize at first and I was wondering what she was doing in a bar. But she had me sign her guitar! She was a fan of mine and it was cool to see a young woman excited about guitar and just music in general. I remember being 13 or so – that was when I first starting seeing other women playing guitar. It shocked me because I didn't know that was a thing, which is really odd. It definitely has its challenges, but I like being a girl and I wouldn't change it for the world.

WIMN: Have you experienced challenges as a woman in the Blues genre?

SF: I'd say yes, there are definitely challenges, but I think it is challenging to be a woman in any field of work. It's a little tougher; it's kind of a boy's club in a lot of different ways. In many ways it has been challenging, but at the same time it has added a bit of interest to what I'm doing. People will say, "oh, a girl playing guitar?", and I hate that because you have so much more you have to prove. You really have to work a lot harder to prove that you're not just here because you're a woman. It does pique people's interest and I think it's just because it is not the norm yet, it's not something that people always see. There are so many things that a female artist has to worry about that a male artists doesn't as much. The aesthetic is so ingrained in us to work a lot harder on that, and sometimes it is a bit distracting from the music. I just try to stay focused on writing and becoming a better singer, becoming a better guitar player...that is all you can really do.

Watch Samantha Fish's new video from her latest album, Chills & Fever below!

Front And Center: Indie Artist Resource Founder and Entertainment Attorney, Erin M. Jacobson

By Jenna Paone

The WiMN’s Front and Center is a weekly column that showcases accomplished women who work in the music and audio industries. We spotlight successful female performers, manufacturers, retailers, educators, managers, publicists, and everyone else in between. Want to be featured? Learn how here.

Front and Center: Indie Artist Resource Founder and Entertainment Attorney, Erin M. Jacobson

In a music industry that can sometimes seem like it’s full of sharks, Erin M. Jacobson, Esq., otherwise known as “The Music Industry Lawyer,” helps artists and companies navigate the legal waters. As a music attorney with her own practice, her clients include Grammy and Emmy Award winners, legacy artists and their catalogs, songwriters, music publishers, record labels, and independent artists and companies. She is based in Los Angeles, where she handles a wide variety of music agreements and negotiations. In addition, she is the owner and founder of Indie Artist Resource, the independent musician’s resource for legal and business protection.

I sat down with Erin to learn a little more about the services she provides and why it’s so important for those of us in the music industry to have someone like her on our side.

WIMN: Tell us a little bit about your background and how you became interested in working in the entertainment side of law. What led you to becoming “The Music Industry Lawyer”? Were you a musician or music lover prior to becoming a lawyer?

EJ: I have always loved music. As a kid I considered myself to be Elvis Presley’s number one fan. I was known as the resident Beatles expert at my high school, then expanded into classic rock like The Rolling Stones and Eric Clapton, followed by an exploration of many other genres. At the time I did not think about working in music because I thought that the only way to work and music was to be a musician or performer.

When I was in college at USC, I took an Introduction to the Music Industry course that explained the roles of managers, agents, and music lawyers. I thought the contracts and copyrights were extremely interesting and thought the job of an attorney handling these matters for musicians was just about the coolest job a person could have. At that point, I decided to apply for law school with the intention of becoming a music lawyer. I then went to Southwestern Law School (known for its great entertainment law program), and I focused all of my electives and activities around music law. Once I graduated and passed the California Bar exam (first time!), I began getting referrals from people I knew in the music business and decided to open my own practice.

WIMN: What sorts of services do you provide, and what types of clients do you work with?

EJ: I represent songwriters, artists, music publishers, independent labels, and other professionals within the music business. I draft, review, negotiate, and counsel clients on music publishing agreements, record deals, management agreements, producer deals, licenses (synch and otherwise), library agreements, and more. I also help people on the film side clear music for films, and I represent people or companies buying or selling song catalogs.

My clients range from independent artists to Grammy and Emmy Award winners, as well as legacy artists. For new artists, I get them properly registered for copyright and with the necessary royalty collection services, as well as put all agreements in place for when they are collaborating with other artists, producers, etc. For legacy artists, I will deal with copyright termination issues to recapture rights they granted away years ago, in addition to the other types of music agreements I mentioned. When representing companies, we are signing songwriters or artists, as well as managing issues with existing deals.

WIMN: You deal with a lot of contract drafting and negotiation for both major and emerging artists alike, including songwriter agreements, music licensing contracts, and more. Can you tell us why it’s so important for artists to get into the habit of putting everything in writing in order to protect their best interests?

EJ: Putting agreements into writing is absolutely necessary for several reasons. One, without a written document there is no legitimate proof of what the agreement actually was between the parties. Two, disputes become one party’s word against the other party’s word. Three, there are usually misunderstandings about what each person meant as to the terms of the agreement. Four, people’s memories tend to become fuzzy a while after making an agreement. Five, a written agreement always provides a reference of the framework of the relationship.

Emerging artists should seek out an experienced music attorney to make sure their interests are protected. Consider it an investment in yourself and your career. The cost of dealing with a major problem later is usually much more expensive – and the consequences much greater – than if the matter was handled properly from the beginning.

WIMN: At what point should artists consult an attorney? Any advice for those reaching out to an entertainment lawyer for the first time?

EJ: Artists should consult an attorney any time there is a contract in front of them or any legal or business matter they don’t understand.

Here are some links that will be helpful:

How to Actually Hire a Music Lawyer

How to Choose a Music Attorney Whose Perfect for You

How to Choose the Right Attorney for YOU (series)

Why Hire an Entertainment Lawyer

How to Get Legal Help if You Can’t Afford a Music Attorney

WIMN: You’re an advocate for songwriters, artists, and publishers getting fair pay for their work, particularly where streaming services are concerned, which often pay only minuscule sums for the music they depend on. Why should artists be paid fairly for what they create, and how do you think those of us in the music industry can work together to make this happen?

EJ: Artists should be paid fairly because making music is an artist’s career and how an artist earns a living! It’s the same as you pay for food in a restaurant, clothing in a store, or the services of a doctor or lawyer; making music is both a service and the product of an artist’s endeavors. Why is it fair that you can pay for food you consume in a restaurant but not the music you consume throughout your day?

It’s not only the artists that deserve fair pay; there are companies that manage or own the music, like music publishers and record labels. These companies all have employees that have rent to pay and families to feed. When artists and writers make less money, so does everyone involved with their careers.

Those in the industry need to stand together to demand fair pay for use of their music and not accept anything less. If enough artists and artist representatives stand up for fair payment, those using music will have no choice but to pay fairly.

People got used to services like Napster and the free download era, which diluted music’s value to consumers. Those that license, use, and consume music need to come back to the idea that music has value and think about the people that actually make and manage that music instead of regarding music as just a passing sound in the air.

WIMN: The music industry is in a state of major change, and has been for some time now. What do you think the future holds/what would you like to see happen for your clients?

EJ: For now, the immediate future holds massive efforts to reform copyright law, as well as continuing to try to find a good model to monetize music in the digital age and command fair compensation.

I would like to see all of my clients, but also all in the music business, fairly compensated for their work and their creations, able to make a living off of making music, and have their music impact their public as only music can do.

WIMN: How has it been thus far working as a female attorney in the traditionally male-dominated music industry?

EJ: Definitely interesting! Females in the business do have a different experience than males. I enjoy working with the majority of my male colleagues, and most of them are great! Of course, as in life, there are always some men who can be inappropriate or have a hard time handling working with smart women.

WIMN: What advice would you give young women just starting out and trying to acclimate to our industry?

EJ: Know your job, remember that you are a professional, and act accordingly. You are not there to be a groupie. Be the best you can be at your position and don’t be intimidated by the men in the field – you deserve to be there as much as they do.

Front and Center: Guitar Center Director of Merchandising, General Accessories / Media, Kristy Porter

The WiMN’s Front and Center is a weekly column that showcases accomplished women who work in the music and audio industries. We spotlight successful female performers, manufacturers, retailers, educators, managers, publicists, and everyone else in between. Want to be featured? Learn how here.

Front and Center: Guitar Center Director of Merchandising, General Accessories / Media, Kristy Porter

By Leslie Buttonow

Kristy Porter is all about business––the music retail business, that is. Since 2001, she’s been a top performer at Guitar Center, where she’s held a number of roles in their retail stores and at the chain’s Westlake Village, CA headquarters, receiving several promotions and distinctions along the way. She has also put her experience as a guitarist to use in recognizing a customer's need for an enjoyable, stress-free shopping experience in Guitar Center stores.

Below, Porter shares some of her story and advice, as well as a behind-the-scenes tidbit about life behind the counter at a music retail store.

To find out more, visit

WiMN: You’ve held a number of roles at Guitar Center, working hard and climbing the proverbial ladder. Can you share some of your previous positions there, and how long you’ve been with GC?

KP: I’ve been with Guitar Center for 15 years. I started as a sales associate at the front door in our Oxnard, CA store when I was 18 years old. I quickly moved into the Accessories department, then became the Accessories department manager, and soon after, I was promoted to Assistant Manager of the whole store. Along the way, I took several training courses to learn all about pro audio and guitars, so that I could sell in all departments. I was also the top salesperson for three years running while I was there.

Several years into my career, a job opportunity came up at Guitar Center’s corporate office in Westlake Village, CA for an assistant category manager of accessories. That was my dream job, so I applied, and got it. I became the first female to have a buying role at GC at the time.

WiMN: Please share your background as a musician. Is that part of what attracted you to join the Guitar Center team initially?

KP: I have been playing guitar since I was 14 years old. I went to the Oxnard store to buy some strings and was quickly impressed by the cool vibe and gear in the store. My love for music inspired me to apply to work there.

WiMN: Your current role focuses on a specific business segment––musical accessories. Many people may not realize how something so seemingly small can be so impactful, yet your track record proves it to be true. How important is that segment of Guitar Center's business and how do you keep it a success?

KP: The accessories business is a vital part of Guitar Center’s overall business. From a merchandising standpoint, the power of presentation is very important. We want to ensure we have the right selection, and that our products are easy to identify, easy to shop and easy for our customers to buy. It’s also important to analyze the business on a daily basis, look for opportunities, try new things, and take risks.

WiMN: Time to dish out a little dirt––during your time working on the retail side of things, what challenges did you have from customers? And what songs were the most overplayed by customers in the guitar department all day long? 😉

KP: I think with any retail store, you will have great customers and also difficult ones. I always viewed the difficult ones as an exciting challenge for me to make their experience great. I’ve had a few customers not want to deal with me because I was a female and they thought I didn’t know my stuff, but I saw it as an opportunity to prove them wrong.

I’d say the most over-played songs in my store would definitely be “Enter Sandman” by Metallica and “Crazy Train” by Ozzy Osbourne.

WiMN: Your company seems to be very supportive of female customers and employees, from the ground floor up. During your time there, what changes and advances have you seen, and what do you attribute that to?

KP: When I started, the industry was very male dominated. In all the positions I have had––from a salesperson, to category manager, to director––I was the first female in Merchandising. Now, I see more and more women joining the industry every year. Guitar Center has worked hard to change the ratio of female/male customers and employees, and it seems to be increasing.

WiMN: What advice do you have for young women looking to break into our industry?

KP: The biggest advice I can give is to be assertive and tenacious; don’t be afraid and seize every opportunity. Learn who you are and don’t let fear of failure talk you out of taking risks, branching out, and putting your best face forward.

During my time as an assistant category manager, a head accessories buying position opened. I spoke to my boss and told him I was very interested. He was reluctant because I was only in the assistant buyer seat for a year. Instead of accepting that answer and waiting, I asked him what I had to do to prove myself, and he told me to write up a business plan for the department, so I did. He was very impressed with my plan, and I got the job.

Remember, you are your own business card. Tap into the confidence you were born with so that you can stand toe-to-toe with anybody and be successful.

WiMN: Any new events or promotions coming up at Guitar Center that our readers may be interested in?

KP: Guitar Center recently launched a free mobile app for musicians that makes it easy to shop, browse used and new gear, read reviews, build wish lists and more. It’s available now on the iOS App Store and Android Google Play, with all the unique features musicians need to help find their sound.

Additionally, Guitar Center's Sixth Annual Singer-Songwriter competition Grand Finals will take place on March 24, at The Troubadour in West Hollywood. After nearly 10,000 submissions from across the country, the top five undiscovered songwriters will compete at the Grand Finale event. GRAMMY® Award-winning producer RedOne (Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Usher) will choose the winner. If you can’t make it to The Troubadour, go to Guitar Center’s Facebook page to watch the event broadcast live.

Front and Center: Executive Director of Bob Moog Foundation, Michelle Moog-Koussa

The WiMN’s Front and Center is a weekly column that showcases accomplished women who work in the music and audio industries. We spotlight successful female performers, manufacturers, retailers, educators, managers, publicists, and everyone else in between. Want to be featured? Learn how here.

Front and Center: Executive Director of Bob Moog Foundation, Michelle Moog-Koussa

By Lina Bhambhani

Michelle Moog-Koussa is the Executive Director of the Bob Moog Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to preserving the life and legacy of her father, Robert Moog, the inventor of the Moog Synthesizer.

Born in 1968 and raised in New York, Moog-Koussa has always had an interest in her father’s work. She recently led a presentation at Winter NAMM titled “Insights Into An Innovator: Bob Moog,” based on materials recently uncovered in the Moog family’s archive of historical materials. The presentation showcased several photos and documents – many that had never been shared publicly.

“[It was] only fitting to reveal much of this material for the first time among the industry that played such an integral part in the Moog legacy," she said.

The WiMN got a chance to connect with Moog-Koussa, and you can discover more about her and the Bob Moog Foundation in the interview below. For more information, visit

WiMN: How did the Bob Moog Foundation come about, and what is the organization’s mission?

MM:  The genesis of the Bob Moog Foundation can be found in the extraordinary outpouring of support that the family received during my father’s illness and passing. Thousands of people from all over the world sent testimonials about how Bob Moog, the instruments he created, and the music that came from those instruments changed, and in some cases transformed, their lives. We knew at that point that this legacy of inspiration deserved to be carried forward to future generations.

Our mission is to ignite creativity at the intersection of science, music, and innovation by providing interactive educational experiences to children and adults. Through these experiences, we help foster a sense of discovery and creative thinking.

 WiMN: Tell us about the presentation you led at Winter NAMM that showcased many never-before-seen documents. How these materials were uncovered? What was that like for you?

MM: I was fortunate to give a TEC Talk presentation at Winter NAMM called "Insights Into An Innovator." During the presentation, I shared 25 new letters, documents and photos from the Moog Family Archives, a collection of historical materials that was recently gifted to me by my mother, Shirleigh Moog. I focused on three relatives who were of particular influence in my father’s life, and on his early years, from birth to age 18. His intense interest in science, music, and electricity surfaced at a very young age and it’s fascinating to watch that develop in his own words through some of his earliest letters.

The presentation was standing room only, with a line at the door. It was wonderful to see people’s interest in understanding Bob Moog the person, and not just the icon. I was most touched by people’s reactions after the presentation as many told me that they felt they had a much better understanding of who Bob really was. That is deeply important to me, as he’s often portrayed in a very surface oriented way that does not lend a understanding to his true nature.

WiMN: Can you tell us about some of the initiatives spearheaded by the foundation?

MM:  The Bob Moog Foundation has two major projects that we’re focusing on right now. First is our hallmark educational project, Dr. Bob’s SoundSchool, through which we teach children about the science of sound through music and technology. We’ve provided this innovative, experiential curriculum to over 7,000 children since it started five years ago. Our other project is the preservation of the Bob Moog Foundation Archives, a vast collection of documents, photos, schematics, notes and other memorabilia that trace Bob’s work, and the history of electronic music.

WiMN: Tell us about some of your favorite artists that have used Moog Synthesizers over the years.

MM: It’s very hard to identify favorites, but what appeals to me is creative and unusual applications of the synthesizer, whether it be with the technology itself, or how the instrument is used amongst other instruments.

WiMN: Can you share one little-known fact about your father that you wish more people knew?

MM:  My dad loved to garden. He found great solace in nature and found a particular joy in growing things from the earth. I’ve often thought that the unique organic quality of his instruments was essentially a sonic mirror of the natural world.

WiMN: Tell us about your experience as a woman in the music industry. Have there been any challenges? If so, how did you overcome them?

MM: While I am deeply fortunate to have a wealth of support from the music industry, it’s often been a challenge for me to be taken as seriously work my work demands. Somehow nice, compassionate woman in this industry immediately get labeled as “sweet,”  lacking in substance. I’ve definitely found that a hardened exterior has been a necessary part of doing business in this industry.

WiMN: Can you share some advice for women looking to start a career in M.I.?

MM: You have to be completely committed, passionate, and driven to even begin to succeed in this industry. Don’t give up, and use your network to the fullest extent possible.

WiMN: What’s next for you and the Bob Moog Foundation?

MM:  The Foundation is working to scale Dr. Bob’s SoundSchool so that we can inspire children nationwide through the wonders of science. We hope to collaborate with large school districts in the Los Angeles area in the next year or so. Our work with the Bob Moog Foundation Archives is ongoing. We continue to receive new items every year and our focus is to catalog our entire collection and share it with museums, research facilities, and the general public. History is a great source not only for knowledge, but for inspiration. We aim to inspire as many people as we can.


Front and Center: Reverb PR and Communications Manager, Heather Farr

The WiMN’s Front and Center is a weekly column that showcases accomplished women who work in the music and audio industries. We spotlight successful female performers, manufacturers, retailers, educators, managers, publicists, and everyone else in between. Want to be featured? Learn how here.

Front and Center: Reverb PR and Communications Manager, Heather Farr

by Myki Angeline

When it comes to media relations, Heather Farr truly excels. As the PR and Communications Manager for – the highly successful website for buying and selling new and used music gear – Farr goes that extra step to ensure the company is top notch in providing product information, advice, product quality, demonstrations, and pricing. Her background in music and journalism, along with her intense drive to succeed, are the traits that make Farr an ideal candidate for the WiMN's Front and Center feature!

I had the honor of interviewing Heather Farr, and learned a great deal more about her road to success, and the other incredible projects she is involved with.

Visit the Reverb website here.

WiMN: How did you become interested in music as a child and what led you to a career in this industry?

HF: My dad is a huge music buff. Some of my earliest memories include listening to records with him and being quizzed on band names, album titles, and song lyrics. It was a huge part of my childhood. As I got older, I started to gravitate toward the jam band scene and eventually became completely obsessed with Relix, a music magazine out of New York City. There was a brief and slightly embarrassing period in high school when I wrote the editor every day, asking if I could be an intern. He eventually wrote me back and asked that I reach out when I am in college. So during my freshman year at Ohio University, I showed up to Relix’s NYC office with my resume in hand and got an internship for the following summer.

After that summer, I continued to freelance for Relix Magazine. Upon graduation, I got into the tech industry, but was able to keep my pulse on music through my freelance writing. When Reverb posted the opening for a PR/Communications Manager, it was the perfect opportunity to merge my experience in tech and my passion for music.

WiMN: Tell us about your title and responsibilities with Reverb, and a little about the company itself. What makes Reverb stand out as a company?

HF: is the online marketplace for buying, selling, and learning about new and used music gear. Since launching in 2013, Reverb has grown into the most popular music gear website in the world, with more than eight million monthly visitors perusing the site for everything from guitars, drums, and keyboards to DJ equipment, orchestra instruments, music software, and more.

As a marketplace, Reverb is different because it’s built for musicians by musicians. Each day, we use the platform and communicate with our users to figure out what features, tools, and services will make Reverb the easiest place to buy and sell music gear. For example, we have the Reverb Price Guide, which aggregates real-time transactional info to help users understand the value of the gear they’re buying and selling. We also create daily gear demos, artist interviews, industry news articles, tips and tricks videos, and more to help users learn about the instruments they’re buying and selling - and discover new gear they didn’t even know they wanted. Finally, our fees are lower than eBay and other alternatives, which means more money in sellers’ pockets and lower prices for buyers.

As PR and Communications Manager, I essentially help spread the word about all the great things we have going on within the company. I do that by keeping my ear to the ground at the office to uncover interesting stories and case studies, staying in close contact with the media and ensuring that reporters have everything they need to create compelling stories, drafting news releases, identifying awards and speaking opportunities to showcase our expertise, and more.

WiMN: What is it about public relations work that interests you?

HF: While public relations encompasses a lot of different areas, I particularly love media relations. To find success with the media, you have to dive deep into your organization (or into your clients) to uncover the most interesting information, stories, and people. It’s exciting because you are constantly learning new things. I actually have a degree in journalism and originally went to school to be a reporter. PR allows me to put on my journalist hat to determine the “why” of what we’re doing and saying.

WiMN: Can you share your experience as a woman in the industry? Have there been challenges?

HF: In both my position at Reverb and my side gig as a music freelance writer, my experience as a woman in the industry has been positive. I’ve been fortunate to have incredible bosses, mentors, and peers - both male and female - to look up to and help me navigate the waters. Of course, it is frustrating to look at the industry as a whole and not see quite as many female faces looking back at me, but the faces I do see are fierce.

WiMN: Tell us about some of your current projects you're working on with Reverb.

HF: At NAMM, we announced the Beta launch of Reverb Sites - a service that helps sellers create their own website to better promote their music gear business online. The templates are beautiful and they’re insanely easy for small retailers or individual gear sellers to set up without wasting time and money. I had the opportunity to chat with some of our users at NAMM about the service and the response was overwhelmingly positive. I’m really looking forward to diving deeper into the tool as we look ahead to the official launch.

This year, I’m also looking forward to chatting with more of our users and helping them tell their stories - whether it’s the mom-and-pop shop that was able to create an entirely new revenue stream thanks to Reverb or the individual seller who started a Reverb shop and was eventually able to quit his job to sell music gear full-time. Our community houses some incredible stories. Along those same lines, we’ve got some fun artist shops in the works. In the past, we’ve helped everyone from Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen and Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy to Ray Lamontagne sell their gear, and looking forward, we have some exciting stuff in store.

WiMN: Describe a day in the life of Heather Farr.

HF: I start each day workday with a large to-do list and a larger cup of coffee and by the end of the day, only the latter gets finished. I think it’s safe to say that the chaos of PR attracts a certain type of person that secretly loves the unpredictability of it all. But in general, on any given day, you’ll find me doing lots of reading: About the industry, about competitors, about other people and businesses who are doing innovative things. I also do a lot of writing and brainstorming.

WiMN: What are some positive changes you aspire to make in the industry?

HF: Music has been such a positive force in my life and I’d love to help more young girls find strength, confidence, and happiness in it. I have six nieces who are lucky to have not only dance, piano, and other music-based activities in their lives, but also strong, positive female role models - and it pains me to think that’s not the case for every little girl. That’s why last month, I started as a volunteer marketing consultant at Girl’s Rock! Chicago, a nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering girls’ creative expression, self-esteem, and community awareness through music.

WiMN: Do you play any instruments?  Who are some of your role models?

HF: I dabble in acoustic guitar and I just purchased a ukelele. I’ve been taking group and individual guitar lessons for more than a year and I am just now feeling confident enough to call myself a guitar player. My guitar teacher has been an incredible role model. She brings so much passion and excitement to class that you can’t help but fall in love with the learning process. She’s also insanely patient and patience is definitely something we could all practice more.

WiMN: Let's wrap up with one of your favorite quotes…

HF: “Decide what to be and go be it.”

Front and Center: Korg USA Marketing Coordinator, Jennifer Reinhardt

The WiMN’s Front and Center is a weekly column that showcases accomplished women who work in the music and audio industries. We spotlight successful female performers, manufacturers, retailers, educators, managers, publicists, and everyone else in between. Want to be featured? Learn how here.

Front and Center: Korg USA Marketing Coordinator, Jennifer Reinhardt

By Leslie Buttonow

Jennifer Reinhardt is a woman with her hands full!

As a core member of the busy marketing department at Korg USA, she manages several key areas and ensures that all runs smoothly. And she does it all with finesse and the confidence of knowing who she is, what she’s capable of, and where she wants to be.

Reinhardt recently sat with us to share some insights from her ongoing personal and professional journey, and to fill us in on where her path has led her thus far.

For more on Korg USA, visit

The WiMN: You’ve had a hand in many areas of marketing during your time at Korg USA. Tell us about some of your current responsibilities there.

JR: I am pretty fortunate to have had a few different roles here in the past four years. I currently manage the social media accounts of most of our brands, which entails putting together social media strategies (campaigns, contests, etc) and executing them. I find and post content and engage with our audience to acknowledge and answer their questions.

Another main role is creating new ways to get our name out there and working with the department to make it happen. I work with our product development team to plan out product launches, brand announcements and overall marketing campaigns. I outline what the department will do 30 days out, six months out, and so on, to keep the buzz going.

I also plan events with our Public Relations and Artist Relations team, play an integral role with our NAMM show planning, and book all our advertising.

The WiMN: Please share some background about what led you to pursue the world of marketing?

JR: I graduated from Marist College in 2010 with a degree in Communications, but it was during the worst economy our country had seen in years. I had a few internships under my belt, but none of it was enough to find a job in the field I wanted. I wound up working for a bank in a position I knew wasn’t for me. So, after a few years, I quit my job and backpacked through Europe for two months, which gave me real insight into what I wanted to do and more importantly, who I wanted to be. A few months after being home, I landed my job at Korg USA and I couldn’t have been happier.

The WiMN: Were you a musician or music lover prior to coming to the MI industry?

JR: Yes, I am a musician, so landing this job was a dream come true. I sing and play piano, so what better place to work? I’ll play piano or try out some gear during my breaks and it’s still the coolest thing to me. I can’t say that for most work places!

The WiMN: How has it been thus far as a woman in this traditionally male-dominated industry?

JR: As a woman in any field, you have to work twice as hard and be one step ahead. Thankfully, I haven’t witnessed anything personally and have found myself surrounded by wonderful people, both male and female, who are supportive and a pleasure to work with. Our marketing director in Japan is female, the director in the United Kingdom is female, and up until recently, our director here was female, so I think it’s really cool how women are empowered at Korg USA.

The WiMN: What advice would you give young women just starting out and trying to acclimate to our industry?

JR: This is corny, but it’s true: be unapologetic about who you are. Speak your mind, don’t be afraid to share your ideas, and be confident in everything that you do. Because, ‘You got this, girl!’

Front And Center: Artist and Activist, Madame Gandhi

The WiMN’s Front and Center is a weekly column that showcases accomplished women who work in the music and audio industries. We spotlight successful female performers, manufacturers, retailers, educators, managers, publicists, and everyone else in between. Want to be featured? Learn how here.

Front and Center: Activist and Artist, Madame Gandhi

By Myki Angeline

Madame Gandhi is a prime example of young women who are dominating the music industry. Not only is she an accomplished singer, pianist, and drummer (formerly with M.I.A.), Gandhi also studied mathematics and women's studies while attending Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.. During her junior year, she landed a weekly gig drumming with DJs from Thievery Corporation at their legendary nightclub, Eighteenth Street Lounge. After graduating in 2011, Gandhi became the first ever digital analyst for Interscope Records; assisting artists like Kendrick Lamar and Lady Gaga so they could gain a better understanding of marketing and selling their music.

Gandhi is also an activist and feminist; she gained major recognition as the iconic 'free bleeding' runner combating menstrual stigma at the 2015 London Marathon. The marathon was a success and her story went completely viral, sparking a global conversation about how we treat menstruation in various cultures. After graduating from Harvard University in 2015, she traveled the world writing and speaking about menstrual stigma.

She released her Debut EP Voices in the fall of 2016, a collection of electronic songs which reflect her journey as a woman, featuring Gandhi on drums, vocals, percussion, and backed by the intricate electronic soundscapes developed by her collaborator and co-producer, Alexia Riner.

You can purchase her Debut EP Voices on her website here.

I was so inspired by her story and wanting to learn more about Madame Gandhi, and reached out to her for this exclusive interview.

The WiMN: You grew up with a passion for both music and mathematics, studying math in college while touring as a drummer. You also served as Interscope Records' first-ever digital analyst upon graduating. Do you implement these studies into your music career now?

MG: Of course! Absolutely. Very few artists have the privilege to be exposed to the business side first; we usually start our careers as artists. Because of how I grew up, which was in a traditional academically-minded household, I cut my teeth studying mathematics at Georgetown and studying business at Harvard thinking that my job was always going to be in an office. But, the more I would spend time in an office, the more I felt that my resources were better used as someone who is making art instead.

I used to think, "Wow, how empowering would it be for me to be able to know the business side so that I could never be taken advantage of?" – and, moreover, for me to be able to run my own business in a way that I felt was responsible, financially sustainable, honest, and not greedy. The thing that happened with the music industry is that it became corrupted by greed. It's like when you find a gold mine and you just want to tap into it and exploit all of its lust and resources, instead of being grateful for the one nugget, and saying, "what can I do with this one nugget of gold?"

When I manage my project, I tell my team that we are not greedy; our job is to make the most honest art and let the world decide what to do with it. If we are getting enough money for our shows, for our licenses, and for our merchandise and other sources of revenue...if we are getting just enough to be able to get by, then this is the right amount.

It feels good to be empowered to say no, to be able to read contracts and analyze them intelligently and understand what is a good fit and what is a bad fit. It feels good to say no to businesses that might have a huge check for us, but ethically are not on brand with what I am about. It feels very empowering especially to be a woman and manage my own career, instead of being at the mercy of larger stakes; larger powers at be. I think it's mostly because people have a sense that that cannot take advantage of me, and secondly because I am working mostly with a team of extraordinary women and very woke men whose missions align with mine.

The WiMN: Based on your own knowledge and experience, just how important is it for an artist to brand their business via social media?

MG: Social media is a communication tool, the same way I may pick up the phone and call you tomorrow to tell you how I feel. It's not about doing social media for social media sake, it's about having a message to deliver and having the choice to decide which is the best medium for my message. So, if it's a quick thought, maybe Twitter is the best way. If it's a beautiful photo from an event I did the night before with extraordinary, and I want to show the power of what it looks like to hold space for like-minded, talented women, then I will put that photo up on Instagram. If it's a video, and I know Facebook video integration is the strongest place to get the most eyes, I will upload that video to Facebook. If I think it's a song that needs to be made, I'm going to make a song.

That is how I think of social media. I think of it in tandem, in parallel to my music, and to my speeches. My thoughts start first, then I decide which of those outlets to go. So, it's a parallel to my music, to my speeches, and to my writing; whether it's a long form blog, post, etc. That is the best way, in my opinion, to use social media and the most authentic.

The WiMN: What was the first instrument you learned to play, and how did you fall into learning others?

MG: I first learned to sing play the piano, and then drums, learning sound design and music production out of necessity. I was depending too much on other people to come in and lay in the backing vocals, or the sound design and production. I am in a phase right now where I am trying to learn as much of it on my own so that I am in full control of my voice and my artistic expression. Then, when I bring in other people I understand better how to direct them. But, until that moment, I am definitely learning on my own.

The WiMN: Can you tell us about any current projects?

MG: You know, this whole Donald Trump election, and each nightmare that comes into my email box from CNN about what he's done next is what fuels my music. Having a common enemy, and having very tangible, problematic decisions that the Trump Administration is making that directly threatens the well-being of women gives meaning to my work. So, while I cannot share any of the immediate songs I am working on, what I can tell you is that I have been very deeply inspired in the studio recently, writing a lot of music that I hope only will serve as the soundtrack to the next, sort of fourth wave feminist movement.

The WiMN: You launched your debut EP Voices late last year. How well has it been received?

MG: I can tell you this: after the Women's March, my song, "The Future Is Female" went viral on Spotify. It hit at number 8 on the Top 50 U.S. Viral Charts, and now it is trending in Australia and Canada. As I said earlier, our job is to make the best and most honest art and hope the right people find it and that they decide what to do with it. I made "The Future Is Female" almost one year before it was found on Spotify, but it was found at the right time, because the Women's March happened and we needed an anthem. So, I would say it has been received well and it was received at the right time.

The WiMN: Please share with us your experiences after touring the world in 2015 to speak and write about the stigma of menstruation.

MG: Absolutely! I think for me, the journey that I have experienced over the past two years since my marathon went viral, was figuring out how I take the various talents and passions that I have (singing, drumming, speaking, or writing) and merging them into one cohesive experience. That is really my goal - how I design a live experience, because those are my favorite where I am actually connecting with people on the road. Sharing my ideas such that, it sparks them, sparks their ideas, and sparks each of the people in my audience to find their own voice, and be leaders in their own community.

My mom always taught me that leaders inspire other leaders. Our job is not to get a following so that people love us. Our job as artists is to simply be a mirror and a source of inspiration to get everyone activated in their own communities; to be their best selves. This is what that tour was about. It was about me getting better at speaking and performing, such that I can live my purpose even better of elevating and celebrating the female voice.

Below is Madame Gandhi's video for her song, "The Future is Female"!

Front and Center: It Rocked! The 5th Annual She Rocks Awards was Bigger and Better Than Ever

The WiMN’s Front and Center is a weekly column that showcases accomplished women who work in the music and audio industries. We spotlight successful female performers, manufacturers, retailers, educators, managers, publicists, and everyone else in between. Want to be featured? Learn how here.

Front and Center: Fifth Annual She Rocks Awards

By Leslie Buttonow

all photos: credit Kevin Graft

On Friday, January 20, 2017, the fifth annual She Rocks Awards rolled into the Anaheim Hilton hotel and rocked the night, inducting this year’s honorees, showcasing the talents of many female rockers, and placing female role models in the spotlight. The star-studded evening was streamed by Parade magazine, and also featured a silent auction, with part of the proceeds benefiting Soundgirls, an organization that trains young women for the audio industry.

More than 800 guests were treated to a number of memorable performances throughout the evening. Brandy Robinson, winner of the #SaveAGuitar contest sponsored by Breedlove, kicked off the evening with her soulful guitar and vocal stylings. Next, Jenna Paone, She Rocks founder Laura B. Whitmore and house band Rock Sugah, delivered a fist-pumping performance of an original song by Paone and Whitmore, titled “I Like It Loud,” with guitar solos by Gretchen Menn and Nita Strauss.

FOX KTTV anchor Christine Devine and Daisy Rock Girl Guitars CEO Tish Ciravolo co-hosted the evening and helped WiMN founder Laura B. Whitmore announce this year’s honorees, who were inducted by a who’s who from the world of music and media. Here’s how it went down:

  • Tracy Leenman, owner of Musical Innovations music retailer, Enterprise
    Award, presented by Rand & Cindy Cook
  • Dani Markman, Director, A&R, Disney Music Group, Vision Award,
    presented by Christine Devine and Radio Disney DJ Lela Brown
  • Charyn Harris, conductor of music programs at A Place Called Home,
    Motivator Award, presented by Asya Shein
  • Beverly Fowler, director of artist relations and events at PRS Guitars, Spirit Award, presented by guitarist Kat Dyson
  • Leanne Summers, president/CEO of LAWIM (Los Angeles Women in
    Music), Achiever Award, presented by Gayl Murphy
  • Shirley Manson, lead singer from multi-award winning band Garbage,
    Powerhouse Award, presented by journalist Brad Tolinski
  • Karrie Keyes, founder of Soundgirls and sound engineer for Pearl Jam, Mad Skills Award, presented by Heather Rafter
  • Monique Boyer, director, global artist relations/PRO membership at M.A.C. Cosmetics, Champion Award, presented by Samantha Maloney, drummer and Vice President of A&R for Warner Bros. Records

  • Esperanza Spalding, Grammy® Award-winning bass player,
    singer/songwriter, Inspire Award, presented by bassist Divinity Roxx
  • Rebecca Eaddy, marketing communications manager for Roland
    Corporation U.S., Excellence Award, presented by Guitar Player magazine editor-in-chief, Michael Molenda
  • Lisa Foxx, radio personality at My FM on the iHeartRadio network,
    Dreaming Out Loud Award, presented by Lisa Loeb
  • Ronnie Spector, iconic artist, Legend Award, presented by the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus
  • Sarah Command, singer/songwriter and half of The Command Sisters, Next Generation Award, presented by She Rocks founder Laura B. Whitmore
  • Lita Ford, legendary rock guitarist, vocalist and songwriter, Icon Award,
    presented by Nick Bowcott of Marshall Amplification

NAMM - She Rocks - 01192017

Later in the evening, the Command Sisters played a rousing version of Ronnie Spector’s “Be My Baby,” which was an audience favorite.  Lita Ford tore down the house during the evening’s finale, singing her top hit, “Kiss Me Deadly,” along with rockers from the She Rocks Vol. 1 CD that debuted that night.

The spirit of the evening and all that the WiMN and She Rocks Awards embody can be summed up by a portion of honoree Shirley Manson’s speech, in which she said, “By not disappearing, but by thriving, that's how you have the last word."

Many top name journalists attended the She Rocks Awards, so be sure to check out all of the great stories, memories, photos and social media highlights in the weeks ahead!

Front and Center: Pianist, Singer and Songwriter, Jacquelyn Schreiber

The WiMN’s Front and Center is a weekly column that showcases accomplished women who work in the music and audio industries. We spotlight successful female performers, manufacturers, retailers, educators, managers, publicists, and everyone else in between. Want to be featured? Learn how here.

Front and Center: Pianist, Singer and Songwriter, Jacquelyn Schreiber

By Lina Bhambhani

The She Rocks Awards would not have been a success this year if it weren't for the tireless work of many people behind the scenes! This year's team was assembled from an amazing group of individuals that included artists, musicians and women from a variety of music-related organizations. One such artist is Jacquelyn Schreiber, a student of Leanne Summers (LAWIM) and a friend of Esperanza Spalding, both of which were honored at the 2017 She Rocks Awards.

Schreiber has been performing since the young age of five. She was classically trained as a pianist and made her live radio debut at the age of 15, performing with the Tommy Morimoto Quintet on Denver-based Radio Station Jazz 89.3 KUVO. As a pianist, she has opened for artists such as The Yellowjackets and Stanley Turrentine, and performed with Jennifer Holliday as a part of the Vineyard Vibes Jazz Festival.

Schreiber is not only an amazing musician with a naturally-gifted talent but, also a social media advocate for, a website that was created to share the good deeds that many individuals have collected throughout each day.

Schreiber's EP Beautiful Love was released January 26. You can watch the official video below.

Schreiber recently spoke with us about her start in music and her involvement with the She Rocks Awards and other organizations. Find out more at

WiMN:  What sparked your interest in getting into the music industry?

JS: To be honest, I have always loved music and it has always been a part of my life. I have an early memory of going up to my mom’s old Kimball piano and picking out the melody for “Yankee Doodle” by ear. I couldn’t believe I could duplicate what I was hearing in my head out in the physical world with the use of an instrument. It was a glorious moment. I started playing the piano by ear at age four and I was hooked — I have never wanted to do anything else.

WiMN: Who were some influences to helped get where you are today?

JS: So many people! I have been influenced by people all around me — including my family, friends and peers. I have been inspired by other artists and successful individuals in every industry. I think in the music industry I have been most inspired by Tony Bennett and his pure passion that has translated into decades of creating and sharing beautiful music. He truly invites us all along for the ride, and I think that is such a precious gift to give the world as an artist and musician. I'm also inspired by Audrey Hepburn and her immense talent that was coupled with her amazing charitable contributions and humanitarian work. It shows that we can all bring beauty to the world - just by being who we are.

WiMN: What made you want to be a part of the She Rocks Awards? How did you like it?

JS: I got connected with the remarkable Leanne Summers for vocal coaching prior to recording my debut EP this past May and she suggested I become a member of LAWIM. Since then, I have made an effort to be a part of anything that I can in terms of the WiMN. She Rocks spoke to me as something truly special — a huge industry event that is a celebration of women in all aspects of the creation and production of music. I was especially delighted and thrilled to see Esperanza Spalding honored — one of my former classmates from Berklee College of Music.

WiMN: What are some projects you've been a part of, and who have you worked with?

JS: I have been a part of a variety of projects that span several genres, including jazz, gospel, pop and more. Most recently, I recorded my debut EP, Beautiful Love with Producer/Engineer Helik Hadar who won a GRAMMY for Best Album in 2008 for his work with Herbie Hancock in The Joni Letters and Best Jazz Album in 2012 for Herbie's brilliant The Imagine Project. I was honored to be joined by some of the best musicians on the planet for the recording, including: Doug Pettibone (Lucinda Williams, John Mayer, Sting) Mark Punch (Olivia Newton-John, CMAA 2011 Musician of the Year) David Piltch (Allen Toussaint, Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raitt) and Brian Macleod (Sheryl Crow, Michael Jackson, Madonna.) We recorded at the iconic Sunset Sound in LA, just steps from the studio where Prince recorded Purple Rain. It was a very special and spiritual experience.

WiMN: Can you tell us about any upcoming projects?

JS: Upcoming projects include spreading the word about my social media movement #ShareBeautifulLove — I am very excited to get people involved. #ShareBeautifulLove is a movement that encourages and promotes everyday people doing one beautiful thing and sharing it via their own pictures and videos – and then sharing those beautiful posts from people all around the world using #ShareBeautifulLove. You can see the different contributions to all the social media feeds at the website, and join our facebook page: There is a list of ideas to help get people started in sharing love — simple things like asking the cashier at the store how THEIR day is going, or writing “Thank you ________” on the receipt at the restaurant. In addition to sharing love through the movement, I will also be coordinating the Beautiful Love EP tour and starting the process of recording my full-length album of original music. Updates are always at and on social media!

WiMN: Where can listeners find you?

JS: Listeners can find me on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, Amazon and of course at! They can also watch my new “Beautiful Love” music video and subscribe to my YouTube channel at Social media fans can hop over to,  and