By Myki Angeline
The 6th annual Girl Power! Women Working in the Music Industry Conference was held on April 27, 2019 at the David Brower Center in Berkeley, California. The conference, which is produced by Kerry Fiero of Fiero Flair, is dedicated to empowering creative, driven, talented female music artists who have professional ambitions with the information, tools, and resources they need to succeed in the modern music industry. This was my third year in attendance and I was once again blown away by the plethora of information and knowledge being shared by so many highly experienced and respected women (and men this year) in the music industry today. Each panel provided key insight and advice given by female pioneers in their specialized field who continue to pave the way for many others seeking a career in music.
This year’s theme was Level Up: Helping Female Music Artists Get To The Next Level, and hosted an empowering, inclusive line up of stellar speakers like Gretchen Claffey (Director of Booking at Oracle Arena and Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum), Stacy Cunningham (Director of Strategic Radio Marketing and Events,EMPIRE Distribution), Angelica Garde-Advincula (Music Project Manager, Sony, Interactive Entertainment America), Maayan (Singer/Songwriter and co-producer, Women’s International Music Fest), Joan Rosenberg (Director of Marketing and Communications for A.C.T.), and Terri d’Ambrosio (Music Supervisor and Audio Post for MarcoCo. Studios).
It was another sold out conference as attendees were treated to an eclectic variety of speakers who covered educational topics on panels like ‘SOS: Sacrifices, Opportunities and Success”, a panel with Tina Davis (VP of A&R, EMPIRE distribution), and moderated by Stacy Cunningham, “Level Up: Helping Female Music Artists Get To The Next Level”, a panel with Vanessa Silberman, Maayan, and recording artists Samaria, and Netta B, and the “Power Hour” that rotated panelists every fifteen minutes to discuss marketing, licensing, booking, media, and how to profit from songs.
Panelists had wonderful things to say about this year’s conference, “The girl power music conference was beyond inspiring for me, being on the other side of the glass as a moderator and a panelist. Sometimes you do not realize the impact when you’re just doing what you do, and don’t even think about gender while playing music, working with bands or recording other artists. However, when you’re in a big room filled with women with so much drive, there is no denying having the realization to take notice of how much power women really do have to impact and change the music business. The girl power music conference is a true organic artist development one stop shop must for growing female artists for networking and priceless information on everything from demo critiquing to marketing and licensing.”, says Vanessa Silberman, national touring guitarist, founder of the band Diamonds Under Fire, and operates A Diamond Heart Production.
A new panel that was added this year offered constructive criticism on local artist songs by music industry professionals. “Face The Music!” was well-received as the entire room listened to a variety of songs varying in genre from pop, EDM, R&B, and hip hop. The panel was hosted by co-producer of the conference, Gian Fiero and included valuable feedback from Sundra Manning (Piano/Keys/Hammond B3, and Music Producer/Songwriter), Julie Schuchard (Cofounder, Tricycle Records), Vanessa Silberman, and Cori Jacobs (Music Producer, Songwriter, Pianist/keyboardist and film composer).
Music artist Kumiho had this to say about her experience, “I resonated with the others in feeling like I’m often the only woman in the studio and how that can be intimidating or discouraging. It’s inspiring to get together with a group of like minded artists to discuss the challenges and solutions in modern music. I’ll definitely be back to join the conversation next year!”
“Producing these conferences with Gian continues to be a blast. This year’s focus on female music artists ended with a fun listening session (Face the Music!) that had a panel of professionals critiquing the attendees’ music -SO much talent in the room!” explains Kerry Fiero, who produces this highly impactful conference every year, “Showcasing the many roles that women have in the music industry, and hearing their stories, strategies and success is important. It is work that I love and will continue to do. I networked with women who were 30 years into their career and others just breaking in. Very inspiring on all levels!”
The next Girl Power! Working Women in the Music Industry Conference is set for April 25, 2020. To stay informed, visit their website and subscribe to the newsletter at girlpowermusicconference.com.