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.

By Myki Angeline

kelly_paisteAs Vice President of Paiste America, Inc. the world’s third largest manufacturer of cymbals, gongs, and metal percussion, Kelly Paiste has worked at the U.S. operation for more than 20 years.  She is also very active in maintaining relationships with Paiste artists and customers world-wide. Paiste history dates back to 1901 in Russia, an impressive 115 years in the industry. In 1981 Paiste found commercial success in America and has been going strong ever since.

The WiMN got the chance to learn more about Kelly and her role at Paiste. Read on for our full interview with Kelly, and learn more about Paiste here.

WiMN:  What has been the most rewarding for you working at Paiste?

KP: The opportunity to be able to meet and connect with such a vast variety of amazing people all over the world. Oh, and riding on Ed Force One with Iron Maiden!

WiMN:  Do you see an increase in female drummers, particularly endorsed female artists?

KP:   Yes to both.  It is encouraging to see how many women there are playing drums. We have seriously talented woman in the Paiste Artist Family and I would love to see more. 

WiMN:  Do you play an instrument or sing? both?

KP:   Yes, I play the saxophone and enjoy singing whenever life calls for it!  

WiMN:  What does it take for a musician to be a Paiste artist?

KP: Love for the Paiste sound, ability, and importance or potential in a particular musical or geographical area.

WiMN:  What is your first recollection of being involved with music?

KP:  I can still vividly hear my mother play the accordion when I was very young.

WiMN:  What are some challenges you’ve faced for being a woman in a male-dominated field, and how did you cope with them?

KP:  I’ve always enjoyed a challenge so I never noticed. I just do my thing!  

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

KP:  Through the years I’ve seen less kindness and sincerity at all levels in the industry.  I’d like to see it back.  

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

KP:  There is no “I” in team!