Women in Music Festival 2018

Festivals

To be honest, it was intimidating as hell walking into an amphitheater full of powerful women… Until I realized I was a powerful woman too. As I looked around the room, I thought about a book by Toni Morrison called Home, where a young black girl named Cee works as an assistant to a doctor. Lack of knowledge has her convinced he is a hero because he helps the sick regardless of them being black or poor. But really, he is a doctor practicing eugenics, which involves the manipulation of human breeding, often by sterilizing people without their consent. Long story short–her physical and emotional recovery is aided by several strong women. Women who “took responsibility for their lives, and for whatever, whoever else needed them.” These women are described as having “no excess in their gardens because they shared everything [and] there was no trash or garbage in their homes because they had a use for everything.”

Sisterhood.

The New Parkway Theater in Oakland was home to the Women In Music Festival’s Panel Day where several phenomenal women in the industry came together to share insight on: Women in Live Music, Women in Artist Marketing, and Women in Media. The panel also included a Live Artist Interview with female powerhouse: Rayana Jay.

It was refreshing to hear some of the conversation around topics and ideas I struggle with. And I felt less alone knowing that other women around me dealt with the same things.

Here’s some notes I jotted down from the Live Music panel:

  • Practice process over perfection
  • Stay confident
  • No person is too high up to reach out and say hello
  • Go after it–regardless
  • In your come up, bring other women up with you

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Things I took away from the Live Interview with Rayana Jay:

  • You don’t need to move away to a “big city”–just travel
  • Be your own marketing team
  • Do business with your girls
  • Find your lane and stay in your lane
  • Be your own biggest critic

 

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Artist Marketing panel take away:

  • “You’re only as good as your single is”
  • As important as sisterhood is in this industry, recognize your big brothers because there’s just some shit women shouldn’t deal with 
  • Stay curious and always seek knowledge
  • If you’re the only woman in the room–boss the fuck up
  • Don’t be that bitch on the studio couch

 

 

And lastly, from the Media panel:

  • Be creative in your own style
  • Don’t let middle-aged white men tell you that you can’t 
  • Organize your ideas and thoughts so they are easily accessible to you
  • Men need us–remind them if you need to
  • Organic traffic over everything

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Listening to all of this, I realized something…

In my role as Urban Music Director at 90.5 FM KSJS, I am constantly surrounded by men. At the panel they referred to radio a “boy’s club”. And I laughed because it’s very true. Thankfully, I’ve managed with hardly any problems getting what I want or need… and although I’m shy around other women, “LET ME TALK TO A DAMN RAPPER,” is usually my attitude when doing business.

Epiphany: maybe other women feel this way. And maybe that’s where things get weird… The women-to-women interaction needs to be less frightening and more welcoming.

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The Women In Music Festival sparked a lot of conversation about other themes: race, gender, homosexuality, oppression, equality. But it was comforting knowing that my feelings of empathy were being reciprocated. We were all feeling. And that was special.

The festival  didn’t just focus on the panel discussion, in fact, it lasted a total of four days and had a variety of events ranging from an intimate DJ workshop in collaboration with Serato on Thursday, to a discussion showcasing four women from distinctly different parts of the industry, at the Pandora Headquarters on Friday.

The Oakland Museum of California was host to the first ever Women in Hip-Hop panel in conjunction with RESPECT: Hip-Hop Style & Wisdom Exhibit–the under-recognized story of one of the most influential cultural and social movements of the last 50 years–which is ongoing on every Saturday and Sunday from now until August 12. To top it off, this event was garnished with the typical First Friday arrangements: food trucks, cocktails, and live music.

Saturday morning was about self-care, which was a huge reoccurring theme throughout the event. Shakira Scott lead yoga classes that incorporated meditation and mindful vinyasa flow to 90’s R&B, alternative music, reggae, jazz with a splash of meditative sounds.

Saturday night, I attended the Women in Music Concert at Starline Social Club. In a judgement-free zone, we danced to music by Tiffany Gouche, Raveena, B-Side BrujasAh-Mer-Ah-Su, LadyRyan, Sweetest Threat, and Rayana Jay. While DJ Red Corvette was on the turntables, Fela Kutchii hosted the party. What can I say about this? Nearly every women in attendance came from an earlier festival event so we had nothing but good vibes among one another. It was an amazing bond to share with other women in the industry.

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Raveena (photo by @aeprod510)

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Tiffany Gouché (photo by @aeprod510)

Sunday entailed a “Boss Brunch”–breakfast, mimosas, and women speaking about their wins, losses, and what it really takes to be a girl boss in this industry. Afterwards, an “Eat, Shop, Talk” marketplace went down which showcased local female entrepreneurs, business owners, and queen-ran services like nail design, tarot card readings, and henna artists. Art, fashion, jewelry, and beauty vendors were present alongside food and dessert vendors with sounds by Chulita Vinyl Club and Climaxxx. A seemingly wonderful way to end a weekend full of influential femininity.

Whether you attended one event or all of the events, the Women in Music Festival successfully empowered hundreds of women and intentionally brought awareness to the idea of sisterhood.

We needed this. Thank you ❤ ’til next year.

My First 3 Looks of Festival Season

Fashion

Festival season is here! Whether you are traveling across the country, staying local, or going “glamping”, there is one important thing on every fashionista’s mind—”What. Am. I. Going. To Wear?”

The obvious: comfy shoes—for long days running from stage to stage turned to nights of endless dancing. Layers—once the sun goes down, the temperatures will drop (cue bass drop) and you may need a sweater. And last, sun protection—a hat and sunscreen will protect your gorgeous made-up face and delicate skin.

For a multi-day festival, especially one that’s out-of-town, packing may become overwhelming. And while you’re trying not to forget your toothbrush, hair products, and makeup pieces, getting festie-ready might be harder than you expected.

I’ve got a few key-looks to inspire your weekend wardrobe for what could be the highlight of your summer.

Look 1: Festival Goddess

Bohemian-chic inspired styling with florals and ruffles. An outfit might include a wrap-around skirt, romper, and neutral colors decorated with turquoise jewelry, floppy hats, and booties.

This is a timeless look you will see at every music festival. From Coachella to Lollapalooza, the Festival Goddess lives on. She is part moonchild and part wanderer, with a dash of modern to balance out her vintage look.

Here’s what I’m wearing:

Boho Playsuit – $16.99 via Amazon.com 

Billabong Levi Vegan Suede Booties – $74.95 via SwimOutlet.com 

Floppy Hat – $23.49 via Target 

Rose Quartz Aphrodite Necklace – $21.95 via YogaOutlet.com

 

Look 2: Rave Bae

Ready to sit atop a pair of muscular shoulders in true rave fashion, this look is beautifully bright, sometimes neon, sometimes glow-in-the-dark, and quite practical. The Rave Bae lives at EDC, but she often ventures out to mix things up at other, less-EDM heavy scenarios.

No need to get a new crop top—consider rocking one of your fav bikini tops! Pair with your go-to high-waist or cut-off shorts, a backpack for your things, and pro-tip: if you were thinking of a bodysuit, try a statement one-piece instead… it’s waterproof (and inevitably sweatproof) so you can drench yourself in all those good vibes. This is a PLUR-approved message.

Here’s what I’m wearing:

Mermaid Crop Top- $28.99 via SwimOutlet.com

An old pair of cut off shorts that I’ve had for years

Teva Sandals – $70 via SwimOutlet.com

CamelBak DayStar Backpack – $85 via CamelBak

Look 3: Chill Mode

Grand finale aside, cute, comfy-casual is your best bet for day 3.

Chill Mode Chick likes moisture wicking yoga pants, graphic tees and hoodies, slides and tennis shoes. Get creative in your chill mode. Wear those fun, funky prints, bust out your tie-dye, and mask your messy hair with a trendy dad-hat.

Day 3 is also the perfect opportunity to wear the merch you just bought. Whether it’s The Governor’s Ball or BottleRock, remember… you want to be comfortable enough to call this the sleep-on-the-ride-home outfit too.

Here’s what I’m wearing:

The best yoga pants to ever exist (Beyond Yoga Spacedye High Waisted Leggings) – $97 via YogaOutlet.com 

Support local artists – buy a t-shirt or sweater and wear it!

Classic Chuck Taylor Converse – $54.99 on Zappos.com

“Lit” Dad Hat – $8.66 via Amazon.com