With Grammy week officially underway, the GRAMMY Music Education Coalition held an inspiring event on February 4th at the GRAMMY Museum in Downtown Los Angeles. The event, which showcased two panels of exceptional women in the music industry, was a celebration of music, collaboration and a little bit of Dolly Parton.
During the first panel, artist manager/partner at Friends at Work, Adina Friedman, discussed how she knew no one in the music industry when she first began her career. She worked in a record store in Michigan, but due to her sheer passion and drive, she managed to connect with a record label and land an internship. This led her to an official job with Atlantic Records. When she wasn’t working at Atlantic, Friedman was out doing what she loves most; spending time with musicians and helping them connect with other artists. Unofficially, she was managing talent, and she was good at it. Friedman eventually took a leap of faith and left Atlantic Records to pursue her blossoming career as a manager. She is now a partner at Friends at Work, a top-rated artist management company. Her advice: “We have to be guided by our intuition and passion for what we do, and be willing to take some risks.”
Tina Fasbender, President of Fasbender and Associates, went on to discuss the lack of female mentors in a male-dominated music industry and how she had to pave her own path to becoming a financial planner for artists. She began working as a special-ed teacher, but found an interest in business, setting an unprecedented focus on helping her clients manage their finances.
The next panel consisted of groundbreaking women working on the creation side of the industry. Linda Perry, nominated for “Producer of The Year” (Non-Classical) at this year’s GRAMMY Awards, is the first woman in 14 years to be nominated in that category. She was joined by five other women that her company, We Are Hear, represents. Linda is a firm believer that good music comes from heart and soul. Right now, there is too much “cutting and pasting” in the creation of music. Because young people want music frequently, there is a high demand for cranking singles out without much thought or care. Linda, and the rest of the women from We Are Hear, explained how iconic music that holds its value through the test of time takes time, care and soul. Angel Haze, one of Linda’s artists, closed her discussion by saying that the thing she admires most about the women of We Are Hear is that, “they gain their dreams but keep their soul.”
Willa Amai, an up-and-coming 14-year-old artist, proves that you can pursue your dreams even at a young age. Also represented by We Are Hear, she recorded a cover of “Here You Come Again” with Dolly Parton, which was featured on the soundtrack of the movie Dumplin. After the panel, Amai graced us with three of her original songs on the piano and killed it. We could not believe she is only 14!
In addition to the kick off of GRAMMY week and the recognition of some of the amazing women in the music industry, this event also marked the opening of the GRAMMY museum’s exhibit, Diamond In A Rhinestone World: The Costumes Of Dolly Parton. Linda Perry and Dolly Parton have worked together many times in the past, so it is not a coincidence that Linda spoke for the opening of Dolly’s costume exhibit, nicknamed “Dolly Day.” Check out our pictures and videos from the event below:
The GRAMMY Music Education Coalition provided inspiring recognition of powerful women who are active in the music industry. The panelists showed that dreams fueled by passion can be made a reality as long as you have ambition, dedication and a love for what you do. And, there are a lot of great people out there willing to help you do it. You just have to go out there and ask.