You’re in the process of launching a Gritty In Pink marketplace to help women in the industry gain more opportunities and pay equity, when can we expect it to launch? How long has this marketplace been in the making for you and your team?
"Gritty In Pink began as a concert series, but it was always a bigger vision to start a revolution to achieve gender equality in the music industry. The idea for the marketplace came when we realized the best thing we could do for females in the entertainment business is to get them gigs and get them paid. Right now we are getting ready to beta launch, and planning to fully launch in 2022! It has been about 6 months in the making, and honestly it’s coming along faster than I expected."
When did you start your music journey? What was the moment for you, that you knew this is what you wanted to do as a career?
"I started as a dancer when I was 3 years old, and always loved the stage, continuing in dance competitions and doing musical theater. When I was very young, I went to my first concert, Debbie Gibson, and as she came up from the ground on a grand piano and the crowd went wild, I fell in love with the energy of live performance. I thought, I want to do THAT! That was the beginning of the dream, but when I studied abroad in London and recorded my first songs, then it became an actual reality of a dream."
Your cover pays homage to Britney Spears’s iconic Rolling Stone cover, she’s recently been in the press for her conservatorship battle, what are your thoughts on that?
"FREE BRITNEY! And all women in the music industry… Honestly, I think it brings up a lot of issues with how young girls are treated in the business, over-sexualized, commodified, used, and torn down. This is STILL happening to teenage starlets as we speak. The images that are packaged around these girls, often with male-dominated teams at the record labels, also affects all the little girls looking up to them. Also just from a human rights perspective, no one should be making birth control decisions for another."
You used to work in the beverage industry, how was it transitioning from that to music? "Well I actually started in music, then began doing beverage stuff on the side “til my band blows up”... the industry treated me well, and was a blast to work in, being able to throw events, concerts, and music festivals. I learned so much from branding and team building to understanding brand/artist partnerships. Every time I tried to leave the industry, I got an offer I couldn't refuse. It feels so good to finally be working full time on my passion for music, and building my own business. I didn’t want to always be building someone else’s dream."
Who are your biggest musical inspirations?
"Joan Jett had been such an inspiration both musically, and actually in person since we toured together on Warped Tour (was so honored to have her make a guest appearance on the Shiragirl Stage). Kathleen Hanna, Bikini Kill and the whole Riot Grrrl Revolution and culture. Madonna, Pink and Gwen Stefani all influenced my pop and rock sides. On the punk rock side, I’ve been very influenced by Rancid (blessed to have Tim Armstrong produce 2 EPs for us) and Sublime (huge fan since high school, and exposed me to new genres including ska, reggae and surf.) I’m also influenced by hip-hop such as Tribe Called Quest, Salt-N-Pepa and Lauryn Hill."
Do you have a dream artist you would like Shiragirl to work with in the future?
"If I could only pick one, it would have to be P!nk! She is so talented, real and outspoken."
Looking back, what advice would you give yourself when you first entered the music industry?
"This is such a hard question, because I still don't have all the answers!. I probably would've said to go with the flow more and not question things too much, and to be sure to cherish and nourish all industry relationships, especially any influential heavy hitters that support you at the start of your career. Most importantly, believe in yourself!"
When you're in the studio with your band, how do you guys approach a song? Artist’s have different ways they create a song, what is the first thing you work on? Chorus? Bridge? Melodies?
"Every song is different. Antisocial Media started with a title, and our bassist sent the guitar riff! It’s usually either a lyric or a Chorus riff/melody. Sometimes Rainey would send me videos singing rhythmically to beats made by our producer, and I would write lyrics. These days a lot is done virtually, over text message even!"
Your new single “Antisocial Media'' is releasing on September 3. Can you tell us about your inspiration behind it? What was it like working with Jayelle Gerber and Drew Louis?
"The inspo for the song came from a text message I sent to my band, about how social media is basically rotting our brains. Alex came back with a riff idea and the band jammed on it, later we brought in Jayelle and Drew to cowrite and produce the track. I loved working with them for the first time, and the collaborative nature of the team."
You worked with Heather Ballish for the music video for Antisocial Media, how important was it for you to work with a female director?
"It was amazing working with Heather Ballish and her team. We set out to have a female Director and crushed it, with an all female crew! We worked hard to make sure that the video communicated the message we are trying to relay about social media culture and mental health."
Favorite TV Show?
"My favorite most recent show would be Younger. Now that it’s done I’m taking suggestions, although right now Girls5Eva is pretty funny! Back in the day I loved Desperate Housewives, and actually got to visit the set and hang with Eva Longoria."
If you had to pick one album to be the “soundtrack of your life” what would it be and why?
"Probably M!ssundaztood by P!nk! So many classics… Don't Let Me Get Me, Get the Party Started, Family Portrait, Just Like a Pill… but there were also powerful B sides, like Lonely Girl with Linda Perry. You can just tell she’s coming out of her shell in a very honest way, and showing different sides from confidence to vulnerability."
Your favorite quote?
"If it’s not fun, it’s not worth doing!Remember when you wanted what you have now?"
What’s your ideal day?
"Wake up, hike, hit the beach with friends, good food, good weed, ending with a huge poolside fire pit jam session! Also, getting nominated for a Grammy on said day."
Where do you see yourself in five years?
"Running a multi-million dollar business, touring Japan, involved in philanthropy, and maybe starting a family!"