Sheroes — Let Your Music be Your Story

Photo by John Hancock
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As seen in Guitar Girl Magazine Issue 15 – Spring 2021 – Electrified!

When I was a little girl, the first albums I got were The Go-Go’s “Beauty and the Beat” and “Vacation.” I loved the Go-Go’s. Their lyrics were catchy, and the cadence of the music kept me dancing around in my room for hours as I played their songs over and over.

“Vacation” was my favorite song when I was growing up. When I was a junior in high school, we had a hypnotist come to our school for a fundraiser, and I was one of the students who got hypnotized. With zero inhibitions, I sang some of the “Vacation” lyrics for the entire student body, which in hindsight was a disaster vocally. But the point is, when the moment came in my life to select a song to sing while in the state of hypnosis, my go-to song out of all the songs in the world was one written and performed by some of my sheroes, The Go-Go’s.

That’s how impactful their music was in my life. I was even a competitive water-skier for a few years during college, and while that was strongly influenced by my family’s Colorado River vacations, I can’t help but connect the dots to The Go-Go’s “Vacation” album cover that sat perched on my shelf during my formative years.

Looking back over my life, it has always been female-led performances that have most captivated my attention. In addition to the fabulous-five female rockers noted above, I was inspired by Pat Benatar and the Wilson sisters of Heart. I wanted to be like them. They seemed fierce and passionate, and I wanted to be that, too. Then, a few years later, when I was introduced to country music, Wynonna Judd was added to my list of rad women crafting music, singing passionately, and dominating the stage.

As time evolved, when more and more female-led groups emerged and solo performers were elevated, I’d add more sheroes to my catalog of inspiring women doing what I dreamed of doing. Through them, I saw, heard, and experienced these women’s joyful freedom—something that helped inspire me to know that I, too, could make my dream come true. I just needed to start doing it. And to be transparently honest, for many years, it felt way too far out of reach for me. I was scared. I didn’t believe. But that still small voice within me would say, “you can do it”—a voice echoing through the ages, born from my female ancestors. It rose up, full of encouragement to simply step up and start.

Through experiencing the artistry of so many sensational sheroes, it’s been their example, their work, their results, their grit, and their inclusivity that inspired me to believe I could lead my own artistry onto the stage of my life. Perhaps this is true for you as well. Our sheroes who came before us blazed the way for us to have careers as artists, musicians, engineers, producers, publishers, and label owners. I loved watching the 2021 She Rocks Awards because so many of the sheroes mentioned in this article were honored for their artistry and leadership in this industry—rightfully so.

Countless women have blazed pathways for all of us in the music industry. My personal sheroes have helped me feel brave within my own being to trust that the seeds of a desire planted in an imaginative little girl would and could be cultivated over time—helping me to have the courage to emerge from deep within myself to bloom into the artistry of my own life story.

This is what so many women are doing! This is what you are doing right now through your artistry. And guess what? Young girls and your own peers are watching as you rise up in your artistry, and they are being inspired by you. Yes, you! Keep going, keep creating, keep dreaming, keep expanding, and keep experiencing your own dream-blooming moments.

One thing I have come to really understand and respect about so many of the sheroes I admire most is that they all let their music lead. Their music is their story. They didn’t waste time talking about what they were going to do. No, they just did it and kept doing it. They wrote, practiced, performed, and keep reinventing themselves. And they keep doing it! They were, and they are music—and we know their stories because we know their music. Our sheroes showed us the way by doing it and by being it.

While the dial continues to move closer to the center of balance in the industry, I believe the way we continue to inspire other women and young girls to enter it is to show them it is possible. We do that by doing it and being it like our sheroes did and do. You are a shero to many, and you probably don’t even know it.

Keep doing what you’re doing! We need your talent, your music, your presence, and your artistry. Let your results be your resume. Let your music be your story.

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