When influential Black women in the music business get together, everyone leaves feeling empowered.
On Tuesday (May 8), the Dear Black Girl podcast brought together some of the of best and brightest Black women in the music industry. Their purpose: to empower the sisterhood of Black women who are taking over media. From the queen Oprah Winfrey to the next generation, such as Ava Duvernay, Jada Pinkett Smith, Shonda Rhimes, and Lupita Nyong’0, there is definitely a new wave of melanin-inspired success stories for young Black girls to follow.
The Dear Black Girl podcast brought millennials of color together to give insight into the success stories of women on the pulse of Hip-Hop and urban culture.
On this year’s panel:
- CHANEL AUGUSTE: International Marketing Manager, Epic Records
- BRITTANY LEWIS: Interim Curator of Spotify’s Rap Caviar (brand marketing and the brand’s live concert series)
- SAVANNAH BRITT: Owner of GP & Britt Public Relations (who’s worked with Fat Joe, DJ Khaled, Ryan Leslie, 2 Chainz, Lil Yachty, Dave East, Kevin Gates)
- CRYSTAL CAINES: Producer for ASAP Ferg, Nick Jonas, MIA, Bone Thugs N Harmony etc.
Hosted by Unique, the We Major: Black Millennial Women and Music Panel highlights the experience of millennial Black women who have forged their own paths within various fields of the music industry (radio, record label, media, streaming services, etc.). The discussion is set to explore the many paths and challenges guest panelists have faced and triumphed over during their journey along the way, giving attendees an exclusive look into their lives and careers. Among the many topics that were brought up that evening was a highlight of what it’s like navigating the playing field as a woman. The process was broken down into four sections: the concept of taking your own destiny into your hands, the bigger concept of building a name and legacy for your family to follow, recognizing social media isn’t real — it’s just a tool to build your brand — and finally surrounding yourself and being mentored by those who can open doors for you and prepare you for the work once you get there.
Here’s one of the jewels dropped by Chanel Auguste, based on her personal experience and opinion:
“My advice to any young women trying to get into the music industry is to seek out internships in their field of interests, reach out to people for informational interviews and also find mentors whether male or female that can provide them guidance in their career and journey. In regards to younger women, you are seeking to have their voices heard in meetings or in decision making experience, it’s also important to establish mentor like figures in the workspace that can provide guidance and support. Surround yourself with like-minded individuals, while also building new relationships with people you may not see yourself ‘clicking’ with. These experiences can help to broaden your viewpoints and build your confidence as you grow.”
At the end of the panel, even DJ Enuff gave some insight into the power of the young Black leaders on stage. From the audience, he spoke on the positive effect the panel has on social media. When they are present and showing their journey, it provides the delicate balance that impressionable Black girls need to see. It’s not always the Instagram models turning up; it’s women with a plan and a mission succeeding and being great. As their torch burns brighter, it becomes a guiding light for future ebony CEOs and those who aspire to the corporate side of the music business.
Savannah Britt summed it up simply as this:
“I’m unafraid to be myself. That’s what pushes me forward. I’m not consumed by social media and many of the falsehoods it projects. My Instagram feed is just a glimpse of my life. My life can’t be summed up by an instant post. My vision far supersedes my social media.”
The women on this panel then in-turn took the opportunity to really answer audience answer questions. There was never a moment where it felt as part of a lackluster or typical Q&A session. The women moved out into the crowd spending precious minutes with those aspiring to be them or be where they are in life. From providing insight and instilling strength, to just being all-around approachable, there was never a moment when anyone was just putting on.
The atmosphere at the close of the event seemed as if the women in attendance left with nuggets of wisdom needed to make their own mark on the industry some day.