Flora Edwards once said, “In helping others, we shall help ourselves, for whatever good we give out completes the circle and comes back to us.” This South-African born Industrialist got it right. She understood the basic principal of do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Any individual or people group that practices this on a regular basis will flourish. The Women’s Music Business Association (WMBA) of Nashville embraces this ideology of networking by supporting fellow women in the music industry.
The WMBA was started in 2001 by a group of women who found it encouraging to meet and support their Nashville endeavors. Groups like this are helpful when women are trying to succeed in a Nashville music scene dominated by men. If you look at the top record label presidents, producers, publishers, and even artists – you will notice a primarily male dominated industry. This is not to say women aren’t major players, but women are more difficult to find in this mentioned list as well as in the group of number one writers and on the top 40 charts. This being the case, women find groups like the WMBA reassuring and inspiring.
Their meetings on the second Tuesday of every month bring women together from all corners of the music business. Just last night there were song-pluggers, stylists, songwriters, artists, interns, video production assistants, record label admins, and more! This diverse mixture of individuals makes the group a major asset to any member. The meetings usually include social time before and after the scheduled proceedings. Once the meeting begins they hand it over to the guest speaker. Last night it was Jo Dee Messina and she had the place mesmerized.
Jo Dee made the point that the commonality for everyone in the room is that they all work with the artist. She was able to speak to the women from that perspective. Jo Dee has been signed as an artist since 1994. She has had 9 #1 singles and stays very connected to her fans. Music to her is the way she communicates. Creative people speak through their photography, art, music, or writing. She stressed that musicians are people with souls, feelings, and families – not just money making machines. Jo Dee encouraged the attendees of the meeting that if you focus on something that is where you will end up, if you believe it, it will happen.
Her words of encouragement and candid stories allowed the women to realize:
- There will be brick walls
- There will be successes
- There will be people that encourage you
- There will be people that use you
- But in the end remember why you started and keep making music
These simple truths should encourage anyone today that feels like they are on a path that is difficult with the goal far from being in site. Anything worth doing will not come easily and always requires sacrifice. Be sure to visit the websites for Jo Dee Messina and the WMBA to learn more about them and read recent news. Consider the words of Jo Dee’s hit Bring On The Rain, by Helen Darling and Billy Montana an encouragement for you today!
I’m not gonna let it get me down
I’m not gonna cry
And I’m not gonna lose any sleep tonight
Tomorrow’s another day
And I’m thirsty anyway
So bring on the rain