2023: Year of The Woman Music Maker
Defining songs/artists, new releases, and more...
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In This Issue
Defining Songs & Artists
Sponsor a Music Maker
Poll (gotta love polls)
** Orange text is linked**
feature photo of Ella Beyer, credit Claire Parker
Year of the Woman indeed. Taylor Swift was TIME Magazine’s Person of the Year and achieved billionaire status after her record breaking (and Ticket Master breaking) Eras Tour. Beyoncé delivered to The Hive with her silver-shimmery Renaissance Tour generating $579MM with 56 dates in 39 cities. SZA received nine nominations for the 2024 GRAMMYs; in Record, Song, and Album of the Year categories, Jon Batiste is the only male artist to appear (historically, nine men are nominated for everyone woman nominated). And Miley Cyrus’ “Flowers” was the most-streamed track on Spotify, clocking in at over 1.6 billion streams and breaking many records on the way.
On a much smaller scale, Herizon Music migrated all content to Substack, and hot damn it paid off! Since September 2023, we’ve seen record-breaking growth:
Newsletter: 25% increase in subscribers and 900% increase in article views in Q4
Podcast: 350% increase in downloads compared to same time frame in 2022
It takes a LOT of time and resources to manage the newsletter and podcast. If you like what you’re reading, help keep it alive and growing by upgrading to a paid subscription. I greatly appreciate the support. 🙏🏻
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Defining Songs of 2023
These lists are limited to the songs/artists that defined 2023 for me, not necessarily society. Yet, they seem to reflect how people are coping with today’s societal pressures. You be the judge.
“Flowers” by Miley Cyrus, Michael Pollack and Gregory "Aldae" Hein. The message of finding joy from within instead of depending on others resonated. Especially during these divisive times.
“Anti-Hero” by Taylor Swift and Jack Antonoff. This song resonates as a swing in the opposite direction of “Flowers.” This is an anxiety-filled look at self-loathing and what happens when everyone’s judgment and expectations consume your sense of self-worth. The anti-hero is valued by the “stuff” she provides that others benefit from. No “stuff” left to give? Poof! You’re the villain. Food for thought.
“Lucky” by Elle King, Ella Langley, Matt McKinney, and Bobby Hamrick. For all the mistakes and all the bad decisions, somewhere I did something right or just got damn lucky. For me, this song is all about gratitude for how all those “failures” can lead to unexpected rewards.
Honorable Mentions: “Mississippi Goddamn” by Nina Simone. “Strange Things Happening Every Day” by Sister Rosetta Tharpe. These songs were in heavy rotation while researching my upcoming book First Ladies of Music: A Rockin’ Activity & Coloring Book.
Share your top 2023 songs and female/female-fronted acts with other fans in the comments!
Defining Artists of 2023
The Tedeschi Trucks Band. Susan Tedeschi is a favorite and mind-blowing blues guitarist and singer. I’ve seen a good dozen TTB shows this year with notta one disappointing. Not only can she hold her own when dueling with husband Derek Trucks (arguably the best electric guitarist alive), her soulful vocals will take you glory bound. “I Am The Moon” is a love song written by Gabe Dixon that’s worthy of Daenerys Targaryen.
Jennifer Westwood & The Handsome Devils. Jennifer delivers Holy Roller rock and roll that takes me straight to church. Jennifer and her guitar-pickin’ husband, Dylan Dunbar, deliver solid acoustic and electric sets (with all the Devils) that always bring me to tears. Dylan is recovering from surgery, and then they’ll be back on the road. “Sinner Part Time” says it all about this Detroit-based band.
The Tiarras. I’ve been hot on this Latina, sister power trio since they played for the Herizon Music Blue Christmas concert in 2022. Tiffany (bass), Sophia (drums), and Tori (guitar) Baltierra’s bilingual jams of unity and empowerment take root from reggae and Tejano music with a heavy dose of rock and roll guitar solos and riffs. Start with “Soy Chingona” and feel the groove.
“Oxygen” (pop) by Ella Beyer, California
“Manifest” (pop) by Chloé Caroline, California
“Holding On” (rock) by Lone Tree, Kenya
Sponsor A Music Maker
In 2024, the new Herizon Music Makers newsletter launches and YOU can gift a 12-month subscription to a deserving female music maker. For just $72, you can provide a woman direct access to professional and personal development resources that promote a merit-based music industry career.
The Music Industry Research Association found that musicians’ median income is $21,500, which includes income not music related. When you consider that women make 87 cents to each dollar that a man makes, it’s hard to invest in career development and still eat.
You can make a difference! Donate $72 today and you’ll soon receive the name of your sponsored music maker who works on stage, on air, or behind the scenes. You’ll also receive quarterly updates on what she’s learning to achieve merit-based success in the industry. Sponsor as many women as you like!
I’m on the start up team of TelePresent Media, which is developing a VR live music experience that’s the closest thing to a club show that you’ll get without leaving the house. So I have a quick question for you:
Swifties v Deadheads: A clash of subcultures or an unexpected alliance?
Michele Darling: Women, technology, and music’s future
Hip-Hop’s 50th Anniversary: Recap from GRAMMY.com
You made it all the way down to the end! Thanks for joining our band of dreamers, rule breakers, and rockstars. 🤘🏻 ❤️🧡💛
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