Billboard Latin kicked off Women’s History Month with an industry mentorship dinner, hosted by Billboard’s Leila Cobo — courtesy of WhatsApp, as part of their new campaign, “Escúchanos. Míranos.” The intimate event, which took place in Los Angeles on March 2, brought together more than 50 emerging Latin female talents and established artists, including special guest Becky G.
In celebration of Women’s History Month, Billboard asked industry leads at the event to share their best career advice and which woman opened the doors for them. Below, read inspirational quotes from singer-songwriter Elena Rose, renowned artist Claudia Brant, newcomer Giulia Be and many more.
Best Advice: Be persistent, and just keep going at it. There are a lot of talented women but what sets you apart is your work ethic.
Women Who Opened the Doors: Delia Orjuela was my person at BMI. She signed me when I was 16 when I first got my start in music. She was the woman who opened the door for me as a writer and as an artist. She would invite me to events, she networked, and she sent emails, she was a big supporter of mine.
Best Advice: Believe in yourself and be focused on where you want to go. Don’t let your authenticity, morals, and values fall because of what someone else says. Work with patience and persistence, people will eventually discover that X factor you carry.
Women Who Opened the Doors: Following my own advice led Diana Rodriguez to see that I was a producer, composer, and multi-instrumentalist in 2016. She was the one who shared my work, and realized that not many women were doing what I was doing at the time.
Best Advice: When I came to the U.S. 24 years ago, I signed a contract with Peermusic, and the boss at the time was a very wise lady called Catalina Schindler who told me to never stop writing and to always collaborate. That’s what I’ve always done and it’s worked great for me.
Women Who Opened the Doors: I worked closely with Diane Warren, and she was one of the ones who pushed me and helped me a lot. There were other women who helped me out in my career and opened many doors, like Alexandra Lioutikoff, especially when I was in ASCAP and just getting started.
Best Advice: More than advice, it was an inspiration, when I worked with J.Lo and she walked in and she said, “I loved your song, I loved what you did, I loved your energy, keep doing what you’re doing, it’s working, be you.” It was very inspiring — and I don’t know if she did it to advise me, but it inspired me so much.
Women Who Opened the Doors: Becky was the first artist that I started writing for, and she’s basically family. My career definitely started through her in a way.
Best Advice: Don’t take anything personally. Women are very vulnerable to having uncomfortable situations, but not taking anything personally is one of the pieces of advice that has helped me a lot.
Women Who Opened the Doors: A lot of women. Delia Orjuela was one of the women who helped me a lot in this industry. Michelle Gas [of Amazon Music] has helped me a lot too. Alex Flores, Tere Romo, there are so many.
Best Advice: If I want to produce, go for it and don’t fit in any box. If there’s not a space for you, make space.
Women Who Opened The Doors: Ale Alberti. I’m her plus-one here.
Best Advice: Early on in my career, there’s this other Brazilian artist named Luísa Sonza, and I didn’t have that many followers, wasn’t really known — and she came to me and was so nice and lent me a hand. She gave me her number, and as we grow closer, she always told me that there was space for everyone. She said the beauty of it is when we’re holding hands and helping each other. It’s already hard enough for us out there.
Women Who Opened the Doors: My mom. We started as mother and daughter. She’s been my best friend for 18 years. She was my manager from 0-18, and then I had an actual manager — but then she put the manager’s pants on again because that [other situation] kind of didn’t work out for me. We developed this relationship of us being best friends and co-workers, and it’s hard to figure out — but she’s literally out there fighting for me, and being every day for me. She’s always opening doors for me.
Best Advice: There’s a lot, but Marissa Lopez once told me, “Be your own manager.” Manage your own s–t first, and then when you don’t have time to manage your own stuff, find a manager — but by then, you’ll know the ins and outs of your career. And you know what to ask for from your manager.
Women Who Opened the Doors: Many women. Claudia Brant is an amazing songwriter and she’s opened my world to become a better songwriter. She’s shared her knowledge and I thank her for that. When I found out I was going to be a mom, she was one of the first to come and support me. At that moment when one is going to be a mother and is a musician, you have a lot of doubts, and I felt very comforted by her and Delia Orjuela from BMI. They told me, “You can do this.” You can be a mother, have a family, and be in the music business.