By Jules Lavallee
Los Angeles, California (The Hollywood Times) 4/7/2021 – Laura B. Whitmore is the senior vice president of marketing for Positive Grid, a team of sound designers, programmers, engineers, researchers, and musicians working together at the forefront of music technology. As the founder of the Women’s International Music Network, she advocates for women in the music industry women in music. A singer/songwriter, Laura is currently co-writing an album of pop songs that empower and energize girls.
When did you discover your passion for music?
Oh, I was pretty young. I think I was entranced by my elementary school music teacher, Mrs. Price. She was so cool. All through school I sang and picked up the guitar at about 13. When it came time to go to college, my parents insisted I add the business element, so I got a B.S. in Music Merchandising. I’ve been in the music business ever since, and have continued to create, record, and perform my own music, too.
Tell us about your background in marketing, media, and PR in the music business.
My first job out of college was with CBS Records in NYC working in direct marketing. From there I went to Korg USA, the distributor of Korg keyboards, Marshall amps, and Vox amps, where I worked for 20 years. I was the marketing services manager and handled all kinds of marketing projects, was the editor of their magazine and got into graphic design, creativity, writing and so much more. I left and started my own agency in 2008, Mad Sun Marketing, and did those same tasks, plus PR, digital marketing, website design, and much more for many music industry companies including Guitar World, Peavey, Dean Markley, and Music & Arts. Somewhere along the way, I started writing for media outlets like In Tune, Guitar World, Parade, and others. In 2020 I took the role of VP of Marketing for Positive Grid, progressive, innovative music hardware, and software company that is the creator of the best-selling amp, Spark. It’s been quite a trip with new and exciting twists and turns that keep me on my toes!
You are the Founder of the Women’s International Music Network. What do you enjoy most?
I started the Women’s International Music Network in 2012 when I saw a need to bring women in the industry together. We didn’t know each other! Now I really enjoy spearheading conversations, events, and workshops that provide education, networking, and inspiration for women from all walks of the industry. We don’t know how much power we have when we put our efforts together. I also especially enjoy helping individuals and making connections that lead to opportunities for talented, hard-working women in the industry.
What are the benefits of joining the Women’s International Music Network?
Anyone can sign up for our free newsletter at thewimn.com and find out about all of the events, sessions, and giveaways we host. We also regularly share interviews with women in the industry, host a podcast and provide opportunities to perform and participate.
What song best identifies your strength as a woman singer and songwriter?
Wow, that’s a tough question. There’s a song I wrote a while back called “Have a Little Faith” that I just love. It’s one of those flashes of lightning songs that wrote itself.
There are also a ton of songs on Girl the album that I really identify with, but I can’t share that quite yet (out soon!). If you are talking about a song that inspires me – one that I didn’t write – I’d have to say maybe Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive.” Great song plus makes me think whatever I need to go through, it will work out in the end!
You are an Advocate for women in the music industry. Tell us about the She Rocks Awards.
The She Rocks Awards is our flagship event that is a focal point for conversations about diversity and the challenges that women face. It is an incredibly inspiring and exciting show that we host every year in January during the NAMM Show. Our goal is to shine a spotlight on female role models and provide an evening of amazing energy. The event includes awards, speeches, musical performances, and more, and we make a point of honoring both celebrities and behind-the-scenes heroes from all walks of the industry. It’s an amazing evening!
What is your advice for young women today who want their dreams of music to be realized?
There are a few things I’ve learned over the years that I try to share. First, show up. It’s amazing how many opportunities can come your way when you get out into the world and perform, meet people, offer to help, step up. But you have to get out there to make magic happen. The second that I also encourage is to network, network, network. But not with the idea of ‘What can this person do for me?’’; but with the opposite thought – what can I offer them? Or can we just explore who we are, what we need, and how we can help each other? I think sometimes young people don’t think they have anything to offer, but that is not true!
You are the Senior Vice President for the Positive Grid. Tell us about the Positive Grid and the latest technology.
Positive Grid is a cutting-edge musical instrument and software company that is very forward-thinking. It’s been so exciting to lead the marketing vision for the company! We have a runaway hit with our smart amp and app, Spark. Plus our award-winning BIAS software is used by hundreds of thousands of guitarists around the world. I think what makes Positive Grid special is that we are always thinking about how can we inspire players to want to play more, play longer, have fun, sound great. We combine pro-level features with easy, thoughtful interactions that are super inspiring – and addicting!
What projects are you currently working on?
I’ve been working on a new album of inspiring pop songs for girls with my co-writer, Jenna Paone, and it will be released this year! Girl, the album has so many fantastic female performers on it and I’m so excited to share it with the world. Of course, we’re working on the next She Rocks Awards for January 2022, and this marks our 10th Anniversary, which is mind-blowing! And then, at Positive Grid we have some new surprises in store for this year, so lots to do as we grow exponentially. It’s a very exciting, positive time.
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