Progression: A podcast by Jane Shin is now live

I'm excited to share my new podcast today: Progression. It's a show centered on mental health, personal development and spirituality through conversations I'll have with artists and through my own reflections as a woman working in the music industry.

Listen to the first introduction episode and learn about how this project all came together at progression.fm/intro.

If you heard something that resonates with you, send a link to someone who’d be interested in tuning in.

Your continuous support means a lot to me, so thanks for being part of this journey with me.

Wrapping up 2018

Happy Winter Solstice. Today marks the first day of winter and the shortest day of the year. The end of 2018 is officially near.

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A lot of major transitions and shifts took place for me in 2018. It’s been a painstaking yet beautiful process, but I’ve gained a wealth of emotional and spiritual growth on a level I haven’t felt before. I’m grateful for all that’s transpired this year that has led me to this point in my life.

In 2019, I look forward to finding more courage to share my voice and my story, to continue elevating and supporting artists I believe in, to continue writing and producing to my heart’s content (no pun intended), and to continue shedding old narratives to make room for new ones to honor who I am today and who I’m becoming.

In the meantime, here’s what I’m reminiscing about and celebrating in 2018.

Favorite milestones of 2018

U.S. destinations I hit outside of LA in 2018: Kauai, D.C., NYC, Philadelphia and Seattle

U.S. destinations I hit outside of LA in 2018: Kauai, D.C., NYC, Philadelphia and Seattle

Destinations I hit abroad in 2018: South Korea and Japan

Destinations I hit abroad in 2018: South Korea and Japan

  • Making my spirituality a bigger focus this year

    • I’ve been processing a lot, and my spirituality is one of the most important things I’ve reconnected with and regained this year. I will expand on this more in 2019.

  • Launching janeshin.co, my website and blog in January

    • It took a lot of courage and hard work to finally launch my website in January. It was an emotional process revisiting my past work and past lives, but it reminded me I’ve come a long way. In case you missed it, I wrote about the process of launching my website.

  • Embarking on my first mother-daughter trip to Japan and Korea in March and April

    • It was special because I learned more about my mom on this particular trip. It was both our first time in Tokyo, and it was my third time visiting the Motherland, Korea. My mom continues to amaze me as the strongest person I know. She’s the only person in her family to have immigrated to the U.S., so I’m always in awe of her courage and independence. I already knew she was a musichead, but it was cool to learn just how much of a musichead she was e.g. she loved falling asleep listening to music, and she’d play American pop songs for her younger sisters so they’d pick up English. I’ve been piecing together the ways in which I’ve found myself on this journey in music, and in learning more about my mom, so much makes sense. Her ears of gold and her love for music have made their way through to me.

  • Turning 30 in Kauai and learning to surf for the first time in June

    • I was excited to turn 30 this year and in no better, more magical place than Kauai with my best friends. I learned to surf for the first time too and hope to have another opportunity to surf again in 2019. 30 has treated me well so far, and I’m looking forward to seeing what the 30s have in store for me.

  • Organizing the first LA Women@Spotify event for International Women's Day in March

    • I’m honored I got to make this happen during my time at Spotify by bringing together women working in the worlds of music and film. My heart was full seeing different women connect and share their experiences navigating the challenges of working in male-dominated industries. Read the recap and tune into the full recording of the panel here.

  • Creating and hosting my first music showcase in LA with April + VISTA, Ivy Sole and Bathe in August

    • This was a great reminder of how much live shows are a vital form of expression for artists and another avenue to support and discover artists. It meant a lot for me to be able to create this with the help of Forecast Recordings because it sparked some great milestones–this night served as April + VISTA’s first headlining show in LA and they were subsequently broadcast on KCRW the day they left for the airport. It was also Bathe’s first LA show, but they hadn’t released any music out at that point. They released their lovely single “Sure Shot” in October and it’s received great reception. It was great to have Ivy Sole perform for new ears and especially for loyal LA fans who came out to sing back her words perfectly. Read the full recap of the showcase here.

Favorite music projects of 2018

A lot of great music was released this year, but I compiled the above projects as homage to the fact that I’ve listened to these EPs and albums the most consistently and repeatedly, from start to finish with no skips.

  • April + VISTA - You Are Here

    • April + VISTA’s EP You Are Here has been the perfect project to carry me through the ups and downs of 2018. It’s a project that imbues growth and the importance of pausing and breathing through these transitions. I’m excited as April and Matt continue to challenge the status quo and experiment with their sound.

  • Tierra Whack - Whack World

    • Tierra Whack has shaken up the music industry off the strength of this unique project alone. While I eagerly await more gems from Tierra, I’m grateful I had the chance to end my last Spotify video shoot in Philly with her and her team.

  • Rico Nasty - Nasty

    • Rico Nasty is one of my favorite artists I discovered this year. She’s refreshing and her brazen raps reminds me to give no fucks about what anyone thinks about me and what I do.

  • Yuno - Moodie

    • I feel carefree, present, and positive when I listen to Yuno so Moodie is a good reminder to enjoy the ride and feel my feelings. His music has always made me feel this way since I first found him on SoundCloud back in 2012. Things came full circle, and we finally got a chance to meet in-person in September when he came to play his first LA show.

  • Mac Miller - Swimming

    • Mac Miller’s Swimming has had me crying too many times to count. I can admit, I never grew up listening to Mac Miller, but this album was so beautiful. Rest in Peace to a truly talented soul who seems to have touched the lives of all those who crossed paths with him.

  • Key! and Kenny Beats - 777

    • 777 is a catchy, solid tape and feels like a major contributor to Kenny’s rise as one of the top producers of 2018. The two have orchestrated a project that’s perfect for any occasion, cruising or kicking back with friends.

  • Beach House - 7

    • What else can I say about Beach House other than the fact that this is their seventh studio album? I’ve been listening to this legendary band since high school, and they always take me back to places and feelings I can’t describe.

  • J.I.D - DiCaprio 2

    • J.I.D has easily become one of my favorite rappers this year. His bars are impeccably catchy, and after listening to DiCaprio 2 through and through, I can’t wait to catch him live.

  • Black Panther: The Album

    • Black Panther: The Album elevates director Ryan Coogler’s iconic masterpiece of Black Panther that went on to become the highest grossing film of 2018. The fact that Kendrick Lamar is the co-producer already makes this a monumental compilation too.

  • 21 Savage - i am > i was

    • I had to edit this post to add 21 Savage’s latest album that was released today on 12/21. I got a chance to listen in the car driving around this evening, and it’s excellent from start to finish and will be a repeat listen for sure. I can’t wait to get back in the car to bump this.

Much love and blessings as you wrap up your 2018,
Jane

So long, Spotify: Reflections on creating content and speaking my truth

And that’s a wrap. Today is my last day at Spotify. Since February 2017, I was a writer on the Originals Team that brought original audio and video content to Spotify for the first time. I worked largely on video content for RapCaviar as I watched it grow from 5 million to over 10 million followers as the second largest playlist on the platform.

I came into the role armed with my writing chops, my early foundation in journalism, and my most recent artist relations experience I developed previously at SoundCloud.

Video production though was a new world, so I was excited to learn as much as I could. I’m grateful for how much I’ve learned and grown, even bridging over to creative producing. I sharpened my skills in conceptualizing creative ideas, writing and pitching treatments, understanding the ins and outs of being on set, and interviewing artists.

Artist relations always went hand in hand with my role as a writer. Helping bring opportunities for artists and creators I believe in, especially emerging artists, producers, and women brings me joy. Big thanks to all those I’ve gotten to cross paths with, work with, and support throughout my time at Spotify. I’m proud of the work I’ve done and brought to the table. Some of my favorite memories include:

  • Covering the underground movement Denzel Curry started in Carol City that marked its place in Miami hip hop history and whose sound inspired a new generation of SoundCloud rappers

  • Bringing spirituality and hip hop together by inviting Imani, The Hood Healer, through to do Trippie Redd’s first spiritual reading and a special group reading for International Women’s Day dinner with City Girls, Kali Uchis, and Molly Brazy

  • Having 6LACK cook chicken wings for fans at his favorite American Deli in Atlanta

  • Telling the story of LVRN and their establishment as a creative, hardworking management company as they celebrated the opening of their new office and studio in Atlanta

  • Visiting legendary, solar-powered Tree Sound Studios in Atlanta, a special recording studio that reverberates positive energy and love because of the Tree Sound team and where artists like Outkast and Future have been recording in for years

  • Exploring the history of Go Go music in D.C. and its influence on GoldLink’s At What Cost

  • Bringing some of my favorite producers through to help tell their stories which contributed to the growth of the Visualize producer series and playlist: DJ Dahi, Take A Daytrip, Teddy Walton, ThankGod4Cody and Carter Lang

  • Organizing and hosting the first ever Women@Spotify LA panel and networking mixer event where I invited women filmmakers to share their experiences and advice in celebration of International Women’s Day

  • Concluding my final week and final video project on set in Philadelphia with Tierra Whack whose music and originality has inspired me to take greater leaps and to always be myself

I’m grateful for the challenges and learning experiences that remind me to always speak and stand in my truth. Perseverance and resilience continue to build my character and strength, and having integrity gives me the courage to move forward. Key takeaways and reminders:

  • Trust your gut, know yourself, and stand for what you believe in. I’ve shared this in previous takeaways, but it’s worth repeating.

  • Share your hard work and accomplishments to advocate for yourself, but don’t be so hard on yourself. I’ve been on a continuous journey of sharing my voice and consistently talking about the work I do. Sometimes I may want to lay low, and that’s okay. Don’t be hard on yourself if you don’t share every moment you’ve created and every contribution you’ve made. The work will ultimately speak for itself, but revel in things that you do want to celebrate and share with others.

  • Know who’s in your court, stick with them, and tell them you love them. I’m grateful for my supportive family and tight circle of friends who remind me that I am loved, supported, and seen. Congruent energy is key.

What’s next for me? I’ll be sharing more updates about my next moves soon in a few weeks. In the meantime, I’ll be decompressing and working on some projects I’m excited to build and grow.

You can get in touch with me by heading to the Contact page on my website or feel free to subscribe to my newsletter. If you’ve been following along with me on my journey in music since the early days, thank you for the continuous support. Here’s to new beginnings.

My first music showcase: April + VISTA, Ivy Sole, and Bathe

Last Thursday I hosted and curated my first music showcase at Forecast Recordings, a boutique recording studio in the Arts District of Downtown LA.

It was a lovely night of music with three talented East Coast-based acts: April + VISTA, Ivy Sole, and Bathe. It was also April + VISTA’s first headlining LA show and Bathe’s first show in LA.

Curating my own lineup has been on my music bucket list for some time. As an avid concert goer since high school and a lover of live music, I was excited to find myself full circle, curating and organizing my own music line-up. Thanks to my friend Hollis, a singer-songwriter who also moonlights at the director of the studio, I was able to cross that off the list.

There was great energy in the room, thanks to everyone who came out to support these talented, independent musicians. Bathe opened up their set, entrancing the audience with their psych-inspired R&B sounds. Ivy Sole got the crowd energized with her poetic tunes and dancing ensued. April + VISTA sealed the night with their electric, moving set and previewed new music from their upcoming EP You Are Here.

April + VISTA, Ivy Sole, and Bathe are all carving their own lanes and sounds while creating from authenticity, love, and vulnerability.

I was honored to have invited them all to personally to be part of this showcase not only because their music is incredible, but also because I’ve met them at various points in my life so far. To be able to reflect back together on how we met and how far we’ve come since then is a reminder for all of us to keep going.

April + VISTA

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April George and Matt Thompson make up the genre-bending duo April + VISTA from the DMV. April is a violinist, pianist, and vocalist. Matt is a bassist, producer, and engineer. Together, they create incredible soundscapes and stories through their music, influenced by everything from gospel and soul to futuristic, experimental sounds. Their music transports you to another place and lights you up.

I first heard of April when I heard her across GoldLink’s projects over the years. Her talent and voice blew me away and has played a significant role in the growth of his sound. I met her backstage at a 2016 GoldLink show at Social Hall in San Francisco. We stayed in touch through the Internet and our connection grew especially in the last year. Last year, I interviewed and wrote a profile on April for OkayPlayer.

A special highlight was that after their show on Thursday, their latest single “Own2” played on the KCRW airwaves, an hour before their flight back to DC on Saturday. Alignment in action is a beautiful thing.

Ivy Sole

Ivy Sole is a Charlotte, NC native who now resides in Philadelphia. She boasts an incredible amount of talent as a rapper, singer, and songwriter. Her writing is strong and poetic, heartfelt and healing.

I learned of Ivy when she appeared on the Fresh Finds playlist (shoutout to Athena Koumis) and we met for the first time last year as part of my 2017 Jane Shin Summer Tour across five cities–Miami, Atlanta, NYC, Stockholm, and London.

There’s always something to take away from her music and a lot of depth to it, whether it's a song about the rollercoaster-like feelings of being in love or about the fragility and simplicity of life. She has an upcoming project coming soon too, so stay glued to this one.

Bathe

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Bathe consists of Devin Hobdy and Corey Smith-West who create luscious, psych R&B. I first met Devin in 2015 back in my SoundCloud days. He was one of the coworkers I instantly connected with right away as we swapped music links back and forth.

I didn't officially hear his musical talents until last December when he shared the band's demo of “I’ll Miss You” on his Instagram Stories. I instantly loved what I heard, we kept in touch about things since the start of the year, and I invited them to come out to perform their music live for the first time in LA.

Through my experiences working in digital music for the past 10 years, I often think about how artists “break” on the Internet. In this case, it was cool to invite a new band like Bathe to perform despite the fact that they haven't shared any music publicly yet. I felt it was a treat for people to experience their music live for the first time as opposed to a SoundCloud link. They have music coming out this year though so stay tuned.

Takeaways from the night

  • Support emerging and independent artists. Sure, it's a saturated industry we're in, but it's an exciting time in music. There's a lot of incredible music out there, especially from new artists who are creating new sounds and taking risks on the daily. I’m thankful I’ve gotten a chance to work with emerging and independent artists over the course of my career, and I don’t intend to stop. 

  • “Build the community you want more of." Community is everything. The right people will come. Don't worry about chasing after people or things that don't reciprocate at your level. Be mindful of what you spend your time on and with whom. 

  • "You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards." I’ve always loved this quote from Steve Jobs, and I find myself thinking a lot about it in the context of heightened alignment I've been experiencing as of late. Not sure if this is a side effect of turning 30, but it feels good. I'm grateful for all the challenges and experiences that have led me to this point. Go after the things you want to do. If it sparks joy, keep doing it and follow your intuition.