Reflections

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.

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.

Happy January

Happy 2018! How’s the top of year shaping up? Hope it’s going well.

I created a 2018 vision board for the first time which was a fun and refreshing creative exercise that didn’t involve staring at a screen. I went through my mom’s old Korean women’s magazines and issues of National Geographic. I divided my board into three sections–career, personal development and relationships; you can cover other areas of focus too. Visualizing goals can be a powerful way to stay focused and motivated.

I had a few hiccups at the start of the year though that had me realizing how powerful my intuition is. Sometimes we lose balance or lose our footing. And that’s okay. What’s important is getting back on track and learning to move forward. Toni Romiti said it well in her photo caption on Instagram the other week–L’s are not losses, but lessons. I’m on that tip 100% too. Sometimes we don’t receive the information right away to proceed, but when it clicks, it clicks.

Here are a few resources I either have revisited or recently have been recommended to remind me to be in the present and keep things moving forward:

  • The Untethered Soul— Shoutout to the my wonderful friend, singer, songwriter and producer Tiffany Gouché for introducing this book more than a year ago now. I find myself re-flipping through its pages. This is a great read on reaching inner peace by letting go.
  • For Today & Tomorrow — Daily Encouragement— Shoutout to singer Joyce Wrice for recommending me this book written by Daisaku Ikeda, a Buddhist philosopher of the Soka Gakkai Buddhist movement founded by 13th century Japanese monk Nichiren Daishonin. Soka Gakkai translates to “Society for the Creation of Value.”
  • Notes from the Universe — I heard of this great daily email through my great friend Natalie James and Bruna of The Problem with Dating (a great blog on dating and relationships) whom I met through the amazing Dimplez. So far these notes always seem to arrive at the right time.

Other fun things that have happened so far this month:

 

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  • I attended artist Corey Wash’s first solo exhibit in LA called POCKETS. Corey communicates different narratives through her art and through the genderless character Willoughby. She brings to the forefront affirmations, conflicts and questions that surround black lives, feminism and politics. The exhibit is open for viewing at 0.0 Gallery in Chinatown until the 26th. Read and see more here.

 

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  • I attended Sylvan Lacue’s Apologies in Advance album listening session for fans in LA that also included a great on-stage interview by my friend, photographer and writer Emily Berkey. Apologies in Advance is beautiful storytelling, and Sylvan’s work is honest and vulnerable. I wrote about Sylvan in my “Lyrics as Life Reminders” past letter.

 

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  • I met up with artist Kari Faux on her recent visit to LA. I’ve written about Kari in a past letter, so it was a treat to sit down and enjoy tea with her. We talked about our moves in 2018, being sensitive and how much Geminis get hated on. She’s putting on for her hometown of Little Rock, AR and is working on some exciting things this year. Don’t sleep. In the meantime, peep her newest mix, VIOLET WATERS: 001.

 

  • The first video we shot for RapCaviar this year was with Maryland rapper IDK. I first got familiar with IDK through Isaiah Rashad when he joined him on The Lil Sunny Tour. IDK is massively talented, his freestyles are incomparable, and I find it interesting that he debuted his album IWASVERYBAD through Adult Swim. He’s been dropping freestyles on SoundCloud through his “HELLO” freestyle series. Stay tuned for his videos on RapCaviar these next few weeks and catch him live with Denzel Curry and A$AP Ferg on tour, starting February 28.

Music on rotation–waves of nostalgia edition:

  • Elliott Smith — RIP to a legend. I’ve been revisiting his entire discography, and it’s inspiring me to pick up the acoustic guitar again.
  • Jay Electronica — Listening to Jon Brion after watching Punch-Drunk Love for the first time a few weeks ago reminded me of Jay Electronica’s 2007 mixtape, Act I: Eternal Sunshine (The Pledge) which I’ll never tire of. Here’s hoping a new project is on the horizon this year since he’s playing a couple of live shows this year, including at The Observatory in February. Who wants to go with me?
  • Evenings — Yore (2013) — This album reminds me of the early days of SoundCloud. It’s a solid project, perfect for contemplation, relaxation and maybe even some yoga.

As always, thanks for reading and supporting. Drop me a note to say hi.

Much love,
Jane

Highlights and Learnings of 2017

Originally published on December 6, 2017 at tinyletter.com/janewave.

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Shangri-La, Rick Rubin’s studio and fortress in Malibu. A top 2017/life moment.

Happy December! The last update I shared was a recap of my summer travels across five cities.

As 2017 comes to a close, I’m taking time to reflect on all that’s transpired this year. I have a lot on my mind–I carry a lot of weight, but I also carry a lot of light at the same time. As my therapist told me, I’ve “stepped into my light” this year. I’ve learned a lot about myself and proud of how far I’ve come. I’m grateful for the highs and lows and the challenges and opportunities that have led me to where I am today. I’ve been writing my goals, intentions and manifestations for the new year. I’m excited for what 2018 will bring.

How are you feeling about 2017? What are you looking forward to in 2018?

I’d love to hear about your highlights and horizons. Here are my highlights of 2017, some of which I’ve shared to some extent in past letters at tinyletter.com/janewave/archive.

My 2017 highlights:

  • I landed a job at Spotify in February as the lead writer for RapCaviar video content. I’ve written and produced over 150 pieces of video content for artists from 6LACK to YG. Videos launched on the playlist in March, and new videos get released every Friday. You can revisit some past videos here. A quick shout for two highlights:
  • GoldLink met up with Go Go band New Impressionz in D.C. to rehearse before their hometown show at the Fillmore. They talked about the history and culture of Go Go music that is home to D.C. I’m proud of this video for various reasons: GoldLink is an artist I’ve supported since 2014 and his rise has been exciting to be a part of over the years. I visited D.C. for the first time, interviewed him on set and got to help produce this piece, in addition to writing up the concept with his team. Watch here.
  • I’ve pitched six producers (ThankGod4Cody, Carter Lang, Teddy Walton, DJ Dahi and Ike Beatz and Don Cannon) for the “Visualize” producer series that led to it being spun into its own playlist. Watch Memphis-bred breakout producer Teddy Walton share how he produced Kendrick Lamar’s hit song, “LOVE.” Teddy is one of the most down-to-earth people I’ve met in music, and he’s next to watch. In addition to producing “LOVE.,” he produced GoldLink’s Grammy nominated, Platinum hit song “Crew” and more. His new project Mental Health will be dropping soon.
  • I wrote two features on two incredible artists I respect and admire–Little Simz for Mass Appeal and April George for OkayPlayer.
  • I contributed artist development strategy articles for Stem’s blog, a flourishing music tech company that helps artists get paid easier:
    Insider Tips for Setting Your Release Up for Success, Pursuing Music as a Full-Time Job with Khary and The Art of Engaging Your Fans
  • I interviewed Park Ave. for my producer series, “Produced By.” Park is known for having produced “Park,” one of my favorite songs from Isaiah Rashad.
  • I was an honored participant in the “Women Behind the Scenes” panel at the inaugural Women in Music, Bay Area conference and festival, created by Evangeline Elder and DJ Red Corvette (Carmena Victoria). I previously shared takeaways from this amazing weekend.
  • My favorite live performances this year were Daniel Caesar, Kendrick Lamar, Solange, Missy Elliott and Sampha.
  • I met Rick Rubin and visited his magical Shangri-La Studios to listen to music on $20k speakers. It was a dream. He’s just as cool, calm and composed as you’d imagine him to be too.
  • moved into my first LA apartment and am living alone for the first time. I am grateful for this much needed amount of space and solitude at this time.
  • I traveled a lot this year. I visited four new cities for the first time–Stockholm, D.C., Miami and Dallas. I revisited Atlanta, Chicago, London, NYC, Oakland and San Francisco.

My 2017 learnings (addendum):

  • It’s okay to say no and to take as much space and time as you need for yourself. I’ve learned a lot about the value of my time and the value of understanding and honoring my boundaries.
  • Raising our voices as women is incredibly important. Our stories matter, our voices matter, and we must make space and remind women that they belong, even in spaces that are heavily male-dominated. I’m proud to be a woman and proud of the strong, courageous women around me.
  • Gratitude is the key. When frustration hits, gratitude helps keep me grounded and remind me not to sweat the little things. Gratitude reminds me to be in the present moment.

My favorite 50 songs of 2017:

I compiled my favorite 50 songs from 2017 into a playlist. They’re not ranked in order, but I organized the tracks to create a listening journey from start to finish.

Spotify also released 2017wrapped.com where you can find out how much you listened and who your top artists and top 100 songs of the year were on Spotify.

However you’ve come across this newsletter, thank you for your support. I started this newsletter as an opportunity to share more of my voice by documenting my transition back to LA from the Bay when I moved back in September 2016. This newsletter has served as a place to share personal reflections, music recommendations and more. I’m chipping away at finding ways to continue to grow these efforts next year, so stay tuned. As always, thank you for your support and for being part of this journey with me.

I wish you happiness, warmth and lots of love as you close out your 2017 and get ready for 2018.

Happy holidays,
Jane