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