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Celebrating International Women's Day with 8 Inspiring Ladies of Kobalt

Today, women are blazing new trails in music every day, making their mark on an historically male-dominated industry. In celebration of International Women’s Day, we’re honoring some of the amazing women at Kobalt and AWAL — all of whom have contributed so much not only to our company but also to the music industry at large.

Here are their words of wisdom on what it’s like to be a woman in music and their best advice for the future  generation.

Sas Metcalfe

Chief Creative Officer

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What does being a woman in music today mean to you?

I am proud to be a woman in the music business and most proud to work with so many other women at Kobalt who provide a level of balance that is refreshing to a lot of artists/songwriters.

Any words of encouragement for young women today just entering the industry?

Do great work, and don’t look at gender as barrier to entering the industry. Go for it, believe in yourself, and trust your instincts. Be a team player — there is room everyone.


Chelsea Johnson

Manager, Digital Licensing

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What does being a woman in music today mean to you?

In today’s music industry being a woman, especially a woman of color, means going above and beyond. It means having to make your voice heard in a room where you are the only woman. While I do feel that there is cause to recognize the great strides that have been made for improvement, there is a road ahead to close any gaps based on gender or race. There are still many circles in this industry based on the “old boys club” which excludes contributions from women.

Conversely, it also means being a part of an elite group of talented individuals that break barriers daily. Where the old adage of making lemonade out of lemons may sound corny, it comes from a genuine place of truth. In my own experiences, I do personally feel grateful to work in one of the most diverse environments I’ve ever encountered in the industry here at Kobalt.

Any words of encouragement for young women today just entering the industry?

“No’s” are simply a detour to something greater. Do not allow a closed door to stop your forward motion towards your goals and dreams. Think outside of the box, and always continue to be innovative regardless of what stage you are in the industry.


Sue Drew

GM Creative & Acquisitions

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What does being a woman in music today mean to you?

I honestly have never thought of myself as “a woman in music.” I’m a woman, and I’m in music, but I didn’t really connect the two in a meaningful way — probably because I was always surrounded by men! When I started in A&R, I was one of the very few women doing it, so I really considered myself one of the guys.

I do think, however, as a woman, one brings a very different perspective to the job. We see things in a different light, naturally, and I think that’s a real strength in the arts.

Any words of encouragement for young women today just entering the industry?

If you love music and love the music business, it’s an incredible way to make a living. Work hard, use your brain and skills, and carry yourself in the most professional manner possible, and you will get respect. Surround yourself with other talented people – men included! – and find your crew. Support each other and if you experience something that seems wrong, speak up.  Find a mentor, if you can, who can help guide you.


Sarah Landy

SVP Client Development

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What does being a woman in music today mean to you?

Being a woman in music today is fantastic as there are so many strong women in the space, and there is such a force of inspiration from female leadership. I’m grateful for the women in leadership positions at Kobalt including in our LA office where I’m based. Also, with a lot of attention presently towards the treatment of female artists and entertainers, you see how much female artists are energized to have teams that include female leadership.

Any words of encouragement for young women today just entering the industry?

For young women entering the industry, be assertive yet open-minded and collaborative. Let your voice be heard, and have a solutions-oriented approach. Also, we work in an emotionally driven creative industry — show your passion and connect genuinely. That goes such a long way.


Joy Che

Coordinator, People & Culture

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What does being a woman in music today mean to you?

Every woman may have their interpretation of being a woman in music depending on their experience, but for me, it means being a warrior for change. Being part of the People & Culture team at Kobalt, my foundational motivation in my career is to use my energy and time to build others, women and men alike, by fostering an environment for every individual I interact with to reach their potential at whatever they do wherever they may be in their career.

I may not be directly working on the creative side of the industry, but I believe that empowering our team members to be positive advocates who embody our company mission in their service to our artists and clients is an invaluable experience to me.

Any words of encouragement for young women today just entering the industry?

As cliche as it may sound, always stay true to yourself and what you believe is right for you. Identify what you love to do and pursue it with all your might. Life will continue to throw curve balls at you. People will feel entitled to influence you with their opinions about your career path, your potential, and give you reasons why you should not pursue your passions.

Sometimes, if not most of the time, you won’t have all the answers to your questions or know the reasons why it may be taking longer to pursue your passions compared to others around you. However, hold tight to the truth that pursuing what you’re passionate about far outweighs the cost of giving up and settling for less.

Every failed attempted will build endurance, every wrong decision will be a lesson learned, and every success will be a celebration. Always do YOU!


Silvia Montello

SVP Recordings Operations

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What does being a woman in music today mean to you?

As a woman in music throughout my career, it has always been important to me to prove how valuable women are in our creative business, to ensure that women’s voices and ideas are heard, that women are properly represented in every area and at every level of an organization, and to support and encourage other women for whom music is and always has been their life-long passion. There is still always work to do and there are often challenges along the way but we are making bigger and better steps in the right direction all the time.

Any words of encouragement for young women today just entering the industry?

Remember that talent, good work, great attitude, and a belief in yourself are so important. Don’t undersell yourself, don’t do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable, and don’t feel “grateful for the opportunity” to be in this business. Be honest and determined and always stay true to yourself.

Whether you are onstage in the spotlight or behind the scenes making it happen for artists and bands, you have a just as important a part to play as any of your male peers. Play it well, play by your rules, and make sure your path is the one that makes you feel fulfilled, valued, and happy.


Janishia Jones-Allen

Manager, Synch Income Tracking

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What does being a woman in music today mean to you?

Being a woman in music today means that you are raising the glass ceiling and setting the standard for success. It means going above and beyond expectations, thinking unconventionally, taking risks for the betterment of the company, and paving the way for more diversity and inclusion in what is a male-dominated industry.

Any words of encouragement for young women today just entering the industry?

Maintain professionalism at all times, believe in your abilities, come prepared, and don’t give up!


Ann Tausis

Managing Director, Neighbouring Rights

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What does being a woman in music today mean to you?

Working in a creative, happening, and fun industry means I am lucky enough to go to a work every day doing something that I thoroughly enjoy. There are many people out there who are stuck in jobs they’d rather not be in, so it is definitely a privilege!

Having worked in this industry for nearly 30 years now, I can definitely see a shift in terms of more women being employed in top management positions. There is still a long way to go, but progress is being made for sure.

Any words of encouragement for young women today just entering the industry?

Be yourself, work hard, don’t get starstruck along the way, and stay humble. Have a positive outlook and “can-do” attitude, and grab opportunities that come your way – you never know where they might lead!  


Here’s to the kickass women who are killing it every day both in the music industry and elsewhere!

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