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Women’s History Month: Songwriter and Music Producer Ginger Rodriguez

Ginger Rodriguez is a 19 year old songwriter and music producer from Austin, Texas. She has been at this since 2015, and continues to work on her own music as well as other artists, all from her home studio! We took a moment to interview her on her experience as a female musician, producer, and music-lover!

Photo by Lauren Breach

What women in your field inspire you?

Women in my field that inspire me are Hayley Williams from Paramore, the late SOPHIE, and Miley Cyrus. I admire her [Williams’] ability to be a front woman and songwriter of a band with the band Paramore, and also work on new music as a solo artist. Her songwriting and talent inspires me in my own work and I’m also appreciative of her perseverance as a woman who was able to dominate the emo-rock and pop-rock genres throughout her career.

Additionally, SOPHIE is and always will be an inspiration of mine—despite her heartbreaking passing—as she was a pioneer in music and music production. SOPHIE radically changed the music industry by testing the boundaries of electronic music and was one of the pioneers of the genre, Hyper Pop. I am also inspired by Miley Cyrus, and I am obsessed with her most recent album, “Plastic Hearts” which came out in November 2020. Her ability to fuse together nostalgic elements of 1980s rock and modern pop inspires me as a songwriter and music producer and I am also in awe of her low raspy voice.

If you could collaborate with any female musician, who would it be?

There are so many female musicians that I would love to collaborate with; however, if I had to choose one person it would be Cyndi Lauper. I grew up listening to her music and was just so inspired by her ability to be authentically herself in her music, fashion, and art. To be able to collaborate with her would be a whole full circle moment for me as she is definitely one of the women who inspired me to start writing music, so to be able to work with her would be a dream come true.

What inspired you to first start creating music?

My favorite part of making music is feeling finished with a song. Songwriting and the process of production can be a little gruesome as sometimes ideas just don’t want to flow out the way you think they’re supposed to. However, with a lot of trial and error, the song finally comes together, and my favorite thing comes after I export and master it, and I get to hear the song in its final form. Getting that end product, after all of that hard work, means so much to me, and it’s so exciting to hear something that was in your mind become a part of reality. I really do feel like a little kid sometimes thinking to myself, ‘I did it! I did it!’ when I am finished with a song, since every song really does feel like its own conquest, and you’re never sure if you’re going to make it to the other side, and when you do, it feels like a bigger accomplishment than it probably is.

If you could pick your favorite song of yours, what would it be and why?

My favorite song of mine, as of now, is called, “Daylight”. It’s not released yet, but it will appear on my new album “Melancholy” which comes out April 2nd. I really love the song as it’s probably the most ambitious thing I’ve done to date. It starts off like a contemporary pop-rock ballad, goes into a funk-dance groove, and ends—well, you’ll just have to find out how it ends—but it really is such a fun song and one of my favorites. Additionally, it’s almost like 11 minutes long, and my goodness, trying to create a song that sounds good and listenable for 11 whole minutes is a feat in itself, and the fact that I feel like I was able to do it and make it interesting and fun has me looking forward to its release as I’m excited and both scared to know how people respond to it.

"Melancholy" Album Artwork

What would you say to a woman who is just starting in your field?

What I would say to a woman looking to get into the music industry, whether it be in production or as an artist, is that it is essential to find a community of other women in music that you can turn to and learn from. I started finding communities specifically geared towards women in music. It wasn’t until I was already an accomplished producer that I think that if I had known of these kinds of groups earlier, I would have learned so much quicker, and would have had such a better support system to turn to whenever I felt in a rut with a song or felt like I wasn’t sure of my next steps in my career. It [community] it will not only help you in your career but it will also help you find a bit of peace as a woman in a patriarchal society.

What are some small things everyone can do to help promote equality in the industry?

Some small things people can do to promote gender equality in the music industry is to simply search for and support women in music by streaming and buying their work. Additionally, social media is such a great tool to use to support women as you can easily like/comment/save/subscribe/follow and share their content which can bring more awareness to them and can provide them with more opportunities as they get more noticed online.

It is also so important to support women of color as they are unfairly overlooked and disregarded in the music industry as well as in the rest of society, so you have to make sure you’re pushing even harder for them, and making sure to interact with their posts on social media along with streaming and buying their work, since not only is it difficult being a woman in a male-dominated industry, but it is much more difficult being a woman of color, and especially a black woman, in a male-dominated industry. I have the privilege of being white in a eurocentric society, but if it’s difficult for me as a white woman, then it is much much more difficult for women of color.

What should we expect from your new album, coming in April?

If I could describe my album, I would call it chaotic, roaring, and fun. It continues from my last album, “I’m Crying In A Cool Way” and depicts what’s happened in my life since my debut album. I have been in the process of writing and producing the album since the Fall of 2018, when I was in my first semester of my senior year of high school, and now I’m in the middle of my second year of college, and the album holds all of the mixed emotions of growing up and what it’s like to question and figure out your identity.

The album itself explores many genres, it goes from hip-hop, pop, dance, funk, rock, and everywhere in between, and yet tells a cohesive story of my life as a young woman in a world that doesn’t accept women for who they are or who they want to be. Just like so many other women, my entire life has consisted of others telling me who I am or who I should be, and this album shares my thoughts and experiences of womanhood in a way that I think and hope anyone could enjoy, appreciate, and relate to.

Photo by Lauren Breach

Ginger is a brilliant example of many of the powerful and inspiring women we were able to connect to this month. Her diverse and personal music is a great way to connect with a powerful woman. Check out her music below and make sure to keep an eye out for her album coming out next month!

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