Andreea Magdalina on Mentorship and Community in the Music Industry

Our chat with the founder of shesaid.so

Andreea Magdalina is the founder and CEO of shesaid.so, a social enterprise she founded in 2014 to empower women and gender minorities in the music industry. The shesaid.so community consists of women and gender minorities from all sectors of the music industry—from record labels, artist management companies and booking agencies through to technology platforms, creative agencies, composers, artists and more.

With headquarters in London and L.A., shesaid.so has 18 global chapters around the world, including NYC, France, Italy and Mumbai. The group's mission is to connect and empower underrepresented communities towards a more equitable music industry for all, one woman or gender minority at a time. 

We caught up with Andreea for our Liner Notes series to learn more about her musical tastes and journey through the years, as well as recent work she's proud of and admired.


Andreea, tell us...

Your earliest musical memory.

My earliest musical memories are mostly connected to my childhood. Believe it or not, I was a budding singer-songwriter when I was young until about age 12. My earliest memory takes me on stage when I was 5 or 6. There was a television crew that came to my city, which is a small typical communist city in Romania, in the early '90s and somehow I managed to find myself singing on stage and getting invited to be featured on the televised show. I remember getting a huge bag of sweets as a prize. I was so happy about that.

Your first concert.

It must have been this Romanian boy band called Animal X; they were quite innovative for that time. They came to play in my city when I was 13. In spite of my city being very small and uneventful, it did give birth to a lot of Romanian stars and rich people, so we always had interesting talent come through. I was obviously crushing on one of them and accidentally bumped into him on the street the day before the concert. I remember this more vividly than the concert itself.

Your favorite bands/musicians.

I adore Sevdaliza—she's such an honest and talented innovator. I'm so happy about her current success. Other new artists I'm obsessed with now are Baby Rose, Arlo Parks and Lafawndah. Theophilus London is someone who has an incredible creative vision, although I'm a little biased given my husband works with him and I get to see the process behind the magic. Plus, shout-out to my all-time faves Janet Jackson, Erykah Badu and Grace Jones.

How you get your music these days.

I do occasionally tap into Spotify's algorithms, although I mostly get my music through other curators on NTS Radio, Foundation FM and the like.

Your favorite place to see a concert.

It has to be outdoors in nice weather with beautiful, natural set design. One of my favorite venues in the U.S. is this experimental settlement that houses 100 people called Arcosanti in Arizona.

Your favorite music video.

I have to say Missy Elliott "Work It," for all the obvious reasons! Missy was way ahead of her time, a true visionary. I'm in love with artists who are unapologetically themselves and manage to find the grit to stick to it as they navigate the bumpy road that the music industry puts you on.

Your favorite music-focused TV show and/or podcast.

I have to admit I never took on podcasts, audio books or Clubhouse. I'm too much of a visual learner. My favorite music-focused TV show hasn't been made yet although it's nice to see incredible talent shining through platforms like Boiler Room and Colors.

A recent project you're proud of.

Our six-month virtual mentoring program she.grows France and Italy supported by YouTube Music that we ran last year. It was great to be able to bring some support during such a difficult time.

Someone else's project that you admired recently.

The Power Up mentoring scheme developed by the PRS Foundation for Black artists and executives. I'm all about mentorship, community, paying it forward and mutual support.

How musicians should approach working with brands.

I love that brands are now open to working with talent of all sizes, not just the established ones. In many cases, brands now provide that much-needed springboard that artists need at the start of their careers. Each brand is different—some give the artist a lot of creative freedom while others are a bit more conservative. I would urge both artists and brands to view their relationship as more than just a transaction, and if that happens I'm positive we will see wonderful creative results.

How brands should approach working with musicians.

Look beyond the numbers, trust the artist and their vision, and aim to support artists at all levels.

What music can do that nothing else can.

It can transport me beyond time and space in a way nothing else truly can.

What you'd be doing if you weren't in the music world.

I would probably be in law, science or politics, or all of the above at once.

Liner Notes is our weekly interview series, publishing every Monday, where we chat with folks in the music industry about their creative inspirations, their favorite bands and musicians, and generally what music means to them. For more about Liner Notes, and our Clio Music program, please get in touch.

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Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd is editor in chief of the Clio Awards, editor of Muse by Clio, and host of the podcast Tagline. Previously, he was creative editor at Adweek.

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