Dec 20, 2018
5 Questions with WMN/N/SND: Making a Safe Space for Music, and a Movement
Photography by: Leef Parks
Brooklyn Magazine recently sat down with WMN/N/SND, a collective based in Brooklyn creating intimate, acoustic performances from some of the best emerging women in music. Anastasia Wright (Creator & Founder), Liana Banks (Creative Director) and Tangina Stone (Artist Relations) shared their inspiration and vision for this concert platform and the community they are building.
1) How did you end up starting WMN/N/SND events and building this community?
Anastasia: I’m a marketer first and it’s my job to find creative ways for my clients, musicians typically, to engage with brands. I was talking to Airbnb last year about partnering with my clients to host bespoke music experiences. The convo kind of faded as I was told “something bigger” was coming. This was before the company made a big announcement about growing its concert platform in November 2017. Timing was everything.
Then boom, I saw an article in Variety about Airbnb’s plans to grow it’s live music business globally. I immediately followed-up and that’s when the conversation turned to my company/label becoming one of the host partners to help launch the concert platform in NYC.
We launched WMN in April 2018. What started as an idea to help further market the artists that I work with, turned into a whole movement that’s now transcended outside of NYC. It’s beautiful.
2) How do you find the artists that perform? Any favorite moment from the past year in hosting these events?
Tangina: Liana and I are both full time artists and it’s really important to us that we reach into our own community when we book women to play our series. Artists are often women that we’ve worked with, know or are made aware of by our own music community.
One of my favorite moments of the year, though recent, was our first show in Miami. Having Leikeli47 headline and expanding our series into another city is so special, and it was a really beautiful event. We are all huge fans of hers. She brought so much energy and light to the stage.
Our audience isn’t just local for these concerts, but global. It’s great being able to cater to an international audience via Brooklyn. And now, we’re bringing “Brooklyn” to other cities and eventually other countries.
3 ) You’ve partnered with Airbnb to help launch these events and grow the community. How did this come about?
Anastasia: WMN is an extension of myself and the artists I represent, which happen to be mostly women. The idea for the series came naturally, but it’s been interesting operating within the Airbnb space. We’re teaching Airbnb about music and they’re teaching us about hospitality and travel. I’ve produced countless events, advanced numerous shows, sure; but it’s been very different producing live music experiences keeping in mind factors like language barriers and cultural differences. Our audience isn’t just local for these concerts, but global. It’s great being able to cater to an international audience via Brooklyn. And now, we’re bringing “Brooklyn” to other cities and eventually other countries.
4) How do you envision the future of WMN/N/SND and what’s the future you want to see?
Liana: We want to turn WMN/N/SND into a MOVEMENT. A way for WMN to celebrate themselves, uplift each other, make money together and recognize their inner ferocity. Right now we work within an intimate realm, but are looking to expand outside of that in 2019.
Tangina: WMN/N/SND will operate globally. We will have concerts in major cities all over the world and continue to create community amongst women in the music industry. It will be a resource and network for all women who work in this field who need support, inspiration, and safe spaces to be creative and build with other women in this industry.
5) As Brooklyn changes rapidly, what excites you about living and working here?
Liana: The BKLYN shift has been interesting and exciting to witness. Brooklyn always had this raw, infectious energy, and is home to some of the greatest creatives to date. It’s no wonder everyone else is starting to catch on. The new surge of creative energy is inspiring. New recording studios, photo studios, & live venues are popping up everywhere. There’s always somewhere to release and share your creativity. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.
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