Posted on 3rD JULY 2018 by Maddy Abela
From music to moodboards, Sheena Ladwa reveals the truth about making it in the music industry, evolution of dreams and having fun along the way of course.
As a director of one of the most prestigious artist development programmes, Ultimate Artists, who have incredible ties to record labels and global artists, she is not only a girl boss in her own right, but is fierce and doesn't put up with any of the bullshit life throws at her. Let's take a little look into the life of Sheena Ladwa and you'll see what I mean...
Initially with the aspiration to be a singer/songwriter; Sheena's career has not only evolved and developed to her becoming her true self and an absolute gem of person but has now enabled her to realise what her true passion is. By reflecting on what really made her happy, Sheena was able to realise that her calling was not in the singing aspect of music but the communication with others and helping them on their journey.
All this talk of journey is definitely not something lost on Sheena, whilst having a nice chat with her about all things music, one of the nuggets of wisdom she said was that 'you are going to learn things about yourself during this process. So the vision you have at the beginning may not be where you are at the end. But be at peace with it because you will end up where you need to be eventually.'
Now I think it's super easy to assume that Sheena kind of just ended up where she is now maybe by jumping through some hoops and a stroke of luck. But you couldn't be further from the truth. When she was exploring the music industry as an artist, she had a record deal that disintegrated over night. That's really soul crushing stuff. But her resilience from it definitely reflects in her positive attitude and she's a real advocate for looking after the artist behind the art and breaking the taboo that can come with mental health today. As someone who never gave up on their dream and is still evaluating and questioning her future goals today, she really believes in persevering because 'there will never be any satisfaction of giving up'.
Whilst being in awe of how much Sheena had her shit together, I did gain some extra inspiration that can help you if you're an artist of any description and feel a little stuck. Which, by the way being stuck is completely normal, even Sheena hasn't had her shit together at some point surprisingly. Her almost mantra was to 'fall in love with the art of learning'. Now what does this mean? It means follow your passion. It means develop your skill and each day work hard even if it's a small contribution to your career it all adds up. Now if you're reading this and are thinking, that sounds great but how do I develop my career? Then my simple answer, endorsed by Sheena of course, is mood boards.
Mood boards are a great way of visualising your goals and prove to be very successful as they've been used by Sheena throughout her career. Specifically, for music artists, creating a sound mood board which can literally be a document with clips from parts of songs that you like, can help not only develop your sound but your brand too. Lyrical soundboards are also a great way to 'create a roadmap' that truly defines you so that you can understand how you want to your music to sound and what aspects of your favourite artists you're drawing from.
A final tip of wisdom that's 'essential in the music industry' is growing your fanbase and networking. 'Record companies are looking for artists who are able to grow their own fanbase', which can seem a little daunting but really is easier than it sounds and is all a bit of trial and error. In terms of using social media to grow a fanbase, 'look at what you're doing that's getting the most engagement and never talk at fans but involve them in your journey too'. Networking is also crucial and can be scary. If it really feels impossible, talk to someone about it. As the networking queen, Sheena recommends that you 'make meaningful connections and relationships and genuinely be interested in who you're contacting'.
So guys start now! If you want to learn more about the music industry or coping in the context of it contact Sheena. Don't forget to tell her Maddy sent you 😉.
Written by Maddy Abela