I started my music journey at a young age. I learned about the ways of this world by trial and error, and by being a black woman in the nature of the music business and more. Many times, I was not one hundred percent sure of certain business moves or what direction to go in. I realized early on that the world was full of people that will and will not understand what I was building. There would be people who are willing to support, and those who are not willing at all.
Every time I was met with the demands of this industry, the most important person in my life brought me back to my center and reminded me of the woman she raised. My mother was, still is, and forever will be, my rock. She gave me the truth about how this world places women in parameters under a patriarchal society designed to limit our mindsets and scopes of what we can do and who we can be. I remember having open and honest conversations with my mom about how to deal with the things that are thrown my way every day. She would always inspire me and remind me to “straighten my crown” and keep going. I would leave these conversations feeling more and more empowered, and I knew I wanted to dedicate my life and career(s) to fight on behalf of women of color. I knew we have always needed more, and that wouldn’t come about without pressure.
Change can be scary, though. Taking a stand for something can be hard to do, especially when it isn’t clear if you will have support or not. It is hard to know if what you are creating will be accepted. It isn’t easy to build something if you don’t know what the responses will be from your community, peers, or the business side of the music industry. I remember going after my first major endorsement. Naturally, I wondered if these majority white male companies would understand what I am doing and understand the direct ask I brought to the table.
I didn’t really see black women being shown on these companies’ websites, advertisements, marketing strategies, or social media. I knew that if I was going to go all-in for endorsements and building from the ground up, I had to be ready for the flack and the hate that would come at the same rate as love and support. Learning how to navigate through that was a journey and still is each and every day. I learned the importance of knowing who you are, staying true to yourself, and standing in that, no matter what.
In 2017, I received my first endorsement from Ernie Ball. In the years to follow, I learned how to market my brand and pressed for direct visibility and the inclusion of black women. Next, I would pick up ESP Guitars, EMG Pickups, Empire Ears, Stacks FX, Steve Clayton Picks, and more. My goal was and still is to ensure that black women are included in these conversations, marketing of brands, and represented in all the ways we flourish.
It is a steep path but can be rewarding in the end. In light of the present times, I want to continue encouraging major companies, including my endorsers, to take a visible stand for justice. If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.
Stay true to you, and remember to straighten your crown, sis.
Gabriella “Guitar Gabby” Logan is an Atlanta Native and proud graduate of Spelman College and Vermont Law School. Her background in environmental and music law fueled her desire to start and manage the international all-women touring collective, TxLips Band, LLC. Logan believes it is important for artists to be well rounded and versed in many areas of the music business, thus inspiring women worldwide to be an unstoppable force.
-Guitar Gabby aka Mama TxLip