Lifting as She Climbs: An Interview with ladidai
ladidai wants to win and help others win too. The songwriter/music creative has just begun to hit her stride in the industry with many accomplishments under her belt. Her pen and mind for the business have brought her multiple opportunities with startup companies and artists as well. Her ultimate goal is to help others get to where they want to go while also getting where she wants to go as well. With numerous titles under her name, she continues to be an advocate for women and non-binary individuals in music production and audio engineering. ladidai is someone you should know about. I talk to the music creative about the moment she wanted to be in the music industry, being a part of the songwriting trio: ILL, being a part of the Earbutter Team, and much more.
When did your love for music start?
My love for music started when I was a kid. I didn’t grow up in a musical family, but I grew up with a family that appreciated music. My mom was always singing around the house, singing in church, and things like that. My love for contemporary music came from television and radio like Disney Channel, Britney Spears, Destiny’s Child, etc. Also, being on the school bus and hearing DMX and The LOX. Those were where my inspirations came from.
Was there a moment in your life that made you want to get involved in the music industry?
Yeah! I was inspired predominantly by women so watching Destiny’s Child and Brintey Spears was amazing to me. Those girls had it and they were magnificent, beautiful, powerful, and in their element. I knew at that moment.
You’ve worked as a Media Coordinator for HRDRV, an Editorial Contributor for Bounce Gvng, and a Content Manager for Gender Amplified. Tell me about your experiences with those three positions and what you learned from them?
It’s been cool working with all these companies because HRDRV and Bounce Gvng are both startups and nonprofits. It was interesting involving myself in the music industry from an atypical angle. I wasn’t working at a label or publishing company, but it was cool being involved with independent creatives. HRDRV’s whole focus is to help independent creatives and their teams to create a services company. Bounce Gvng’s whole focus is to help independent creatives find the best type of distribution possible. Finally, Gender Amplified’s focus is to uplift and empower women and non-binary individuals in music production and engineering. All of these different companies have a mission to help what I can underserve and that resonated with me.
You’ve always been an advocate for the representation of women and non-binary individuals in music production and audio engineering. Do you feel like you have a responsibility to make sure they’re recognized in their respective fields?
Yeah, I do! It’s funny because there are still things I’m learning about in production and engineering. I’m really big on lifting as I climb so I’m not where I want to be yet, but I know some people are trying to get to where I am. So while I’m trying to get to where I want to go, I want to help people get to where they want to go.
You’ve accomplished many things in the music industry to the point where you were a recipient of the 2018 ASCAP Foundation Harold Adamson Lyric Award for Rhythm & Soul. What was that moment like for you?
That was amazing! Shout to JJ at ASCAP Urban in New York. He was the one who encouraged me to get involved with the ASCAP songwriting collective and that’s how it came about. I didn’t know at the time it will be a competitive experience where there would be a cash prize and award ceremony in all of this. I just wanted to make the best song possible and we ended up placing. It was super exciting and a big confirmation for me that I was on the right path.
You’re part of a songwriting trio called Ill with Isadore Noir and Luna Byrd. How did this group come about and how has it been collaborating with them?
I knew Luna from back home in New York and I met Isadore at HRDRV. The first writing camp that HRDRV had was right before the pandemic in February 2020. We all just liked each other, so I put us in a group chat and we’ve been rocking ever since. It’s always nice when you get along with people inside and outside the studio. We’re all friends in real life, we make dope music together, so we formed a little collective.
Do you remember the first song you three collaborated on?
To be honest with you, I don’t quite recall. We formed during the pandemic so it had to be Facetime/Zoom session. We also did a couple of cool things on Instagram Live too. It’s interesting because all of the sessions have been virtual so we have not linked up in person yet. However, it’s always a fun time with them at the end.
It’s interesting how you guys are a songwriting group who have never met in person because of the pandemic. Was there any difficulty going through that phase?
Virtual sessions were something I got used to very quickly because you have to adapt to survive. The studios were shut down so there wasn’t any way for us to collaborate in person. For me, it wasn’t necessarily ideal but you gotta do what you gotta do.
You’re part of the Earbutter Team which is all about the evolution and financial empowerment of artists. What made you want to be a part of their vision?
I spent most of my career songwriting, but Earbutter granted me an opportunity to pursue music more front and center as an artist. Mickey Shiloh told me about them and said, “Yeah, they’re trying to fund artist startups.” I liked the model and thought it was innovative. I had applied and they asked for a small essay, a video explaining why I should be selected, and a couple of songs so I sent all that in. I wasn’t sure what was going to happen, but they hit me back and wanted to advance me to the next round. Then I ended up talking to one of the former co-CEOs Janice and eventually the rest of the team. It’s been an interesting experience because startups don’t start how they end. Overall, I’m grateful for the opportunity.
You’re involved in so many different areas of music. How have you been able to manage everything while staying consistent with your brand? Also, what are some tools and resources you use to make sure your brand is strong?
It’s so funny because I don’t even know how to answer this. As much as I don’t feel like I stay consistent, it’s a lot of juggling. Shout out to Google Calendar for keeping me organized. I schedule out my day towards when I want to take calls, send emails, work on music, and make content. I’m trying to get back on Tik Tok so I have to schedule a time to do and edit those. It just comes down to being organized, disciplined, and knowing that consistency is key. In terms of branding, I don’t know. I have a logo hahaha. I think my brand is more personality-based if that makes sense. People know that I’m friendly and helpful so that’s the brand. My biggest resource is lowkey myself because I’m good at researching. That’s why I created a newsletter to help creatives. I just try to stay tapped in and connect with people on social media because I learn a lot from it.
What do you believe your purpose is in the music industry?
I don’t know if it’s necessarily just one, but I just want to positively impact people and that happens through multiple mediums. Not only through the music itself, but I just want to help people with their journey through consults, songwriting, or whichever way. I want everything that I’m doing to resonate with people.
What do you call this chapter of your life?
It’s a very transitional period and I’ve been pushing myself to take more chances. I would call this chapter stepping out and moving up.