We were lucky enough to speak with Monique Chavez, another badass woman in the industry. Her passion and love for the industry shines through her work! You can read all about her below!
Introduce yourself to us! What do you do in the industry? Where are you from?
How did you get your start in the industry, and how long have you been in the industry?
I actually was more of a film nerd growing up. I studied Film & TV at NYU’s Tisch, but always
had a passion for music. My dad Charles Chavez, is a music manager + industry vet, so it was
just something that was always around when I was young. While I was studying, I tried to find
ways to merge film & music - I was making documentaries on young rappers in NYC, interning at Universal Republic, MTV and VH1 just trying to find different departments that would make sense for me. After I graduated I moved out to LA, worked my way up through the CAA mailroom and assisted Richard Lovett, President of CAA, for about 2 more years. I appreciated the hustle of the agency life, but it became something I wasn’t passionate about and ended up leaving to work for Latium. I started shooting side projects until I began perfecting a style and was able to turn that into my own role.
Tell us about Her Music Club, what made you start it and where do you want it to go?
Her Music Club is a community + event for women in music to come together in support
of each other - to share experiences and connect. At our events we feature panels from
different female execs + performances from upcoming female talent.
HER honestly formed out of frustration with the industry. I was at a point where it felt like
I was being shut out of opportunities...especially in the creative space. I had reached a
point where I felt like I was growing - but I was being pigeonholed.
I went to dinner with a few other women I had met in the industry and let out my
frustrations. Everyone around the table felt similar in their own roles. There was
something about being honest and open about our experiences that was therapeutic and
made me feel less alone. So I wanted to create that feeling on a larger scale. Her Music
Club quickly became a community of empowerment - not only for women in the industry
but artists, songwriters, producers etc etc. We have some exciting events coming up in
the fall! One of our goals is to take the event to NYC which we just confirmed will be
happening early 2020!!! We just want the community to continue to grow and partner up
with other female-led organizations.
How does someone get involved with Her Music Club?
You can subscribe on our site (www.hermusicclub.com) to get invites to our events! I will
say we never expected to grow this quickly and are looking for brands to work with who
can help us expand. Our events typically sell out pretty fast and we want more people to
get the chance to experience the events...So if you’re a brand who’s looking to help out
;) Let us know!
What does a typical day at work look like for you?
It really depends on the week. I wear a few different hats at Latium. We are a joint
venture with Atlantic/Warner - but we’re also a management and publishing company. I can take on different roles from being a day-to-day manager, shooting a music video, taking tour pics, spending a full week editing, to working closely with the label on digital release plans, marketing strategies etc. With Her Music Club - it’s really just about staying on top of it and our vision. Being the founder of an organization vs working for a company is a lot different in terms of day to day duties – if you don’t wake up and make sure things are moving, no one else is going to! So everyday I just try to stay on top of our next moves, our follow through, our branding, our socials, etc.
When did you know being in the business is what you wanted to do? Was there a
specific moment where you were like “oh god, this is what I want to do for the rest of my
We used to manage an artist, Kat Dahlia (If you don’t know her check her out!!) who quickly
became one of my best friends. She was one of the first artists I worked really well with and it
became really empowering. We were two young women who just wanted to work - so we
worked with each other. She really believed in me as much as I believed in her and the energy was just there. That was the point where I was like - ok yeah. This is it. I’ve found what I want to do. We’re actually working with a new band called 4th & Orange (who you should also check out!!) and this is like my first creative direction job on paper. They are another artist who believes and trusts in me and that’s just a game changer.
Is there anything you struggled with (or even still do struggle with) being in the industry?
Oh yeahhhh. I struggle all the time! In this industry, networking is key. Relationships are
super important - but there’s an anxiety that comes with that. There’s even an anxiety in
admitting that, but I’m working on it. I think mental health is something we don’t talk
about enough - this industry can be pretty brutal. I believe in all the organizations that
are popping up to do better and make all of us feel seen and heard and I just encourage
everyone to make relationships with each other on a human level. Do you know how
many times Kate (my partner at HER!) and I will text each other? Just knowing there is
someone in the industry who feels similar makes it feel a little less lonely. It doesn’t
always have to be work. I’ve made some of my best connections by being vulnerable.
Real recognizes real!
What is the best part of your job? Why?
Collaborating with the artists. I think we’re wired differently. My favorite moment is
coming up with visual ideals with them. Those moments always make me feel nostalgic -
like we turned our childhood dreams into reality. It’s just fun.
What is something a lot of people don’t know about you?
My middle name is Adele! I was first!
What would you tell someone who wants to start their own company in the music
Be fearless and go for it. Don’t be afraid of failing. Make relationships and keep them -
they are KEY. And do the work!
Is there someone who you consider as your mentor in the industry?
Obviously my dad - Charles Chavez. I’m really lucky. He pushes and constantly
challenges me. He believes in me more than I believe in myself. Also Julie Pilat - what a
human!! She inspires me not just because of who she is in this industry - but because
she is an angel on earth. Her passion for giving back is so inspiring. She’s the kind of
leader we need.
What advice do you have for women who want to get their start in the business side of
the music industry?
Honestly no task is too small - especially if you’re starting your own business. Don’t
focus on the distractions. Keep your blinders up and do the work. I’ve said this like three
times but make relationships. They will carry you through this industry. Be good to
each other and do good business.
Have you ever been turned down or not taken seriously because you were a female in
the industry? What did you do when put into that position?
I’m sure. Even though I’ve never been told I’m not getting a job because I’m a woman -
I’m sure it has happened. I just keep moving. I try not to let it get me down. The amount of
disrespectful stuff I hear DAILY motivates me. I prove them wrong. You will come across the
right team, the right people, the right artists...who are going to believe in you and respect you. If I’m ever in the position though, I speak up...without a doubt. They look like the asshole - not you.
What are some of your other hobbies? What do you do in your free time (which we know
can be very hard to find)?
I’m an introvert and keep to myself a lot of the time - I like a good book or a movie. Give
me some rain and my day is made. I’m not super outdoors-y. I don’t like the beach but I can
take a good hike. Also, wine. Wine is my friend. Lately White Claw has been hittin tho! Hit me if you have a contact loooll.
What has been your most proud moment in your career?
Her Music Club, by far. I think when we started it - I hadn’t felt that inspired in a while.
There is this sense of euphoria when we throw the events. You see how happy and
excited these young women are just to be in the room full of people similar to them - and
we’re all there for the same reason. I’m just really proud of what we’re creating and how
we are helping others. I think these communities (Community Reboot, She Is The Music,
Beats by Girlz, Girls Make Beats, etc) can be so beneficial and can really help young
women coming up in the industry. I’m just happy to be a part of it.
Who is your all-time favorite artist?
Y’ALL - that’s so hard!!! Sheesh. Um - Death Cab For Cutie has been my all time favorite
band - but Selena!!! Yah. Selena.
What is something you can't live without?
My family! And puppies. All the puppies.
Go-to Karaoke song?
Lol I want to say “The Boy Is Mine” Monica & Brandy. I remember singing that at this
Karaoke tent at Astroworld when I was young (Houston forever!!) They gave me a tape of my
vocals. I was bad. But it became a go to!
Tea or Coffee?
Coffee all day.
James Franco. Childish Gambino. Barack Obama.
First concert you went to?
THE MUFFUGINN SPICCCEE GIRLS!!!!!!!
What’s something that you always have on you?
My phone. A camera, even if its a disposable. Hoops.
Who is your dream artist or band to work with?
Another hard one! Probably like Frank Ocean or Tyler. Tame Impala. I also love Snail
Mail. I’d looooove to work with a girl band!!!
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Still being creative. Hopefully running Her Music Club and Drunk Brunch, my production
company, on their own. I have some dreams for Her Music Club that I fully have my
heart set on - so hopefully making those dreams a reality!
What do you hope to see done in the industry within the next few years?
I hope that the industry becomes more about sincerity. I think Lil Nas X is a good
example of how that’s working. The internet changes a lot about the industry and its only
become more and more visible. I think it’s less about the viral challenges and more
about artists being themselves. Being able to connect with fans on a personal level and
also representing something larger than the music. I also I think it’s imperative for young
kids. They should see themselves represented - the merging of genres, the blending of
cultures. Someone like Cuco is an important artist to me - I listen to his music and I hear
that. I see that. Him and Doris (his kick ass manager) are killin it and are really targeting
their audience on a real level. I also hope to see more people doing good for each other.
More organizations! More about making this industry a little less brutal. I’m a Cancer -
can you tell!?
Lastly, what saying do you live by?
Your anxiety is lying to you!!!!! And do the work.
Thank you, Monique for chatting with us. We're excited to keep up with you and your work in the industry in the future! If you would also like to keep up with her amazing life, you can follow her on Instagram, here!