Dear Mr. Iovine: How Other Women (Not Apple Music) Influenced My Musical Tastes
After Apple Music exec Jimmy Iovine said on national TV that he had created Apple Music because he "always knew that women find it very difficult at times…to find music," music manager Jane Davidson decided to write him a letter.
Full text of her open letter which first appeared on our sister blog MusicThinkTank:
Dear Mr. Iovine,
A few genuine thank you’s:
- Thank you for your generous contribution to my alma mater.
- Thank you for your years of contributions to the music industry.
- Thank you for your innovations that have impacted most of our lives.
I respect your career. I often list you as a role model even though we’ve never met.
That is why it hurts me to know that you think that I am busy chatting about boys and wishing one of them would put together a soundtrack for those conversations.
That is why it hurts me to think that you put women in a music-less box where you have to hand deliver their next favorite song.
Your intentions of music curation are noble. But why do you think this is something that women need more so than men?
I found most of my favorite artists 100% on my own. I do know a few DJs, but honestly, not many of them have done much to influence my taste.
You know who impacted my music taste the most growing up? My mom.
She played KROQ for me everywhere we went since I was in the womb, but I suppose Nirvana, Blink 182, and Sublime don’t really fit the playlist for my girl talks, now do they.
You know who my current favorite curator is? My sister.
She was the one who taught me to love Drake, J. Cole, NWA, and your BFF, Dre. But I suppose those artists also don’t represent the interests of women.
You know, as a woman, I have struggled to find music.
And when I couldn’t find a song to represent how I felt, I wrote my own. Like Taylor Swift. Like Adele. Like my talented clients, Drew Tabor and Kota Wade.
All these women, they have no trouble finding music. And neither do the millions of women who found these incredible artists on their own.
Because I respect you, I imagine that you didn’t mean to be reductive. I imagine you’d say, not everyone is like me, and many women do struggle to find curated music. But, Mr. Iovine, many men do as well. To my knowledge, the Y chromosome does not provide any magical music-curating powers.
I understand that you’re marketing to women right now. But if you know anything about the modern woman, especially ones aspiring to be as independent and motivated as the ones you featured in your ad, you know that we do not like to be put in a box: even with walls of your foot in your mouth.
So next time you want to give me a “boyfriend” mixtape, how about we go grab a drink and chat about some of my favorite topics other than boys. Politics. Law. Sports. Oh, and Music.
Jane Davidson is the Director of Talent Development & Management Services at New Music Empire, an independent talent management and event production company based in Los Angeles. Jane is a graduate of USC’s Music Industry program