Whitney Taber is a radio and media host, recording studio executive, and is the Los Angeles Chapter leader for Girls Make Beats, just to name a few.
We caught up with Whitney to learn about her start in music, how she’s navigating the COVID-19 challenges, and her best advice for aspiring executives.
The following interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Talk to us a little about you + your journey. How did you start out in music?
I am a biracial butterfly who grew up on a Native American Reservation in Neah Bay, Washington. I had always been drawn to creative fields but went for a more "secure" job and attended Edmonds Community College where I studied to become a nurse. I met a local DJ, fell in love, got married by 23, and moved to a Marine Corps base in Beaufort, South Carolina. A year later, I was trying to finalize a divorce and told my parents, wherever I got a job first between LA and Miami, that is where I would move.
I interviewed for a position in LA via Skype and landed the job as the Executive Assistant to Rihanna's Creative Director. I flew to SC, grabbed my Jetta (and whatever fit) & drove across the country to start working for the world’s biggest superstar.
In 2010 I took a part time job in the Client Service department for one of Billboard's top 25 Recording studios in the world, the iconic Record Plant, where I worked my way up to Vice President. I worked many other jobs: Radio and media host, bartending, catering, babysitting...honestly anything I needed to stay busy.
My passion and purpose collided when I became the Los Angeles Chapter Leader for NPO Girls Make Beats, where I help create opportunity, representation and change in the music industry, while also being an example of great things women can achieve with the right leadership to ensure the next generation of women and music will be heard, represented and respected.
We are HUGE fans of Girls Make Beats!! What has been the most rewarding from your work with GMB? How can people get involved?
Oh my goodness, I am the very proud Los Angeles Chapter leader for Girls Make Beats (GMB) which is a 501 (c)(3) non profit organization that empowers girls ages 5-17 through educational seminars, summer camps, industry panels, networking and mentorship to help expand the female presence of music producers, DJs and audio engineers.
We provide courses on industry leading hardware and software, serving as an outlet for girls to unite, collaborate and grow within the music industry.
"The most rewarding thing for me has been watching our girl’s confidence grow. We have girls building networks and learning how to work together.
I am just so excited to see how much further they will go with having that collaborative mentality - which is not the industry norm among women."
To get involved please visit the website www.girlsmakebeats.org we are always looking for volunteers, mentors, and donations.
How did your experiences in radio, hosting, casting, and studio management impact where you are today?
My experiences allowed me to expand my network. I was able to sharpen my people skills so I could become a better leader, which is a huge advantage in any field where you need to work with teams to complete a common goal.
I was also able to learn so many different aspects of the industry which I can now apply to any job or task I set out to conquer.
This is a very trying time - without artists fully being able to be back in the studio, and events not being able to go on as they were before, how has this affected you and what are you doing to stay focused and on track?
The current state of the world has affected me quite a bit, and like so many others, I am currently unemployed. I am usually attending many events so being quarantined has been a very big change.
To stay focused, I have been working on producing new content, radio shows, and finding creative ways for us to continue our focus and momentum with Girls Make Beats virtually.
Do you have any advice for those transitioning out of college and trying to get into the music industry at this point in time?
Just do what makes you feel good, there is no posit