Miss Gabriela Gonzalez was featured in the 2018 issue of Women of Color in Media
WOMEN OF COLOR IN MEDIA: What’s the hottest style of Latin music right now (Hip Hop, Reggaetón, Christian etc)
GABRIELA GONZALEZ: Reggaetón is our new Pop. Reggaetón and Trap are Latin’s hottest genres right now. Regional Mexican continues to be very strong; our 2018 Latin Songwriter of the Year is a Regional Mexican writer, Joss Favela. There are a few ASCAP members from other genres who top the charts whenever they come out with something new, such as Romeo Santos, Carlos Vives, Maná.
Your job sounds very challenging and rewarding at the same time. How many hours a day do you work on average and is every day different?
Every day is different. I have to work late when we have events or start very early because of the time difference with Latin America. Other days I have regular office hours.
The job is fun, never boring. Latin music grows and changes and we have to move with it. At ASCAP, we have an excellent Latin membership team of people from very different backgrounds and we are constantly finding new ways to serve our Latin members.
How do you recruit new members?
We are always working to be in tune with what’s coming out. Our team develops strong relationships with the members themselves, with their representatives, music publishers, and labels. We also work very hard to keep our members happy so they recommend ASCAP to their peers. We are everywhere – we go to industry events; we visit recording studios and songwriting sessions. We also create our own events that bring in new members, such as songwriting camps, showcases, and networking parties.
What advice would you give new songwriters?
Learn about the business and your craft, and co-write every chance you get. Co-writing helps songwriters discover more about themselves and evolve. And of course, it expands your network of contacts.
Do you keep your eye on radio?
Yes, radio, streaming and Latin television.
How does Latin music do it the streaming format?
Latin music never stops growing. The IFPI announced earlier this year that Latin music saw a 49% increase in streaming revenue in 2017. Some of it was due to “Despacito,” but that is just the tip of the iceberg – there is so much talent and every year the genre just gets even bigger.
How do you nurture difficult or challenging clients?
We try to put ourselves in their shoes and see what we can do. Sometimes a small gesture can go a long way and put people at ease. We are always honest since we find that everyone appreciates honesty. After all, honest feedback is the most valuable feedback to help members become their best.
What aspects did your previous experience at Peermusic help to prepare you for this job?
Peermusic was my stepping stone into the music business. I started as a receptionist and that allowed me to meet people in the industry. Later in Film/TV and New Media, I learned how to understand contracts, developed an ear to suggest songs for scenes, and learned the details of licensing.
You were born in LA but you were raised in Argentina, did you plan to come back as an adult to work in the industry or did all the pieces just fall into place
I knew I wanted to get into the music business. I knew I had to start at the bottom answering phones. Spanish was my greatest asset at the time – I had three job offers because of it.
Who are some of your most recent signees?
We have signed some significant writers in the past couple of years: Maluma, Carlos Vives, Draco, Milly Quezada, Anitta, Ulices Chaidez, among many others. I’m really excited about the Latin talent we have on the ASCAP roster.
Who are some of your projects coming up?
The ASCAP Latin team has a very busy fall ahead of us — next month we have a Regional Mexican song camp in Los Angeles for Del Records, another song camp for Zacarias Ferreira in the Dominican Republic, then we are hosting events during Expo Compositores in Mexico City and the Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame, before heading off to the Latin Grammys in November.
Is there anyone (or more) that you are most proud of that you nurtured from the beginning?
We have a lot of success stories — people we have signed when they just started and are now huge songwriters. For example, we signed Joss Favela before he had his first major single and he grew to be our ASCAP Latin Songwriter Of The Year for three years in a row. We signed Romeo Santos when he was performing in the subways in New York, and Mario Domm before he started Camila. We included Jerry Demara in several songwriting camps and he won two ASCAP Latin Awards this year. We showcased Luis Fonsi in 2001, and Manuel Medrano the year before he was nominated for three Latin Grammys, just to name a few. We love to include new talent in all our events.
Do you still scout out new talent or do you rely on staff in other ASCAP locations to handle it now?
I am the only ASCAP Latin representative for the West Coast and I share Mexico with one of my team members, so I’m very much involved in scouting new talent and meeting with writers at every level. The relationships are very important to me and everyone on my team; I don’t want that to change.
Who are some of the industry people who have helped you most in your career?
My mentor is Alexandra Lioutikoff, now EVP of Universal Music Publishing Latin. She has always been a strong role model for me and for Latin women in the industry.