It's a sunny Sunday afternoon in Tujunga when I meet Sharon, known in the music realm by her stage name of $hareBear, for the first time. She comes in with a huge smile on her face, gives me a big hug, and I feel like I already know her.
Though I've been engrained in the alternative and indie rock scene with little exposure to dance music, DJs, and EDM, I quickly realize why it feels like I already know her. As our conversation flows both before, during, and after the recording of the USB sLAve podcast, I find that we have a commonality not only in music but a similar path to mindfulness, gratefulness, and meditation and the benefits these can bring to us as creators and women in business.
A Musical Life
Like many of us in the music world, $hareBear has loved music her entire life and has a unique background that influences her production and sound today. Her passion for the performing arts, starting from piano lessons at a young age, through drumline and choir in middle school, and dance throughout her childhood, helps her produce and take her craft seriously. $harebear didn't know that DJing was something she could do, however, until she attended her first show in Orange County over three years ago. The group she went with swarmed a DJ, Andrew, her now boyfriend, and after exchanging social media accounts she asked him to teach her how to DJ.
While still trying to find out what exactly her sound is, $hareBear describes her current projects as super experimental, bouncy, and Jersey Club. She's influenced by a wide range of artists, music, and whatever gets her moving, but she is also also influenced by whimsical, dreamy sounds, and heavy drums and bass.
Music isn't her only inspiration. $hareBear and I connected over our shared beliefs in the universal law of attraction, meditation and creative visualization, which she incorporates into her lifestyle and reflects in her music and projects. From these practices, $hareBear developed a YouTube channel where she discusses meditation and the law of attraction, providing advice and tools to enhance her viewers' meditation experiences.
Music is a very male-dominated industry, and it's even more typical for the electronic dance music and DJing scene. When asked about the resistance she encountered when she entered the scene and how she overcame it, $hareBear said she feels that "it's something that I'm going to have to deal with, but I'm okay dealing with [it]. I kind of like having to deal with other people's egos" and to be able to have control over her own ego in those situations. Similar to many other women in music, she's experienced unfairness, particularly when promoters talk directly at her boyfriend despite her being the DJ or the response to her performance is that she's good "for a girl."
$hareBear takes it all in stride though, liking the competition that stems from being one of the few females in the DJ scene and feeling like she needs to prove herself in a sense. And afterwards? She likes the feeling when she absolutely kills it and gets props for her set.
Advice for Other Women
"Do it because you like it and it's fun, don't do it for attention or because you want to have cool pictures."
It's a constant theme I discovered while talking to $hareBear, to produce and DJ because you like it, and it was her first response when I asked for her best piece of advice for women who want to enter the production and DJing space.
It isn't all fun and games though, and if you want to be a successful female producer or DJ, $hareBear offers the following suggestions:
- Make sure you're doing it for the right reasons
- Go for it and learn as much as you can
- Reach out to other female producers and DJs
- Watch YouTube videos, listen to podcasts for inspiration, watch interviews
The biggest piece of advice from $hareBear? Keep going. Don't let roadblocks stop you from what you want to achieve.
$hareBear's plans don't stop with producing and DJing: her goals are abundant and she wants every day to be a new project. She wants to expand on her podcast, ShareRadio, to increase viewers, and to find a way to monetize it so she can work on it and her other projects full time. She's also looking for another source in addition to SoundCloud, where she can bring in bigger acts, but still help friends out.
But the big picture goal? To become successful so she can afford to be a creative person, producing, DJing, and traveling the world with her music all while inspiring others.