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My Creative Hero: Linda Ronstadt


Squeak E. Clean Studios producer Anna Garcia Lascurain on digging into the person behind the art

My Creative Hero: Linda Ronstadt

Squeak E. Clean Studios Austin-based producer Anna Garcia Lascurain has amassed experience in nearly every aspect of the music industry, with stints in producing, publishing, supervising and licensing. After studying Music Business at NYU, Anna kicked off her professional career at Search Party Music, where she spent five years producing music for a wide range of advertising and film projects including the award-winning 2011 Google spot 'Dear Sophie.' She moved on to Sub Pop Records, where she spent four years as a licensing manager and then director of licensing for the indie record label where she pitched a catalogue of over 500 artists and negotiated music placements in over 250 ads, television shows, films, video games and other media. She made the move to Austin, TX in 2017 where she took a role as a music supervisor for Mood Media, conceptualising and managing branded music experiences and programs for over 25 national corporate clients and consumer offerings.

LBB> Who would you say is your creative hero? 

Anna> Linda Ronstadt is someone that I have looked up to creatively for a long time and continue to draw inspiration from today.


LBB> How long has this person been important to you and what are your first memories of meeting them or coming across their work?

Anna> I have been a fan since I was a little girl, maybe eight or nine. What I can now look back on is that my introduction to her music was a little bit untraditional. It didn't come from the rock music she was best known for, but from her mariachi album, "Canciones de Mi Padre." My father is from Mexico and this was the type of music that he would play on the drive to school, so I think that's how I first started listening to it. My early awareness of her was as a mariachi singer, so I was blown away when I realised - years later - that she was this massively impressive '70s rock icon. In my opinion, she's one of the best singers of all time.


LBB> If it’s someone you personally know, how did you get to know them and how has your relationship evolved over the years? If you don’t know this person, how did you go about finding to learn more about them and their work?

Anna> I love digging into the person behind the art, so I would research her and rapidly start to understand what a versatile artist she was. I have always loved music and I would often lock myself in my room for hours growing up, deep diving into the work of different artists. Linda has the most prolific discography, so there was a lot to take in. One of her albums 'Simple Dreams' was one that I came across and simply fell in love with. Her first autobiography, Simple Dreams: A Musical Memoir, came out in 2013 and I was lucky enough to see her on her book tour, which gave me even more insight into her bold approach to her career. She faced discrimination in the industry as a woman, but her confidence in her talent was what always led her through. 

LBB> Why is the person such an inspiration to you? 

Anna> For me, something that I related to with her work was that she truly owned her lane and her talents as a standalone vocalist. There can sometimes be a stigma in the music industry if you're a singer who is not also a songwriter, but she is such an inspiring example of owning your talents and forging your own path.

She was a master of repertoire and was really intentional with the songs that she wanted to sing. Whether rock, country, mariachi, opera, or jazz standards, she always had a hand in deciding what she was going to sing and as a singer, I was in awe of that. It was very rare to be a woman in the music industry in the '70s  that was adamant in having a say in what type of work you were going to put out into the world and that really resonated with me. While she certainly has made a name for herself as a rock legend, she also would also go after other creative pursuits that interested her, like starring as Mabel  in Gilbert and Sullivan's 'The Pirates of Penzance.' 

LBB> How does this person influence you in your approach to your creative work? 

Anna> Seeing how she didn't compromise or second-guess herself to pursue her own path, I try to take that thought process when it comes to my own career. It's easy to second-guess yourself in this space and get distracted with self-doubt. Am I doing a good job? Do I know what I'm talking about? I've been doing this for over 15 years, so it’s refreshing to look to her example for owning your talent and expertise and being bold in the pursuit of your goals. It can be easy for us as women to second guess ourselves and fall into (to use an overly used ‘self-care’ term) imposter syndrome. You know yourself the best and if you know what you are doing, don't second guess that. You will make mistakes along the way, but if you believe in yourself you can take those hiccups as learning experiences on your path to creative growth. You are your best advocate. In this industry, as a woman you are always in a room with usually more men than women. It can get intimidating when you are one of the only women in the room, and it can be challenging to avoid compromising when you think someone is wrong. If you believe that what you are doing creatively is the right move, advocate for that.

LBB> What piece or pieces of this person’s work do you keep coming back to and why?

Anna> Linda has such an impressive discography that I really oscillate what I am listening to the most based on my mood. She has sung so many genres, it is truly magical. If I’m feeling nostalgic, I may steer toward the mariachi music that my father grew up listening to. I’m always in awe of her talent with those albums. Listening to what she does with her voice in that genre is something that I’m always impressed by. It’s so challenging technically, but she really nails it. 

Another album that I find myself gravitating towards is 'Trio' which she did with Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris. I love the collaboration of three powerhouse vocalists coming together to create this album is an amazing reflection of the pursuit of their own creative passions. They are all long-time admirers and friends of one another, and I find it personally really inspiring to work with other people that I admire. Creating with other people is something that really excites me about my work. I love all of my co-workers and particularly click when I have the opportunity to work with our Chicago creative director Julie Nichols. We are so open to each other’s ideas and bounce them off each other. She is always interested in what I have to say and what my take is on a particular creative direction, so when we collaborate on a project it’s really fun for me. It’s super inspiring to me to have the opportunity to work with so many talented people that continue to push me both creatively and professionally.


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Squeak E. Clean Studios, Mon, 12 Dec 2022 16:20:00 GMT