When you think of powerful young Black women breaking barriers in the music industry, one of the first to come in mind is music maven, Noelle Chesnut Whitmore. During the day, Noelle works as a Festival Marketing Manager at Goldenvoice working on Goldenvoice’s festival properties such as; Coachella, Stagecoach, Camp Flog Gnaw, Desert Trip, Hangout Panorama and more. One of her most recent accomplishments has been helping organize the Sunday Service featuring Kanye West at Coachella 2019.
Although her professional life keeps her extremely busy, she still finds time to plant seeds within her community. In her spare time, Noelle introduces young people to diverse careers within the music industry through her organization, More in Music.
“My goal is to expose people to a bunch of career paths in a very short amount of time. When we think about the way young people consume music it’s usually only consumed through their eyes and their ears… A majority of us didn’t find out about career opportunities in music until we were much older, like 18, 19, 20, 21. Imagine if you found out about a career in artist management at like 12,” she said.
Noelle founded More in Music in February after searching for an opportunity to do something purpose driven. More in Music offers panels, and will be rolling out workshops, mentorship programs, web series and podcasts to help educate people about the music industry.
More In Music introduces community members to all facets of the music industry. Through exposing people to diverse professionals, Noelle hopes to inspire the next generation of music industry leaders.
Raised in Victorville, CA, Noelle grew up in a strict household, running home after school to practice piano for an hour and a half and taking vocal lessons. She developed a deep appreciation for music. Noelle found herself pursuing a career as an artist around 16. Her dad was a musician and her mother was a music enthusiast and they have always supported her interests and embraced her creative nature.
She took advantage of her college experience at California State University Northridge, participating in activities like Associated Student Productions, Grammy U, Hip Hop Think Tank and co-founding Alpha Nu Kappa Sorority on campus. Noelle said these experiences helped her get to where she is today. Even in college, she was able to find a way to produce a concert featuring artists such as Drake, Trey Songz, YG, and Miguel. That opportunity led to her eventually producing some of the biggest music events on campus.
“Some people talk about the glory days, how they started or where they’re at–but they miss out on that part in the middle.”
Those opportunities in college helped her find work freelancing for The Recording Academy. Noelle encourages young people who want to work in the music industry to start doing research, learn what goes on behind-the-scenes and get involved with organizations related to their career aspirations.
This is why More in Music’s programming is structured to give the community access to a real conversations about the music industry, by leveraging speakers who reflect the audience. She wants young people in the room to feel heard and hope they can take something away from others. The feedback she receives from the members who participate in her panels is remarkable and continues to motivate her to work within the community.
Noelle’s final piece of advice to those interested in music was that;
“You cannot operate in a space expecting things to be handed to you. You have to go out and seek information on your own. At the same time, you have to allow God to direct you in everything that you do. Be yourself, because what you are supposed to be doing—nobody else will be doing.”
Her profound words will forever be etched in the legacy that she is creating for herself and the next generation of leaders coming into the music industry.
If you are someone looking to jump into the music industry, this Sunday, June 23, 2019 at 11:00 AM PST—More in Music will host a BET Weekend Panel at the Recording Academy Grammy Museum, featuring diverse professionals working within the industry. The panelists have careers ranging from talent managers to producers that have worked with Pharrell Williams. More information about the event can be found here. It is open to the public and free with a RSVP.