Welcome to Project Fabulous Femme! Once or twice a month, I'll introduce you to a Fabulous Femme who's inspired me. I invite them to share their perspectives on being a modern woman and other vital corps topics. Please be kind, curious, and open-minded.
During my last trip to SXSW in Austin, not only did I get to see The Black Angels play a hometown set to a packed-out party, but I had the good fortune of meeting their fantastic drummer – Stephanie Bailey. As a fan since the Passover (album) days, it’s always their drums that energize me and cause me to roll down the street with way more panache. If you know anything about psych rock (or rock & roll in general), you know the drums hold everything together. With The Black Angels, many of their songs open with vocals or fuzzy guitar, then – boom! – Stephanie enters the song with a strong entrance. It's always confident and never rushed or showy, which is the epitome of cool for me. From our brief interactions, Stephanie is the pixie-sized personification of how she plays. In person, she just exudes a quiet, but powerful, confidence and a vibe that her shit is really together. Enough fangirliness from me, meet Stephanie in her own words…
How would you define being a modern woman in 2016? A modern woman is someone who has more opportunity than previous generations. However, she is still fighting for equality.
What would you like to see modern women give more of a shit about? As of now, we are not in a post-feminist state. I would like to see more women care about achieving equal rights as a collective whole - while still pursing their individual voice.
Conversely, what would you like to see modern women give less of a shit about? I would like to see women lift each other up. Stop dismissing the accomplishments and the struggles of other women, especially since we have yet to experience an equal world. Everyone should find their voice, give less of a shit if it has (or has not) been done before, and use their influence to create their own, unique path.
When did you realize you were meant to be a musician? How did you discover it? I was about 4 or 5 when I asked for my first drum set. My parents tried to push every instrument under the sun on me - piano, singing lessons, ukulele, electric guitar, bass etc. Everything - except the drums. Eventually I saved up enough money, and I was able to buy my first drum set in middle school. Music was one of the only things that could hold my attention as a child, and it still is, even into my adult years. And it’s not that I knew 100% that I was going to be a musician, because I also knew at a young age that nothing is ever guaranteed. That being said, I never pictured myself doing anything else, nor did I want to.
What’s your favorite non-negotiable act of self-care you do to decompress or recharge on the regular? Working out. I try to exercise 4-5 times a week; it helps me focus.
Is stress necessary on the path to success? Why or why not? I think stress is present in most people’s lives - regardless of your career path. Stress exists on so many different levels in life, so whether you are on the path to success or not, you have probably felt stress in one form or another. Now with relation to my career, putting yourself out there - in any form - creates a vulnerable state. And that - coupled with industry pressure, strict time lines, and wanting to consistently create something special - can definitely weigh on an individual. The important thing is to consistently check in, and to take care of your self with whatever it is that you need to succeed. For me, I make sure I workout, get in some creative writing, as well as eat healthy. Then, I feel the best, and I know that I am more equipped to take on whatever stress lies ahead. I believe stress is an unfortunate and inevitable part of modern day living. More importantly, it’s how we take care of ourselves that dictates if we succeed or not.
Who’s a fabulous femme inspiring you? What makes her so fabulous to you? My mom. There are so many things that make her fabulous, but I definitely don’t have enough time or physical space to write it all down. She has overcome and accomplished so many things in her life. Ever since I can remember she has always stressed the importance of tenacity, positive self-worth, and strength. [Kara note: Props to all moms who can balance a kiddo learning to play an instrument, especially the drums, and her own sanity.]
If another woman wants to connect with you, how would you prefer that happens? Email. It’s firstname.lastname@example.org.
[Kara note: A special thanks to Rishi Dhir of Elephant Stone for making this introduction.]
Did something this #FabFemme said resonate with you? Did it make you think? If so, you can learn more from other Fab Femmes. Never miss meeting a future #FabFemme by signing up for the vital corps newsletter right here.