Girls Make Beats is a non-profit organization that empowers the next generation of female music producers, DJs, and audio engineers.
Offering a robust array of programs ranging from after-school and during-school classes to student-led clubs, seasonal programs, masterclasses with industry professionals, performance opportunities, and more, Girls Make Beats is dedicated to providing girls with access to career pathways in the music industry that have been traditionally male-dominated.
Below, we had the unique opportunity to sit down with president and founder Tiffany Miranda to discuss Girls Make Beats’ roots, mentorship, the importance of collaboration, and more.
To start, can you tell us what inspired you to create Girls Make Beats?
I started singing when I was 11 years old, and began getting contract offers at age 15. The Miami scene at the time was—and still is—a very “hot” city.
I was the lead jazz singer in our high school jazz band and admired the greats such as Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald, and Etta James. I was inspired by their big voices, not only in their music but also in their communities as advocates for equity.
Frustrated by the lack of creative control in the studio, I decided to work towards building my own home studio at age 18. Wanting to evolve from local clients, I started to do internships at major studios in Miami and was often the only woman in the room. I was faced with many challenges, but eventually obtained my Pro Tools certification and engineered for some of the biggest names in the industry including DJ Khaled, Lil Uzi Vert, French Montana, Rick Ross, and more.
Parallel to my journey, I saw there was a need to create a safe space for girls to explore these male-dominated fields, and founded Girls Make Beats in 2012.
Who were some of your earliest team members, advisory board members, and Women Making Waves panelists who were key in transforming your ideas into a reality?
I have been fortunate to build an incredible team of women who share my vision of empowering girls in the industry. Two of those women have been with me from day one—my mom and my sister! They have always been my support system from the beginning of my career as an artist, and helped me initially start Girls Make Beats.
As the organization grew, I crossed paths with more amazing women with similar journeys and passions to uplift young girls. Our Miami Chapter leader / Events Producer, Stichiz, joined Girls Make Beats in 2016. She is an incredible artist and iHeartRadio personality who played a vital role in bringing visibility to our organization early on. Through her, I later met Abby, who started as an intern helping to plan our first national tour and is now our Program Director. During that tour, I also met our now LA Chapter Leader / Head of Partnerships, Whitney Taber, who has helped to transform the opportunities the girls have received via her network built over a decade of working as a music executive.
Collectively, we have since created unparalleled opportunities for our girls! They have achieved some incredible accomplishments, including producing an official remix for Janet Jackson and Daddy Yankee, a Ford commercial with Angela Bassett, a Nike Airmax Day campaign, a sync placement in Coming 2 America, DJing for Missy Elliott’s Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and much more.
We have also had some amazing women partake in our various events and workshops to uplift and inspire our girls, including Chloe x Halle, Janelle Monae, Tinashe, Syd, Eve, Salt-N-Pepa, Spinderella, and more. We’ve also had music execs like co-president of the Recording Academy Valeisha Butterfield Jones, Mona Scott-Young, Jennifer Drake, Katie Welle, Angela Yee, and others participate in our Women Making Waves panel.
Our advisory board includes professionals such as Bahareh Kamali, EVP of Strategic Development at ViacomCBS, Randy Spendlove, President of Worldwide Music & Publishing for Paramount Pictures, Omar Grant, Co-President of Roc Nation, and more.
Are there any opportunities you all have designed or stories of individuals Girls Make Beats has impacted that you’re particularly proud of?
Kaiya Nyasha started with us as a student in 2017. She has since attended the Tisch Clive Davis program at NYU and is currently attending Berkley School of Music. She has also grown from student to staff member at Girls Make Beats, and helps to mentor and teach the younger members of our programs.
How can the creators in our audience become involved with the Girls Make Beats community?
There are several ways to get involved with our organization. We have various volunteer and mentorship opportunities. We are also actively looking for instructors and chapter leaders as we expand our efforts to help more girls globally. Those interested can register here, and a team member will be in touch.
Are there any skills, values, and connections that youth develop through Girls Make Beats that transcend music?
Absolutely! The skills we instill in our girls transcend music. We encourage our girls to build a sisterhood with one another. ‘Collaboration over competition’ is our motto!
Studies have shown that by age 5, girls start to lose confidence in their abilities. We are passionate about empowering girls to break glass ceilings and achieve anything they put their minds to.
11-year-old DJ Miko joined Girls Make Beats when she was nine. During an interview, she was asked what she would like to do with all of the skills she was learning at our organization, and her reply was that she “wants to DJ parties, and also be the first black female president!”
Why are mentorship and accessibility to education crucial in respect to both artistry as well as career development?
Mentorship and access to education are extremely important in any field, but even more so in the music industry. The music industry has traditionally been unorthodox. Having the right guidance and education early on can drastically change the trajectory of an artist’s career.
Often times, lack of access, resources, and mentorship can prevent an artist from realizing their full potential. It is so important for creatives to be equipped with the skills and network necessary to maximize opportunities to career pathways.
How can the larger music production, audio engineering, and music technology communities help cultivate spaces that are more inclusive for all genders?
Visibility plays a vital role in fostering a more inclusive community. Currently, only 2.6% of music producers are female. During our interview process, we have asked young girls why they think there are so few women in these fields, and their response is normally that boys are given more opportunities and society thinks boys are more capable of doing things.
Seeing more young girls behind mixing consoles and in powerful positions in the recording industry will inspire future generations to pursue these male-dominated careers. Encouragement and support in the work and creative space also go a long way!
What are your thoughts on how we as an industry can pay it forward and shine the light on new and upcoming female and non-binary music creators?
The industry can pay it forward by highlighting and uplifting female creators. If you can see her, you can be her! The more little girls see themselves illuminated in women who are paving the way, the closer we will get to a more inclusive industry and society.
How can girls sign up?
We serve girls ages 5 – 17 and work tirelessly to create scholarship opportunities year-round. Girls can register for our program at www.girlsmakebeats.org/register.
How can people support Girls Make Beats?
You can support our organization in various ways. Our programs are scholarship-based, as we focus on providing access and opportunities primarily to girls in underserved communities. You can make a contribution at girlsmakebeats.org/donate. You can also help us amplify our mission by following us on social media @girlsmakebeats and encouraging others in your community to do so. You can also learn more about us by visiting www.girlsmakebeats.org.
Learn more about Girls Make Beats and other organizations, artists, and creators who are creating a permanent, prevalent place for non-male creators in the industry:
March 24, 2022