Emily Lazar – Grammy Award Winner and Chief Mastering Engineer of The Lodge

Episode 177

Emily Lazar has worked with many of the best including Alicia Keys, David Bowie, Foo Fighters, Beck and over 3000 others. Saying she is in high demand is an understatement and she is one of the few female music mastering engineers in a very male industry. She won a Grammy Award for Best Engineered Album for Beck’s iconic album Colors and she is the Founder, President, and Chief Mastering Engineer of her own company, The Lodge. You want to listen to this true inspiration who has truly changed music for the better. Hear her story with lots of great wisdom on the latest episode of #TheKaraGoldinShow!

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Kara Goldin 0:00
I am unwilling to give up that I will start over from scratch as many times as it takes to get where I want to be, I want to just sort of make sure you will get knocked down. But just make sure you don’t get knocked out knocked out. So your only choice should be go focus on what you can control control control.

Hi, everyone, and welcome to the Kara golden show. So join me each week for inspiring conversations with some of the world’s greatest leaders. We’ll talk with founders, entrepreneurs, CEOs, and really some of the most interesting people of our time. Can’t wait to get started. Let’s go. Let’s go. Hi, everyone. Its Kara golden from the Kara golden show. And I’m super, super excited to have Emily lazaar. Here. Emily lazaar is the founder and president of the lodge which is a renowned audio mastering facility where she is the founder and the chief mastering engineer so cool on so many levels. And we actually met through a my cousin’s Spencer, and they have a connection from their college from Skidmore. Shout out to Skidmore. Woohoo, very, very cool, where they are both alums. And Emily, you may not know her name, especially if you’re not in the music industry. But you’ve definitely heard some of her music over the year that years that she’s been involved in. And she’s engineered over 4000 4000 albums. I mean, what is that right I that’s just I read a total rock star so amazing. And she’s been nominated for a Grammy eight times winning in 2019 for backs album, which was absolutely amazing. And colors, the first woman to win an engineering Grammy for a non classical album as well. And this year through three of the Album of the Year Grammy nominations were engineered by Emily as well. So I mean, complete, complete rock star on so many levels. Such a historic achievement. And Emily is making her mark and music by launching, we are moving the needle and it’s a nonprofit that she’ll chat a little bit more about. So I’m so excited to find out how Emily went on to do what she’s doing and working with artists like one of my favorites, the Foo Fighters and David Bowie and Dolly Parton. I mean, the list goes on and on. So welcome, Emily. So excited. You’re here.

Emily Lazar 2:55
Thank you. Thank you so much. Yes, I’m excited to be here. Thank you for having me.

Kara Goldin 2:59
Very exciting. So tell me a little bit more about little Mo. I mean, did you always know that you were just going to be doing what you’re doing and and did you have this love for music from the beginning? Yes.

Emily Lazar 3:13
I mean, I didn’t know that I was going to be a mastering engineer per se, but I knew that I would be somehow in in music or in the arts, for sure. And I grew up in a very musical household. My mom was a guitar teacher and my dad was a very big music appreciator. And so it was very, I thought it was normal, the way that I grew up with, you know, my mom teaching guitar to the house and, you know, my dad running up to me and throwing headphones on me and telling me to listen to a certain part of a song. I thought that everybody had that kind of experience. That I know. So, yeah, I always kind of when I became a songwriter, and an artist myself, and I think, you know, Spencer probably can attest to having seen me play live, which not many people again, because I kind of switch gears and got behind the scenes pretty quickly after college. But yeah, I, I always I was kind of destined to be in this, although there are so many aspects to my personality that I think there’s lots of things I could have done. And there’s lots of things that I’m interested in that I dabble in now. And I have a lot of interest in business and I do a lot of consulting for technology companies and and the like and I’m very interested in the forward facing newer things that are coming down the pike. That’s super interesting to me when you

Kara Goldin 4:40
went to college just to give me a little bit of insight into this. I mean, what did you major?

Emily Lazar 4:48
I majored in English creative writing and music interesting.

Kara Goldin 4:52
And then the technology side of it, was it. I mean, were you taking classes in that or where did you feel like you learned that

Emily Lazar 5:00
So my experience was one where there were not really any women taking any of those kinds of recording classes or, you know, the tech, stem based music classes. And. And Aye, aye, aye, as I was in a band, and I was writing songs, and I was really interested in the production side of things. And so when we went into the studio, I had to rely on the people that worked in various studios, or if we, in college, if we were in the studio at school, it wasn’t really my place, you know, because I didn’t, I didn’t know anything about that. And I didn’t grow up playing with equipment and plugging things in. And so I was really more on the creative already write the song be the performer side. And I was super frustrated, because the things that I was hearing inside my head, were not coming out in the recordings. And because they were my songs that I was writing, there was this huge disconnect. It was like, you know, being a painter, and having a box full of paints and no brush, you know, no tool. And so I went through. Yeah, so, and I had to get over a kind of hurdles and things to get to that point where I was comfortable enough to even learn because it was so off putting, and there were so few women, and it was so male dominated. And not just that it was male dominated. It was also, you know, not welcoming wasn’t just that it was all men, it was that it wasn’t really inviting in any way. So, interestingly enough for me, when I identified that I could study this stuff, and that it was there was a whole world of this that I didn’t even know about, I was voracious. And so I had to know everything. And not only just because I was so interested, but because I knew that I had to be competent enough to withstand any of the barbs that would be coming my way and not be able to not be pushed around or knocked off my block and be able to commit to having the confidence to, to follow through on everything else in my life that I had a lot of confidence in, you know, getting up on the stage and singing a song or writing a song or having ideas was not my problem, it was more translating them into this language that I didn’t have a handle on, it didn’t know the jargon. So once I once I kind of got the tools to play the game, I was a lot a lot better off. But no, I was not, you know, you know, groomed to know how to do it at all? Well, you know,

Kara Goldin 7:37
it’s so fascinating. One of the things that I talk about in a lot, and I talk about it in my book is that actually not having the experience when I went into the beverage industry, I had, I grew up in tech, and thought, you know, had a great career in tech. And then suddenly, I wanted a drink that didn’t have three nerves in it. And so I assumed that I had to go find all these people who had worked at Pepsi or Coke, or if somewhere in the beverage industry to help me figure it out. And what I realized is that they completely discounted that I would ever be able to do it, I was a waste of time, forget about that I was, you know, female. I mean, we didn’t even get that far. It’s just that I didn’t have the right resume. And so therefore I was with things. And, and so I, you know, knew that I was vulnerable, right? And that I was I, every day I was exhausted because I was learning so much. Because I didn’t go in thinking I have all this experience. And what I share with entrepreneurs today is that while you have to sort of know your audience and know who the competition is out there, that it’s often the people that are the most curious, and the people that actually share the vision that are the ones that you should really worry about. Yeah, I

Emily Lazar 9:06
think those are the those are the people I’m in and this is a proven thing. Right. Those are the people that are the disruptors, those are the people that are the innovators that you know. And so, yeah, that’s kind of how I, in my company, there was a and what I do, there was a very tried and true way that you did this. And I approached it totally differently as well. And I took a lot of flack for it in the beginning but really kind of did my own approach to something that was approached in a purely technical way before I actually brought a whole creative spin to and kind of like this art form. And and, you know, with as with the advent of newer technologies kind of started to use them even further in that way. People were like, Oh, what is she doing? You know, and,

Kara Goldin 9:54
and obviously I ended up getting noticed for it with all of your Grammy nominations as well. Well, so can you explain a little bit more about what is audio mastering?

Emily Lazar 10:06
Okay, so mastering is taking a piece of music after it has been recorded, there’s a couple processes that happen first, and it’s a kind of a collaboration, it starts in the beginning of the song, right, somebody writes a great song, or any song from a manner, we hope it’s great. And they come up with a way that they’re going to record it, they think about what instruments they might want, or how they want it to sound in a kind of inspirational way, right, and then maybe a producer comes along and tries to translate that vision with that person, if they can’t do it themselves into, I think you should put strings, you know, a string section here, or horns, or, you know, whatever, or we need more electric guitars, then then what you’re doing, whatever that is to kind of like flesh out, let’s use the painting analogy again, right. So like, you could, you know, a songwriter could write a song, and it could be like, all in shades of blue, but there could be so many different shades. And all of a sudden, maybe a producer says, you know, what would be amazing if we did like this one streak of yellow, and that would really make your other blue stuff pop out, because you’d see it more whatever, whatever. So it’s kind of like this idea of creating that picture, orally. And so there’s the artist, to the person who writes a song, the artist, the performer, the producer, the mixer, who takes all of that paint and stuff and says, really, we need this much blue here, and this much yellow here. And it should be on this kind of a canvas in this kind of a frame, right. And then you get to the mastering stage, which is where the mastering engineer would be the person who kind of does like post and film. But so with keeping with this analogy, the mastering engineer would make sure that that picture has all the right tents, that it’s, you know, just blurry enough over here and just, you know, detailed enough over here, and, you know, is as tall and as wide as it should be that the frame is straight, that it’s hanging on the wall and that it’s presentable for anybody to go see it. So a music that would translate to any format that you’re listening on, which would be any of the ways that you could download it, or have it CD, streaming, vinyl, cassette, any of these other things that you know, you could listen to music on. And within the streaming world, there’s multiple ways to listen to stream music, which consumers may not totally know right off the bat. But like listening to Spotify is different sound quality than listening to Apple is different than listening to title, they all have different unique things about them. So as a mastering engineer, you create that final master for each of those format, so that it will sound the best and translate on all those different things, as well as in a giant club. It should sound great, and it should also sound great on these, right. So and it should, you know sound great on the little speaker that you’re streaming it to that you you know, it’s your property, when you’re not really paying attention, that should do the right thing as well. And it should sound great in your car. So there’s all these various places that it has to work and work at its best, you know, capacity. So that’s what a mastering engineer does. And there’s lots of ways to get there. And I you know, I have my own way that I kind of think is the way that works for me to do it. And hopefully the artists that I work with feel that it’s kind of pushing the desk. But it is, for me, it’s a super creative process. And always, always, always goes all the way back to serving the song. And for me, that’s really easy because I was an artist and a songwriter. So that’s where I come from, in my mind is that the end of the day, all of these technical things don’t matter if it doesn’t add up to serving the end result and making you the listener. Like the hair on the back of your neck stand up for that moment. Really cool. Wow, that was so cool. Oh, I just loved the song. I have to hear it 42 times in a row. That that feeling right, which is, you know, the magic stuff.

Kara Goldin 14:12
You went from the front end, right, the creative right and to to really being the behind the scenes. What Yeah, like, I mean, did you initially do it just to kind of help out. But then just found that you really enjoyed it.

Emily Lazar 14:28
I didn’t do it to help out. It’s purely selfish. It was my stuff that I was working on. That was like that was the that was the the point of entry was I want control over my artistic production. Like, I want to be able to, you know, I don’t want to just tell somebody, I wanted to sound like this know what I mean? And then have them give it back to me and fall flat. I wanted to be the person to kind of get to that place and, and there’s a big part of that in the production side of music wizard. There’s a going on. So I think it was completely motivated by selfish, you know, selfish endeavors of me wanting my stuff to sound a certain way. You know, it’s

Kara Goldin 15:11
also really interesting hearing you talk about this too, because even running, you know, my own business and something I share with other entrepreneurs and and founders is that understanding every aspect of the company, it doesn’t mean that you have to do it every single day. But I would imagine that there’s so many artists out there that are, you know, on the front end, or however you describe it of, you know, the creators, but they don’t really understand this other stuff. That’s for an engineer, that’s for this. And how important do you think it is, for an artist to really understand these other aspects as they grow their career?

Emily Lazar 15:53
I think it’s really important. I think it’s, it’s vital, actually. And it’s a lot for for you need a team, for sure. And I think, the most successful artists that that I know, that I’ve worked with have identified what they’re good at, and how to quickly delegate to get the results that they want out of the people around them and find the best team. Like I said before, it’s a collaboration. So even just assembling a great team, just as a business person, assembling your team is a huge part of winning, winning, right? Like, you have to have a great team, you cannot do everything yourself. But being able to speak the language that your teammates are operating in is really important, or you won’t be heard, you know, you, won’t you, it’s like, everybody doesn’t have a magic decoder ring to just, like they know exactly what you’re thinking or how you want something to go. So, you know, for an artist, I actually, personally, when I’m working with artists, I prefer that they speak to me in colors, and in ideas. And like, I wanted this song to sound like a sausage pizza, but it actually sounds like a roast beef sandwich. And it is not happening to me. Like that would be great. Because I can go like, okay, I totally get what they’re saying, you know, I get it right, I can I can pull something out of that. That makes sense to me. Sometimes when people who are not really technical speak, Ted Talk, if there’s something gets lost in translation, right, the the vibe and stuff is missing, and then the magic is gone somehow, right? And, and like if somebody said to, you know, this flavor, I really wanted it to taste like red, you know, and it’s like, it’s like blue, it’s like purple or blue. It’s not red. And you’d be like, I get that I get it, I get what you write you there’s it would tell you something, it would indicate something, right? And so for me, that’s the kind of dialogue that I kind of promote with my clients and with the producers who are calling me to do to do what they need to kind of cross the finish line. I’m like, you know, before when you’re asking me what a mastering engineer is and does, like, technically, I told you, but you know, if I feel more like a midwife, I feel like I’m helping or, or an OB or something. I’m helping somebody have a baby. And it is as nerve wracking and as scary. It’s like unveiling a new product or something. Will they like it? You know? Will people like my baby? Well, they think my baby’s ugly? Do I like my baby? Do I think my baby’s

Kara Goldin 18:22
icing on the cake? Right? It’s right, that really you can make or break these an artist and so so who was the first that you worked outside of, for outside of your own material?

Emily Lazar 18:38
I don’t even know who to who to pick. I mean, you know, I’ve worked with like, luminary visionary people like Lou Reed and David Bowie and the Beatles, and the stones, stuff like that. And, and I also worked with people like I’m like looking around the room for cues because I’m posters. I love cool. Yeah. Like, I

Kara Goldin 18:59
like working. David Bowie. I have an amazing picture and my house that’s a signed incredible piece that I actually found in a store in Dublin, Ireland, and I just I cherish it, but what was it like working with David Bowie.

Emily Lazar 19:18
I mean, I have I have a lot of incredibly fond memories of working with him and the producer that was involved in that album was famous, Tony Visconti. And it was we actually did two together to two items for David and, and some stuff in between, but he is very, very charming and very funny. And, you know, as a, that itself is, you know, slightly off putting, because, you know, when somebody of that level walks in the room, I think you feel the need to hopefully be you know, making sure they’re happy and laughing and you’re entertaining them and he was very so so I’m aware of everyone else in the room and he was entertaining all of us, he was kind of like that All the world’s a stage kind of person, like he walked in, and he was just on. And, and really funny. And the funny story that I have was that we were working on an album and, and he had just seen an episode of The Osborne reality show. And it was the moment he he was imitating Ozzy Osborne is doing, you know, yelling at Sharon, calling himself the Prince of Darkness, you know, and going on this whole rant about, you know, flying in the room on this thing and how he didn’t want to do it and, and, you know, yelling at her as she was the manager at that point in time, and, and, but but all of a sudden that I got, you know, I went, Oh, my God is this reality, like, David Bowie, is imitating Ozzy Osborne. It’s like, look around the room, there’s no one else in the room. He was just trying to make me laugh, you know. And I was like, What just happened here, this is the whole world is upside down. But he made you know, he’s the kind of person that made you feel very comfortable. So that you didn’t know. It was only like in a flash that that came to me because it was just really funny. And he was no really normal guy, you know, and you make me feel so comfortable that he was, you know, David Bowie wasn’t in the room anymore. Just this funny, charming, cool guy was in the room. But then it wasn’t lost on me later. And I was like, wait, that was crazy.

Kara Goldin 21:25
That’s Yeah. And so you started your facility, the lodge? And and why did you decide to do that versus just freelancing and kind of working on other prior work? I mean, you’ve

Emily Lazar 21:39
Yeah, I worked at another company. And I, of course, was the only woman and the only woman that they had ever hired, the first woman that they’d ever hired. And the most polite way to put this is that it’s really great to work for someone else, so that you can create the roadmap for how you would do it, if they’re not doing very well. Right. So it was very easy for me to kind of say, this is a problem, this is a problem. I don’t like how they’re doing this, I like how they’re doing that. And I knew knows, you know, I just was had convictions about how people should be treated, and being, you know, empathetic leaders, and, you know, just a lot, a lot of things that I just wasn’t getting there. And so that was easy, actually. It was kind of kind of funny, it was like, it was like the best handbook I could have ever had. And it made me not make any of those mistakes, I made plenty on my own. I didn’t make those. So that was kind of that was good. So yeah, and I started my company when I was 25 years old. And I always say that it was the best time to do that a lot of people, you know, think that maybe it’s crazy to start something so young, or, you know, you don’t have all this experience under your belt. You’re not you don’t have the gray hair yet. And I say gray hair is overrated. And that’s why I dye mine. And, and so, but you know, I think that being that age was very freeing, because it allows you to kind of go for it in a way that, you know, wisdom and experience may hold hold you back a little bit because you maybe wouldn’t be as risky. You know, you wouldn’t be as risky. But like, I don’t know about you. But when I was 17, and in high school, I think my parents probably thought I was intolerable. And I can say this because I have a 17 year old now. And I remember this moment where I knew everything you couldn’t I mean, I just knew everything, when at that time I was 21 through 25 Forget it. I mean, I just had it so dialed in. Now as a person who has managed to actually see a little bit of success and do some things I’m like, Huh, and I’m far more thoughtful about stuff than I then I was then I was a very, very keyed into my gut instincts younger and I think I still am, I still ruled by my gut. But I have a little more thought going on, I think than I did then. And so I was, I mean, I always say to people to kind of go for it when they’re, you know, hemming and hawing and stuff and they’re young and like, what’s gonna happen if it doesn’t work out, you can just reinvent yourself and do something else. I say the same thing to people who are 50 and beyond as well, like, okay, so it doesn’t work out wake up and do something else. It’s not the end of the world. Try, right? What’s the worst thing can happen? It doesn’t work. Okay, move on. You know, like, it’s not such a big deal. But, but I know that it is a bigger deal when you’re when you’re when you have more kind of hanging on your shoulders. So you know, I’ve thought about it a lot like what kind of propelled me at that age to have such an arm even though of courage is the right But it was kind of courageous. I didn’t think of it then I kind of wanted, I didn’t have a choice. But here’s the thing, though I didn’t have a choice, right? Because no women were getting the positions that I wanted. No women were leading in the field, no women were being hired. And I didn’t see myself ever getting out from, you know, base level, in the career or in the field at all. And, and I knew that I had more to offer. And so I didn’t want to just be kind of like, stuck there. I didn’t have a choice. Really, I didn’t I mean, I, this is the truth. So

Kara Goldin 25:35
well, I love it. And I’m a huge believer that if the opportunities aren’t there for you, then you go out and create them. So and right to end this year, I just heard the statistic that 4.2 million people are going out and becoming entrepreneurs. It’s amazing. I love it. I think the pandemic has spurred a lot of people to kind of rethink a lot of things. A lot of silver linings. Right. And, and I think it’s really, really exciting. And I’m sure there’s some scared people out there thinking, I don’t know if I’m doing the right thing or not. But I’m gonna go out and try and, as I say live undaunted. And I mean, clearly what you’ve done is you’ve trail blazed this. And and I think once you start making progress and and seeing kind of what you’re doing, it’s easier to look back on on this and say, Well, I was scared. And now I’m, I’m still scared, and I’m learning and every time I expose myself to new things and learning things, I think that the other thing, I did a little research on you too, and and the other thing that I’ve learned about you is just your work ethic. And it’s something that I’m constantly sharing with people that even when you’re in environments, for example, that you may not find perfect, right? You have to keep your head down and really do great at work and be kind and all of these kind of, you know, basic things that I’m sure when we were 17 years old, that you know, it was just your parents saying, Oh, you know, whatever, like you have no idea what’s going on. But that kind of stuff, it ends up following you. And in a good way. Sure, for you. And I think you’re really known for that. How have you seen that? You know, the really important, and I’m sure you’ve probably seen people who have kind of been bitten by not acting properly along the way as well.

Emily Lazar 27:43
I mean, I think I mean, everything that you said resonates with me really deeply. And I think that keeping my head down and staying focused and working was essential to my survival in this area. And, you know, now today, there are today, if you can believe this 2% of the women producers, and engineers are female, like to 2% are women like 98%? are men, that’s even a better way to say, Wow, 98% are men. So that has to completely change. But it was worse before. I mean, I know this in my heart, I don’t have the metrics, because there was no data, because there were so few of us that nobody even said, Hello, how many of us are there? But there were, you know, I when I think about it, I guess I I realized that it was it was part of my work ethic any any way to kind of behave that way. But I had to, or I wouldn’t have, I wouldn’t have, I wouldn’t have made it right, because I had to keep going and keep, you know, keep working and, and not get sidetracked by distractions, really. And there were a lot of distractions, and there always are. And there’s lots of people that should be called out for doing terrible things and behaving poorly. And you know, there’s a I’m very energized by the new, you know, the women that are coming up, and that have the ability to call out that behavior. I’m so glad that we’ve created an environment, hopefully with some suffering of our own as we as it trickles down to them that now that they can kind of like, raise their hand and say, No, no, I’m not having it. Yeah. Which is great. And I’m always really inspired and excited for them. Because you know, they’re the badass as of tomorrow, and we need them for sure. And I just wasn’t, I don’t know about you, but I didn’t feel the ability to do that. When, you know, 20 years ago, it just wasn’t I couldn’t or I would or I wouldn’t be. I wouldn’t be talking to you today about this. I Maybe we’ll be talking about something else. But I wouldn’t have been talking about this. Because I wouldn’t have been able to survive. You know,

Kara Goldin 30:06
do you feel that the music industry when when artists are searching for an engineer? Do they look for women? I mean, do you? Or do you feel? I mean, I, I always think that it’s important. You have to be able to stand on your own right and, and actually be really, really good. But I’m curious if if people are, are looking for women to support other women, I mean, obviously, they’re probably excited when they meet you, in particular that you are a woman and that you’re, you know,

Emily Lazar 30:38
well, they’re, they’re really hard to find, you know, and also, like, this is a new thing that women are even women were the minority and all aspects of the industry, as artists as the whole business people the whole way. So what I’m really thrilled about are like the, there are men that work with me, because I’m good at math, because I’m a woman or because, you know, they work in a because they heard that I’m good from so and so or they do a kind of like a blind taste test between me and someone else. And they go, Wow, this is great. And we want to work with you. I think that the problem for Women Engineers is that there aren’t enough of them. And they aren’t getting hired. there’s a there’s a history of not hiring them. So I’m doing the best that I can to try to facilitate recommending people for jobs and connecting people. And, you know, as you said, in the intro, I did start this initiative called we’re moving the needle, which is a so it came about because this year, this past year, I was nominated for three Album of the Year Grammy Award nominations. Right, super exciting. And the interesting thing about that is that it was all in one category, which is the biggest category Album of the Year. Right. So that’s a that in and of itself was surreal and crazy. For me. It was worth the album. Time, Coldplay and Jacob Collier. It’s amazing. So those albums in each of those albums super incredible, very unique, all really storytelling types of works. And all albums I’m really, really proud of being a part of the The interesting thing about those nominations was, and it was brought to my attention by someone else was that this was the first time that a mastering engineer was ever nominated for three separate nominations in one in that category and Album of the Year. Or in I think it may have even been in any court category, but definitely an album of the year. And the only other people that kind of matched that concept in the album of your category were for Raul and Rick Rubin, who writes so this was a very surreal moment for me. And it was the first time that I really felt that I had done something amazing and different. Because every other time, five other times that I’ve been nominated, was a ceiling breaking moment. First woman who first woman who first woman and so I would get these these questions from the press. What does it feel like to be a woman in the music industry? What does it feel like to be a woman, the first woman to blah, blah, blah? And I get very frustrated? Because, you know, how about we talk about the record I made or the artistic choices we made or we know what I’m what this is about, not like the fact that I happen to be a woman. And it was really troublesome to me and and when I got the three this past year, and I’ve been doing this for a while not my first rodeo. I all of a sudden realized that I had discounted all of those other nominations before, because the immediate response was paid. So great. You broke a ceiling. You’re the first woman who blah, blah, blah. All of a sudden it felt like Oh, I didn’t really throw these men already did it. So like, whatever. I didn’t give it like the same credence that I should have. You know, look, I was happy. I thought it was awesome. You know, right. But I there was this twinge of like, oh, okay, right. It’s not that, whatever. And so on this one, I was like, Oh, I actually did something cool. Like this is crazy, because I’m not being compared to women men, this that, you know, this weird kind of thing. Anyway, as this was happening, I kind of realized that.

In my heart of hearts, I knew that we weren’t there yet. I knew that the numbers from the Annenberg inclusion study which had come out, I think two years prior at the time, which had said we were at 2.6% of the of the industry was producers and engineers was was women. I knew that it was still really low. I didn’t know that it had gone down at the time. But even at 2.6%, I was pretty disgusted. And I had been already like speaking on lots of panels and trying to be very visible and be very helpful and in hiring and helping and doing everything I possibly could to give back and volunteer. And so I had received a phone call from somebody who who random runs a very awesome school in Nashville called Blackbird Academy. And the person is john McBride. JOHN McBride is married to Martina McBride, who is the country artist. And he had started this Academy at a blackbird studios, which is a very famous Nashville, very large, incredible studio. So john, on the phone, we’re having this conversation and he says, You know, I haven’t had a female applicant in two years. And this was like, like, probably in January at some point. And I couldn’t breathe. I was like, No, how is that possible? mountain marches on Washington, you know, people wearing pussy hats, me to the you know, president and the CEO of the Recording Academy, you know, being taken to task and blah, blah, what is going on? Why is this not? I’m speaking on every panel, I can, what is happening, right? It can’t be not a person. Not one. I said, Please tell me there was one and she just wasn’t good enough. Like you rejected her. No, no, I said, I said I would have taken it. Alright. Is it Can you can you have any women students? And I was like, well, that’s not what I do. But one Yes, I can. Yes, I can. I will. Yes. And so he said, you know, I’ll give you you know, they have four terms near for scholarships. I said, that’s great. I want eight. I’ve always been the only woman in the room. And I’m not sending someone down there to be the only woman in the room. You’re gonna have to there’s only two women bases in every class if you have not one. He was like a genius. Yes, I agree. I agree. Fabulous. Great. And these are big scholarships are not, not like a nothing. So from there, I just kind of bloomed this thing into existence. And in a matter of a few months, we launched on International Women’s Day. And the same day, the Annenberg inclusion study revealed and was announced that the number had gone down. And I went, well, we couldn’t have better timing with this is is very necessary. We need to, you know, get this thing going. And the initiative is all about. It’s kind of like a fourfold thing. Education, which, for me, we didn’t really talk about this. But after going to Skidmore, I went back and I worked in a bunch of studios, and it was pretty awful. And then I got my master’s degree and got really, really intense on this specific technology with with Mastering the Art of mastering. And that was a kind of safe place for me to be a woman and be learning. And you’re gonna be in a safe place to do that and ask questions and be curious. Right? So I think that the programs don’t have women, and they’re not attracting women. There’s obviously some sort of disconnect going on, because I see lots of women who are really into it. And I see a lot of people coming to me and artists and so there was some disconnect happening there. So we wanted to do that. We wanted to make sure that women had equipment in their hands, right. So women normally getting, you know, stuffed animals and unicorns and rainbows and makeup and stuff to play with that is all great. I love all those things, by the way, but I wasn’t handed you know, a mixing board or a microphone or even an electric guitar. Boys are usually handed those things to plug in and play with. So trying to make sure that women have access to equipment so that by the time they get to the to getting a scholarship or getting to school, they are not a mile behind, you know, just trying to catch up on the on the equipment level. Then thirdly,

I have a lot of really wonderful friends from the industry from you know, Brandi Carlile to Brittany Howard to Maggie Rogers to all these amazing women Plus, you know, the Linda Perry, some of the world’s amazing producers and just an incredible coterie of badass women who kind of came forth to me and said, Yes, we’re doing this with you. This is this is a gaping hole we want to help. And so all those people are sitting on our soundboard. So our soundboard is a place where mentorship for the scholarship recipients and they’ll get one on one help and advice from day one all the way through into their career, which then takes us to the next thing which is the employment right after all of this. We have to get them jobs we have to get them hired. So that piece is going to happen through insurance. from various companies that have already dedicated, specific seats for just we are moving the needle candidates and trying to create a community where there was not, there was no alumni network, like if I wanted to call an alumni network from college, right? I could. And if I said, Okay, so I want to do, you know, mastering, they’d be like, great, but there’s no one for me to talk to you there was no, you know, there was no one to reach to. So creating and I and because I knew that, you know, painfully from my own experience, not only do people have no one to like reach up to, but it’s also really nice to reach down and help, right and if we didn’t have that, but I also didn’t have this like side to side community with like, like minded women that I can talk to on my level. So it’s created a really cool thing on on, you know, and that wasn’t the point. But it’s, it ended up creating this really cool community with lots of incredible voices and smart, intense women who want to see change and want to see it fast. So. So that’s what we are moving the needle needle is all about. And I’m so excited, because it’s been kind of going gangbusters. And it’s been really rewarding to see,

Kara Goldin 41:11
I just, I’m going to,

Emily Lazar 41:12
I want that number to change in three. So we’re at 2%. Now, in three years, I want to be at 30%. In 10 years, I want to be at 50% and 50% of that 50% needs to be non white.

Kara Goldin 41:25
There was just too much of a disparity going on. And it’s just not right. And if it’s not there you go create it. So I love that attitude. And I hope to see more and more people having that attitude, not only in their career, but in pulling other people up as you’re doing with we are moving the needle and so amazing to have you here and just kind of share your experience. You’re so inspiring. And plus, I already loved you because you’re a hint fan and

Emily Lazar 42:01
beyond right? Watermelon watermelon today, I happen to be a big fan of like the mint, the peppermint, it’s very hard to find.

Kara Goldin 42:09
Yes, we’re actually out of stock on it right now. And I keep getting emails from PC. hazy I know it’s a it definitely is one that that so many people talk about. So I’ll put your name question as as well as noted, where can people find out more about what you’re doing. And congratulations on all your sickness and everything that you’ve really plowed down any walls to go and achieve your you truly are inspiring and shed so much light just on, you know how far you can go. If you just push forward and go out and create and figure out your own opportunities. You’re just a living example of that. So where do people find out more about Emily and follow you and also we are moving the needle,

Emily Lazar 42:57
my Instagram is Emily lazaar Lodge at Emily lazaar Lodge, my company is the lodge calm and we are moving the needle.org is where we are moving the needle is and we’re also on Instagram too. And we invite everyone to participate. It’s not a woman’s organization. It’s a holistic approach. So those male allies are not only invited, but they are cherished and have a lot to give and are a huge part of the solution. So we want them involved in a very big way. And we’ve got some cool announcements coming soon. on that front. And and I just want to thank you for having me number one because this was a really fun chat. And now you have to promise that you’ll come be on my podcast when I start mine because I want to ask you a million bucks. Yeah,

Kara Goldin 43:51
no, I would be honest,

Emily Lazar 43:53
I would You’re such a badass and and I love you know, not only do I love the, you know, product that you created, obviously but you know, I love the story behind it and I love that you were not taking No, because that’s kind of where I sit to and I don’t understand when people take no it’s always very shocking to me when people say that, you know, oh, they said no. So I just you know,

Kara Goldin 44:23
I’m like what is that you just know to fit you

Emily Lazar 44:25
know is to that attitude right? So anyway, so I’m I’m thrilled to get to talk to you and I am you know grateful for the chance to get to mind meld with you because it feels very like simpatico and I love that so yeah,

Kara Goldin 44:41
no I absolutely love it. Well thank you everybody for listening and and sharing, sharing our conversation overall with all of your friends. Please share this let people know about the Kara golden show. I I’ve got some amazing amazing And guests including Emily to come and share a little bit about her career and her journey and, and really showing everybody that if you believe in yourself and push forward that that’s the most important thing and bringing other people up is is always a really, really important aspects. So thank you again and everybody have a great rest of the week. before we sign off I want to talk to you about fear. People like to talk about fearless leaders. But achieving big goals isn’t about fearlessness. successful leaders recognize their fears and decide to deal with them head on in order to move forward. This is where my new book undaunted comes in. This book is designed for anyone who wants to succeed in the face of fear, overcome doubts and live a little undaunted. Order your copy today at undaunted, the book calm and learn how to look your doubts and doubters in the eye and achieve your dreams. For a limited time. You’ll also receive a free case of hint water. Do you have a question for me or want to nominate an innovator to spotlight? send me a tweet at Kara golden and let me know. And if you liked what you heard, please leave me a review on Apple podcasts. You can also follow along with me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn at Kara golden golden thanks for listening