By Jacquelyn Cornier
Women empowerment is more than just hashtags, aesthetically pleasing brunches, photo ops and panels in big cities. “Women empowerment is providing opportunities for women to win,” said Rashae Barnes, Vice President of record label Rockstarr Music Group (RGM). Barnes, like many women in this generation, are creating their own opportunities by unapologetically taking risks. In the past five-years, Barnes has been a freelance media journalist for BET, VH1, and a media representative for Def Jam.
Most recently she has crossed paths with well-known rapper Trina.“Its a funny story. Shortly after I met Trina I came up with a job proposal for her record label, RGM. After an in-person interaction and a meeting later, I was offered the VP position that I pitched for myself. I’ve been working alongside her for four months now” she said. Speaking of success, Trina — a queen from her Miami hometown known as one of the most consistent female-rappers of all time and on air television star for Love & Hip-Hop Miami — has made her accomplishments be what people would be satisfied with. But, for Trina, that just isn’t enough.
Women are not only creating opportunities for themselves but, they’re paying it forward to positively impact their community and the livelihood of other women world-wide. Trina created her record label RMG in 2014 and has been grinding ever since. She currently has six signed artists, four of them being women. You’re probably internally screaming ‘yassss’ and so are we. I couldn’t help but wonder, what inspired Trina to create RMG? How has her experience in such a male dominated industry impacted her aspirations and what can the people expect next? In light of that, here is a Q&A with the Queen, Trina, herself.
The Girls Room (TGR): How has your music career shaped you into the woman you are today ?
Trina (T): “My music career has had a huge influence on the womanI am today. I’ve always been strong minded and extremely independent. It’s truly helped me keep my sanity and focus.”
TGR: What were your experiences like navigating through an industry that is extremely male dominated?
T: “I came into the industry under all guys. There were no girls around so, I learned how to deal with their egos and over protective ways. I watched and learned a lot from Trick and Ross and the guys on the label so I was prepared to handle any situation.”
TGR: Throughout your music career, did you have a mentor to guide you? If so, who?
T: “I didn’t really have a mentor in the industry. My mom is my mentor. Everything I learned and I need to know about life is from her. I’m also an observer. I always pay attention and watch people actions in this industry because people intentions change on the daily.”
TGR: Within the past couple of years, women have become more united and those who are in powerful positions have been paying opportunities forward. What inspired you to create your own record label?
T: “I was inspired to start my own label a few years back after my deal with SNS and Atlantic Records was over. I learned so much about the business side of it and as an artist I didn’t really know these things prior. Music was in a decline and sales were down and I knew being independent would be way more beneficial.”
TGR: What do you think your record label would provide that others don’t and what is your mission behind RMG?
T: “Rockstarr Music Group will provide freedom. As an artist, you should be able to be as free as you need to be to create a great body of work. Artistry shouldn’t be confined into one type of music and that’s what RMG will provide our signed artists. My mission behind RMG is to be the biggest label in the world and to introduce artist with great energy while providing good music to the universe.”
TGR: We’ve all heard the quote, “Behind every strong woman is a tribe of other strong women.” Who are some female figures that inspire you?
T: “I’m inspired by some amazing women such as Gabrielle Union, Missy Elliott, Jada Pinkett-Smith, LaLa Anthony and Oprah.”
TGR: Although there are social media allows women to female empowered through online women-based platforms like “The Girls Room,” based on your struggles what do you think women in the industry need more of?
T: “I honestly feel like women in the industry need more unity. There’s so much hate and disrespect towards women and mainly from women. Women need bigger platforms. Women need equality.”
TGR: If you could give advice to aspiring women artists, what would it be?
T: “My advice to women and upcoming artists is stay focused. Know your worth, fight for what you truly believe in and never, ever settle. Your dream is your reality. Go hard for yourself, be responsible for yourself, this is your life and no one can live it for you.”
TGR: What has been your most memorable moment of 2018 so far?
T: My most memorable moment of 2018 is performing at the On The Run II tour during DJ Khaled’s set. It was so inspiring to actually perform on Beyonce’s stage. Nothing compares.“
As 2018 quickly comes to an end The Girls Room encourage you to take charge of your life. Trina and her VP Barnes is an example of just that. Don’t wait for an opportunity, take it. Don’t settle for unhappiness, reevaluate your circumstances. And, don’t allow a male dominated field stir you away from your aspirations.
On October 6th, Trina will be celebrating the official launch of her record label RMG in Miami, Florida. We look forward to seeing the difference RMG will make in the music industry, until then, tune into RMG Instagram page, here