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February 2023
Vol. 22, No. 5


Can’t Knock the Hustle

February 2014

Being a working musician, songwriter or entertainer requires much more than talent. On top of being artists we often act as our own agents, bookers, promoters, graphic designers, marketers, fundraisers, producers, social media managers, and the list goes on. We become the CEOs of our own tiny businesses, striving to reach a point where our music will not only reach more ears, but also provide us with financial security. This week, I wanted to give props to a few local musicians who share the hardworking qualities I admire in this tough business. I didn’t purposely select all female artists, but given the additional obstacles women in this industry face, I am happy to see these tenacious business women rising above such barriers.

Tori Roze (of Tori Roze and the Hot Mess): Tori and guitarist Johnny Alexander just self-released the official music video for “Little Black Ballerina” off their latest album Turbulence. She is currently starring as Mama Morton in Chicago at the Coronado Playhouse, which runs through February. She also just started up a residency with her band every 4th Monday at Bar Pink. Learn more about Tori Roze here.

Gayle Skidmore: Gayle has long been a darling of the indie scene in San Diego. This talented artist completes one successful fundraiser, music release, and tour after the other. She releases albums with hand-drawn coloring books. She bakes cookies and brings them to her shows (and you all know how I feel about cookies). Most recently, she achieved a song placement on HBO’s “Looking.” Learn more about Gayle Skidmore here.

Steph Johnson: I’ve never seen someone as dedicated to their instrument as Steph Johnson. I’ve witnessed her leaving social functions because she missed playing her guitar. Years ago when I met her, she already had audiences eating out of the palm of her hand with her sultry voice and magnetic stage presence. She could have left well enough alone, but she chose to get serious about her guitar playing and now finds herself in the company of some of the best local and national jazz musicians. Besides playing and touring with her trio (bassist Rob Thorsen and drummer Fernando Gomez), Steph has a new album in the works. Find out more about Steph Johnson here.

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