We had the good fortune of connecting with Amanda Fernandez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Amanda, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I think that risk is necessary. As someone that is innately shy and has anxiety, my entire career in itself is a risk. As a queer Latina with an incurable disease, my entire existence is a risk. In the music industry business, you have to be seen and put yourself out there. I’ve had to get out of my comfort zone multiple times, even when I was afraid to. In a lot of instances involving risk, my passion pushes me to ignore my fears and insecurities and go for what I want. I know that if I want to succeed, I have to push through no matter what.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My career can be bottled down to “music industry professional.” I do many things, but they all fall under that umbrella. I am an artist manager, masters student, DJ, and I’ve worked at a few labels doing work in publishing, licensing, copyright, A&R, and A&R administration. I also network and assist other professionals with whatever they need to add to my skills and resume-I try to be as omniscient as possible. I think what sets me apart is the mentality I have, and what I’ve had to deal with to get where I am today. I’ve heard some negative things about the music industry, like that lots of people are snakes, it’s a very “every person for themselves” mentality, and extremely competitive. However, what I strive to do, is put the emphasis on the team, the team of people that are going to work together to achieve greatness. Also, having people help the people that want to get into the industry, but don’t know how; to lift them up and encourage them. I believe that the future generations are going to keep making the music industry great and the best that it can be. I also strive to make the industry better for women, POC, LGBTQ+ people, and any other marginalized group. I would love to work with people that share that. As far as my journey, it was not easy. I’ve had Lupus Nephritis since I was 11 years old and have had to work twice as hard to achieve my goals ever since. In 2017 while I was working at WMG, (Warner Music Group) I had to get treatments every Friday, and on my 2 hour drive home in Los Angeles traffic would have to pull over a couple of times to throw up. In 2019 when I was at Warner Records, I had to be hospitalized for over 2 weeks, undergoing chemo therapy, blood transfusions, a kidney biopsy, and intense medication and steroid treatment. All while trying to work with an IV in my arm. No matter what the circumstance was, I always pushed. Even if I wasn’t feeling well and had an IV in my arm trying to type and do whatever else. I want to use my story to inspire others. Whatever they are going through, they can still achieve whatever they want to achieve. It might take a little longer, it might take a lot of work around, BUT you can still do it. If nobody else does, I believe in you. Everyone has a voice and an opportunity to be the best that they can be. I see you, I hear you, and you are loved and appreciated. Shoot for the stars and never stop dreaming.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Thankfully I live in Southern California, so there is plenty to do! Here’s my weekly itinerary:
Sunday night-pick them up from LAX, then take them a couple of miles to a taco truck that has AMAZING Mexican food.
Monday-Disneyland! (because 1 I love Disney and 2, it’s probably less crowded on a Monday and its DISNEYLAND)
Tuesday-Check out some cool museums and gardens in Los Angeles, eat at Urth Cafe, and take some cool pics and some photo spots in the city
Wednesday-Beach (I honestly hate the beach but I’ll do it for my best friend)
Thursday-Mountains (honestly Southern California weather is bipolar, so having a day being warm and cold the next is normal)
Friday-San Diego-have to show them around Old Town, and then go to Gaslamp at night
Saturday-West Hollywood-go to the cool bars like Fiesta Cantina
Sunday-go to a nice brunch in LA and send them off! (sad face)
To be honest, I’m not really good with restaurant or bar names, I just go with the flow and whatever sounds good, I’ll go! But I love to travel, sight see, explore, eat great food, and vibe to good music!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d definitely like to give credit to a couple of people. First, would be Judi Cruz. I was in her freshman seminar class my first semester of college. I was super shy, I never talked or engaged, I just did my work and left. We had to write weekly journals in class, and I had mentioned that I was a DJ. She had told me to go down to the radio station because they were looking for DJs, which leads me to my next person of recognition, Lacey Kendall. Even though I had no idea who she was, or what the radio station was, or had any experience whatsoever, she saw something within me, and gave me a chance. If those women had not believed in me, I would absolutely not be where I am today. I went from a shy nobody to commencement speaker, media representative of the year award recipient, campus and Southern California wide DJ, radio and music industry professional all because of them. I don’t have the words to express how thankful I am that they both came into my life at the time that they did; my life literally change for the best because of them.