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Music Inspirations

by Erika Gimenes

Everyone has an inspiration, someone they admire, someone they want to learn from, someone they aspire to be. 

There are so many geniuses in the music industry, and growing up in the 80s, with the huge birth of MTV, finding a music “genius” as I called it back in the day, was no easy task.

Growing up in Brazil, MTV didn’t become huge until I was in high school. We had MTV Brasil, which featured our national-produced shows as well as American programing at night (with subtitles). This helped me learn the language tremendously, and ironically, adapt to the American music culture I so much wanted to be a part of.

Gastao Moreira was the coolest VJ of them all from 1990-1998 and Furia Metal was the equivalent of Headbanger’s Ball. He always featured the coolest bands, had the coolest interviews when they would come and tour in Brazil, and he had so much knowledge in music history that I absorbed everything like a sponge. The coolest thing about Gastao, is that he actually made you want to pick up a music history book and learn every intricate detail about the band, about their influence, about how they came together. It wasn’t just scratching the surface, he actually made you want to know every single detail about the band he was talking about.

Matt Pinfield was the host of 120 Minutes in the “American” MTV. He introduced me to the coolest bands I know, and bands that in a million years would never go to Brazil. Soul Asylum, Goo Goo Dolls, Silverchair. I can go on and on. If you wanted to know the coolest up-and-coming bands in the United States, you would listen to what Matt Pinfield had to say. Thanks to him, I discovered so many bands that I would have never known if it wasn’t for that show. To this day, while following him on social media channels, Matt has the incredible knowledge and background in the music world and I still look up to him. I am thankful for all the bands that he introduced me to and eventually I got to book myself. It’s really quite an honor to see him host shows like Rock in Rio just this year, and know that he’s still there, inspiring me after 30 something years I’ve looked up to him.

Tabitha Soren was the coolest “rock chick” EVER. She was like Jane Fonda’s character on the movie Singles, but cooler. She had the greatest taste in fashion and all the rock dudes flocked to her. She was the girl next door with an edge. She was just so freaking cool and I wanted to be just like her. She hung out with the coolest bands and was a tough girl that could also stand her own. She also addressed some pretty serious matters such as Rock The Vote campaign in 1991, which definitely convinced a lot of people to go vote. Whatever Tabitha said, you did.

Kurt Loder. Oh man. Kurt Loder was a mastermind. Whatever he said, you believed. I mean, he was THE royal music journalist to me back then. Unless Kurt Loder reported it, it wasn’t true. He was my music journalism guru. The way he conducted research, interviews, delivered the stories. Everything he did was pure perfection. Can anyone still remember that epic interview he did with Axl Rose? He conducted some of the most controversial interviews back in the day, and no one could do it better than he could.

Cameron Crowe was the one music journalist you wanted to emulate. I wanted to be a music writer since the time I was 12, and Cameron was just the person you wish you could be. Could you write as well as he could? Could you have the charisma and personality he had? Could people warm up to you the way they did to him? Could you acquire half the knowledge he had? Did you share the same passion? Cameron had it all. Throughout the years, he also became a producer and direction to many movies we’ve all grown to love (Almost Famous, Singles). Is there really anything this legendary music journalist can’t do?

Neil Strauss was one of the first people I met when I worked at Rolling Stone. What a class act. I have always have a soft spot in my heart for him. I was a scrawny 21 year old, living in NYC at my very first job, working for a magazine that I had devoured since I was a teen. I admire his work so much, from a music journalist, to an author, to a podcast host and producer. If you haven’t heard To Live and Die in LA Podcast, please do yourself a favor and do so immediately. He’s also written several books and autobiographies about the biggest bands in history (The Dirt, Marilyn Manson, Dave Navarro) and the list just keeps on going. I am excited to see what else he’s working on. I am like that proud friend on the sidelines, cheering and old friend and smiling at every one of his achievements.

What are some of your music inspirations?

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