#BossBabes: May Edition

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One of music’s most iconic women once said, “Instead of looking at the past, I put myself ahead twenty years and try to look at what I need to do now in order to get there then.” These words, uttered by the wildly talented and successful Diana Ross remind us that productive self-reflection is not dwelling on what could have, but rather what can be. Today, we are honoured to present to you three more women whose contribution to the music industry has been felt by all around them. DJ-Producer and label owner Lee K, Bespoke Experience and Summerdaze Co-Founder Jordana Zakaria, and Talent Buyer at the infamous GLOW nightclub in Bangkok, Gorana Romcevic are foolproof examples of what we can achieve when we apply ourselves to our dreams. Thank-you ladies, for the dreams which you have so boldly envisioned.

Name: Lee K
Job title: DJ/ Label Owner
Company: Lee K

Photo Jun 18, 6 17 01 PM

How did you become involved in the industry?

I’ve been drawn to electronic music since I was in junior high. When I started going to raves as a teenager, I fell in love with the scene as I felt like I finally found somewhere that I belonged. A few years and lots of raving later, I jumped on the opportunity to learn how to DJ and also to start promoting shows in LA. Things developed organically from there and I eventually began DJing full time.

Is there a project that you are most proud of?

I launched my label Circulate last year – so that’s certainly up there. However I’ve been spending the majority of my time in the studio over the last few months which has proven to be one of the most difficult yet rewarding experiences so far. I think once I’ve finished my EP and it’s being shopped out to labels – THAT will be my proudest moment!

Work hard, keep your head down, and most of all – enjoy it along the way.

At what moment did you realize this is what you wanted to do for a career?

I’m not sure I can define one specific moment, but rather a bunch of small moments that made me fall in love all over again with what I was doing – even amidst the challenges. Playing out in a club for the first time, certain special gigs, playing with people I admire, working on certain projects – have all made me feel this way.

In your opinion, what is the most important skill to have?

Resilience, and that goes for everything in life. No matter what you’re pursuing it’s important to keep in mind that there will be obstacles along the way, and that’s ok. The important part is learning from them and moving forward.

What is one piece of advice you would give to someone interested in your field?

Work hard, keep your head down, and most of all – enjoy it along the way.

Name: Jordana Zakaria
Job title: Co-Founder
Company: Bespoke Experience + Summerdaze Event Series
Jordana Zakaria

Jordana Zakaria

How did you become involved in the industry?

It all started with an inexperienced 19 year old walking into Opium Garden, South Beach asking for a job… I managed the VIP on the weekends and went straight to FIU from the club to do my economics course on Saturday mornings.  It was the start of everything. I met Nabil a couple months later and by the summer, I was in Ibiza for the season.  Everything was about the music. When we moved back to Toronto after living in the UK, we missed the fun we had in Europe and wanted to create a similar daytime vibe so Summerdaze was born.  We’ve been organizing events for years for our corporate and private clients so we had the organizational background and knowledge (and a lengthy background in F+B) – we really just created something for us and the rest fell into place.

Is there a project that you are most proud of?

I’m proud of all the projects we’ve done and its really nice to reflect on all our past work, experiences and collaborations.  There’s so much learning to be done.

Right now, I’m really excited for our Camp Summerdaze project.  We’ve been wanting to do something like this for many years and its really exciting to see it all come together so beautifully.

At what moment did you realize this is what you wanted to do for a career?

Someone asked me recently about how I manage my lifestyle and if I could ever do anything else…between work, events, wife duties, child/after school classes, and a husband – it can be a lot to juggle!  My only response was, ‘I didn’t choose it, it chose me’.  So, I’m not sure if I ever had that epiphany… It just always made sense.

I nominate Nadia from Sasomos Bookings as the next ‘Boss Babe’.  She’s been great to work with and love when I get to connect with other women in the industry.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

Hopefully spending a lot of time somewhere warm during the winter… coming back to Toronto once springtime emerges.  Our son told us that ‘he’s not made for winter’ and I fully support that statement!  Spending more time with family and friends, enjoying life, is the ultimate goal.

What is one piece of advice you would give to someone interested in your field?

I think the most important piece of advice is to be mindful of your ego – remain humble and be nice.   Having a balanced life is also crucial – work hard, play hard…and be good to yourself.  But I guess this is advice for life, not just this industry.

You wouldn’t be where you are without support from… 

My husband and our families… Nabil and I are very blessed – we grew up together and have grown a lot throughout the past 16 years.  He supports all my dreams and (occasional) insane idea, and I am grateful for that.  Both of our families play a huge role in our life, especially with our son.  We definitely could not do what we do without their love and support.

Name: Gorana Romcevic
Job title: Head of bookings and communications at GLOW // Communications at 510k
Company: GLOW + 510k
Gorana Romcevic

Gorana Romcevic

How did you become involved in the industry?

In my teen age, I was a singer in a local punk band. After a while, I discovered electronic music, started raving, digging tracks and hanging out with my DJ friends. In that period, I got involved into all sorts of basic promo and PR activities for various parties – from the flyer distribution and posting on forums in the pre-Facebook era, to radio and TV appearances. In 2004, I started writing and editing the leading dance music magazine in SE Europe at that time – Urban Bug. That engagement lasted for more than a decade and it was an ultimate fun, while being challenging and rewarding in the same time. I enjoyed reaching out to DJs, their management, clubs, doing interviews at backstages, meeting industry people at big European festivals. In the same time, I had a full-time, demanding job in a PR agency as well, working for corporate clients. It was split between the office and press-conferences by day, and music journalism and conquering dance floors by night. At one point, music business became my only job back home in Belgrade, but then I ended up alone at this rollercoaster called Bangkok, working both here and in Europe.

Is there a project that you are most proud of?

GLOW club in Bangkok is the most powerful and craziest experience by now. I moved to Bangkok to make a break out of Europe, and after six months, I started working for the city’s underground temple – revolutionary club GLOW. Since then – 2 years ago, I am responsible for the complete program, international bookings and all PR and promo activities, for approximately, 15 events per month. In the beginning, it seemed like an upside-down world, that I needed to switch myself to; it was, and it still is – an addictive adventure with frequent ups and downs. It is very exciting to contribute to the change and growth of the young underground scene in Thailand. In the same time, it is very challenging to maintain success in circumstances with many uncertainties, as shortened closing times, sometimes. However, I’m eternally grateful to all people that supported me along the way, from the owners that gave me this opportunity, to DJs, promoters and crowd. I’m happy when we do what we do best – turn the club upside down

Recently, I started another important involvement – with 510k – booking and event agency based in Berlin, where I’m running communications, of course. Come join us at Off Week in Barcelona, if you’re around.

Plan well, but sometimes jump if needed. Start before you’re ready and don’t overthink.

At what moment did you realize this is what you wanted to do for a career?

Since the moment I first went out raving, I guess. I realized I need to turn my passion into my job. It took a while to reach to the point where music became my career, though, as I had a corporate experience for a while, simultaneously. But, the PR agency that I mentioned previously turned out to be an essential part of my path, a place where I learned managing skills that now I combine with the more fun part.

In your opinion, what is one of the most important skills to have in this industry?

Apart from the classic ones – organizational skills, prioritization, networking, I would say – flexibility and ability to react quickly. Also, ability to switch between the business-oriented mind and artistic-entertainment mind, and day and night responsibilities.

What is one piece of advice you would give to someone interested in your field?

Follow your heart and your instincts. Plan well, but sometimes jump if needed. Start before you’re ready and don’t overthink.


Thank-you Lee K, Jordana Zakaria and Gorana Romcevic for sharing your stories and inspiring the next generation of #BossBabes!