• Feature

Cincinnati Women in Music: Erin Coburn

Erin Coburn is a powerhouse. She started going to open mic nights at the age of 11, she got her first paying gig at age 12, and recorded her first original album, Chaos Before Conformity at age 14! This songwriter, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist brings a style all her own across a wide range of musical genres.

 Coburn is also always willing to help out her local community and has pitched in many times over the past year to perform on live streams to raise money for local venues and organizations. It was an honor to speak to Erin about being a Woman in Cincinnati Music.

What are some things we may not know about Erin Coburn?
  Here are a few things some people may or may not know about me: I am a songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and certified audio engineer that is also experimenting with videography. Something most people may not know about me: I could go to a party full of people and feel awkward and alone, but when I am performing on stage, I feel like I know everyone there and actually belong. Another thing involves something I live by with my music. I play feelings not genres. I do not have one feeling, so I feel my music fits into many genres.

As a Woman in Cincinnati Music, do you feel that gender has ever hindered your path? Do you feel that you have to work harder to get your voice heard?
 I definitely feel that being a woman in the music industry comes with challenges. On more than one occasion I have not been taken seriously or given the respect I work hard for on and off stage. I remember this one time specifically, someone came up to me after the show and told me “Your lead guitarist is amazing, how does he do that?” and I didn’t know what to say because at the time the only people in my band were a drummer and a bass player (and me on lead guitar). A few years ago, I was told by Victor Wooten that I would have to work twice as hard as my male counterparts in this industry… and boy was he right. When I hear, “For a woman, you play guitar well”... only fuels my drive to work harder in this male dominated industry and set an example for other women to make their voices heard as well.

What Women in music (or behind the music) do you admire?
 I have made friends with other strong women in the industry that I truly look up to, such as Lexi Lynn Frazier, Ally Venable, Samantha Fish, and Jill Pavel (Founder of Heart Songs Records and Publicity Nation). I also really look up to women who truly do their own thing and don’t comply to the rules, like Lady Gaga, Aretha Franklin, Syd, Janis Joplin, Dolly Parton, Yvette Young, Doja Cat, and Lizzo. These are the women that inspire me to dig deeper into what it means to be an artist and a woman in the industry. They have each paved a path that doesn’t focus on their gender, but who they are as people and what they have the capabilities of creating.

What do you want people to take away with them when they think of you?
 I want them to take away a feeling of inspiration to try something new and embrace the ride of emotions they feel when they hear my sound.

Also, I have heard many women say to me “I wish I could do that” or “I’ll never be able to play that well”, and I want them to know that they can do this. They have the ability to pursue music and improve in anything they wish to do, they just need to block out everyone telling them “they can’t” and push harder than they ever have. We push out babies and have periods and do so many extremely hard things that men can’t, so why can’t we take this industry by storm?