Today we’d like to introduce you to Sheridan Gates.
Hi Sheridan, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstories.
I was raised in central NJ and have been singing since before I could speak. Performing was in my blood from the very beginning, from humming while I ate my food to belting out show tunes and Shania Twain around the house…I’m sure my brother found it very annoying! I was in my first theatre production when I was 7 years old with my dad and after that, I was off to the races. I performed in musicals from community theatre, to regional theatre, to summer theatre, and all the way through my schooling. In college, I double-majored in Theatre and Psychology because I had an interest in understanding people and why we are the way we are. I always enjoyed working with younger generations and being an advocate and mentor but didn’t realize at the time that I would end up starting a business around that. Anyway, after college, I moved to NYC with hardly any money in my bank account and found some temp jobs to make ends meet while I explored the theatre/film/music world. I loved the city and loved how fast-paced and independent I could be. I worked as a receptionist, I managed my acting coach’s business, I auditioned, and I started voice lessons with a woman who would change the way I sing forever. Ilana Martin of Vocal Workout Singing School brought out a voice I never knew I had inside of me and it was within the first month of working together that I realized I needed to pursue my love of music with my whole heart. I had interned in Nashville on the media side of the country music industry for 2 summers during college and fell in love with the city. So, once I had that realization that music was what I wanted to pursue full-heartedly, I knew Nashville was the place for me. After 2 years in NYC, I made the move to Nashville. I dove right in and recorded an EP, taught myself guitar, played writers night, and supported myself with some personal assistant and nannying jobs. I met 2 wonderful friends who I ended up touring the country with playing house concerts/venues and then COVID. When COVID hit, I needed to pivot of course. So, I thought long and hard about what I wanted to do and how I could make a difference. That’s when I decided to get back to my roots of mentoring and advocating for younger generations and through a series of conversations, New Roots was born.
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
Smooth road in the entertainment industry?! Hah! Definitely not. I have made my fair share of mistakes but I’m stronger now because of those mistakes. Diving into the music industry in Nashville can be exhilarating and fascinating with all the talent here, but there were times I got a little too wrapped up in the excitement and ended up jumping in too quickly – both with business decisions and performance opportunities I wasn’t quite ready for yet. But looking back on those mistakes, I am truly grateful because they pushed me to learn more, take charge of my career, and learn to trust my gut.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
New Roots was founded in April 2021 when I sat down with my friend, Mark Thress, who is an incredible vocalist and voice teacher. He had let me come be a guest speaker for one of his classes at Belmont University and afterwards, we decided to try writing together. Well, that “writing session” turned into a business planning meeting for this passion we both had for mentoring younger female artists.
Our mission at New Roots is to serve young female artists by providing a safe, supportive, and collaborative community in which they can launch their music careers more confidently. Young women from around the country who are wanting to go all-in on their music careers, come to Nashville for a 3-day weekend experience where we give them a launchpad for their careers. They get the opportunity to network and collaborate with some incredible industry professionals (songwriters, managers, PR reps), they get to co-write, they get to record with a producer in a studio on Music Row, they get a photoshoot and style session, they get to perform…but MOST IMPORTANTLY, these young women get to start growing their community of likeminded artists who empower each other and who have each other’s backs.
We spend time with each artist and discuss their individual goals and mindset around their career. We encourage them to be their own boss and design the career that best suits THEIR life and THEIR goals – not the goals of someone they saw on Instagram or saw in a movie…we want the women who go through New Roots to leave the weekend feeling more confident in their abilities to make a lasting career for themselves in the music industry while also knowing they have a safe community to turn to when they have questions or want to celebrate a win or just need a friend.
New Roots was founded from what Mark and I wish we had when we moved to Nashville. We are both passionate about advocating for women, supporting one another, and growing with each other instead of against each other. Our first 2 weekend experiences were so healing and inspiring for us to be a part of and watching what the artists have done since their time with New Roots is incredible. One woman is finally making the move to Nashville, another just released a new song, and they are all supporting each other in our alumni group. Once you attend a New Roots weekend, you are always a part of our family and will continue to have access to our ever-expanding network of contacts, friends, and advocates.
We hold quarterly 3-day events with our next one coming up February 17-20, 2022! Applications are now open to any female-identifying artist who is serious about taking charge of their music career and going for it! Spaces are limited and we accept on a rolling basis so we encourage you to fill out that free application sooner than later. You can apply on newrootsnash.com.
Can you talk to us a bit about happiness and what makes you happy?
What truly makes me happy is when I experience people who work in the same industry supporting each other. For example:
– Hearing a song that gives you goosebumps at a writer’s night and taking the time to tell the writer the impact their song had on you.
– Singing backup for a friend and watching them shine.
– Going out and supporting a friend at their show and also seeing a friend in the audience at your own show.
– A room full of female musicians who are all there to discuss ways they can make a positive impact in the music industry
I could go on and on, but this makes me so happy to see because this is how the world is meant to grow, by working together. Real change happens when people come together and support each other and, personally, I have made leaps and strides in my own development as an artist and mentor by having people around me who believed in me and encouraged me.
Also, my husband, Colin, and my fur baby, Deacon make me so so happy 🙂
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: newrootsnash.com
- Instagram: Instagram: @newrootsnashville
- Facebook: Instagram: @sheridangates