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Inspiring Conversations with Lissete Rodriguez of Soul Y Luna

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lissete Rodriguez.

Hi Lissete, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
Growing up in Los Angeles where my proximity to the local music scene molded many aspects of my life, having the opportunity to frequent venues and backyard/house shows gave me an insight into a DIY music business model. I have always loved organizing in general. It wasn’t long before I organized my first backyard show in South Gate with some of my favorite local bands for one of my birthdays in high school. I continued to be involved in any way I could. I traveled to various cities to see live music and support the live music scenes. Before I knew it I was traveling internationally to see different artists, It was on one of my adventures when I decided I wanted to be a part of the touring aspect of the music business. It is a combination of two of my favorite things, traveling and music!

I started my first tour to the PNW in 2012, then went off for over a month around the US in 2013. Mexico followed shortly after and I have been doing my best to stay consistent since. So many of my fondest memories and friendships have emerged from my touring experiences. I recently went off to start my own brand and it has been a difficult and painful but rewarding and necessary to my continued growth. I know that being honest with oneself is crucial to our own expansion in whatever endeavours we choose to pursue. Creating Soul y Luna Productions has taught me there is no room for failure, only lessons I have learned like how to respond to situations instead of react. It is important to remind myself nothing is happening to me, only for me. I am grateful for this aspect of my business life that has also enriched my personal life and human experience.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Getting comfortable with trusting the process, taking losses, bouncing back, putting myself out there and taking major risks is very difficult to do especially when you are living it in the moment. They are all crucial to growing though and in my experience it’s inevitable in some way. There have been times where I wondered why I chose to do this, but the reward and satisfaction for a job well done far outweighs the discomfort it took to get to this point. Even now, I have not achieved my final form, I am just getting started and I am welcoming the challenges that will allow me to learn how to improve. Getting uncomfortable is healthy and struggles will arise but we choose the direction we wish to take it,

I have struggled with the fear of rejection, fear of not being taken seriously, but I have learned that it is none of my business what others think of me. Either way, a different version of me exists in the minds of others and there is nothing I can do. I only know that I am doing the best I can to be sincere, accountable and operate from a space of gratitude and admiration for the arts I am promoting. I find satisfaction in supporting the dreams of other artists and performers through my own talents. It is important to me to do my part towards community wealth building in whatever capacity.

Another big obstacle was having a lacking mentality. I was unable to come up with the capital the way I wanted to in the past and as I learn to scale, it is something that I still often wish wasn’t a factor. I continue to learn how to manage the funding aspect of producing events. I want to go bigger and more extravagant, but navigating around the financial aspect is always difficult in business, I suppose. Coming up with a product or an event that people want to support can be difficult. I would say the comradery that can still be found in the business helps one another propel each other forward.

Appreciate you sharing that. What should we know about Soul Y Luna?
At Soul y Luna we manage, produce and promote events and tours for partners like Pinc Louds, Comptonmania, La Banda Skalavera and more. I book shows in Los Angeles for touring bands, book tours for bands wanting to travel and often tour manage myself. There was also a period where I was a tournament organizer for my weekly cannabis-friendly Super Smash Brothers Melee tournaments. That was fun and I am definitely interested in combining all of these aspects into my ongoing events as we all recover from recent events.

The most recent out of state dates were with a ska band from So-Cal, Undisputed World Champions. We went to the Pacific Northwest to Play in Portland and Seattle. One of the biggest tours I have done was with Pinc Louds, a band from New York. This past August 2021, we did eight states over three weeks, and it was incredible! Soul y Luna took care of booking the shows, travel and hospitality. I plan for us to go international and of course do some fun shows in Los Angeles where I am able to do more. I am working with other bands in LA to help them go on tour and produce some fun local shows to raise money for touring.

I am also a big pro wrestling fan, Lucha is part of my culture. I recently began to produce and do some booking for Comptonmania pro wrestling in Compton, CA and Boyle Heights. We strive to create a vibrant atmosphere building a solid community and restoring the glory of Compton.

I believe in all the artists I work with and genuinely want to help people reach new levels in their careers. I am proud to be able to deliver on my word or rectify my mistakes by taking accountability in my endeavours.

Who else deserves credit in your story?
There is no way I could have done this alone. Even when I started on my own, I felt so many insecurities that I still struggle with sometimes. There are several key people who continue to support me and really gave me the trust I needed to propel me to where I am now. I surround myself by people who inspire me and I can collaborate with in many capacities. Some of the people have come in and out of my journey as we are all walking our own paths but I hold everyone dear to my heart.

Being a woman in the music business has not been easy, but I have found others who truly inspired me to pursue this passion. I have the utmost respect for women in the music industry and all those who paved the way for women.

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