"The music industry is a media mechanism, and all media outlets have exploited, sexualized, and undervalued women."

Women are killing it in the music industry, and song lovers couldn't be happier! In our column, #WomenCrushWednesday, each week, we'll feature an awesome lady whose tunes are blowing up our playlists and ask them about their musical journey.

We speak with Donna Missal this week about how she hopes her music will inspire people to be more confident in their own bodies. She also opens up about the music industry as a whole and the release of her most recent album. Continue reading to see what helps to inspire her and her songs.

How did you become interested in music?

I grew up with music integrated into my sense of self. We had a recording studio in our basement growing up, made up of equipment my dad had saved from his studio in Manhattan in the '80s. I've been singing and making music forever because of that.

What artists have inspired you?

Artists new and old have been sources of inspiration, all over the spectrum, all for different reasons. Etta James, Fiona Apple, Lauryn Hill, Janis Joplin, Björk, Kendrick Lamar...

I've read that you hope to convey through music that people can create their own definitions of sexy and confident. Can you tell me a little bit about what you mean?

Yeah I really believe in self-understanding, self-awareness through the scope of self-love. It took me a long time to cultivate my own confidence and it's something i have to work at every day still. My music is full of self-reflection and messages of holding agency over your own life and how you feel about yourself.

You have quite the social media following. How do you use the platform to connect with friends?

My following still feels small and manageable, like, I try to respond to all of my inbox messages with fans and I've had some really meaningful conversations that way. It seems to be growing little by little because of friends sharing with friends. I like that about social media.

What has been your experience as a woman in the music industry?

The music industry is a media mechanism, and all media outlets have exploited, sexualized, and undervalued women. I don't know any women in the industry who hasn't experienced some facet of that. However, I'm excited to be a part of the cultural shift we are seeing happen in the music industry and across all media. I try to ensure that my message is in line with that shift. Women deserve to be heard, respected, and valued.

Tell us a little bit about the writing and recording of your new album?

It took me two years to write and record it. I always wanted to make an album. I still believe the most intimate way to connect to an artist is through a collection of songs, tied together with theme and imagery. This album really speaks to my sensibilities as an artist and a songwriter because it combines live instrumentation, original sampling, a mix-tape approach to the song selection, and a lot of the vocals were recorded sitting on the floor singing into a practice mic. It's kind of a snapshot of who I am. I'm really excited to share it.

Have you got any favorite tracks off the album?

"Jupiter," "Test My Patience," "Skyline."

You have been touring a lot this past summer. What have you enjoyed about it?

I really love to be on stage. I love meeting people after the shows and hearing about why they connect with what I do.

What is coming up next for you?

The album comes out September 7th, and I'll be playing a couple of headline shows to celebrate it. I'm opening for Bishop Briggs in October, and planning my own tour to start in January.

Follow Donna Missal on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Rachel A.G. Gilman is a writer, a former radio producer, and probably the girl wearing the Kinks shirt. Visit her website for more.

Have a female or femme-identifying artist we should profile? Send a pitch email to Rachel

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