From the first handshake, Dani Gagnon’s quiet intensity is apparent.
The Canadian multi-hyphenate’s (musician, social media business owner, and entrepreneur) energy is serious yet personable, and she requires quite a lot of it to our into her many projects.
She arrived at The Rainbow on Sunset with her partner and bandmate, Erica Schiopu, and we sat on the patio enjoying the Southern California weather.
After swapping mutual acquaintance stories, I asked her to tell me about Guitars for Girls.
“We realized that we could look at a festival poster and scratch out all the bands that didn’t have women members, and have maybe two or three left.” She raised an eyebrow. “That’s bullsh*t.”
From that realization, she and Erica (also known collectively as the band ‘KINK’) went on to found an initiative that puts donated guitars into the hands of deserving girls. The first one was a guitar of her own that she gave away.
“What’s cool is that this is really ‘do-able’; every musician has a guitar laying around that’s an extra. And many music stores have simply given us free guitars.”
Since its inception, Guitars for Girls has given away over 50 guitars and basses to girls in need.
In talking with KINK, it is very clear that they are doing everything they can to find young girls who are truly disadvantaged to receive instruments. A musical inclination can be hampered by financial complications, and a troubled or marginalized child can often lack an outlet for her emotions; both of these issues are being addressed by Guitars for Girls.
And such an initiative has implications on a much larger scale. When young girls are provided with tools and encouragement, they grow into women who take their places fearlessly and competently in their fields without worry about societal gender norms. The rock and roll “boys’ club” fades even further into anachronism.
We wrapped up our pizza, and I dropped off Dani and Erica near their hotel so they could prepare for their gig at The Viper Room later that night, where they would visibly demonstrate the power of a girl with a guitar.
For more information, visit KINK and Guitars for Girls here: https://kinktheband.com/guitars-for-girls/