Glenda Benevides

Glenda Benevides is an award winning, Recording Academy voting member, GRAMMY® considered a singer-songwriter who weaves stories that touch the soul. Imagine the soul  singing love child of Heart, Janis Joplin, and Bessie Smith and that is Glenda. A powerfully resonate voice, emanating with blues and soul, demanding attention, calling to action and uplifting the very fabric of love shared amongst us all… Like a wild tent revival preacher, Glenda’s  sermon is empowerment, enlightenment and building bridges of understanding all wrapped in  powerful self-expression that moves you from the head to the feet!

Glenda Benevides was born in Oakland Ca and has been singing professionally since 16. Deeply influenced by classic vocalist Sarah Vaughan to Rachelle Ferrell to Staple Singers, her soul’s expression and intention is of the heart. Glenda has toured from Japan to the EU to the UK on through Canada leaving no stone unturned to light a fire on the dance floor.

Her  career has included singing and performing for the South African Film Festival in Cannes France, The Brava theater for a women’s fundraiser gala in San Francisco, the Popkomm Music conference in Berlin, a Beverly Wilshire, Los Angeles solo performance for bestselling author Harv Ecker (Millionaire Mind seminars) and a guest appearance at the Crown Plaza in Santiago, Chile to a Presidential fundraiser for Dennis Kucinich at the Kuumbwas Jazz Center in Santa Cruz, CA and in 2017 a rally for Alabama Dem Senator Doug Jones.

Glenda has also produced many of her live performances, a web series, music videos and has been the creative director and producer for many private events such as an exclusive fundraising gala for The Shakespeare Society of America, Foundation for Climate Restoration and donates a percentage from her music sales to One Tree Planted.

Glenda also started startedher own record company Good Witch Records in 2004, along with Mirror Speaks The Truth productions for music in film and tv. Glenda wrote and developed a tv script called Never Give Up. She started Global Badass Goddess online Magazine and podcast in 2018, which features women from around the world sharing  stories of inspiration and empowerment. She now has a Glenda Benevides Music podcast to share stories from extraordinary artists in their trials and triumphs.
Glenda is an author of Courage, Find Your Fire and Ignite Action in Your Life along with Own The Goddess Within e-book and workshop. She has worked and sung with artists Toto, Jeffrey Osborne, Pink Martini and Broadway artist of “Aida” fame, Damian Perkins, Steve Smith of Dirty Vegas, just to name a few. Awards received include AOF Action on Film International LA Film Festival X 2014 award winner for Best Score, Original composition Change – Orphans in the Storm.

I didn’t grow up with money. Being poor was a pervasive theme in my childhood.

Please share with us what set the trajectory of your career.

My first summer job was at the age of 16, in a small town of Salem, Oregon. I was standing at the window from the restaurant I worked at  I was working at looking into the bar area and saw a band setting up and I said to ,myself, OH, I want to be in their band! Just then a song came on the overhead radio and I began to sing along extremely loud hoping they would hear me. Well, it worked and the bass player heard me alright. He then came up to me and asked me if I had ever sang in a band. Thinking quickly. I said, Yes! And that was a lie, but I really wanted to join the band. OI asked my parents if I could go for the audition and  when I did, it was the beginning of my career. I stepped out without thinking and it paid off. This was the early of my career , it was just scratching the surface on the adventurous, scary journey with music and my 35 year career of touring, writing, recording and much more.  

Please share your early life experiences that made significant impact

The real impact for me was my father. I would stand next to him while we were driving listening to the radio and I would sing along. He always encouraged me and often said how proud of me he was. From that moment on, having the confidence to tap into my inner guidance, kept me on track for how my life would look and feel. As long as I can remember it was music that gave me solace, inspiration and a passionate drive for life. I would play records every morning before school and sing at the top of my lungs before I had to catch my bus. I’d wait for the very last moment and then run out the door trying not to be late. It was a way of life that I designed for myself and it was working. The music was the stage and background for how I would feel and experience life and I got to design it. Another impact for me was the Jerry Lewis telethon which raised money every year for MDA. I was so inspired I had to do my own Jerry Lewis MDA Carnival. So, they sent me the Carnival kit and I had my very own carnival in my backyard to raise money for Jerry’s kids. I felt so lucky that I could do that and have music, art and drama available to me.This foundation started in grade school. I was fortunate to have had music classes, people who cared and lots of instruments around me to pick up and play. Seems these days it is mostly private tutoring. If that would have been the case when I was growing up, we would have never been able to afford it. We were a working class family and didnt have in our disposals private anything wouldn’t have allowed me to experience music.  I am truly grateful for thethe  opportunity in my early years.

What inspires your music and artistry?


So many things inspire me as a musician, lyricist and producer. I just look around and listen keenly to my environment, to other artists and ask myself. Is there something I want to say that could shift someone’s mindset or heart? By asking myself those inspired questions, ideas pop up, even if I think it’s not going to. I always say that the music will tell you what it wants, you just have to listen. There’s always a mood, or a lyrical line that is floating around and I can start there. If I’m feeling stuck, I can center myself with a focus on my heart which always helps me. This might sound strange but try it and see what happens. I know that all the years of inner work and self-development gave me a strong foundation to help me  think deeply and ask important questions of myself and others. I feel that’s what an artist does. They go deep and ask uncomfortable questions of self and society looking for solutions or pointing out the common issues of the day. 


“The task of the artist is to make the human being uncomfortable.” —Lucian Freud


Now, when I’m on stage I get to express myself freely, giving inspiration for others to do the same in their life. This is deeply inspiring. These are the moments where what I have created, or what I am saying can really touch people and that’s inspiration. For me a life is worth living when I get to impact others with my voice, my words and my way of being. True transformation and inspiration comes from uplifting others in some way. 

What is the biggest transformation you have had and what impact did it make in your life?


When I chose to do deeper personal development work back in 1996. At that point I realized that my distant relationship with my father was inhibiting me from having open healthy relationships that were intimate with men. That breakthrough was around blaming my father for my moms death. What does that have to do with stopping me from having a powerful relationship in love? A lot I found out!  Finding out that blaming him was an illusion one that I made up and it was up to me to be accountable for my hidden beliefs. This led me to choose a more loving, powerful way to interact and see my part. So, bravely I shared this insight with him and it shifted everything for me with him and my future relationships. I also realized that I had been carrying around an unconscious belief that I wasn’t good enough. Addressing this I had a powerful renewed sense of confidence. Those moments were priceless and led me to be more bold, trusting and empowered in my being. Especially on stage, and writing something that matters. Huge!


What have been your proudest moments?

I am deeply honored to have sung with ToTo, Steve Smith from Dirty Vegas and to have had an inspiring partner Gene Williams, whom I work with on a daily basis, recording, performing and writing music that is unique and soulful.


I also joined the Recording Academy as a voting member, and being considered for a Grammy has been a sincere honor. 


Having the opportunity daily to truly touch, move and inspire people through my music and artistic endeavors allows me to live a full life. 

I am sincerely fortunate to have written a screenplay called Never Give Up, to have showcased my musical, Divine Lust in LA with a co-writer and Broadway actor Damien Perkins. 


All this experience prepared me for my newest live project called Spiritualist Cabaret. I am currently developing and performing this show with three other amazingly talented creators; It has been deeply fulfilling and inspiring. Our hybrid blend of magic, dark visual arts along musical soundscapes really sets the stage for our audiences to dive into a world of surprise and mystery. 


There are many more proud moments in life but these were just a few that allowed me to step into clarity, courage, confidence and commitment. 


What’s the most challenging thing you have had to endure and what did you learn about yourself in the process? 


Touring around the world for 300 days a year, trying to sleep in a van for 13 hours, sometimes in horror-film-like grungy hotels, dealing with insane band members, playing to 2 people in the audience and being sick while performing and having to throw up off stage between songs. …What did I learn? 


That I can do anything, anywhere with anyone. I can go beyond what I think I can. If I put my mind to it, I can solve any issue and deal with the situation. 


That I can also have boundaries and I am in choice no matter what the situation is, to uphold those boundaries. I am always driving the car (i.e. being responsible) even when it feels like I am not and I can re-choose something that is more aligned with me and my vision at any time. 


What advice do you have for young women looking to launch their career in music?


Follow your instincts and your heart. Create your own excellence, be true to your craft and do it amazingly. 


It’s not about perfection, rigidity or being selfish or lazy – but it is about truth, refreshing honesty and the willingness to keep growing. 


Find a good mentor for support and create real art from your soul. 


Don’t worry about being famous or what others might think. 


Make sure you continue to build your own clarity, courage and confidence while being committed to what is right for you. 


This is a journey to your honest self-expression, feel free to be your unique self.

#Metoo movement, your take and did it make an impact?


Impact, Yes! 


It was about time that we had the bravery to share the ugliness of evil doers and transform our low self-esteem into empowerment. 


The suppression and the secrets in all facets of life is debilitating for all women. It perpetuates more of the same and it’s a style and form of enslavement. 


Finally accountability was set in motion and it just took one beautiful brave soul to stand up, to use her voice and stop being manipulated into silence. I felt it was so powerful and I was deeply grateful for the movement forward. 


If we don’t share, no one will know.


It was one hundred years to the date in 2020, that women had the right to vote. 


I think about that and how we were all under suppression and fear with little to no rights. 


I am intending that we never lose our voice and our momentum. 


So, I will do my part to support others to step into their unique voice, full-self expression and freedom


My #Metoo is to make sure that I can continue to inspire women to stand up, be self-expressed, be unafraid and choose to do what is right for them. 


To understand what it is they truly want and don’t want. 

That’s the biggest start. 


I assert that holding your space, in your own unique way, is in alignment with expressing your personal power. 


I love supporting others and my art by being the best I can be, speaking up and sharing my work through my empowering courses called Soul on Fire and Own The Goddess Within.


What are common Misconceptions about the music industry?


OMG! Hahahah! 


There are soooo many, where would you want me to start?!


I guess the biggest one is, “I’ll get a record deal and someone will do it for me.” Sorry, if you want to do memorable work, you’ll have to keep your integrity and self esteem intact. 


It takes intentional work and the industry is not fair, or for the faint of heart. It truly begins with finding your path and following it based on real goals, credible information, from credible people who know what they’re talking about and can give you honest feedback. 


Then, get into action. Make mistakes, learn, lick your wounds and don’t give up, no matter how bad things may look.  

What’s next for you?


I have a new single out called “I Burn” which we’ve submitted for a Grammy this year. 


Next is releasing another song called “Unbreakable” and getting it ready for submission for a Grammy this year. I will do that while continuing to do live performances and finding a right aligned boutique music booking agent. Touring for sure is my life’s blood and it feeds me. I have several more projects I am working on at the moment. Spiritualist Cabaret, Soul on Fire and Own the Goddess Within courses, along with designing a powerful self expression and freedom Goddess retreat in Greece for next year. I also support planting trees with One Tree Planted to help offset our carbon footprint and to support others to do the same. Anytime someone buys my music and or any merchandise, I take a portion of that money and plant a tree for them. It’s the least I can do. But I know it makes a huge difference. 

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