"For a young girl trying to get recognition in the music industry, your morals are tested on a daily basis," says soul/jazz singer Amber Ojeda, 23. "My first experience meeting a record producer [three years ago] seemed to go very smoothly. He told me he loved my voice and liked my style. However, as soon as I left to use the bathroom, he told my manager that he couldn't wait to sleep with me...yes, there was a couch in his studio."
Last year, Ojeda was hired as lead singer and songwriter for a female vocal group, but she says the first recording session wasn't much of a group effort.
"The other girls were pissed that I was in the booth 75 percent of the time and not them, and one of them stole my lyric book. Someone later left a comment on my website message board with the words of a poem I had written in that book, with a note bragging, 'I have something you don't have.' I couldn't believe it!"
She has since gone solo, but Ojeda says would-be impresarios still assume a single female needs some kind of gimmick to succeed.
"I was recently offered a record deal, but they didn't even want me to use my name or sing my music. They just wanted my look, and they wanted me to sing hard rock, which is so different from what I actually sing. I felt totally disrespected for my voice and musical style, like a piece of meat."
Amber Ojeda appears September 8 at the Kava Lounge on Kettner Boulevard.