Associate Professor, Songwriting
An authoritative voice in music technology education, Erin Barra is an associate professor at Berklee College of Music. Specializing in composition, performance, and creative music technology applications, she has worked with and represented companies such as Ableton, ROLI, MusicTech, and iZotope. A gender equity activist, she runs Beats by Girlz, is on the board of Women in Music, and spearheads research regarding women in the music industry in partnership with Berklee’s Institute of Creative Entrepreneurship.
You can check out Barra’s music on all platforms and catch her live electronic performances on YouTube.
Berklee Alumna, 2018
Born to American parents in Queenstown, New Zealand, Chloe O’Brien spent her childhood among the mountains. As an adolescent, she moved to Olympia, Washington, home of the riot grrrl punk movement, and then threw herself into the alternative rock scene of the Pacific Northwest, playing in several bands and writing songs. At 18, she relocated to Boston, Massachusetts, and began studying songwriting and music business at Berklee College of Music.
Away from her hometown, O'Brien felt the freedom to explore musically. Over the next few years, she dipped her toes in several genres, including indie folk, Americana, and electronic pop. She released her first, self-titled EP in 2016, and Chloe Jane was supported by a 10-date tour of the western U.S., eventually accumulating over 1.8 million streams. She since returned to her roots in alternative rock and started releasing music under the name Neia Jane. Her debut full-length album, Magic & Honey, was released in March of 2019 and is characterized by a sonic blend of distorted guitars, dreamy synthesizers, and soaring vocal melodies. Her latest single, “Lady in Red,” was released in late 2019.
After working with other producers for the first several years of her career, O'Brien used what she learned and began producing and co-producing her own songs. She's currently at work on her first self-produced EP, due out in 2020. With grit and grace, she showcases her vulnerability and the grunge girl who's ever-present in her music. An experienced songwriter with proficiency in multiple genres, her key strength lies in her ability to understand and channel emotions into honest art.
Berklee Alumna, 2018
Jazz vocalist Mar Fayos is a composer, arranger, conductor, live music producer, and music educator from Barcelona, Spain. Her music can be described as jazz fusion creations with Latin, Mediterranean, and soul influences, able to satisfy the tastes of the most demanding listeners of each genre. She graduated summa cum laude from Berklee College of Music in 2018 with a Bachelor of Music in vocal performance and arranging, and a contemporary conducting minor. As a Berklee student, she participated in several projects involving distinguished international artists such as Brazilian composer Toninho Horta, four-time Grammy winner and bassist Oscar Stagnaro, the famous Mexican bolero composer Armando Manzanero, and renowned jazz vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater, among others. Before moving to the U.S., Fayos had already developed a career as a musical theater actress and educator, and later as a jazz performer, in Spain.
Berklee Alumna, 2016
From being tone-deaf to becoming the first African female to win a full scholarship to Berklee College of Music, Wambura Mitaru has made her mark as a singer-songwriter in her 12-year career. Born in Nairobi, Kenya, she blends a range of the African sounds that she grew up with into her eclectic music, fusing traditional Kenyan sounds with funk, soul, R&B, jazz, and hip-hop. Her career kicked off in high school with training in classical music and, later, a five-year tenure in Boston, finding her own sound. She has toured Europe and the U.S., playing at multiple concerts and various festivals.
After years on stage and releasing singles, Mitaru released her debut album, Kena, on November 28, 2019, in Nairobi and globally on December 16. In it, she celebrates joy and everything that comes with its self-reflection, from the opening ballad, "Guns," in which she forces a lens on who is taking things from you, to the soulful trap single "Enda Kwenda," which serves as a vibrant send-off to depression. Her anthem "Shoulder Brother" is a crowd favorite at her performances, which transport listeners to her Africa in a flood of emotion.
Mitaru recently completed an African tour as a producer and music teacher, and currently resides in Kenya where she is a teacher and performance artist.