Carrying the Torch of Black Girl Magic | Netta Sherrell

Photo Credit: Orel Chollette

Guitar Girl Magazine’s Diversity Editor, Gabriella “Guitar Gabby” Logan sat down with some of her industry sisters to celebrate the cultural influence of Black history in music. This series highlights the amazing womxn that continue carrying the torch while using their platforms and music to spread positivity in a changing world.

What is your name, what are your pronouns, and where are you from? What instrument do you play?

My name is Netta Sherrell. My pronouns she She/Her. I am from Chicago, and I play the Bass guitar.

How long have you been playing and when did you know you wanted to be a musician?

I’ve been playing Bass for under three years, but I knew I wanted to be a musician when I was around eight or nine years old. I was classically trained on the Alto Saxophonist throughout College then switched to Bass guitar a few years after college.

What is the best part about being a musician?

I would say the opportunity to do what you love! I have so much fun playing and learning from other musicians. It gives me a certain fulfillment that I absolutely need in life.   

What do you think of when you hear “Black History Month”?

A time to really focus on Black Excellence, although, I believe this should be an everyday thing. I think it is important to remind the world of our culture and contributions to push people towards a conscious effort to gain a higher appreciation for the Black community.

Is there a specific Black creative that inspires you? Why?

At the moment, I would say Natasha Banks. She is a Black musician here in Chicago that plays the Bass guitar, keys, and does some production. I love her style; her creative mind is out of this world and her musicianship is excellent. 

Why do you think it is important to pay homage to the Black creatives that came before us? 

It’s important because it’s just generally right to give credit where credit is due. Without their creative contributions, the world would not be what it is today.

Why do you think the world needs to learn about our Black History? 

With a country so divided, I think it’s important to shine a light on Black history and the positive impacts it has had on our society. Can you imagine what history would look like in America without Black history?? 

What is your current studio and (when we get back to live shows) live performance set up? Is it any different? (Feel free to address one or both of your rig setups). 

Both of my setups are relatively the same. I’m endorsed with Lakland, so I play the Custom Skyline Series Bass. One of my favorite amps is by Gallien- Kruger; I play the Combo Amp. I pair that with my BOSS Chromatic Tuner, Livewire Cables, a Comfort Strap, and Eargasm IEM’s.

In the studio, I might add an octave divider or chorus pedal. I also use Logic or my iRig 2 for recording.

What does it mean to be a Black womxn to you?

To me, it means being educated, strong, fearless, independent, driven. But also having the constant pressure of needing to be “perfect.” That, in itself, is stressful. I want to show that you don’t have to be perfect to showcase your Black Girl Magic.

What’s one piece of advice you would give to your eight-year-old self looking up to the adult version of you? 

Do what makes you happy. Not what you think will make others happy.

Follow Netta on IG @nettasherrell_bass