Ep 04: Kelly Finley Wants Girls to Make Noise

by | Jun 19, 2019 | Episodes

Kelly Finley is the Founder and Executive Director of Girls Rock Charlotte. Girls Rock is a global, non-profit that empowers girls to find their voice through music. They host camps where girls (who typically have never played an instrument before) get together, start a band, write and produce a song, and perform it onstage in front of a live audience all in one week.

Finley is also a Senior Lecturer and Undergraduate Advisor for the Women’s & Gender Studies program at UNC Charlotte. As a mom, stepmom, and wife she has a life full of love, great memories and some epic fails…all for which she is very thankful.

Discussion topics and key ideas:
  • How being a “Southern Yankee” gave her a superpower

  • Why her trademark saying at work is “stop me when I’m stupid”

  • How to tell elegantly someone they have something in their teeth

  • Why learning to surf was the most fun she’s had at failure

  • How moving to New York gave her “imposter syndrome”

  • Why she thinks moving away from your calling is an “epic fail”

  • How her own daughter inspired her to start Girls Rock Charlotte

  • Why she describes her leadership model as a “coven

  • Why we hold hands talking about Johnette Napolitano & Concrete Blonde

  • How to liberate yourself from the fear of failure


“I’m completely liberated form the notion that I know what the hell I’m doing at any given point.”

“Music transcends humanity.”

“We’re a revolution; we’re not a conservatory.”

“When you see them on stage, you finally to see your child not as your child but as the adult they’re going to be.”

“Not trying is failing. Sitting back and doing nothing is failing.”

“When you’re trying on behalf of someone else, the fear of failure just washes off your back.”

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