It’s no deep industry secret that the music industry has a massive gender gap in favour of men. In 2017 alone, 83.2% of artists were men and only 16.8% were women (Billboard), but there’s a shift, festivals have now promised to give more female acts a platform by 2022, Cardi B just became the first female solo rapper since Lauryn Hill in 1998 to top the Billboard Top 100 Chart, and more and more music-related events are becoming self-proclaimed safe spaces for identifying females to enjoy. As more women are stepping up to the plate all the time, we want to celebrate them on International Women’s Day.
We reached out to them: the women who make the industry what it is, the inspirational individuals whose passion for the business they work in smashes any unfair underestimations, whose unique ideas and concepts are changing the way in which the music industry represents it’s female demographic; the women who are sticking their middle finger up to the gender misrepresentation and working wholly against it. We asked them what inspires them both in and out of the world in which they work, and this is what they had to say. Here’s why She Inspires...
DJ and producer
“Sam Divine is a boss. I remember emailing her as a ‘no-one’ before I set off to Ibiza in 2010 for my first season with a dream to become a DJ. I asked for advice and she took the time to reply to me which I still appreciate to this day. On top of that she’s just an ultimate grafter, her passion for music oozes from her and she’s been in the game for a LONG time which isn’t an easy thing to do… Ultimate respect!”
“My mom was the person who taught me never to settle in life. To do what you gotta do and go after what makes you happy no matter what. She’s full of wisdom and instilled it in me from a young age and I’m gonna be forever grateful.”
Founder of He.She.They and The Weird and The Wonderful management
“The Weird and The Wonderful created He.She.They. in the effort to create a place without prejudice for people to be people. The women within our organisation helping us daily in our journey to take this brand global I would never want to be anything but their inspiring selves and I’d like to share with you a bit about them and how they and those further afield influenced my music industry journey so far.”
“Elisa Booker used to be my boss at ATM artists where she was a fantastic agent, MD and mentor who always had a great sense of humour and the time to listen. We are lucky enough to have her now with us on a freelance basis where despite simultaneously volunteering and training to be a therapist she still manages to have time to provide meticulous organisation and solid advice.”
“It’s been awesome to watch Marysia Shepherd’s journey whilst we have worked together the last 5 years also, she was a brilliant agent, but to add further strings to her bow she became an amazing manager, festival organiser and mother without taking any proper time off. That is no easy task having four full time jobs, but she completes them with success, style and grace.”
“Starting as our intern and now managing all the digital areas of our business is twenty two year old Natascha Schorer. Despite also completing a degree in business management she has implemented new social media systems which have made our operation slicker both internally and externally and her passion and creativity for the He.She.They. project has known no bounds and this girl has the brightest future no matter what she chooses to do, we are very proud of her and value her efforts highly.”
“Last but by no means least I want to give props to Maya Jane Coles. Her work ethic and talent as both a producer and DJ continues to inspire and surprise even after five years of knowing how talented she is. From Printworks to Panorama Bar I’m still forever saying: “That was one of my favourite sets”, and it’s always a good day when a new Maya Jane Coles or Nocturnal Sunshine track lands in my inbox! We have had many shared experiences both touring the world and personally which had brought us closer together and I count her as a great friend as well as an inspiring colleague.”
DJ and producer
“It's important to remember what happened on March 8th more than 100 years ago with those workers in New York as a symbol of many things that have to be improved on equity between women and men.”
“The Electronic scene (and in other genres I guess) are a reflection of what's happening in the rest of the world, that's why there are less females than males as DJs, this is changing a bit slowly but inexorably. Probably in the Techno Scene we are luckier than in other genres, as most of the people are just caring about the sound, not the face, sex, genre or clothes. The main thing is the sound, but also society is evolving and more girls are having the opportunity to live with the same opportunities than men in their social environment. It's a thing of time I think and I hope.”
“Nina Kraviz is one of the masters. She has the flow, I love her style too much as she is totally natural doing her thing. Amelie Lens and also Charlotte de Witte have been doing amazing work over the last couples of years, showing how to do the proper work to get a good place in this scene.”
Equaliser DJs and curators
“Both Sides Now is a three-year programme presented by Brighter Sound that was created to support, inspire and showcase women and women identifying people in music across the North of England. Their latest residency programme will take place in Leeds and is led by the brilliant Shiva Feshareki. We're excited that Equaliser’s Carlos will be taking part of this brilliant opportunity alongside some other wonderfully talented artists.”
“I think IWD is a day to celebrate all women, but for me in particular, it’s about women who aren’t afraid to go out and do what they want. Whether that’s pursuing a high flying career, staying at home to be the primary caregiver, or finding a happy balance of both, if you’re doing what is right for you, then that’s worth celebrating. Special shout out to all the women who are fighting to make that possible all over the world as well. ”
“There are so many inspirational women both on and off the stage it’s hard to choose. Aside from the many great women that I work with, I’d have to say Marin Alsop, not only was she the first woman to conduct the Last Night of the Proms, she was also the first female to be made Artistic Director of the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra. I can’t believe it took so long for women to start being recognised as great conductors, but someone had to be the first, and she’s very deserving of that.”
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