[Editors Note: This article originally appeared on Point Blank London’s blog.]
Recently, topics such as the comparatively low number of female producers and the persistence of all-male (or majority-male) event line-ups have raised pressing questions about the state of the music industry in the 21st century. In a piece for The Fader, Ruth Saxelby asked why more women aren’t becoming music producers, before turning the platform over to high profile female artists to set out their proposals of how best to redress the balance. In 2016, the prevailing sense is that, while the industry remains male-dominated (women represent less than 5% of music producers and engineers), there’s a real desire to call for effective change.
At the sharp end of this development are a number of networks and platforms geared towards helping women in the music industry, from Discwoman in NYC to the Berlin-based platform female:pressure. In this guest post, Point Blank Music School spotlight a range of networking resources and collectives in a bid to help the next generation of women artists to make their mark.
At Point Blank they’re committed to equipping artists of all genders with the industry skills to succeed at the highest level. Want to get out there and alter that 5% statistic? Start by discovering their range of courses.
Since its launch in 1998, female:pressure has built an international network of over 1,600 female artists across 66 countries working across the spectrum of electronic music. Not only is it an invaluable grassroots resource (their research into the amount of women artists on festival bills made for enlightening reading) but they also represent one of the key platforms for new artists, both through their events – including the Berlin-based Perspectives Festival – and their own label. Their recent release Rojava Revolution was the product of an open call for musicians, and made Fact’s Bandcamp Release of the Month. Get involved here.
Founded in 2014, Shesaid.so is a carefully selected global community of women who work in the music industry. Where female: pressure tends to focus more on artists and creators, Shesaid.so connects women across all industry sectors, from PR to management to record labels. As well as acting as a forum where members can seek advice, share jobs and events and announce new projects, their regularly updated programme of events and panels encourage conversations on vital topics. The next panel, which takes place at LISTEN! 2016 is entitled Girls, Geeks & Music: Where are the female producers?, and aims to explore a male and female perspective on the intersection between women, tech and electronic music. Join in here.
New York-based Discwoman started out as a two-day festival back in 2014 and has grown into a platform, collective and booking agency with events taking place in over 15 cities, working with over 150 producers and DJs. Founded by Frankie Hutchinson, Emma Burgess-Olson and Christine Tran, Discwoman’s remit is, essentially, to represent and showcase artists who identify as female – and their parties are incredible, as evidenced by their recent Boiler Room session featuring the likes of Julia Huxtable, Bearcat and Uniiqu3. They also have a regular mix series, spotlighting new artists. Discover Discwoman here.
Women In Music
Of all the groups mentioned, the US-based Women In Music is surely the most established. Now well into its third decade, WIM brings together a broad group of music industry professionals to offer support and cultivate a network of women working across all areas of the music industry. From official panel discussions at SXSW to free legal clinics, the organisers work hard to produce a diverse programme of events throughout the year. Their recent free Women In Music Tech event was hugely popular with panels and presentations delving deep into the topic from a variety of key angles. You have to become a member to take part in these events, so head over to the WIM website for more details and sign up.
Point Blank Music School are super proud to be helping the next generation of female producers, artists and industry figures prepare for a successful career in the music industry. If you’re feeling inspired and want to join the ranks of PB alumni like Monki, Madam X and Nicole Moudaber you need to sign up to one of their courses based either in London, Los Angeles or online. Point Blank’s Online Music Production Master Diploma is not only the most comprehensive course available online, but it offers 1-2-1 tutorials between you and your instructor every two weeks, alongside live masterclasses and the opportunity to receive customized feedback for your work as you progress. Check out the full range of online Professional Programmes.