Lizzy Ellis is making similar strides with the music technology program Saffron Music. After discovering that women, non-binary, and trans people make up less than 5% of the music tech industry, she developed a nonprofit that offered them DJ and sound production lessons, highlighting their skills via an internal label. He received 500 applications last year.
She’s not the only person struggling with the lack of female producers in the industry. Little Mix and Stormzy collaborators Kamille and Fred Again launched the Next Up mentorship scheme to spot and develop female production talent, and in February singer and songwriter EVABEE launched the all-female studio Bam Bam in Manchester. .
She told Resident Advisor: “I’m really tired of hearing stories of female artists saying they never feel 100% comfortable trying to create…That’s the age of the ‘chamber producer’ and for a woman trying to break into the industry by going around a boy’s goof in her bedroom really isn’t the healthiest musical relationship.
While some roles are segregated by gender at all levels of the music industry, Khan says she also hears stories of women struggling to advance in positions that have a 50/50 gender split at the music industry. of entry. In fact, while some of Spotify’s most streamed pop stars of 2021 were women like Dua Lipa, Little Mix and Adele, their labels are largely run by men. The data, revealed in September 2021, showed that women are still underrepresented at the top level at companies like Sony, Warner and Universal. In fact, at Universal, women hold only 26% of the highest-paying jobs.
There are some positive changes – the gender pay gap is narrowing and UK labels are starting to have female chairwomen like Briony Turner (Atlantic), Jo Charrington (Capitol) and Rebecca Allen (EMI) – but it’s slow. “And then, you know, a lot of women in the industry also face a maternity penalty. It impacts income and opportunity,” says Khan. (An insider told me that female DJs have started hiding their pregnancies from their agents and promoters for fear of losing bookings. “Often, promoters will have no idea that these DJs have become mothers,” they say.)
The result is an industry that is still guarded by men. It’s something Gracey has experienced firsthand. “When everyone at the top is male, what comes out ends up being filtered through a male perspective,” she says. “You write the lyrics to a song and send it to someone for feedback and they’ll be like, ‘Oh, that wouldn’t resonate with everyone’ because they, a man, didn’t get into it. not connected.” She is also irritated by how she is sometimes perceived by others in the industry.