To celebrate IWD, Geo, and other amazing women, share their experiences in the music industry…
It comes to that time every year where we celebrate international women’s week and I sit and ask myself: how are women still fighting for the rights to feel and be equal in today’s society? How have we gotten to the point where men are still singling us out and dominating?
From personal experiences of working in the music industry, being a company owner at the age of twenty-two, and the founder of a successful online music publication, I still find myself having to battle men to prove that I am good at what I and that I am deemed worthy of success. From other editors who are male, to bands who need to be called out for their actions and middle-aged men in the industry, I still get much hate from them to the extreme I sometimes want to delete all social media and never go back.
“Whilst the music industry is primarily dominated by males, this does not determine what we are able to achieve as women. We are now seeing more women on festival line-ups and filling job roles. I hope this continues. Us women can hold our own and command a room just as any man can and it’s about time the music industry recognises that.” – Ria Hanley
I first started my website in December of 2017, when I had joined university and I wanted something to advance my writing, it was almost an online portfolio of my work and I thought, “why not make something out of this?”, I was inspired by so many of the greatest online publications that I had read growing up. I wanted to be just like that, I wanted nothing more than to write about music and to show off some of the best bands this country could offer. I was passionate, enthusiastic and it was an impulse decision. I never knew after a few months of posting a few articles, fellow aspiring writers would be interested in writing for me because honestly, I had no clue what I was doing myself. The rest is history until the start of lockdown last year, the peak of an international health disaster forced me to sit in my room in my little flat in London and I grafted to the point I never slowed down – I grew my team, I had some of the best support and people were reading the constant influx of content.
“Since I’ve started making music I’ve found that so many people don’t believe that I write and produce all my music by myself, and I feel like I shouldn’t have to use that as a selling point, but I also don’t think I’d be taken seriously if I didn’t!” – Eden Dawn
Over the past year, Happy People Music has grown and gained millions of views alongside a team (more like a family) of fifty-three of the most talented writers and it’s been a rather wild ride, to say the least, but of course, this doesn’t come as a surprise that over the past six months, I have received some of the vilest and utmost disgusting treatment from [some] men in the industry.
From men trying to damage my reputation publicly, to men telling me I am “worthless” and “unimportant”, it may seem like small things, but the bigger picture is much more serious than just comments here and there, it’s blatant bullying, misogyny and targeted harassment. I used to be too anxious to mention it because middle-aged men and sometimes, even women would find my Twitter account and harass me – how can someone go through this and feel somewhat fine most of the time? It’s because I am used to it, worrying right? There have been times where even my own male friends would throw me under the bus to somewhat look cool in front of other men – are we going backwards rather than forwards? Unfortunately so. One of my good friends said this to me recently, “Fame and excellence aren’t connected anymore, people want to be famous so bad they forget to be excellent.”
No one should ever have to feel mentally drained for doing their job, for growing, for being successful and they should never have to prove it to anyone. Men must do better – the music industry is thriving with brand new talent and young creatives are feeling inspired – protect them, support them and make sure they are okay. It’s rough out there sometimes.
“It remains a challenge [the music industry]. Particularly as a female producer, I feel the need to remind everyone at every opportunity that I produce all my music unless I particularly want someone else’s sound. It’s really hard to want to progress in a career as a producer but the thought of navigating the rape culture which hangs over much of music creation is very intimidating. The amount of misogynistic content specifically for IWD, including photos of men working in studios alongside a woman posing in underwear only, exacerbates the problem and makes it so much for women like me to be taken seriously. when I’m given the opportunity to talk through my process publically, I feel nervous purely based on not knowing whether the audience will be welcoming to me or offer unwanted advice, even though I’m the one with the authority. There are glimmers however when you stumble across another female who feels the same as you do. That sort of community is true power and I am hopeful it will change for the better, even if not for our generation or the one after.” – Mouse
On the brighter side of everything negative I’ve ever dealt with in the music industry, there are so many amazing women who deserve only the best kind of recognition. Women are powerful and no one can stop us.