Atwood Magazine Celebrates Women’s History Month 2021, Pt. III

Atwood Magazine Celebrates Women's History Month Pt. III
Atwood Magazine Celebrates Women's History Month Pt. III
Just as the pandemic began in 2020, a wave of protest and calls for equity were the anthems of the year, leading to important conversations surrounding inclusivity and equitable treatment for LGBTQ+ communities, BIPOC communities, and women. Intersectionality must be front and center in these conversations, and those conversations must continue into 2021. Today, and throughout the month of March, Atwood Magazine will be continuing those conversations in celebration of Women’s History Month — including artists and publicists alike discussing the state of the music industry and its role in gender equity.
In Part III of our series, Atwood spoke with and highlighted 12 women in the industry, asking them to reflect on the ways misogyny can be combatted, how they perceive their place in the industry, and how we can choose to challenge the music industry for better representation.
Adrian Vargas, Managing Editor
Mariel Fechik, Junior Editor 
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Ella Grace, Melissa Carper, Esther Abrami, Emma Lee (ARTivist), Tishmal, Maggie Rose, Addie Sartino (The Greeting Committee), Claire Julian (Nettwerk), Fable, Genevieve Vincent (darkDARK), lùisa, Shannon Cosgrove (Girlie Action Media)
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:: Atwood Magazine Celebrates Women ::

Atwood Magazine Celebrates Women's History Month Pt. III

  follow our Women’s History Month playlist on Spotify  



:: Ella Grace ::

Ella Grace © 2021

What kind of space do you want to carve out for yourself as a woman in this industry?
A big one! Haha. I want to carve out a space that inspires others to go after their wild dreams.

Misogyny can be so insidious in the music world. What are some ways you've been able to combat it and what kind of advice would you offer to women who are just coming into the industry?

I’ve been able to combat misogyny in the music world by actively believing in myself and voicing my opinions and needs. It’s so easy to enter the industry and feel like everyone else knows what they’re doing around you. I’ve found the truth to be that if you really want to make anything original, and execute your musical genius you need to get stuck in and say no when you mean it. You might be working with men who are high up in the industry, from producers to PR, who have their own “ways” of doing things and you CAN question and disagree with them. Stick to your guns even if it means making people a bit uncomfortable.

How would you challenge the music industry in order to increase meaningful representation and provide better support for women?

I’ve started my own label called OneOneOne Records and we aim to provide women and non-binary musicians with mentoring so they can enter the industry with confidence. I’ve traversed my way through the music industry using pure grit, determination and courage and I’d like to offer other musicians support in their journey.

Lastly, what are you working on currently? Anything coming down the pipeline you’re excited to share with fans?

I’ve got my debut album Reverence coming out in April and can’t wait to have that out in the world! I hope it’ll bring a lot of much-needed joy into people’s lives post-lockdown!



:: Melissa Carper :: 

Melissa Carper © Aisha Golliher

What kind of space do you want to carve out for yourself as a woman in this industry?
Song writer, vocalist, instrumentalist–all of these I strive to excel at.

Misogyny can be so insidious in the music world. What are some ways you've been able to combat it and what kind of advice would you offer to women who are just coming into the industry?

I’m aware it’s there and I guess I try not to focus on it but be aware of it and stand up for myself when it’s obvious and when I feel like it needs to be confronted. I’m aware specifically that people try to pay women less sometimes and also we are treated condescendingly sometimes by people in the industry– it seems especially by older men from a certain generation. I’d say to women who are just coming into the industry just to be aware of it and ready to stand up for yourself.

How would you challenge the music industry in order to increase meaningful representation and provide better support for women?

More radio play for female artists. I have noticed female artists are very underrepresented on radio in ratio to male artists. Encouraging females, from a young age, to be confident to pursue music specialties that are often thought of as men-dominated.

Lastly, what are you working on currently? Anything coming down the pipeline you’re excited to share with fans?

My solo album release, “Daddy’s Country Gold”, is coming up, March 19th! It’s a collection of what I consider my better songs over the last ten years or so, with a few brand new ones on there too. Recorded in Nashville at the Bomb Shelter with a stellar line-up of musicians.


:: Esther Abrami ::

Esther Abrami © 2021

What kind of space do you want to carve out for yourself as a woman in this industry?

I would like to inspire other musicians to follow their dreams, as I was lucky enough to do. It takes a lot of hard work and persistence but you should never give up. I’d like to support others to feel confident and strong to face any challenges they may encounter along the way.

Misogyny can be so insidious in the music world. What are some ways you've been able to combat it and what kind of advice would you offer to women who are just coming into the industry?

I think it’s important to work closely with other women to create safe and inspirational spaces where women can thrive and flourish. I acknowledge the great work of women who have gone before and am honoured to help support younger women who are following in all our footsteps.

How would you challenge the music industry in order to increase meaningful representation and provide better support for women?

I am grateful for the work already started by other people across the arts sector to help increase representation and awareness, not just for women but for all under-represented groups in our field and I will always strive to support and continue this work and to speak out in its support. Better representation can mean so many different things such as, for example, making sure women and people from Black and Minority Ethnic groups are always included on tech and production teams, programmed on radio and TV, or featured on festival rosters as a matter of course and not just when there is a specific moment such as International Women’s Day or Black History Month, as much as a cause for celebration as they might be. There is much work still to be done but if we all speak up and do what we can in a unified way, then awareness and action to bring out real change will surely follow.

Lastly, what are you working on currently? Anything coming down the pipeline you’re excited to share with fans?

I’m so excited about my debut single on Sony Classical which showcases the work of composer Clara Schumann (1819-1896). I’m passionate about highlighting the work of women composers overall, some of whom are only just beginning to be celebrated. All too often Clara Schumann is relegated to a footnote in history as the wife of composer Robert Schumann and mother to their eight children and friend to composer Johannes Brahms. She was indeed all of these things but we should never lose sight of the fact that Clara Schumann was a gifted pianist, prolific composer, and sought-after Conservatoire-level music teacher in her own right. Her beautiful music stands on its own merit and I am delighted to share it!



:: Emma Lee, Hip Hop Creative, Digital Producer, ARTivist ::

Emma Lee © Monifa Perry

What kind of space do you want to carve out for yourself as a woman in this industry?

Merit, contribution, skill, and talent-based visibility. Social mobility, expansion of training possibilities & growth reciprocation. Local to globally influential cultural exchange, financially empowered community re-investment, sustainable independence, ownership of creative and digital assets. Freedom of creativity, greater access to leveraging resources plus capital, transparent contracts & understandings with major brands and companies. Merit and contribution-based opportunities, greater representation of intellect and values, energetic diversity. Uplift of non-linear and outlier experiences. Profit-loss & professional consequences to colorism, sexism, ageism etc.

A space empowering critical thinking, belonging, reclamation, and livable means free of neglect, gaslighting, victimhood, or exploitation of labor/status. Physical/emotional/psychological safety as an active principle. A space acknowledging the value of ancestry & cultural roots to cultural ownership. A space with no tolerance for shrinking oneself, zero-sum dealings & spiritual compromise. A space where I’m not hyper cognizant of the space.

Misogyny can be so insidious in the music world. What are some ways you've been able to combat it and what kind of advice would you offer to women who are just coming into the industry?

This is a hard and sensitive question to wrap my head around because certain things you go through you fight hard to block out, heal/toughen up and move on. But it’s true. I’ve flat out refused advances I wasn’t comfortable with, assessed imbalanced relationships with third parties, resolved to carrying weapons, notifying emergency contacts when I’m on the road working, painfully/faithfully leaving projects/groups/working relationships altogether, researching ways to ensure my credit for paid or unpaid work, reading articles on various self-development, survival, and awareness topics. I don’t have experience with filing formal reports or complaints but in talks with women who have, I have learned your evidence, support system, and reputation play roles in your justice. I would advise to listen to your inner voice and insist on clear communication in everything you do. Even if you’re physically alone always secure yourself and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Know your boundaries and enforce them regularly. Know your limitations mentally plus physically, do your research on people and spaces, choose your associates and battles wisely.

How would you challenge the music industry in order to increase meaningful representation and provide better support for women?

Hire more of them! Identify missing roles and fill them with competently diverse women and girls. Ask industry professionals what’s needed that doesn’t exist & ask women & girls to fulfill it. Fund more local activists, teaching artists, and programs. I challenge more variations of colors, shapes, textures, and paths on our screens and media. I challenge genres where women are prominent to not be typecast and perpetually misrepresented. I challenge the push and balance of new archetypes, curriculums, radio/TV/award show formats. I challenge industry watchdogs, offender registries, and assault accountability. I challenge the establishment of more women-led/focused/owned studio spaces. I challenge more mainstream partnership* and equity with underground/indie creatives. I challenge a shakedown of limiting social media algorithms. I challenge more sponsorship of women ran collectives, archives, and platforms.



:: Tishmal ::

Tishmal © 2021

What kind of space do you want to carve out for yourself as a woman in this industry?

I want to make a space that is free, where any and all women can feel okay being their fullest, truest selves. And for me, a space with dark clouds and poetry and light, all wrapped up in pop melodies and electronic textures and organic instruments.

Misogyny can be so insidious in the music world. What are some ways you've been able to combat it and what kind of advice would you offer to women who are just coming into the industry?

I think it is important to actively cheer each other on, and remember as women we are in it together. Think big. Picture every role a man holds in the industry, and now picture a woman there instead. You can suddenly see the imbalance in the industry. If you’re a woman reading this, this is your sign to go after it.

How would you challenge the music industry in order to increase meaningful representation and provide better support for women?

I would love to see more female producers and more women in leadership roles. I would love to see men having these same conversations in their interviews about how they are going to combat misogyny in the industry. And, frankly, we need be asking men these kinds of questions more often. Misogyny is a male problem, not a female problem.

Lastly, what are you working on currently? Anything coming down the pipeline you’re excited to share with fans?

I have been writing so much- music that feels like stars under your skin and I cannot wait to share it. I also have a live video version of my latest single “Bed of Roses” that I recorded with Allsaints to look out for this month!

:: Maggie Rose ::

Maggie Rose © Ford Fairchild

What kind of space do you want to carve out for yourself as a woman in this industry?

I want all the music and energy that I’m putting out into the world to be inclusive and open, which is probably easier to tap into as a woman because we are inherently nurturing. That being said, all of these things that have led to my role as a collaborator have been made stronger by the people I work and surround myself with. They have kept me engaged and still very much in love with what I’m doing even after having been in the game for a while. This has helped me evolve as a musician and person, become a better listener, and feel more confident in what I am bringing to the table. It’s a privilege to share all of this with my audience.

Misogyny can be so insidious in the music world. What are some ways you've been able to combat it and what kind of advice would you offer to women who are just coming into the industry?

I saw more examples of misogyny earlier in my career and I suppose that’s because I tolerated or deemed that behavior normal in ways I would never today. I think the lesson I have learned is that no one person, other than yourself, is going to be the answer and deliver you your success or failure, so why tolerate abuse or objectification that could negatively affect your sense of self in the long run? If the relationship is worth salvaging, set HARD boundaries and communicate, but I have seen firsthand that there is always another way to get where you want to go without the so-called help from those people.

How would you challenge the music industry in order to increase meaningful representation and provide better support for women?

Take a page from Leslie Fram’s book, SVP of CMT, who has launched a movement — along with Tracy Gershon and Beverly Keel — very cleverly called “Change The Conversation.” It’s intended to amplify women’s voices in the Country market in particular, and it does so without saying a single disparaging comment about our male counterparts. They host seminars where we hear from incredible authors and critics like Ann Powers, producers like Victoria Shaw and Shani Gandhi, songwriters like Lori McKenna, you name it. It’s meant to educate us and encourage us all to cash in on this gold mine that we’re sitting on.

Lastly, what are you working on currently? Anything coming down the pipeline you’re excited to share with fans?

I launched a podcast called Salute The Songbird with Osiris Media in January and it’s a series of conversations with amazing women in music whom I admire, like Nancy Wilson of Heart, Jennifer Hartswick, Martina McBride, Mickey Guyton, Kathy Valentine of the Go-Go’s, Chrissy Metz of This Is Us, Kalie Shorr and more, and I have learned so much from each guest. The research part is a blast because I get to listen to their records or read their memoirs and then hear them reflect on their stories and what it is that has helped them achieve and maintain their success. We’re already booking interviews for season 2, so I’m thrilled. AND, I am finally releasing an album that I recorded down at the legendary FAME in Muscle Shoals, AL with Them Vibes and some incredible players from the Swampers and Alabama Shakes produced by Ben Tanner. It was a dream to make an album in that room and now after surviving 2020 and all of its surprises I finally get to share it with everyone else which is pretty damn exciting!



:: Addie Sartino (The Greeting Committee) ::

Addie Solo © Elizabeth Miranda

What kind of space do you want to carve out for yourself as a woman in this industry?
One filled with curiosity and passion and grace.

Misogyny can be so insidious in the music world. What are some ways you've been able to combat it and what kind of advice would you offer to women who are just coming into the industry?

My father always said, “No one can put you into a box if you don’t let them.”

How would you challenge the music industry in order to increase meaningful representation and provide better support for women?

Hire more women of color. Hire more LGBTQ+ women. Hire more women engineers. Hire more women producers.

Lastly, what are you working on currently? Anything coming down the pipeline you’re excited to share with fans?

The Greeting Committee is currently on our way to record our second record with Jenn Decilveo!



:: Claire Julian, Publicist, Nettwerk Music Group ::

Claire Julian © Daniel Berkman

What kind of space do you want to carve out for yourself as a woman in this industry?

As a woman working in music, I have always just wanted to carve out an equal space, have my opinions respected and my ideas credited back to me. I think publicity is one area that is a pretty even 50/50 split between those who identify as men and women so I luckily never feel like it is the boys-only club that tends to happen elsewhere.

Misogyny can be so insidious in the music world. What are some ways you've been able to combat it and what kind of advice would you offer to women who are just coming into the industry?

My advice would to not be afraid to speak up and band together. If you have had a bad experience with an individual, you are likely not the only one. Early in my career, I was put in numerous positions where I felt uncomfortable or intellectually taken advantage of but at the time I did not think they “crossed the line” enough to report anything or complain plus there was always the fear you would be fired for speaking up. These excuses we make for others and to ourselves do more harm in the long run so don’t be afraid to speak out, go to HR, ask for your credit, or if asked to do something your gut says eh, don’t do it. When you first enter this industry you feel like you could be replaced at any minute so you have to accept however you are treated and as a woman, I feel like this was amplified compared to my male peers. This whole idea is toxic. Don’t work anywhere you are truly unhappy or abused, there are so many wonderful people within this industry that the bad apples don’t deserve your time regardless of their title!

How would you challenge the music industry in order to increase meaningful representation and provide better support for women?

In recent years I have seen so many wonderful women’s music industry groups and panels popping up where we can support each other and I think it is wonderful and we need to continue that momentum. I challenge the men in the rooms to speak out on behalf of their female colleagues and peers if they see unequal treatment and for those higher up to promote or hire women to executive roles within their organizations. Question the status quo and fight to change it. Throughout my career, I have worked at numerous small companies that did not have any HR representative or unbiased person you could go talk to about an incident or unequal treatment and I think that needs to change. There should always be a person you can talk to no matter how small the company that is not the owner, otherwise, no one will be held accountable.



:: Fable ::

Fable © Jack Ford

What kind of space do you want to carve out for yourself as a woman in this industry?

I’m a singer/songwriter/producer with an interest in Performance Art and Theatre. I eventually want to incorporate film into my projects and collaborate with many musicians artists and designers from a diverse set of genres as not to become bound by one particular movement. I want to be lucid and shapeshift with the moment, but still remain distinctive. Most importantly I want to have longevity, something very few female artists achieves in this industry.

Misogyny can be so insidious in the music world. What are some ways you've been able to combat it and what kind of advice would you offer to women who are just coming into the industry?

Misogyny can take many forms, from subtle patronising assumptions about your knowledge of your craft based on your gender and the size of their ego, to unwanted sexual advances, the boys club vibe of this industry does more often than not turn a blind eye to this kind of behaviour. I have been fortunate in my career so far, not to have experienced the worst of this, although when I was just starting out there were moments when I left an interaction feeling disempowered by a stampede of misdirected testosterone. I can’t help but call it out maybe because I’m a Taurus and I really hate being spoken down to but that doesn’t mean I should have to be this hard character.

It is a very masculine environment, I’ve sung in pubs since I was 14 and learned how to deal with hecklers from my Glaswegian Dad which gave me a rather thick skin to deal with the wider industry but I think the most important factor was my strong support network, and only working with people you would feel comfortable having a beer with. Business and ethics should complement each other. If I don’t find someone genuine or even if I don’t like their vibe I won’t work with them. Go out and meet other musicians, and create a community of people with who you have a connection with and have each other’s backs, that way we create a more inclusive industry.

How would you challenge the music industry in order to increase meaningful representation and provide better support for women?

I feel as if it’s happening slowly but more women need to get into the industry. More female Tour managers, Promoters, Sound Technicians, Art Directors. The statistics are insane of how few women actually are in receipt of royalties, according to PRS women account for 18.4% of members. I feel it needs to be less about drinking and posturing and more genuine collaboration as to not put off a lot of really talented people at first meeting. Secondly, social media is so toxic but fast becoming the default form of promotion. As an artist, your social media becomes your full-time job, which can be incredibly damaging to your mental health, especially as women wondering where you fit in amongst these manufactured beauty standards not to mention the hours it takes from your life and the abuse you may suffer online.

I want to see more support for women from social media companies to remind us that nothing we are seeing is real and its time to put down your phone and drink a glass of water. I think it’s completely insidious, they need to take responsibility for the side effects of their product, and should be regulated with helplines for the addictions they have caused, much like gambling apps.

Lastly, what are you working on currently? Anything coming down the pipeline you’re excited to share with fans?

I’ve got a whole bunch of tricks up my sleeve for the rest of this year, including an album in autumn, lot’s of live sessions, and video content planned for the summer, but I’m most excited to release the 3rd Single, WOMB, with a video due out in the Spring, and lastly, if all goes to plan, some live dates to announce!



 :: Genevieve Vincent (darkDARK) ::

Genevieve Vincent
Genevieve Vincent

What kind of space do you want to carve out for yourself as a woman in this industry?
Composer and artist.

Misogyny can be so insidious in the music world. What are some ways you've been able to combat it and what kind of advice would you offer to women who are just coming into the industry?

My advice, in general, would be to try to find some supportive, trusted, friends and allies in the music business, both men and women, and nurture those relationships. I have been so fortunate to have found some incredible people to work with of all genders, like my male bandmate in darkDARK, Chris James, who I have been working with for almost a decade. Like anything, it’s trial and error. I would say… approach everyone with an open mind, and if the relationship doesn’t turn out to be productive, know when to call it quits. And always trust your gut. I’m not sure I’ve ever changed the mind of someone who’s had misogynistic views, which is what I would consider really combatting it to be. I think that misogyny is something that people learn early on in their lives, from their parents or somehow in their upbringing so it can be very hard for someone with misogynistic views to shift their paradigm.

I have compassion for that because it’s hard for anyone to reframe their views as an adult. Also, I say “people” because I think women can also hold misogynistic views toward themselves or other women. So I have compassion for all of those people, but it is never ok for them to project that on the people around them. In a perfect world, misogynists would go to therapy and sort themselves out and emerge as amazing partners in life and work. But for now, misogynistic behavior exists, and it’s counterproductive in every way. So when you see it happen, stand up if you can, or tell someone so you are not alone. Give your energy and attention to the positive relationships you have, and try to limit your exposure to toxic dynamics in work or otherwise. Meaningful change happens over time. Making a lot of small, incremental shifts in the right direction, will result in good outcomes that will be meaningful and momentous in the long term!

How would you challenge the music industry in order to increase meaningful representation and provide better support for women?

Try to include women all year round in your roster, and not just on female-related subject matter, and not just on women’s day. I’ve heard scores and songs by men that are incredibly sensitive and gorgeous, just as I’ve heard scores and songs by women that are aggressive and bombastic. So I would say – try not to typecast your choices when it comes to hiring female composers/writers/engineers/mixers, etc. Just because someone looks a certain way on the outside, doesn’t mean that they are that way on the inside. Don’t limit yourself by assuming someone can only do the most obvious thing. In fact, maybe the most out-of-the-box, interesting, creative, and surprising music would be made by the person whom you least expect to make it.

And you could be the muse who sparks that! More than anything, I want the music professionals who hire to see working with women as an opportunity, rather than something that has to happen for the sake of fairness. When I hire a new music mixer, assistant, or someone onto my team, I always expect to have to put in some sweat equity to get to that shorthand with them. So I guess knowing that there’s some work on both sides no matter what gender they are, is important. It’s really just a matter of who of the incredibly talented and skilled people out there do you want to invest time in, and the more you do that with women, the more of them you will find in the workforce.

Lastly, what are you working on currently? Anything coming down the pipeline you’re excited to share with fans?

darkDARK’s new record “Feel So Much” just dropped February 26th! So Chris and I have been focusing on promoting that and we’re super excited to have it out in the world! I also just had a film I scored called Safer At Home (Directed by Will Wernick released by Voltage Pictures and Vertical Entertainment) come out which is currently screening in 80 theaters across the US as well as on VOD. Currently, I’m taking part in a songwriting camp, writing some additional scores for a composer I really look up to! (although it’s all hush hush for now!), and Chris and I are starting to write music for our next record!

:: lùisa ::

lùisa © Ivan Boljat

What kind of space do you want to carve out for yourself as a woman in this industry?

I would like to continue working as songwriter/singer/producer and guitarist.

Misogyny can be so insidious in the music world. What are some ways you've been able to combat it and what kind of advice would you offer to women who are just coming into the industry?

In my opinion one of the most important things is to network also with other women in the industry – this can be very empowering, and it is important not to see each other as competitors/opponents because this is what we are taught by patriarchal structures. It’s also important to take good care of your mental health and be gentle with yourself.

How would you challenge the music industry in order to increase meaningful representation and provide better support for women?

Festivals (and clubs) should follow an equality policy, by booking 50% Womxn and 50% men. In general, there should be more government funding for art in general and Female* artists/ musicians should be able to access funding more easily.

Lastly, what are you working on currently? Anything coming down the pipeline you’re excited to share with fans?

My new album New Woman will be out on May 7th! Very excited for this!



:: Shannon Cosgrove, Publicist, Girlie Action Media ::

Shannon Cosgrove © Jake Whitener

What kind of space do you want to carve out for yourself as a woman in this industry?

Work on building towards a place where women no longer need to carve out a space for themselves in the industry, but inherently can occupy & share the same space as men.

Misogyny can be so insidious in the music world. What are some ways you've been able to combat it and what kind of advice would you offer to women who are just coming into the industry?

It’s important to stand up for yourself and know your worth. Addressing misogyny when it’s witnessed or experienced is a crucial step to creating a dialogue that perpetrators can hopefully learn & grow from – or at least be called out.

How would you challenge the music industry in order to increase meaningful representation and provide better support for women?

Hiring more women in leadership roles and increasing their visibility in the industry. We’re proud to represent a lot of amazing women at Girlie Action and continue to amplify their voices.



— —

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:: Atwood Magazine Celebrates Women ::

Atwood Magazine Celebrates Women's History Month Pt. III

  follow our Women’s History Month playlist on Spotify  


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