Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Female producers, where you at?

While producers like George Martin, Phil Spector, the Dust Brothers and Timbaland are well-known names, few women have broken through that barrier. Increasingly women are at the top of the charts, but behind the scenes, they are relatively absent, but not entirely unseen.

DJ Bless of London has been working in the music for nearly a decade and is beginning production on her first album. As a woman in the industry it is still very much a struggle.

“If I meet a new contact the kind of won’t take me serious since I am a woman,” Bless admits. “You have to be careful, I’ve met some chauvinists who will be like ‘If I do that for you, what will you do for me.”

But Bless thinks there is more acceptance than in the past, a sentiment echoed by DJ Caro Snatch of Newcastle.

“Of course we cannot deny the set roles still expected of women by some,” says Caro who is working on an album. “There are more and more rare dogs just doing their thing that means things are changing as ever.”

Caro believes that for a lot of woman it may be a lack of confidence, capital and timing that prevents more female producers from emerging. It becomes a less accessible option when children, a partner, a day job or no job are in the mix.

“The more women we see and hear doing it the more we realise its possible,” says Caro. “Now that we have so many more contemporaries and technical possibilities, more and more lasses are biting the bullet and going for it.”

Websites like SheJay, a network of international female DJs, producers, vocalists, promoters and performers, are dedicated to forwarding the recognition of women in the music industry.

For Caro, which she respects the intent, she sees sites like SheJay as more useful as forum for finding other women doing interesting things than anything else. If anything it does reveal that there are rumblings below the glass ceiling.

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