Hello and welcome back to Kaiya’s Korner! March is Women's History Month, a special time to celebrate the contributions of women to society throughout history. When we think about women's contributions to the world of music, we can't help but marvel at the incredible talent and creativity that women have brought to the field. From classical composers to contemporary pop stars, there’s no denying women have made their mark on music history in countless ways.
Women have been making music for as long as music has existed, but their contributions have often been overlooked or downplayed. Throughout history, women were discouraged from pursuing music as a career, and many were forced to hide their talent or work in the shadows using aliases or allowing men to be credited instead.
Despite these challenges, women have made significant contributions to music over the years. From classical composers like Clara Schumann and Fanny Mendelssohn to blues legends like Bessie Smith and Ma Rainey, women have left their mark on virtually every genre of music. In the 20th century, the rise of jazz and blues gave rise to iconic performers like Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald, while the emergence of rock and roll brought us trailblazers like Janis Joplin and Tina Turner.
Women in Music Today
Today, women are more visible in the music industry than ever before.
Women artists are playing an increasingly important part in revolutionizing the role of an artist in today's musical landscape. Not only are they pushing boundaries in terms of musical genre and style, but they are also using their music as a platform to address social and political issues. Women artists like Beyonce, Taylor Swift, and Lizzo among others have been particularly vocal in promoting messages of empowerment, body positivity, and social justice through their music. They are also breaking down traditional gender roles in the industry by taking on roles as producers, engineers, and executives, as well as performers. This has resulted in a more diverse and inclusive music industry, where women are able to take on leadership roles and have greater creative control over their music.
Women executives like Julie Greenwald, the chairman and COO of Atlantic Records, Jody Gerson, the chairwoman and CEO of Universal Music Publishing Group, and Sylvia Rhone, the chairwoman and CEO of Epic Records, are leading some of the biggest companies in the industry and shaping the future of music. These women are not only making important business decisions but are also advocating for greater diversity and inclusivity in the industry and promoting the careers of other women in music. Sylvia Rhone, in particular, has been a trailblazer in the industry, having served as the first black woman to be named chairman of a major record label. Her leadership has been instrumental in shaping the careers of some of the biggest names in music, including Mariah Carey, Missy Elliott, and Lil Nas X, among others.
Women producers and engineers like Sylvia Massy, Marcella Araica, Nova Wav, and our very own founder Tiffany Miranda are breaking down barriers and proving that women can excel in technical roles in the studio. These women have worked on some of the biggest projects of the past decade, including "Pleasure" by Feist, "Thank U, Next" by Ariana Grande, and Beyoncé’s “Renaissance” among others.
The funk influenced song "Queendom" produced by our founder, Tiffany Miranda and featuring MEANGIRL received a placement in the major film, Coming 2 America. These women are paving the way for a more diverse and inclusive music industry, showing that it is possible for women to succeed in technical roles and that their skills and contributions are just as valuable as those of their male counterparts.
Work to Be Done
Despite the progress that women have made in the music industry, there is still work to be done. The statistics on the representation of women in production and engineering in the music industry are unfortunately still quite low. According to a 2020 report by the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, which analyzed the gender and race/ethnicity of artists, songwriters, and producers on the year-end Billboard Hot 100 charts from 2012-2020, only 2.6% of producers were women. Similarly, only 3% of engineers/mixers were women. These numbers show that there is still a lot of work to be done to increase gender diversity in these fields. However, it is important to note that the number of women in these roles is slowly increasing and there are more female producers and engineers gaining recognition for their work in the industry.
That’s why Girls Make Beats exists– to provide a safe and supportive environment for girls to learn and develop skills in these underrepresented fields, and works to close the gender gap in the music industry.
How to Celebrate After Women’s History
Celebrating and supporting women in music should not be limited to just one month out of the year. Here are some ways to continue to support women in music outside of Women's History Month:
Listen to and share music by female artists: Supporting female artists by listening to and sharing their music is a simple yet effective way to show support. Whether it's streaming their music, sharing their songs on social media, or attending their concerts, every bit of support counts.
Attend concerts and events featuring female artists: Supporting female artists by attending their concerts and events can help to boost their visibility and show that there is demand for their music. Additionally, attending events that are focused on promoting gender diversity in music, such as those organized by Girls Make Beats, can help to amplify the voices of female producers and engineers.
Support organizations that empower girls and young women in music: Organizations like Girls Make Beats are doing important work to empower girls and young women in music production, DJing, and audio engineering. Since its founding in 2012, Girls Make Beats has provided training to over 1,000 girls and young women in music production, DJing, and audio engineering. Our programs have been offered in several cities across the United States, including Miami, Los Angeles, and Atlanta. Supporting these organizations through donations or volunteer work can help to provide more opportunities for girls to enter these fields.
Educate yourself and others on the gender gap in the music industry: It is important to be aware of the gender gap in the music industry and to educate others about it. By raising awareness about the lack of gender diversity in music production, DJing, and audio engineering, we can work to create a more inclusive and equitable industry.
Overall, supporting women in music is an ongoing effort that requires attention and action beyond Women's History Month. By listening to and sharing music by female artists, attending concerts and events featuring female artists, supporting organizations that empower girls and young women in music, and educating ourselves and others on the gender gap in the music industry, we can work towards creating a more diverse and inclusive industry for all.
If you have a young girl in your life interested in learning production, DJing, or audio engineering feel free to register here to help us in our mission to create an equitable future.
Happy Women’s History Month,