“A female-first / music-forward conference for music industry professionals, artists and other creatives working in entertainment”

A lecture ‘On Feeling Healthy’ at Factory Berlin; curating a room at Fabriclive; 7 months of mentoring women in sound in Brazil; a groovy series of shows in Mumbai; co-hosting the International Music Summit in Ibiza; a panel with Beatport about diversity on the dancefloor; a conversation about the role of women in rock and hiphop at eco-fest Le Cabaret Vert

These are just some of the many events lining Shesaid.so’s sharp portfolio this past year. Female-forward yet inclusive of all, the network and collective has been dialoguing, maturing and gently shaking up the industry for five years, through purpose and fearlessness. They celebrate their anniversary this weekend with a conference sprouting along the coast line of Portugal, in Portimão. MEETSSS will welcome a rotation of performances, panels, workshops and mentoring events – we can’t wait to soak up change with them.

Although call and responses for gender equality in the scene have gotten louder, recent research from Nielsen Music and AFEM highlight the lack of evolvement in diversity: ‘’research (…) indicates no change in gender balance where the actual power for change and money is. Pay gaps generally remain unchanged, with many companies operating a gender pay gap of more than 30% and no real action taken. There is however a lot of PR talk’’ reads the description of ‘The Only One in the Room‘, an Amsterdam Dance Event conference covering gender diversity in the industry.

It’s becoming increasingly important to differentiate between surface-level words, and measures with impact. The roots of female involvement in music must grow deeper, towards equal pay and opportunities, as well as identification and rejection of gender biases – notably in tech-related jobs. Championing intersectionality, shesaid.so have also marked their support of mental health, climate activism and LGBTQ+ representation with many actions over words.

With Village Underground Lisboa and music distribution group The Orchard by their side, these ladies have curated a diverse, bashful lineup. It includes an ode to the local Portuguese scene on the first night, multiple live sets, and artists with interesting stories to tell both on and off the stage. The diverse performance palette will include acoustic sounds by Fábia Maia, indie electro shimmers from Surma, afro-beat from the Studio Bros, acid grooves from Roundhouse Kicks, and futuristic Arabic electro by Deena Abdelwahed. Panelists are just as varied, with words to come from Resident Advisor, Live Nation, Bye Bye Plastic, IMS and Sónar representatives among many others.

To celebrate shesaid.so as they celebrate us, we’ve selected our favourite, most inspirational content from these badass women supporting other artists, as they trailblaze towards change and creativity.

Madame Gandhi (activist and drummer for M.I.A., Thievery Corporation) 

“I always talk about how jealousy is a very dark emotion (…) but if we’re honest with ourselves, jealousy can be a very helpful and intuitive emotion, whereby we can use it to say ‘this is me body and myself telling me what I really want for my own life (…) and it’s a compass (…) I was working at Interscope records, but by the end of my two years though there I started thinking what’s the next step?’ And my jealousy, or let’s say what I would feel inspired by others were two things: my friends who were touring the world (…) and then also the women who came before me who were leaders in the music industry, who were using their MBA and their business skills to really make a difference”

Dublab Radio with Music Declares Emergency’s Maddy Read Clarke and Bye Bye Plastic’s Blond:ish

“The signs have been there for 30 years and we’ve chosen to ignore it, and it’s under my generation that it happened (…) I felt very cut-off and incomplete about it all (…)  It’s important that everyone get out and work with environmental campaign groups, to create and join events raising awareness for the climate emergency, encouraging their friends to do the same, to get out and peacefully protest. If artists could make the climate and ecological emergency a priority for everyone that they work with (…) have someone on their team helping them to green their career, whether that be more sustainable touring routes, or introducing a green rider, or merchandising … Sign up to Music Declares Emergency and spread the word about it” -Maddy Read Clarke

Spotify playlist curating female musicians and producers

An alternative to Billboard’s Power 100 Music List, celebrating underrepresented communities

…And this thudding dream drive of a set by Seb Wildblood

We look forward to attending this buzzing weekend and connect with all kinds of people about the state of females and communities in the industry, sharing the road ahead to an exciting future.

Article by Lola Baraldi