Local Heroes

Girls Rock Dublin – Women in Music

17th March 2017

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Introduce yourself.

My name is Karen Hammond. I’m currently involved as one of the organisers and coaches for Girls Rock Dublin.  I’m a professional singing teacher with Singing Lessons Dublin.

I’ve sung in various bands over the years, as well as various solo and collaborative projects. This spans work with my own band ‘The Deadly Nightshades’ which included two other female members, as well as a four-part harmony group ‘Old Moon’.

I’ve recently completed a Higher National Diploma in Popular Music, a City and Guilds Diploma in Sound Engineering Level 5, and a BTEC Higher National Diploma in Music Production. With the knowledge I gained from these courses I’ve started to produce my own electronic music.

How well do you think women are represented in the music industry?

It depends on what aspect of the music industry. Women are well represented as singers and dancers in popular music, although even as famous singers they are not always given credit for the hard work or talent that they put into their careers, as popular music has a stigma surrounding it as not being credible or worthy.

I think women are involved in all aspects of the music industry, but currently not at the same ratio as men. Personally I think that if you don’t have a mentor or someone to look up to in a particular part of the industry, it can be intimidating to get involved in a male-dominated industry where you know you may have to deal with sexism in some shape or form.

There seems to have been an increase in ‘Women in Music’ themed events and ‘Female Fronted’ gigs, do you see this as a positive or a negative? Why?

I think currently it’s very necessary. We need to strengthen our identity as females in the business and give each other support.

Hopefully there will come a time when the male/female ratio will mean it won’t be necessary to state that a gig is ‘Female-Fronted’, although as a female I would be more likely to want to see a female fronted band!

Have you ever experienced the issue of ‘You’re good for a girl!’?

Yes, even if ‘for a girl’ isn’t said, it can be implied. As someone who has studied sound engineering, I’ve had a sound engineer presume I know nothing about sound purely because I’m female. I’ve shared the desk with men who would completely take over.

What do you think women do/can do to change the stigma behind being female in the creative industries?

I think we are doing it! Camps like the ’Girls Rock Dublin’ camp and the ‘F Festival’ are so fundamentally important to empowering women and providing exposure to what we’re doing.

For example, when I started the Sound Engineering Course I was two weeks late due to work commitments. I felt completely lost and intimidated. I remember going online the first day and finding a website called ‘Soundgirls’, I joined the forum and told other women who were well established in the industry how I felt,and I got such positive feedback. They all emphasized with how I was feeling, and they gave me the motivation to get stuck into the course. I went on to do a 2-year Music Production Course, and received ‘Student of the Year’.

In relation to the girls rock camp i think it’s important to create an environment where there’s room to be creative and make mistakes in a safe and supportive environment.  

When I mentioned to other female musicians about my involvement in the project, some commented that they wished there was something like this when they were younger.

Now there is!

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Author

Lucy Evers

As an ex-student of BIMM Brighton and a Vocalist in a Math Pop band Orchards, Lucy has an overview of the student experience that applies to you all. Lucy’s passions for music, journalism and photography all coincide here to showcase; live shows, top tips to living a student lifestyle and the general beauty of the city you live in. She wants you to get a down to earth overview of your BIMM student experience.