For the third year in a row, our inspirational festival EQLovesFestival 2019 was organized at Brewhouse as well as the University of Stage and Music, where music production and gender equality were the focus.
This year we had gathered organizations such as Beats By Girlz Denmark, Beats By Girlz New York, Synthbabes Malmö, Cherish label Stockholm, Upfront producer Network Stockholm, Popkollo / VKBP, FATTA and Music Sweden.
Below is our summary of the project:
Purpose and goal:
Changing the image of the music producer, highlighting female role models and also helping women’s opportunities to work / advance in the profession. Highlight those women in music production who, despite their accomplishments, have remained invisible. The goal is to already distribute our Swedish model internationally by EQLovesFestival in 2019 in order to spread the movement that has begun in Sweden. Through this model, we want to raise awareness of the issue, create networks, new collaborations and new contacts between Swedish and foreign producers and the industry.
The Association’s working model and number of members:
EQLovesMusic works towards three main goals: 1) To be a living association for music producers for networking / collaboration, development and support and 2) to organize EQLovesFestival annually to put the gender equality issue on the agenda and at the same time broaden the image of a music producer by lifting and disseminating new actors that fall outside the norm. We also aim to 3) collaborate and create links between different organizations around Sweden and the rest of the world that work towards the same goal. As an association, we have regular network meetings and occasionally arrange workshops where we develop together.
Membership 2019 in Sweden is 41.
EQLovesFestival – New York:
For the event in New York, we had previously established contact with our partner, the Swedish Consulate, who wanted to be involved in supporting EQLovesFestival. They thus provided their venue in central New York and helped to invite key industry professionals to the event as well as being on site and welcoming health and providing technology and light drinks with snacks. On site we had export music sweden, representative of SOM and representatives of record companies. There were thus 73 people at the event, not including staff and Consul General Annika Rembe.
The EQLovesFestival participants also got to take part in a tour of The Jungle City Studios in New York which we organized in the association.
The studio has been built and is owned by a great role model named Ann Mincieli, who has recorded Alicia Key’s plates and more.
She has also invested in hiring women and non-binary as sound technicians, which was a great inspiration to meet, connect with and share in their work environment.
Our sister organization Beats by Girlz NY which we also established contact with a year before also wanted to join and arrange. They invited active music producers and music creators and were on site with us throughout the event.
The event was designed so that we invited role models in music production that do not belong to the norm, in this case only female producers who were allowed to participate in a one-hour panel discussion on gender equality and the challenges they face in their everyday lives. From Sweden we had the pleasure of welcoming Linn Fijal from the Rixmixningsverket in Stockholm and Ana Diaz, a successful songwriter and producer, also from Stockholm. From Sweden, music producer Melisha Linnell from EQLovesMusic also participated. From New York, we had fantastic role models on site such as; Erin Tonkon – who worked with David Bowie and Lady Lamb, Gloria Kaba – who collaborated with big names like Madonna, Beyonce, Phil Ramone, Kanye West, Salaam Remi, Aretha Franklin and Frank Ocean, and Heba Kadry – who worked with The Mars Volta, Slowdive, Lightning Bolt, Beach House and also mixed Björk’s album Utopia. From the US, producer Valerie Orth from Beats by Girlz NY also participated.
Consul General Annika Rembe started by welcoming everyone and talking about Sweden’s quest for gender equality and that this important topic went completely in line with this and that it felt very important to be involved and support. A representative from EQLovesMusic and one from Beats by Girlz NY moderated the conversation that started with a short interview with the renowned Swedish manager Peter Swartling, also co-sponsored by Sweden and very involved in these issues. Swartling outlined, among other things, his experiences as a manager for a female producer and what challenges he encountered in doing so.
Then the conversation started and the role models were asked to answer questions about how they got into the profession of music production and sound technology, how their journey looked to where they are today, what special memories they have of working with a particular artist, what challenges they encountered as a non-belonging norm, what opportunities and benefits they see in meeting and interacting with other active norm-deviating persons, both nationally and internationally. The approximately 100 visitors were then given the opportunity to ask questions to the role models. It became a very warm and confident conversation with both some heavy topics and a lot of hope and power. A generous sharing and supportive climate that infected both the public and Consul General Annika Rembe and the entire Consulate General who were very concerned after the event. Our role models received gifts from our Swedish sponsors Harrison Mixbus and Lindell plugins and also exchanged contact information for future collaborations.
The Gothenburg section of the festival was divided into two days 20-21 / 8 2019, Friday night at the Brewhouse Arena and daytime Saturday at the University of Stage and Music. The festival was organized according to a linked schedule. The schedule also clearly shows the names of all participants and what organizations they belong to.
Here are biographies of all of our participating organizations role models and other contributors:
S POUSETTE, music producer / artist Cherish Label (Stockholm)
RO-E, music producer / artist Cherish Label (Stockholm)
Agnes Hustler, music producer / artist, Upfront producer network (Stockholm)
MAYDAR, music producer / artist, Upfront producer network (Stockholm)
While We Wait, music producer / artist, Beats By Girlz Denmark
ANNÆLIX, music producer / artist, Beats By Girlz Denmark
LOLJUD, music producer / artist, SynthBabes (Malmö)
Ninoosh, music producer / artist, SynthBabes (Malmö)
SHADI G, music producer / artist, VKBP / Popkollo
Cecilie Penney, music producer / artist, VKBP / Popkollo
Erin Tonkon, music producer / sound engineer -David Bowie’s last album “Black Star”.
Gloria Kaba music producer / sound engineer – Madonna on her “Ray of Light” album as well as with Beyonce, Phil Ramone, Kanye West, Salaam Remi, Aretha Franklin and Frank Ocean.
Heba Kadry, music producer / sound engineer – The Mars Volta, Slowdrive, Lightning Bolt, Beach House and Björk’s latest album Utopia.
Linn Fijal, director at RMV-Studios (National Mixing Agency), better known as Benny Andersson’s studio
Ana Diaz, music producer / artist who has worked with names such as David Guetta, Britney Spears, Wyclef Jean and others.
Selen Özan music producer / artist (Oda studios, Stockholm)
Maria Marcus, music producer / artist
Emma Knyckare (Comedian and founder of Statement Festival)
Annah Björk (Author and journalist “You must move on”)
More in-depth, all participants:
The journalist Johanna Hagström has, among other things, has written a number of notable articles focusing on gender equality in the music industry. Works everyday at GP and moderates the panel discussion on #Metoo with participants Emma Knyckare, Karin Inde from the organization Music Sweden and Carolina Blomgren, representative from the organization FATTA.
Emma Knyckare is a highly esteemed and diligently hired radio speaker, host, conference manager, theater monkey, gala host, writer and festival organizer. Emma is also the author of the book “We do not party with the Patriarchate” about the Statement Festival. Emma has for several years been the program leader for the “Morgonpasset” and “Tankesmedjan”. In 2013 she was the program manager for “Musikhjälpen” and the same year she got her own radio program – “Knyckare i P3”.
TAKE! is a non-profit member association founded by the organizations Femtastic and Make Equal. It works against sexual violence and for consent in practice and legislation. The association was started in response to a convict in a rape case at Umeå District Court on May 14, 2013 and is based on over 150 anonymous people’s stories about sex that did not occur on their terms.
MUSIKSVERIGE is an economic association and an interest organization that since the beginning of 2010 represents artists, songwriters, musicians, managers, producers, record companies and music publishers in Sweden and runs these groups’ questions. The organization’s three focus areas are copyright, music exports and educational issues. Linda Portnoff is Chief Operating Officer. The association believes that copyright is a “prerequisite for employment in the creative and cultural industries and for a large and varied music selection” and is therefore working to promote it so that “artists, musicians, composers and copywriters can live in their profession and that record companies and music publishers should be able to create growth through their investments in music. ” Music Sweden was founded by nine organizations:
SAMI (Swedish Artists and Musicians Interest Organization)
SYMF (Swedish Professional Musicians’ Association)
STIM (Swedish Composers International Music Agency)
FST (Swedish Composers Association)
SKAP (Swedish Composers Association of Popular Music)
IFPI Swedish Group (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry)
SOM (Swedish Independent Music Producers)
Music Sweden has four network members:
SSES (Swedish Sound Engineers Society)
Swedish Accordionist National Association
MBIN (Music Business Independent Network)
MMF (Music Managers Forum Sweden)
Cherish Label was founded in the spring of 2015 by Evelina Åslin. The start came when buddy Amber played a new song for Evelina and wondered what she would do with it. After encouragement from friends and with experience of the club scene as DJ, Evelina started the record company Cherish Label. Quite close to the start, Senait Tesfai joined as her partner, and now they both run the record company together. That Cherish has created something completely unique is obvious. The collection of artists they have at the company are all women or transgender people. Some are new to the music industry while others are more experienced, but all are equally positive and speak equally warmly about the special atmosphere of Cherish.
S POUSETTE (Cherish Label):
This is the Stockholm-based producer, instrumentalist, songwriter and DJ Sofi Pousette from Sandviken. Her heart beats for music production with cinematic soundscapes and pitched voices with strong drums and bass as contrast. Sofi is formerly known in Sthlm’s DJ scene with the duo Destination Unknown and she has also DJed in LA and held DJ courses for girls and non-binary. Now the focus is on the production as well as live performances of her own music. (The last EP 2U was released this year and had a video premiere on SVT PSL in April.)
Ro-E (Cherish Label):
Avantpop Ro-E from Bilbao / Spain has released two EPs via the Cherish Label: TASTY and ITCH. She has toured extensively, from Barcelona to New York and her debut album, ALLURES, will be released during the winter of 2019/20. Ro-E builds its own worlds with cinematic atmospheres, fine-tuned tunes and a very personal voice.
Technology has in many ways revolutionized music and the opportunities that exist. Today, technology is an obvious part of music creation in many different genres. But technology is still seen as a male domain and the picture conveyed is that there are no music producers who are women and transgender people.
VKBP is a reaction. The purpose of Who can become a producer is to change standards regarding technology and technology use. They work for a structural change and to create more pictures of who can become a producer, by creating the conditions and a platform for girls and transgender people to produce. Who can become a producer is run under the auspices of the National Organization Popkolo.
Cecilie Penney (VKBP):
Gothenburg-based artist Cecilie Penney mixes minimalist pop arrangements with cut vocal samples, synthesizers and field recordings. Her texts question how new technology and social media affect human emotions. Inspiration is taken from the Nordic indie / electronic music scene in the style of names like Little Dragon, Trentemøller and Fever Ray. Cecilie Penney is known as a singer for the Danish synth pop band Got No Filter, but has played solo at several festivals and venues during 2018/2019. She is part of the new initiative “VKBP Club Collective” consisting of participants and teachers in Who Can Become a Producer, Gothenburg, where she taught music production in the fall of 2018.
Shadi G (VKBP)
Shadi G is a Swedish songwriter, producer and singer whose soulful voice and heartfelt lyrics have been recognized by some of Sweden’s biggest music magazines. She is trained in classical music from a young age, growing up with everything from jazz, RnB, soul, hip hop to Persian music, where she has her roots. With this in mind, she has developed her own soulful sound, both in style and language. Shortly after high school, she went to London to learn music production and in 2016 she released her debut single “Lost”, which got her on to some of Sweden’s biggest playlists. In 2017, she started her own record label, Goldamin Records, from which the second single “Where We Go” was released. Her latest release, and the first EP “No Fear”, has been well received with plays on Swedish radio, and one of the songs “Own Way Out” went to the final in P4 Next Gothenburg. She was a participant in VKBP in Gothenburg and hereby represents VKBP / Popkollo.
Upfront Producer Network:
With a long-term goal of crushing patriarchy and all structural oppression in the music industry, Upfront Producer Network is a network of and for music producers who are women, non-binary and transgender. They promote and create networks that create unique opportunities for music producers and the development of today’s music industry. They do this by creating and offering songwriting camps, listening sessions, workshops and showcases.
Maydar (Upfront producer network:
This is an independent, Stockholm based artist with roots in Italy and Ireland. Her artistry is a unique combination of attitude and brittleness and the music consists of pop and rhythm which she most strongly put her personal touch on. Her songs touch on themes such as revenge, love, anger, sex, sadness and joy. Maydar, who is actually called Alexandra Shanahan, has released several singles that have been noticed by Swedish Radio, PSL and British radio broadcaster Jamz Supernova, who leads his own radio program on BBC Radio 1Xtra.
Agnes Hustler (Upfront Producer Network)
The shooting star Agnes Hustler just finished her first solo tour after an eventful year. After the single debut at the turn of the year, Hustler recently released his first EP, ‘Songs to a Nation’. A soundtrack to today’s Sweden. Through soul and electronica, Agnes tells of a segregated country with parallel realities and the struggle until we all live equally. . More new material from Queen Hustler is expected soon!
Synth Babes is a feminist electronic music collective based in Malmö. Through events and publishing music, their goal is to inspire, educate and highlight underrepresented electronic artists and music producers, as well as being role models for upcoming electronics
Sound sound (Synthbabes)
This is the artist and producer who has been compared to artists such as The Knife, Björk and Sia, is recognized for its cross-artistic and unpredictable approach to electronic music. As a collector of songs, she sifts the world with a hoop. Water drops, radio noise and mobile alarms get stuck in the network. Noise, which can literally be removed from her artist name, is not just surprises that gleam in the production, but conceptual building blocks that bring the story forward. LOTTA FAHLÉN (1990) is an artist and producer living in Malmö. In addition to her solo project Loljud, she composes for other artists and for performing arts performances. She has toured as Maxida Märak’s live musician, toured Japan and been associated with Titiyo, Jenny Hval and the U.S. Girls. As one of the founders of the feminist network Synth Babes, as well as supervisor in Who Can Become a Producer Malmö, she continuously engages to inspire and educate women and transgender people in music production to create a greater representation in the industry.
An intense sound sculptor using Ableton Live as her prime instrument, Anya Trybala AKA Ninoosh has been steadily carving out her unique musical style and production prowess. With Polish roots, and hailing from Melbourne, Australia, Ninoosh has finally found solid contentment and thriving creativity in her new home of Malmö, Sweden. Ninoosh absorbs and records the intricate sounds of nature, contrasted with those of the harsh industry, layering her tracks with bursts of synths, vocals and muted brass. Her live show is equally unique, offering “music that shifts from intense IDM through to experimental electronic pop music” (hymn.se) and 2018 saw her move bodies at Extreme Chill Festival in Iceland, play Eter Festival in Sweden and support the luminous Zola Jesus. Through her frustration at the lack of role models in electronic music, Anya founded Synth Babes in 2015 as a platform for emerging women and non-binary electronic music artists.
Beats By Girlz Denmark
Beats By Girlz Denmark teaches electronic music production for girls, women, trans and non-binary people. BBG Denmark is the first European branch of American Beats By Girlz. The concept was started in 2013 by Erin Barra-Jean of Berklee College of Music, New York, to provide girls, women, transgender and non-binary, access to tools, guidance, female role models and teaching in safe settings. Here they can be developed within music production, composition and sound technology in an industry where women constitute a significant minority. The teaching is based on the Ableton Live program, which also contributes as a sponsor, but can be rotated in all directions related to music production. Projects we have been responsible for include: Produce Or Die! – a three-day challenge, Ableton beginner courses and theme workshops for, for example, Jazz Denmark, Urban Grrls and Rapolitics. The BBG concept offers networks, technical support, agreements with equipment manufacturers, well-proven curricula and a cool name. Outside the US, there are now branches in Berlin, Lisbon and South Africa with more on the way.
Katrine Villadsen (Beats by girlz Denmark)
Katrine Villadsen is an artist, teacher and electronic composer. She makes soundscapes and theater music and teaches electronic songwriting and creative process etc. As a solo artist under the name While We Wait she writes and produces songs. At concerts, you can experience her building looped layers with her voice in the Ableton Live program. Previously, she released two albums with the Danish-language indie folk band Kå, and co-founded the independent label ToneTribunalet.
ANNÆLIX (Beats by Girlz Denmark)
This is a techno and house inspired musician and DJ. Her sound is both dreamy and pumping and brings in different elements from subgenres of house and techno. The music becomes a journey through a synthesized and base-filled universe full of vo-cal treats.
LIVE interview led by EQLovesmusic but two very successful female producers; Selen Özan and Maria Marcus.
is an independent music producer, songwriter and singer from Stockholm. She was recently nominated for the prestigious Denniz Pop Awards in the “Rookie Producer / Songwriter” category and has collaborated with Miriam Bryant, Veronica Maggio and Marina Abramovic, among others. In addition to writing and producing songs for artists, she also works with film music and runs the studio collective Oda Studios, which she founded in 2017 with Barbara Chamoun. Oda Studios is a music studio collective in Stockholm that actively works for a more equal and diverse music industry. The collective consists of music producers, songwriters, artists, musicians and technicians with experience in many different genres.
“We want to create a creative and safe environment and association for non-cis men * to develop their musical skills. A gathering place where encouragement, support and exchange of skills are a and o. With a varied work environment, we offer music practitioners a place with good conditions and conditions where they are encouraged to take a seat and collaborate.
By being a physical place, we also make it easier for the rest of the industry to take a step in the right direction when hiring songwriters / producers / etc. “
is a songwriter and music producer based in Stockholm.
At the end of 2017 she had three songs on the best-selling album “Finally” by Japanese superstar Namie Amuro. With over one million physical albums sold during the first week of the November release, Namie Amuro was the only artist in the world who managed to challenge Taylor Swift’s dominance with the album “Reputation” during 2017. A few weeks later the album had passed the two-million mark, reaching sales figures that haven’t been seen in Japan since The Beatles released their hits collection “1”. Since 2011 she has successfully written and produced many songs for South Korean and Japanese artists, starting with an intro to the album “Japonesque” by Japan’s R&B star Kumi Koda, and continuing with “Hello” that gave Cho Yong Pil the “Album of the Year ”award in South Korea.Since then the list of successful collaborations has grown significantly with hits for other chart-topping artists like ExO, Red Velvet, Taemin, Girls Generation, SHINEe, f (x), E-girls, Generations, Exile Tribe (Feat. Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike), Happiness, and many more. In 2015, Maria enjoyed another career highlight in writing and producing “Listen”, performed by American Idol participant Haley Reinhart to market James Cameron’s award-winning TV series on global warming, “Years of Living Dangerously” with Hollywood stars like Harrison Ford, Arnold Schwarzenegger , Matt Damon and Jessica Alba. “
has been a journalist since the late 1990s. Also known as a music writer in Svenska Dagbladet. We at EQLovesFestival 2019 welcome her to a writer talk on Saturday, September 21st about her book “You Must Move on Yours” which was released this spring. Annah Björks You must move on is an ambitious attempt to change both whose stories are written and how they are written. The book is based on short chapters where artists from Kathleen Hanna, galion figure for the riot grrl movement in the 90s, to Zara Larsson share concrete and personal stories from a filthy music industry. Record company meetings, gigs, interview situations so marinated in sexism that it even makes a cynical cynic like me amazed. Annah Björk writes and talks about gender equality and pop culture in contemporary contexts in, for example, Bon, Elle, Café, The Women’s World, Focus, Icon, Gothenburg Post, KIT and Mama. She has had her own Music team in SVT Gomorron and she has sat in the Morning Sofa’s Entertainment Panel. She has interviewed everyone from Shakira, Justin Timberlake and Katy Perry to Bono, David Guetta and Miley Cyrus. She also runs everything you need to know about the pop podium Haverikommissoinen with Lasse Anrell. Author of the book Boat 370 – Death on the Mediterranean (with Mattias Beijmo) (Norstedts) In addition to this she has also made film and visualization of refugee boats in the Aegean Sea for the award-winning exhibition I’m Alive at the Technical Museum in Stockholm and House of Sweden in Washington ”.
The author interview with Annah Björk is led by Hanna Jedvik who is a Swedish writer, literary critic and and cultural journalist. She debuted in 2010 with the youth novel Soon I’m off to Rabén & Sjögren. In August 2012, her second novel Kurt Cobain was no longer available.
Panelists on the need for organization ::
Selen Özan- Oda Studios
Katrine Villadsen- Beats By Girlz Denmark
Valerie Orth- Beats By Girlz NY
Jessica Nilsson- Popkollo / VKBP
Anya Trybala- Synthbabes
Hanna Hasselberg- Cherish Label
Nadja Itäsaari- EQLovesMusic
This is a creative collaboration project where all members of EQLovesMusic have the opportunity to produce their own version of this year’s Anthem; a song specially written by EQ members for EQLovesFestival and which encapsulates the topic of equality in the music industry. Every year a new anthem is written. In 2019, there were no less than eleven different versions that were formed over just over three months. Some members have produced together, either IRL or online, and others have worked on their own. Over the weeks, there have been listening sessions where members have been able to play their drafts and get feed forward on them. Mixing and mastering have also been performed by EQ members. This year’s anthem is called “We are here” and is available as a compilation album on all common streaming services under the record label EQLovesMusic. The project is primarily an opportunity for unstable music producers to participate in a creative album project, but also an important signal from the outside in that it clearly shows how important the producer’s role is for a work. The same song can sound so vastly different depending on who is at the helm.
Here is the link to the album: https://open.spotify.com/album/0bHqZrCa270Fgd1IcCfJWi?si=sk87NSWcQqmydu9MVUDe9Q