Written By: Chase Wilson
The music industry has been largely dominated by men from all corners of the world since it’s conception. Even now, it’s so rare to find a woman as a face of a brand and even more rare to find one that is willing to speak on the day-to-day problems they face with building themselves from the ground-up.
On March 7th, we were fortunate enough to bring together a slew of wonderful women for our Women’s Empowerment Conference. We heard from them about the things they have faced and are still facing to this day. From Anna Marie Taylor Cavitt with Disco Donnie Presents, to Veronica Obregon with Illectric River, RayTrill Harvey with Trillvo to Bianca Stewart with Wyld Nights, even Angie Koskowich, the face behind Kosko, this panel had experience galore and gave us all insight into what they’ve had to personally deal with.
In the words of the well-spoken and amazing Veronica Obregon, women in the music industry are MURDERING it. From those bigger names such as Rezz, Whipped Cream, and Ducky to your smaller local talents, women are popping up on everyone’s radars astronomically faster than just 5 years ago. It hasn’t always been that way, and one constant we noticed from these women on the panel was the hate and jealousy that came their way from their male peers. These same feelings towards them were unfounded, and came about only from pushing themselves harder than the people around them.
Here’s the thing though: They had to.
To this day, they still have to. In Anna Marie Taylor Cavitt‘s words, she had to ask to be compensated fairly by her employers. She states her gratefulness to the company she works for now that gives her the opportunities to grow as well as fairly compensating her, but she didn’t always have the avenue she has now.
Veronica Obregon had constantly been stifled and silenced in her opinions by her male superiors, but she never let this stop her and she never let these people slow her pace. One thing she realized was that this silencing tactic came from the people that feared her and felt threatened by her. Regardless of everything she had faced, she helped set the bar for the women that follow and will inevitably take that bar higher.
RayTrill Harvey spoke on her experience of taking a step back and killing the ego. She had become big-headed and felt she was above others, withdrawing her support from even her closest friends. Eventually, after seeing people volunteer for the team, she’d been able to take a look at the things she has done and define her flaws and build herself back up. She learned and is still learning self-care, and stresses the importance of doing just that.
Angie Koskowich spoke on developing a thick-skin and the unequal pay she had been receiving. She spoke on the respect she has for her mentor, but also the disrespect she had taken from men that didn’t believe she was the one on the decks, to the men that didn’t believe in her period. Even with these nuisances, she continued to strive to her goals and one of her many highlights was opening up for Slander.
Bianca Stewart speaks on being a leader to those around her, empowering both men and women around her to be the best at what they do. Why? She has only one reason, and that’s because she loves what she does. One focus point of hers was always try to be the solution, and never try to be the problem. Well-spoken yet steadfast and strong, kind yet never a push-over, Bianca puts emphasis on being a light others can flock to.
If you haven’t noticed the one constant message that all these women have, you need to re-read as well as watch them speak in these videos.
Perseverance, in all its forms, is something that each of these women have had to learn and build on top of as a necessity. From being hyper-sexualized and having the talent they’ve each nourished over the years being overlooked because of their appearance, these strong-minded women have pushed forward beyond the gates that were built to hold them back and have each had a major part in making the electronic music scene as inclusive as it is today.
The very next night, we teamed up with Virtuosos Entertainment to bring Houston our Second Annual Women Strong Charity Show. Headlined by the amazingly talented Ducky and supported by some of the dopest talent we could find, this show included a silent auction where, as well as ticket sales, all the money raised was donated to The Bridge over Troubled Waters, and the mission they’ve set out to accomplish is to see the lives of runaway, homeless and high risk youth transformed through caring, supportive and encouraging relationships.
With powerful sets from Phaerie, Freakmeowt, Trizm, Saratonin, Zinnia, and Karlim, the atmosphere leading up to Ducky was explosive. Phaerie set the vibe outside with her beautiful set that took us on a perfect journey. Trizm continued the bliss outside, keeping the crowd cheering the whole time as she masterfully mixed. Freakmeowt threw it down early, mixing hard-hitting genres to create a lip-curling atmosphere. Both Zinnia and Saratonin brought that experimental sound they are known for to the show, and seemed to flow seamlessly from Saratonin‘s set into Zinnia‘s. Karlim built on top of this and gave us one memorable, grime-heavy set that is STILL being felt in our necks. Can ANYONE bring her back to Houston STAT?! Thanks in advance.
With a perfect atmosphere created by the women above, all eyes were on Ducky to light the fuse. Coupled with those sick cartoon-style visuals, Ducky‘s set had the crowd moving from the first drop onwards. Filled to the brim with Dubstep among other bassface-inducing genres, her set was quite literally insanity in musical form. In fact, her set was easily top 2 (and not #2) sets I’ve ever caught. Ducky, you’re nuts. (Seriously, check all the bass face below.)
Photo Credits: Andrew Murillo
But the night didn’t end there. A surprise b3b with three of the alumni from last years Women Strong Charity Show set the tone to close out the night. Angeliste, Mixtress BB and Miko Marie showcased their talents in this HISTORIC b2b. For real doe, has anyone ever seen three women go b2b before?!
All in all, we’re proud to have been able to have such amazing women for our Women’s Empowerment Conference as well as MORE amazing women for our Women Strong: Ducky show. We feel like both were successes, with each having full crowds, and we’re immensely thankful to each and every one of you for coming out and supporting these women. If you missed out on our annual charity show, we hope you won’t make the same mistake twice!!!
TILL NEXT YEAR!!!