Taylor Swiftâ€™s newest single, â€œLook What You Made Me Do,â€� is basically a lock to land at No. 1 on Billboardâ€™s Hot 100 singles chart, making it the 1st cut this year by a solo female artist to reach the pinnacle of the tally.
But while thereâ€™s been some talk of a lack of women atop the charts in 2017, the same attention is rarely given to the scarcity of women behind the scenes in the music industry. Though plenty of hits are being written by women, its highly unlikely in that any of those songs were produced or engineered by one.
Consider this: No lady has ever won the prestigious producer of the year, non-classical Grammy in the awardâ€™s 52 years of time of existence, and only six have ever been nominated. In fact, by many estimates, only 5% of producers and engineers working in the industry today are female.
Changing those figures is seen as key to diversifying pop music, and itâ€™s moreover the driving force behind San Francisco-based nonprofit Womenâ€™s Audio Mission, which provides hands-on training in audio engineering and the recording arts.
â€œWomenâ€™s Audio Mission uses music and media and an incredible â€˜carrotâ€™ of a training environment â€“ the only professional recording studio in the world built and run by women â€“ to attract over 1,200 under-served women and girls each one year to … creative technology studies,â€� the organizationâ€™s mission acknowledgment reads.
When singer-songwriter Tinashe began working with other producers she was shocked at how frequently collaborators were surprised she knew how to navigate a studio.
â€œThere was this underestimating in that was happening being young and female on the production and technical side of things,â€� she recalled. â€œThe fact in that I had all of this knowledge and could instruct engineers on what I wanted [things] to sound like and be very specific â€” it threw some people for a loop and opened their eyes a bit.â€�
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