Here at MIMM HQ, we often hear the comment that there aren’t enough women in music, particularly in music media. As a team made up of women, we’ve decided to celebrate International Women’s Day (tomorrow Friday, 8 March) by shining a light on our amazingly talented female peers doing incredible things for music media right here in Queensland. Each of these inspiring women work tirelessly behind-the-scenes to bolster our local and national music scenes, supporting musicians at all levels of their careers.
Talented. Passionate. Empowering. Queensland, meet six of the finest females making the rules, smashing goals and kicking some serious arse in music media…
SAMANTHA MORRIS | FOUNDER & FORMER EDITOR | BLANK GC
Bored with the stereotypes associated with the Gold Coast, Sam Morris teamed up with friend Chloe Popa in 2013 to launch Blank GC – an independent monthly street press (and online hub) dedicated to dishing up the best of the Gold Coast’s music, art, food and culture. On top of giving the Gold Coast a cultural voice for the past six years, Sam has further championed local music through establishing the Gold Coast Music Awards, now in it’s fifth year. Sam handed over the Blank GC Editor reigns to fellow local legend Natalie O’Driscoll earlier this year, and remains a stalwart of the Gold Coast music scene.
I’m constantly thankful for the generosity and tenacious energy of women in music. These ladies bring something bold yet gentle, kind yet strong, smart yet sensitive to the work they do and when they work together the impact grows exponentially. The work many women do in the music scene often goes unrecognised. From the mothers nurturing emerging artists, through to the front women of punk bands, the managers, tour bookers, publicists, fans and journalists – because they always seem to be doing more than just their job – connecting, sharing, growing, mentoring and supporting others. Each and every woman in music contributes something special – not least of which is her enterprising spirit. And for that, I’m eternally grateful.
EMMA JONES | PUBLICIST | CALL & RESPONSE
Former: Editor – Purple Sneakers
Forging a path for more women to enter the music world, and championing those already in it, is Brisbane’s own Emma Jones – publicist for SGC Media’s Call & Response wing. Known by most as the beloved former Editor of national EDM music news website Purple Sneakers, Emma cut her teeth in the media world with writing credits at Pilerats, Scenewave and Spool Collective as well as at her own music website Howl & Echoes. She was also a publicist at Brisbane’s Bedlam Records and founder of local show series Brisbabes.
I have a hat made by Melbourne artist/DJ Daisy Catterall that reads, ‘WOMEN IN MUSIC ARE DANGEROUSLY UNDERESTIMATED,’ and I wear it with pride not just because it looks great, but because it’s so true. Women and non-binary folk in music (and in every industry) ARE dangerously underestimated, and while it would be incredible for that to stop, until it does women will keep rising up, proving you wrong and showing you why we shouldn’t have been underestimated in the first place just as we have done all along. Underestimating us is dangerous.
VELVET WINTER | JOURNALIST | THE BRAG
Former: Editor (QLD) – The Music
Moving to Sydney last year to take up an exciting opportunity writing for industry taste-makers The Music Network, Velvet Winter has since landed another dream job writing for The Brag. She’s achieved a stack of cool things since entering the music media world at 15 years old and before heading south of the border she held the spot of QLD Editor of one of Australia’s largest music news websites – The Music. Getting her start as an intern (and later as Editor) at AAA Backstage, Velvet has also worked in radio at Guvera and Rabbit Radio, and with local PR firms Footstomp Music and Mucho-Bravado. This one really is a jack (or in this instance a Jill), of all trades!
Everything that you’ve heard about female musicians goes the same for women behind the scenes. The women that I’ve met during my time in the industry get shit done. There’s no faffing about with status and prestige, they’re there because they love music and they want to be a part of it. I can’t tell you how important the strong, female role models were that I’ve had during my time in the industry. Women in the music industry are powerful and they’re invaluable.
I’ll be so happy the day all this talk about “women in music” is so passe that no-one thinks twice about the fact that there are just as many women up on the stages as there are men; when just as many women make the “power top 50” lists as men; when the quiet women achievers that are the bedrock of this industry are recognised as such; when women feel confident enough to speak up in positions of authority including panels, boards, committees and more. I think that day will be here soon, there’s been such a great shift recently.
TIANA SPETER | FOUNDER & EDITOR | THE SOUNDCHECK
An impressive one-woman show with an ear for talent, Tiana shines a light on local, national and international artists interviewing and reviewing artists on her website The Soundcheck, which she launched nearly two years ago. A local Gold Coast girl, now living in Sydney, Tiana is no stranger to the media world – she has a day job as a Producer at Channel 7! Superstar!
I believe women are essential to not only positively shape and challenge the current state of the industry, but to also pave the way for future creativity and innovation – imagine the incredible ideas that will eventuate now young girls can see unlimited opportunity, especially in an industry as competitive as music! I know there is still such a long way to go, but it’s extremely inspiring to see the gender gap slowly dissolve and so many bad-ass women succeeding and exceeding expectations across all facets of the music world.
Music is a part of every day life for most people and I think its important to appreciate the women out there who are riding against the grain to be a part of a very male dominated industry. Whether that be as a musician, band manager, music blogger or something else, women are standing up and making a positive change within all areas of the music industry and I’m honoured to be a part of the movement.