14 female producers beat the drum for visibility and inclusion

Women are still missing in the music industry. It’s even worse when it comes to female producers.

We already told you about the number of women writing, performing, and producing hit songs dropping low in 2020. According to the University of Southern California’s Annenberg Institute, the rate of female producers has gone from 5% to 2%.

Non-binary people are under-represented too. This is a problem that the collective Stereofox is working on. Stereofox brings together music enthusiasts through playlists and articles. It’s also a label to let artists express themselves.

Women and minorities are precisely important subjects to Stereofox. They first launched the Women in Music initiative in 2021. Their new project entitled Beat Queens is part of this action. Beat Queens was released on June 2nd. It’s a compilation of instrumental tracks by beatmakers from all over the world. The playlist is now available everywhere and the vinyl campaign just got launched.

Forget stereotypes and focus on talent

Beat Queens spreads the word about the lack of women and non-binary individuals in the music industry. These songs were made to inspire anyone who feels concerned to follow their passion for music.

Beat Queens is Stereofox’s response to the alarming fact that female producers are still so poorly represented in the music industry. Stereofox published some research on female producers/beatmakers. That was an eye-opening opportunity for nine female producers. They talked about the reality of their job and how they struggle every day to be taken seriously.

It has been followed by a series of song features interviews and other articles. These works made female artists share their thoughts on the gender pay gap. Stereofox put the light on the organizations that support women in music too.

Female producers trying to change the game

This attempt towards a positive change is named ‘Beat Queens Season 1’. This is good news. It means this project will last another time and hopefully alongside more and more artists. The playlist focuses on instrumental hip hop music by female producers — Lo-Fi hip hop, chillhop, jazzhop, and future beats make it sound like a fantastic journey.

Female artists also created the visuals of Beat Queens. Stereofox symbolically reduces its label cut to 20%, with 80% going straight to the producers. In addition, any profits from the vinyl campaign will be donated to charity collectively chosen by the producers. Obviously, it has to be an organization that helps female creators to grow, be seen, and gain self-confidence.

A big variety of beats and sensibilities

Women and non-binary people came together for the greater good. Some are already known, while others are still developing their sound.

They usually don’t summarize their art to what they identify with. However, this initiative is essential to change attitudes and mentalities. The Beat Queens project is a safe place for them to create how they wish to. Some even felt comfortable enough to challenge themselves and do something completely different. Each of them has a signature sound, and yet, the tracks are complementary.

There is something for everyone, whether you like the harp, the bass, the saxophone, the guitar, the keys, or the ukulele.

This compilation is a wake-up call for the public and the music industry. And guess what? Being a white man, whether you’re young or old, doesn’t give you the exclusivity of talent and creativity.

female producers

saaaz – ‘First Snow’

saaaz is a British producer, singer, guitar player, and DJ. The sisterhood is essential to her. Working alongside girls makes her comfortable enough to feel like she’s at home. ‘First Snow’ is inspired by the change of seasons. She produced this track while winter was making its way through the city. The naturally changing environment inspired her. The melody makes us think of a breeze that would whirl the remaining leaves. ‘First Snow’ is an invitation to curl up in a plaid with a cup of hot chocolate while looking at the snow falling.  

female producers

Alita Limona – ‘Orange Walk’

Alita Limona is a German producer, pianist, singer, rapper, DJ, sound engineer, and live technician. She’s grateful to be a part of such a great project, which she associates with a ‘rebellious pioneer freshness’. Her liberating sound took the form of an ‘Orange Walk’. This is the soundtrack to listen to during a fall walk. We can see bright colors: yellow, orange, red… Something is comforting in this track. The saxophone envelops us in a warm feeling.

female producers

Basmati – ‘Sunrise’

Basmati (a.k.a Natasha Ghosh) is a Dutch/Indian guitar/ukulele player, producer, and singer. Some of her previous collaborations have been rejected just because of her gender. To her eyes, this initiative is a significant opportunity for female producers to show what they can do, even though she doesn’t care about gender when it comes to music. Talent and creativity always go first! ‘Sunrise’ is one of these songs you listen to before your day starts. Daydream vibes. It’s about new beginnings, so go and enjoy your day!    

female producers

Hippo Dreams – ‘Ce Soir Ou Jamais’

Hippo Dreams is an American harpist, pianist, producer, and sound engineer. She didn’t have much opportunity to meet women producers in her career so far. That’s why this project makes sense to her, even though she usually doesn’t like to think of the differences between men and women.  She participates to show that inclusion is possible and necessary. ‘Ce Soir Ou Jamais’ is full of nonchalance and euphoria. It makes you wanna go out without thinking about the consequences. The harp notes whisper that everything will be okay anyway.

female producers

Miyuki Kuzuoka – ‘Sadness’

Miyuki Kuzuoka is a Brazilian music producer, sound designer, multi-instrumentalist, and singer. She’s super happy about women finally claiming space in the audio and music industries, by coming together to show their ability. However, ‘Sadness’ is about longing for someone to return, but they won’t. Miyuki Kuzuoka hopes listeners will emotionally connect to what she created. The sad guitar playing does it for us.

female producers

Imelda Lizal & v i v – ‘Hers’

This duo is from Indonesia and Germany. v i v is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer, and mixing/mastering engineer. Imelda Liza lis a singer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist. As a non-binary person, v i v is thrilled to be a part of this representation. They want to see boundaries pushed more often to keep music evolution going. Imelda Lizal hopes as well this compilation will find other talented female producers. She wants them to be inspired by it, and to keep challenging their creativity. ‘Hers’ is a soothing track to wish only the best for the ones you love, whether they’re a lover, a companion, or family. Lovely!

female producers

Rebecca Mardal – ‘Synchronicity’

Rebecca Mardal is a Sweden producer and guitar player blending neo-soul and Lo-Fi. She’s glad female producers are being acknowledged on this playlist because that’s usually not the case. The Beat Queens initiative is where they can express themselves freely and be seen. ‘Synchronicity’ is made for those who overthink. So, sit back, and try to slow down your whirlwind of thoughts. This is an opportunity to take time for yourself.  

female producers

Jeia – ‘What Happens If We Let Go’

Jeia is an Indonesian/Canadian producer, sound engineer, and multi-instrumentalist. The Beat Queens initiative makes her feel seen and supported. People in the music industry usually don’t see her, because they assume the producer in the room is always a man. Females have to work way harder to be taken seriously. She’s on that playlist to make things change. ‘What Happens If We Let Go’ is made of two parts: the constraint and the release. Take a deep breath while listening to it, and forget for a while what upsets you.

female producers

IzaBeats – ‘Little Peace’

IzaBeats is a Brazilian producer and guitar/keys player. She wishes male and white artists weren’t so present in the Lo-Fi compilations. The Beat Queens initiative takes one step further to do better and finally gives female producers more recognition. ‘Little Peace’ is also about taking a step back and refocusing on yourself. It’s the perfect getaway from the chaos of life. This track reminds us of an instant, a memory, or a place you can go back to when you’re feeling down.  

female producers

Nydia – ‘Missed Call’

Nydia is an American producer and pianist. Squeezing their way to the spotlight has become tiring for women and non-male producers in the beat scene. Nydia is delighted by the diversity of universes of this compilation. ‘Missed Call’ is different from what she usually does. She challenged herself as she played with transitions and experimental sonorities. ‘Missed Call’ turned out to be a fun track to experience what Lo-Fi sounds like and how it makes us feel.

female producers

Moshun – ‘Pedestrianstrut’

Moshun is an American producer, sound designer, and instrumentalist (piano, bass guitar). Her woman-ess isn’t something she highlights when she talks about her music, but she did it this time to express how representation and visibility are crucial. ‘Pedestrianstrut’ is a track inspired by walks through Chicago. Sometimes when you walk in the street while listening to your music, it’s easy to feel like you’re in a music video. ‘Pedestrianstrut’ locks you in your little world and makes your walks more enjoyable.

female producers

Gnarly – ‘Cosmos Alley’

Gnarly is a British/Sri Lankan producer, finger drummer, multi-instrumentalist, DJ, and sound engineer. To her, the Beat Queens project is about being surrounded by talented people. She wants to participate in this shared effort to diversify the music industry. ‘Cosmos Alley’ offers us a journey through space and time: this is what Lo-Fi is about. Letting music ease your soul and bring you where your thoughts and emotions desire. You can listen to it at any time of the day!

female producers

SADIVA – ‘Be Kind’

SAVIDA is an Australian producer, singer, and DJ. She’s feeling proud to be a part of the Beat Queens initiative, referring to WOW as the first all-female beat tape she saw. This playlist is a logical sequence. SAVIDA is engaged to see more and more women recognized for their abilities. ‘Be Kind’ is something different from her previous songs. That song ‘hits in the feels’. SAVIDA is willing to share it because she’s proud of it. The sorority gave her the confidence to step out of her comfort zone

Mélanie Domergue

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