Since 2007, I have been a champion for female musicians. It all started a bit by accident. Back in 2000, I had created a hobby online radio station on Live365 called Women of Substance, a personal playlist of female artists, mostly indies, that I used as a personal way to listen to the music I enjoyed at work.
In 2007, I was a touring indie artist myself and looking to get more exposure. I was so frustrated by the lack of coverage for female musicians on terrestrial and satellite radio that I decided to take matters into my own hands. I turned that hobby playlist into a fledgling online radio station, and started adding new artists and promoting it everywhere I could.
Women of Substance, and also later The Female Entrepreneur Musician, were both created out of a need to solve a problem I was having: a deep personal desire to fill a gap in the market and provide support for an underrepresented group. So, I thought it would be helpful to create a list of 10 of my favorite online resources specifically dedicated to helping female musicians out.
But first, a quick note about why these resources exist in the first place. One thing I struggle with as a creator of female-focused platforms and programs is whether we should spend our time and energy trying to turn the tide for female artists within the overall “Industry” as it is, or seek to provide gender-segregated options and start to create new industry outlets entirely. Can these female-exclusive resources ever help us achieve equality, let alone more and more paths to sustainability in the long run?
Although I still wrestle with this, for now my answer is yes, these female-centric platforms are making a difference. And here’s how:
- Female-focused groups prevent isolation and lack of information, which have been some of the leading causes of women being marginalized or being taken advantage of by unscrupulous sharks. These groups provide confidence-building education and support so a woman can fight for her place in the Industry.
- Female-focused groups and events provide camaraderie and a united purposeso female artists can more easily band together to fight inequality and injustice across the Industry.
- Female-only support groups offer a safe place to be real and vulnerable as women so they can develop their craft without fear of being judged by a masculine agenda.
- Promotional platforms for women, like female-only radio stations and podcasts, increase visibility for artists so the biggest fish in that small pond can get on the radar of decision-makers for even bigger ponds.
So now that we’ve gotten that out of the way… here are my top 10 resources for female musicians on the internet right now.
1. Women in Music
At the suggestion of several friends who are involved, I recently joined Women in Music. This is an amazing organization that serves women at all stages in their careers, from students to seasoned industry veterans — and men who support their cause. They are record label executives, artist managers, songwriters, musicians, attorneys, recording engineers, agents, publicists, studio owners, music publishers, and more.
Women in Music’s mission is to advance the awareness, equality, diversity, heritage, opportunities, and cultural aspects of women in the musical arts through education, support, empowerment, and recognition. Their seminars, panels, showcases, achievement awards, and youth initiatives celebrate the female contribution to the music world and strengthens community ties. The networking opportunities for professionals are fantastic, and for musicians and students, they provide powerful training, panels, and discounts on industry events.
2. The Female Entrepreneur Musician
I created this site and podcast to fill a need I experienced when I started my music career. Even though I was a double major in business and music, I had a difficult time learning to think about my music as a business. And I found many female artists were having the same problems. The podcast, and all of our free resources, are created to help musicians learn to market their music, build their fanbase, and think and act like entrepreneurs.
If you’re a female musician, whether a singer/songwriter, non-performing songwriter, performer, producer, or work in the music industry in some way, we’d love to have you join us in our tight-knit, engaged community on Facebook. The community provides a support system, free training, resources, a place to ask questions and get answers, and more.
This is a great platform providing promotional opportunities for women breaking into the music industry. They offer interviews, reviews, and upcoming new release promotion for female musicians, and tons of useful articles relating to music.
#WomenCrushMusic was started in January 2017 by Ashley Kervabon, an artist who saw a need for a female music community. This non-profit organization has a mission to support female songwriters through showcases, workshops, and networking events. You can find chapters in many different regions, nationally and globally. If you can’t find one in your area, apply to start your own.
5. The WiMN
The Women’s International Music Network was created in 2012 by Laura B. Whitmore, a former marketing executive. The WiMN hosts events, as well as a community forum, for women in the industry. They share news, projects, and products that are geared towards the female musician. They also produce the annual She Rocks Awards.
Women working in professional audio make up just 5% of all audio engineers. The mission of SoundGirls is to create a supportive community for women in audio and music production, providing the tools, knowledge, and support to further their careers. SoundGirls supports women working in professional audio and music production by highlighting their success and providing a place for them to connect, network, and share advice. If you’re a producer, engineer, or work in live sound, I recommend you list yourself in their directory. And if you’re an artist who wants to work with and support women in audio, this directory can be a great resource.
7. Empowering Women in Audio
This is a one-of-a-kind event that takes place in Nashville. It’s a clinic devoted to the hands-on techniques of modern, professional music production and recording, exclusively for women. That’s right — all of the students in the clinic are women. Whether you want to become an audio professional, or you’re an artist who just wants to learn to record in your home studio, this is a nurturing and interactive place to learn. It’s lovingly and skillfully run by my friend Fett and his wife, Nancy Moran, of Azalea Music.
8. Songwriter Girl Camp
Songwriter Girl Camp is a great experience for female songwriters to meet with hit songwriters, music industry pros, and network with other musicians. Hosted by Kirsti Manna, Songwriter Girl Camp is a one-day interactive event where you can share songs, secrets, and make new friends and meet co-writers for your next big hit. You’ll learn what to do once you write a song, all about copyrights, and how to make money through songwriting.
9. Girls Rock Camp Alliance
The Girls Rock Camp Alliance provides resources and spaces for networking through a membership program. Their aim is to build a community for their members. They believe gender is fluid and cannot be contained within a binary, and as such, transgender and non-conforming people are a large part of their community.
10. Women of Substance Music Podcast
I created this other platform to highlight quality music by female artists in all genres back in 2007. We are still going strong! Our podcast attracts over 12,000 listens per month on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, YouTube, TuneIn, and Stitcher, and is promoted across social media to 50K+ potential fans. Check it out!