Gender Amplified Presents ‘Pre Pro,’ A Web Series Featuring Joy Sandford

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Pre Pro

Gender Amplified is proud to present Pre Pro, a new web series by LA-based music producer and engineer Joy Sandford! Join Joy as she recaps her days and nights working with artists and engineering recording sessions. Her journey to the top is hilarious, informative and the basis for this awesome video journal about the ups and downs of chasing your dreams!

As an accomplished artist with technical training from the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at New York University, Joy has worked for Atlantic Records and Daddy’s House Recording Studios, the studio home of legendary music label Bad Boy Records. As an artist on the rise, her story is inspiring and motivational to others just like her. These webisodes come to you each week on the official Gender Amplified Youtube channel. Tune in and enjoy!

Rapsody Headlines 12th Annual Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival

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Rapsody - BK Hip Hop Fest

Some people are calling her the rapper du jour, and the wave of praises doesn’t seem to be letting up. Rapsody is making the rounds with a number of high-profile album and single appearances and co-signs from the likes of Dr. Dre, 9th Wonder and Kendrick Lamar. The North Carolina rapper is quickly gaining respect and moving into territories that have been traditionally occupied by men.

She will be headlining the 12th Annual Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival as part of a much anticipated lineup including Nas, Fabolous, Talib Kweli and many more! Established in 2005, The Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival is New York City’s largest Hip-Hop cultural event that showcases Hip-Hop culture by highlighting its legacy of inspiring artistic excellence, community building and social change.


Much like the festival itself, Rapsody has used her platform to advocate for women in music production. As the protégé of legendary, Grammy Award-winning producer 9th Wonder and a member of the super crew Kooley High, she has learned many aspects of production under his tutelage over the years. As is evidenced by her Instagram post below, changing the landscape of women in music production starts with women emcees supporting them — no matter their stage of development. Our hat goes off to Rapsody for her support of our community throughout her work and consistent example.

The future is bright….. @darinmichelle @agilliam1018 #JamlaKids #PadawanInTraining

A photo posted by R A P S O D Y (@rapsody) on

If you haven’t done so already, be sure to check out some of her music here.

 

On the RISE: Producer Stoni Profiled by ROLI

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In a piece entitled “On the RISE: Music is life – Stoni,” ROLI recently profiled Gender Amplified Alumna Stoni demonstrating the new Seaboard RISE musical instrument. ROLI is a design­-led technology start ­up expanding the bandwidth of interaction between people and technology. Read an excerpt from the article below:

“There’s no stage in your life that doesn’t have a song you can reference,” says Stoni, the New York­ based producer and DJ known for her hard ­driving hip­-hop beats. “Like when you graduate from high school, you’re listening to something, and every time you hear that song later you think ‘Ahhh!’ And you get to recapture that feeling, and it makes you feel great.” READ MORE

Stoni
Stoni is always on the move helping to bridge the gap between the technology of today and pop culture. She has consulted some of the hottest music producers over her career, which spans several decades.

Our previous Producer Profile with Stoni in 2014 also highlights other areas of her work. She is a trailblazer, and her reign as an accomplished master of music technology is just beginning!


Producer Profile Interview: Stoni

 

 

Gender Amplified Founder Ebonie Smith Talks STEM, Music and Gender at Spotify

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On April 2nd, Gender Amplified founder Ebonie Smith stopped by the Spotify headquarters to discuss Gender Amplified and perform new music.

The event, entitled “Hip Hop Hacks,” was sponsored by Monthly Music Hackathon NYC. The Music Hackathon is a monthly all-day event for musicians and engineers to create new music-related projects from scratch, develop them throughout 10 hours, then perform or present them in a concert in the evening.

On Saturday, April 30th, Gender Amplified returned to Monthly Music Hackathon for a special event entitled “Gender in Music Hackathon”. Ebonie Smith presented a lecture entitled “STEM Learning: Dissecting the Music Track” for a group of amazing workshop attendees.

Visit monthlymusichackathon.org to learn more about upcoming events.

Mix Sessions: Kallie Marie

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One of the goals of Gender Amplified is to generate exposure for women producers who have established themselves in the music business. This Mix Sessions spotlight goes to artist Kallie Marie. With a masters degree in Music Production and Composition from the Leeds College of Music in England, Kallie  has devoted all her time to working as a producer with various artists such as Natalie Mishell, (e)motion Picture, as well as Ashley Hicklin and many others. She also devotes time to producing her own band Explosives For Her Majesty. Kallie also spends time teaching Audio for Multimedia at Art Institute of NYC and NYU SCPS. Check out some of her wonderful insights and enjoy!

Interview: Jim Anderson

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Interview: A Behind-the-Scenes Glimpse Into Music Making With Engineer Jim Anderson

 

 

The best way to learn music production and engineering is to apprentice at the feet of the folks who are at the top of the record making business. However, sometimes it’s hard to gain access to those individuals and their wonderful insights. Over on the Atlantic Records website, I started a series to help aspiring producers and engineers learn from the best! These interviews with award-winning “masters of the mix” are full of insightful technical tips, career advice and much much more. In this new era where many of us are “mentored by Wikipedia,” I hope this series helps to demystify the production process and answers many of the questions we all have concerning professional growth and development.

This interview features jazz engineer and professor Jim Anderson. His vast insight into the world of music production could hardly be contained in one discussion. Check out the excerpt below!!

 

 

To read the full article, visit the link here to head over to the Atlantic Records website! Learn, share and be inspired!

Hope it is helpful!! Now, go forth and create some great music!
Ebonie Smith, Gender Amplified Founder

Gender Amplified Speakers and Performers

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The Gender Amplified Music Festival is fast approaching, and we are thrilled to highlight a few of the talented and accomplished performers and contributors who will be entertaining, educating, and inspiring the festival’s attendees. The music festival is an event of the Gender Amplified movement which aims to celebrate women in music production, raise their visibility, and develop a pipeline for girls and young women to get involved behind the scenes as music producers. Today, we’re featuring three such contributors to the festival.

Alluxe, aka Laura Escudé, leads the movement in the contemporary electronic music and technology realms. A former award-winning concerto and symphony violinist, Laura produces “some of the most growling, banging and gritty electronic beats in the game” under her new monicker, Alluxe (check out her brand-new video, “Rytmus,” for her recently released “Nomad” EP above). She has done programming and designing shows for the likes of Kanye West, Jay Z, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Herbie Hancock, Cat Power, Bon Iver, Drake, Silversun Pickups, Garbage, Childish Gambino and M83. She’s also front-and-center in the world of music technology, becoming one the first internationally certified Ableton Live Trainers in 2008, and founding Electronic Creatives, an Ableton Certified Training Center. With Alluxe, Laura puts focus on her craft as a producer, composer and performer. Laura will perform her “big-room and cinematic” Alluxe sound at Gender Amplified. Follow her on twitter @alluxemusic.

Abhita Austin is the founder and chief creative officer of Hidden Chapel Studios on Long Island. With over 10 years of experience, the New York University’s Music Technology program alumna has worked with artists like Christina Aguilera, Missy Elliot, and Common. In addition to her work at Hidden Chapel Studios, Abhita serves as the Technical Instructor for the Future Music Moguls program at the NYU Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music. Abhita will lead the workshop “Studio Ownership” on constructing a recording studio, creating a sustainable business model and working with some of biggest clients in the music business. Follow her on twitter @HiddenChapel and check out this mash-up of her studio’s work:

Erica Glyn is a New York City based artist/producer. She produces a “unique and intriguing sound, mixing elements of trip-hop, rocktronica and a splash of psychedelic rock” with her own vocals and lyrics. Erica “leans towards the unconventional,” and is compared to artists like Florence Welch and Fiona Apple. She has been featured by NYC-area magazines and blogs on the local music beat, like The Deli and Sonicscoop.com, and did an interview earlier this summer with Gender Amplified. STATIC, her latest release, was recorded and produced solely by Erica. Erica will lead the workshop “The Artist/Producer: Working on Both Sides of the Console,” which will discuss the journey from working as a singer/songwriter to producing for yourself and for other artists. Follow Erica on twitter @EricaGlyn and check out one of her latest music videos from STATIC:

Stay tuned for more updates and highlights on Gender Amplified!

Summer Updates

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The Gender Amplified Music Festival is a little over a month away on September 28! Check out these summer updates as things heat up:

Brooklyn Radio highlighted Gender Amplifed in June and asked founder Ebonie Smith to list her top 5 female music producers. As Ebonie remarks in the profile, “It’s difficult to list my favorite women in music production because there are so few of them who are well known!” Still, Ebonie goes beyond “Where are all the female music producers?” to showcase some incredibly talented women. While many are known primarily as musicians, Ebonie makes note of the technical skills that have also contributed to their success.

PolicyMic screenshot

Policy Mic joined in on the conversation with an article on Gender Amplified and the lack of women producers in the music industry. Editor Julianne Ross notes, “some of the few women who have made it in the industry say contributing factors include a lack of recognition for their achievements along with the perception that women are either not interested or simply incapable of the work required. The problem is exacerbated by frequent industry assumptions that … [misattribute] the production of an album to a man.”

Dina Tyson ’13 echoes Ross’ observations in her blog post, “To the Beat of My Own Drum: Why Gender Amplified Matters to Me.” Her own experience as a woman drummer has been that there is a common misconception that women are simply not interested in music or incapable of the skills that the industry requires. Dina’s post just one story about the need to support women to find their voice in this often male-dominated industry.

While focused on music, Gender Amplified also hopes to encourage a conversation about women’s participation in the STEM fields more widely, starting a discussion about industries of science, technology, engineering, and math through the lens of the art and science of music production. A recent segment of NPR’s All Things Considered mentions new research that demonstrates the power of role models: in communities where more women were in STEM careers, “girls were as likely as boys to take physics, or even more likely.”

If September 28 can’t come soon enough for you, we invite you to check out all the other great feminist music festivals happening this summer! We are also adding new workshops to the Gender Amplified schedule, with music industry professionals such as Abhita Austin, Future Music Moguls Production Instructor at NYU and Founder of Hidden Chapel Studios; Michele Darling, Director of Education at DubSpot; and Erica Glyn, a NYC-based singer, songwriter, and producer.

Finally, Gender Amplified successfully raised over $1,500 in our Indiegogo campaign earlier this summer. A big thanks goes out to everyone who has supported the movement, and to our great donors:

Anonymous
Joe Adams
Geri Armine-Klein
Sarah Cane
Elizabeth A Castelli
Taja Cheek
Caroline P Churchill
Talya Cooper
Cristina Crosby
Rebecca Eisenberg
Kim F. Hall
Satya Hinduja
Anne Jonas
Andrea Martin
Erin Mathews
David Mullins
Martín Perna
Jeane Reveendran
Martin Rozenblum
Kathryn Tobin

Mix Sessions: Erin Tonkon

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One of the goals of Gender Amplified is to generate exposure for young women producers who are on the verge of greatness. When I sent a mass email to the Clive Davis Institute (New York University) in search of female students interested in being a part of the Gender Amplified movement, it took Erin all of ten minutes to respond. Her hustle, passion for production and enthusiasm for her craft are refreshing and extremely impressive for someone only 22 years old. She is a skilled producer/engineer and knows her way around the recording studio. Check out this interview as Erin talks about her music, her gear, and her plans for her future.

Erin Tonkon

Erin’s Bio
Erin Tonkon is an audio engineer and producer based in Manhattan. Erin has vast experience in the music industry which has included work at KPRI 102.1 FM in San Diego and Sony Music Entertainment. Following her experience as an on-air DJ and PA at WERS 88.9 FM in Boston, Erin began her career as an audio engineer at Signature Sound Studios and Studio West in San Diego, CA. Erin moved to New York City in the fall of 2012 and currently attends The Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at New York University where she studies Production. Currently, Erin is working on an upcoming album from New York based band Run Luca, a band which she also manages. Erin’s future plans include working on various projects with up and coming artists and saving rock n’ roll.

Gender Amplified

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ebonie-video-still

The Gender Amplified movement started in my dorm room. Six years ago, I found myself sitting in my cramped room, nearly crowded out by all of the music production equipment I’d accumulated during college. I would make noise for hours silently in my headphones. I was just another bedroom music producer with big dreams of becoming the next world-known, Top 40 “hit-maker”. Those were the days. But there was something very different about my goals. I realized it every time I went to Guitar Center to buy gear. I certainly noticed it every time I went to a local beat battle. It seemed that I was one of few women aspiring to be a professional music producer. This fact intrigued me. There was no shortage of women aspiring to become singers and songwriters, so it seemed unusual that there would be so few on the production path. I often felt alone on my journey toward my passion, so I wanted to know: Where were all the women producers?

I did what any inquisitive, college-educated person would do to get an answer. I Googled. My original query was ‘female music producer’. It produced some interesting results. In fact, I found that there were many women producers out there. They hailed from various parts of the world, worked in all different genres, and had impressive discographies. It quickly became apparent to me that the issue of women producers was one of visibility and not quantity. Once again, I wanted to know why. How was it that women producers could be excluded from the U.S. music industry? Unfortunately, this answer would prove more elusive than the previous, thus I focused much of my senior thesis research around the topic.

Through my desire to produce music, the will to see more women and girls exposed to music production, and through the help of some amazing friends and supporters, I spearheaded Gender Amplified: Women and Technological Innovation in Hip Hop my senior year at Barnard College. This day-long conference brought together hip hop producers, scholars, artists, activists, and music enthusiasts to assess the impact that gender has on the field of music technology and women’s participation in hip hop production culture. Special guests included Tricia Rose and DJ Spinderella. It was organized in collaboration with the Barnard Center for Research on Women, Barnard’s Africana Studies Program, and Femmixx.com.

This was only the beginning. The movement has expanded in mission and scope since then. I have realized that music production is bigger than making hit records and being a part of the music industry. For example, there is power and agency in giving women the tools, technical skill and knowledge to record, playback and transmit their own stories without male interference. Over the years, so many women artists have considered my recording space a “safe haven” for their intellectual and artistic ideas. Much of the business I get comes from women who desire a producer who will listen to them and encourage them to be themselves. They are women who have worked with their fare share of men producers who just want them to sing on cue or ignore them when they have questions about the technical process. Women’s voices and ideas can sometimes get lost in the gendered power dynamics of recording spaces. This is one of reasons why more women should be trained in music production and sound engineering.

Moreover, knowledge of advanced audio concepts such as digital signal theory, audio acoustics and sound design provides excellent applications for STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). It is my theory that music production can serve as a gateway toward igniting young girls’ interests in STEM professions. My own personal experience is the basis for my hypothesis. When I first began producing, I only wanted to make music. However, I eventually realized that if I wanted to truly be a threat in my field, I needed to dive further into the science of audio production and engineering. Eventually I chose to obtain a master’s degree in music technology. I was able to increase my earning power in the audio field as a result.

As I embark upon the next phase of the Gender Amplified movement, I am very proud of the progress it has made. This movement is about celebrating the individual efforts and accomplishments of women producers in an attempt to construct a collective voice. The increased visibility of women music producers must begin with women affirming one another, producing our own voices, and collectively creating archives of our stories.

The Beginning: Gender Amplified 2007

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Gender Amplified event 2007

In the fall of 2006, I was a rising senior at Barnard College. I had just returned to the States after a semester of studying abroad in Cameroon and working in recording studios in Africa. I was jaded to say the least. I was not looking forward to yet another year of academic rigor and the 100-page senior thesis requirement that was waiting for me.

I purchased some music production equipment, and I found myself locked away for hours in my dorm room between classes learning how to produce music and recording my friends. I thought, ‘If only I could just do this. I wish that I could produce music for my coursework requirements.’ In the wake of my frustration, what followed was a bright idea: I could write my senior thesis on music production. I immediately enrolled in the only two music production classes I could find at Columbia. My enthusiasm for my classes was instantly re-established, and I was off to learn as much history about music production as I could. I focused on hip hop to further truncate my research, and I started to learn much about the cultural significance of music technologies and their influence on the development of hip hop music. I identified the names of several key male producers over and over again as I gathered sources. I never came across any names of female music producers. This seemed odd to me.

I consulted Kim Hall, my thesis advisor, about this issue, and I proposed that we create a conference called Gender Amplified: Women and Technological Innovation in Hip Hop. I felt that women’s lack of visibility in hip hop music production was both an academic and a feminist discourse. Given this, Barnard College seemed to be the perfect place to spearhead the Gender Amplified movement.

Gender Amplified event 2007

Planning an academic conference, producing music and writing a senior thesis simultaneous was no walk in the park, but so many wonderful partners came on board to help bring my vision to fruition. Tachelle Wilks (founder, Femmixx.com), The Barnard Center for Research on Women, The Africana Studies Program, and Dean Vivian Taylor (campus coordinator, The Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship) all provided a tremendous support system.

On April 14, 2007, the day of the event, my mother flew in. I was too excited to eat anything. It was a beautiful day outside and women from all around the New York City metro area came to take part. The day’s events included the following segments:

Gender Amplified: Women & Technological Innovation in Hip Hop
April 14, 2007 – Event Schedule

10-11AM
Push Up The Faders (Meet and Greet)

Networking Brunch
Members/collectives of the hip hop community coming together, dialoguing, and forming new ties.

11:30AM-1PM
Keynote Address by Tricia Rose
Tweaking the Levels: A Lecture Addressing Women in Hip Hop and Technology

1:45-2:15PM
Screening: Lady Beat Makers, Vol 1
Where are the female hip hop producers? Through a collection of interviews with underground female record producers, this documentary assesses the relative absence of women from the recording industry and speculates about the future of women in the game.

2:30-3:30PM
Three Generations of Hip Hop
Conversation with DJ Spinderella conducted by Imani Perry, Rutgers University

4-6PM
Gender in Real-Time: Tracking Women and Technology
Panel discussion moderated by Barnard senior, Ebonie Smith, with audience segment.
Tachelle “Shamash” Wilkes, founder of Femmixx.com
Max Perez, BET Music Producer
Steven G. Fullwood, The Hip Hop Archives (The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture)

8-10PM
Gender Amplified Showcase
DJ Showcase Featuring:
DJ Rheka
DJ Sparkles
DJ Ayana Soyini

We accomplished much with this initial event in 2007. However, the movement continues on. Gender Amplified is much bigger than hip hop. The forthcoming Gender Amplified Music Festival will do more than ask questions about women in music production. It intends to create a platform for women in music production to help them advance and meet like-minded collaborators. Gender Amplified 2013 is a launching pad for women and girls who may become interested in music production. We are building a legacy.