The #23BY23 campaign challenges imprints to increase their percentage of female producers to 23% or more by the end of 2023.
Highly respected electronic artists Sydney Blu and Rebekah with the support of LP Giobbi, Femme House, Ableton Live, Native Instruments, DJ Minx, and Baby Weight are launching a new initiative, calling on labels to commit to increasing the number of female artists on their roster.
Record labels Toolroom Records, Club Sweat, Gorgon City’s Realm Records, Soma Records, Desert Hearts, Walker and Royce’s Rules Don’t Apply, and more to be announced will be supporting the initiative with remix competitions and demo challenges on the Metapop community powered by Native Instruments starting December 11/12 and will run throughout 2022.
Ableton Live will be hosting some online production content throughout 2022 open to women, trans and non-binary artists in partnership with the campaign, and LP Giobbi’s Femme House Friday’s will be having a 23×23 takeover Friday, December 10 on their Twitch Channel. To be a part of it, if you identify as female, trans or non-binary, join the Female and Gender-Non-Conforming producer group on Metapop here.
’We don’t receive many demos from women’, ‘not many women produce music’, and ‘we have one girl on our label already’. These are common responses received by Sydney Blu, Rebekah and many female producers, from (usually) male A&R reps of dance record labels when asked about their lack of female artists on their label.
For women, trans and non-binary artists who have been participating in a male-dominated community for decades, it is disheartening to see the lack of female visibility on lineups and music festivals time and time again. For women of colour and trans women, underrepresentation and discrimination is even more prevalent in the dance industry. However, over the last four years, various music initiatives have emerged in attempts to level the playing field. It has been an exciting time to witness the conversation shifting and female artists rising up and raising awareness on the issue.
“I believe in 2021 we need to do better with how we shape, brand, and release music, to support a new generation of female producers and create lasting change and equality. I encourage the following question to any A&R rep: Are you making your label a welcome space for women? Do you provide feedback to female submissions? Are you proactively seeking female artists who are producing music similar to the sound of your label? This is the basis of the 23by23 campaign”. Sydney Blu
Oftentimes, when a label signs one female artist they automatically think they have done their due diligence. This is a classic example where a label will deny their lack of female representation, but it is no longer a good enough reason. It’s time to acknowledge all the talented women making incredible music by committing to a realistic goal.
The #23by23 campaign is an open call to all record labels in electronic music – regardless of size or stature – to have 23% of their releases from female producers by the end of 2023.
Not only will adding more female artists to a label roster be significant for dance music, it will open up a new audience of female fans, it will encourage promoters to diversify their lineups, and inspire more female artists to continue to work hard and make notable music. The ripple effects of positive change from a diversified label are boundless.
“If we are wanting a diverse and equal opportunities scene then highlighting an area where this is heavily imbalanced can only be a good thing. Starting out on many labels as the first women producer nine years ago, its seems that only baby steps have been made in this area to have more female representation. It’s also important to note women of colour are not only underrepresented on dance labels but also affected the most by discrimination so this makes it even more imperative for diversity to be a priority.
“I am fully behind this campaign and hoping to understand more deeply the reasons why this is still the case in 2021 and how things can improve.” Rebekah
An ardent feminist and an advocate for gender equality, the forward-thinking, boundary-breaking artist LP Giobbi is also firmly behind the campaign. LP Giobbi is the founder of FEMME HOUSE, an educational platform and 501 created to address the lack of representation and equity in electronic music by empowering women and non-binary people in the technical areas of music.
“A huge part of it is about visual representation. When you see yourself in a role, you believe you can do that role and so then you do that role. I 100% stand with 23% by 23. The issue in this industry is exactly why Femme House aims to create more equitable opportunities for womxn, trans, non-binary artists. I am pumped that allies are raising their hands and committing to open space on their labels.” LP Giobbi
Making proactive, sustainable changes to a label landscape that has been male-dominated for years will resonate with people, especially resonate with female producers. You cannot be what you can not see, and labels have the power to inspire an entirely new generation of female producers and artists.