In the fourth installment of our Dialogues series on women in electronic music, we chatted to female:pressure artists Electric Indigo and Emika about their journey to success.
We knew that the last event for our Dialogues 2016 series had to be big enough to match the importance of our topic. If you forgot the topic was ‘why aren’t more women studying music production?’ Interestingly enough however, when we were hearing the captivating stories of our final guests Electric Indigo and Emika, the word women slipped into the background of our focus. Instead we just listened to the journeys of two different people towards success.
It was a very exciting opportunity to have Electric Indigo and Emika come and share insights from their careers with our students for the last event in our inaugural series. They joined our panel of three of our students, Temi, Rona and Sarah (our trusty moderator), and our Electronic Music Production & Performance tutor Philippa McIntyre.
We began by asking about individual approaches to creativity. The diversity in creative processes between the people on our panel was truly humbling. Each story showed a different interest and approach to using music as a medium to express ideas, feelings, goals, inspirations, an assignment, anything… One of the best parts was seeing how each musician was in a different stage of their career. Our younger panelists were definitely fielding a lot of questions to our guests, seizing the opportunity as they do!
Above: Our panel from left to right: Philippa, Temi, Electric Indigo, Emika, Rona, Sarah
This was a nice segue into asking our esteemed guests what exactly motivated them to make their music and the function they think it serves to their audiences. Emika’s focus has been on tapping into the things that can only be expressed through the frequencies of music; things that lay outside the realms of visual art or literature. A big motivation for her has been a sort of dual tuning-in whereby she has found an audience that hears the authenticity in her work and it is her responsibility as an artist to stay true to those vibrations. For her, this has been the keystone to her success.
For those of you unfamiliar with Electric Indigo’s work, she is a pioneer in the field of electronic music and a huge fan of making lists of things to-do. The latter characteristic helped her become the original founder of female:pressure with a bit of inspiration from some unsavoury experiences in the, even more, male-dominated music scene in which she began working. In order to finish a piece of work she admits to needing a deadline, and this external motivation is reflected in her community approach towards disseminating information.
To hear more about what each of our panelists had to say about creativity, their experiences with labels or their definitions of success, check out this recap video below.
You can read a nice summary of all our previous sessions here. These included a lot of information from and about an explicitly female point of view. Since we’d been so engaged with that side of the conversation, it seemed important to have the concluding session reflect the kind of dynamic we would ideally like to see. That being one that found it irrelevant to preface experiences of the creative process, or working with labels or achieving success, with the descriptor ‘female.’
The question of ‘why aren’t more women studying music production?’ is far from being answered as we conclude our 2016 Dialogues series. But it wasn’t really answers that we were after. We wanted to have a conversation with amazing women who hold top-notch careers. It was also important for us to create an atmosphere that invites females to join us and challenge the barriers that were highlighted. Hopefully, as we continue as a community we will not only witness shifts in a positive direction but can also count ourselves amongst those who were instigators of change. Additionally, we hope that for those of you who want to help, it won’t be long before we meet.