Everyone knows Dice have changed the game when it comes to booking gig tickets, but did you know they also run events of their own too? This year, for the first time, they ran an entire Girls Music Week, leading on from Girls Music Day which was launched in 2014 to inspire “young women to get into the music industry, as well as connecting them with people who could help them achieve their goals.”
I went along to their Girls Music Day, which featured talks from the likes of Kate Tempest and Poppy Ajudha, and was open to anyone identifying as female or non-binary. Here’s just a few of the things I learnt!
You need to work hard enough that you feel like you deserve to be in the rooms you’re in. If you don’t feel like you deserve to be somewhere, take a look at the situation: are you allowing the dreaded Imposter Syndrome to take up home in your brain, or do you actually need to work more? More than likely you do deserve to be where you are, so don’t just assume that you haven’t done enough. Once you let that settle in, it’ll be hard to shift the feeling.
Where you record a podcast is almost as important as what you say – Frankie and Anouszka record Project Pleasure in the same place, at the same time, using the same microphones in order to keep a consistent sound. Location can also change the vibe of a podcast and where the idea goes, depending on if it’s in a studio, on a sofa, or at a kitchen table over a cup of tea. That said, all podcasts really should involve tea.
Just because someone else doesn’t like your interests and passions, or they think they’re not popular, in the words of Sian Anderson, “air, all you are is your passion”. If anything, focus on your passion even more and make your content the absolute best it can be. A project without passion is nothing, and nobody else is going to make exactly what you’re making in the way you’re making it. You do you!
And on that note: you are your own niche. Even if you think your idea has already been done, you’re still going to bring a different angle to it from what you’ve experienced. As Ami Bennett, co-founder of Foundation FM said, “nobody else is you”.
Mentors can be wonderfully helpful in helping you work out what you need to do and where you want to end up, but don’t take what one person says as gospel. Among the other bits of gold that Sian Anderson said, just take from people what will work for you and leave the rest. Work out what makes you you, and work out how you can improve without just becoming a clone of someone else.
If you want to get advice from others, or even ask them to be your mentor… You’ve got to use your words. Ask! DM, email, go to networking events and get to know people. I’m a hypocrite because I simultaneously love talking to people and dread introducing myself and telling them about who I am, but getting some fancy business cards helped. They’re glow-in-the-dark plectrums, and are a very good conversation starter, allowing me to segue into the work I do.
You can think of the best idea you’ve ever had. It’s fully formed in your head, it’s perfect, you can’t wait to make it. And then once you have it it’s not quite how you thought it would be, and you can’t work out why. But that’s okay, because what matters is you did something. The wonderful Kate Tempest talked about this, as well as how you’ve got to pursue every opportunity but don’t pre-emptively mess it up by thinking about how you’re going to do it. Just do it! Relinquish all the control and accept that it might not turn out how you think it will. Once you do that, there’s a lot less pressure.
Above all, remember to be nice to yourself. You’ve got to be your own best friend.
If you identify as female or non-binary, and want to get into anything related to the music industry, I highly recommend applying for a ticket next year. I met some of the most incredible people, both speakers and attendees, and I left feeling more motivated and inspired than I have done in a long time. Thank you Dice for creating such a wonderful event!
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