Tuned On is a regular event run by Punch Records that aims to engage with and educate young people hoping to get involved with the music industry. For International Women’s Day, they joined University of Manchester SU to deliver an all-female panel that was as empowering as it was educational, and thoroughly enjoyable.
The panel, hosted by BBC Radio Manchester’s Karen Gabay, featured women from different sectors of the industry as they discussed their roles, their inspirations and their best advice for women wanting to get into the industry. The event was enriching, inspiring and the honesty and realness of their approach to the discussion gave an invaluable insight into what it means to be a woman not only in the industry but succeeding in it.
Each of the panellists offered a unique perspective into their roles in the industry: Parris OH, the Urban Promotions Manager for Sony, discussed the importance of intersectional feminism, hard work and “earning your stripes” in a way so inspiring I immediately went home and wanted to kick-start a world-changing career. Rebecca Ayres, COO of Liverpool’s Sound City, which has had the likes of Ed Sheeran and The xx grace its stages, discussed the way festivals are actively trying to change the lack of female representation both on their line-ups and within the team behind them. Georgie K, a female DJ currently killing it in the Manchester scene self-taught herself to DJ and has now DJ’d for Justin Bieber and Drake, while Melody Kane, from BBC 1Extra gave a refreshing view on feminism in the industry: “We’re a real threat to men,” she laughed. “Women bring a different skill set.”
Once the panel was over, what remained was a room of women — and men — with an overall feeling of empowerment, a buzz of inspiration and a raw hope that all of us really can follow the path we want, regardless of gender or any other force that may be holding us back. As Melody Kane said in one of the sharpest moments of the night: “You shouldn’t ever feel as though anything is above you.”