Girls I Rate (GIR) has partnered with Island Records and PRS for Music to deliver the very first all female “Girls I Rate #GETHEARD A&R Weekender”. The event, taking place on Saturday 6 May, will be hosted by Beyoncé songwriter and GIR founder Carla Marie Williams, Capital XTRA DJ Manny Norte and Number 1 charting artist Lily Allen. Its aim is to provide 100 young women aged 16-30 the opportunity to showcase their original music to industry professionals.
#GETHEARD hopes to encourage more female songwriters and producers to come forward and will cross all genres of music. Two diverse panels of experts will listen, critique and give invaluable advice on the works heard. The day will end with a networking mixer hosted by Sian Anderson of 1xtra, to encourage girls to “celebrate, unite and collaborate” with each other.
As part of a series of activations by Girls I Rate to empower future creatives, 10 lucky attendees will also be awarded the opportunity to attend a Girls I Rate Academy Weekender. Each Academy Weekender will be run by industry experts, providing girls with educational and practical lessons to help equip them with fundamental practices, techniques and key skills required for success in the music industry.
Girls I Rate is a not-for-profit organisation founded in March 2016 with a mission to create a movement to engage and shatter glass ceilings within the creative industries. The GIR mission is simple and has five targets; Change, Opportunity, Unity, Celebration, Hope! (Operation COUCH).
With the UK music industry blooming and many recognising it as being the strongest it’s ever been, female writers, producers and composers still only make up 16% of the membership at PRS for Music.
On hearing about Girls I Rate #GETHEARD Karen Buse, Executive Director of Membership and International wanted to get involved: “Girls I Rate is an exciting and much-needed initiative, and I am proud that PRS for Music will be hosting the #GetHeard Weekender. So many young women can be put off entering what often feels like a male-dominated industry, so it’s invaluable to have organisations such as Girls I Rate to break down stereotypes and really support and champion new talent.”
lsland Records president Darcus Beese has remained passionate from the day he started at Island and continues to champion women in the music industry. Home to artists such as Drake, PJ Harvey and Ariana Grande, in the last 12 months, Island has seen multiple Number 1 chart successes.
Darcus Beese commented: “It has always been important for us at Island to champion women in all areas of the industry; from the incredible artists we have worked with over the years including Amy Winehouse and PJ Harvey, to the powerful women in key positions at the label. Girls I Rate is a fantastic initiative that we need to be a part of. At a time where the music industry is experiencing growth again, we need more open discussions like #GETHEARD to continue striving for equality and diversity every day. We still have a lot of work to do.”
Girls I Rate founder Carla Marie Williams, says: “My mission is to engage with as many young females as possible, to break down stereotypes and assumptions in the creative industry and help give young women opportunities by pushing for more equality and diversity within the creative industry! I also want to empower young females to believe anything is possible. This is why events such as #GETHEARD are so imperative”.
To apply to #GETHEARD and for the chance to have your track listened to by this expert A&R panel, you must first submit your songs via a SoundCloud link, no later than Wednesday 26 April, to ArtsAcademy@girlsIrate.com.
#GETHEARD A&R Weekender
PANEL ONE: Pop / Urban Pop / Alternative
Twin B (Alec Boateng) – A&R Director, Atlantic Records
Jade Richardson – A&R Manager, Virgin EMI
Tanya Lacey – Artist (The Voice 2017)
Annie Christensen – Senior A&R Manager, Island Records
PANEL TWO: Grime / Rap / Hip Hop
HyperFrank – Music Journalist / Complex
Frisco – Artist
Adele White – A&R Manager, Relentless Records
Nadia Khan – Artist Manager, CTRL Management
Carla Marie Williams – GIR Founder / Song writer
Manny Norte – Capital Xtra
Lily Allen – Artist
Sian Anderson, BBC 1XTRA