FEMALE Scottish singer-songwriters join forces to “redress the massive inequality in the music industry” which implies that women are only 14% of musicians signed to publishers in the UK.
The Hen Hoose initiative is a response to their outrage that women are just 12% of the musicians registered with the Music Producers Guild – a UK group of producers, mixers, engineers, programmers and remixers.
Tamara Schlesinger, who records under the name Malka, leads the collaborative songwriting group, sponsored by Scotland’s publicly funded arts agency Creative Scotland. Artists such as multi-award-winning folk singer Karine Polwart, founding member Emma Pollock of The Delgados, all-female punk band Honeyblood’s Stina Tweeddale, Admiral Fallow’s Sarah Hayes and Carla J Easton, the Scottish Album of the Year nominee, have already signed on.
In a desperate plea to save the music industry, the who’s who of Scottish pop culture unites forces
The group thought that women had less resources than men in the struggle to survive to build income sources to support a successful career – from songwriting and production to live arena, streaming and radio play.
From Emma Pollock
So Hen Hoose was created with the goal of bringing together the “rich and diverse range of wonderfully talented and award-winning Scottish female artists, writers and producers” in order to collaborate remotely in a variety of genres to create new music.
Initially, Hen Hoose would recommend an album of collaborative TV and film songs that can also be commercially released.
The goal is “in these difficult times.” to produce more revenue for female songwriters. There is also the possibility of publishing the album in the future.
It will also allow those without access to studios to write and produce from home, juggling childcare and other jobs and responsibilities within the constraints of their daily routines.
“Ms. Schlesinger, who sits on the Scottish Music Industry Association’s (SMIA) advisory board and teaches at the SAE Institute in Glasgow, said, “There are no artist tours and very little money to be made right now, so the formation of this group feels like the right response. This is a place where talented female songwriters can come together to write on new projects and support each other.
“When it comes to gender balance, the music industry still has a long way to go. Just 16 percent of PRS (the UK’s royalty collection agency) registered songwriters are women.
And you just have to look at festival lineups like TRNSMT to see that this is a problem across the board, not just on the side of songwriters.
Tamara Schlesinger Schlesinger (Malka)
During the lockdown, so many musicians lost their normal sources of revenue, mainly from their live shows, but also in secret places like the usual royalties you might get from playing your music in pubs and shops, so I began to think about how I could find new ways to generate revenue. I write a lot of music that is sold for TV and movies afterwards, and I get syncs from my records with songs, so that seemed like the right place to start.
“A lot of people in the industry have been talking loudly about change, but very little has happened to reshape the landscape. I felt that now was the time to try to make a difference.”
The SAY Award is given to the isolated Covid-positive artist Nova, a message about the future of the Scottish music industry.
Last year, the UK music industry added £ 5.8 billion to the economy, but a study admits that as the music industry hung by a thread during the lockdown, Covid-19 had a ruinous impact.
In 2019, along with Ed Sheeran, Stormzy, Dua Lipa and George Ezra, the Scottish music star Lewis Capaldi (below) was among the aforementioned musicians who continued to help the industry expand.
A recent research, however, reveals that women appear to miss out.
An overview of the three main stages planned for this year’s Reading and Leeds festivals showed that just 13% of the musicians on stage will be women.
And the report, “Counting the Music Industry,” which studied more than 300 U.K. rosters. Labels and publishers have discovered that only 14% of composers and songwriters and 20% of musicians are