International Women’s Day (IWD) is playing a key part in closing the inequality gap by empowering and celebrating women in music. From mixing engineers to A&R to label owners to booking agents to tour managers to artists to promoters and entrepreneurs. Andrea Trout pointed out a quote from Actionaid which sums it up perfectly;
“Women’s contributions to society often go un-celebrated. Whether it’s our mothers, friends or our female heroes, IWD is a great chance to appreciate the amazing women who’ve inspired us.”
Kat Brown Sugar
Kat Brown Sugar is an “Old Trafford afro child” and multi talented Mancunian artist who can be found spinning turntables at DJ gigs across the city (pandemics notwithstanding), holding down multiple radio shows (including NTS, Reform Radio, Legacy 90.1, Unity Radio and MCR Live) and performing alongside Lychee and Lyla in her band.
As a recording artist, Kat Brown Sugar incorporates neo-soul vocals, jazz and elements of R&B in her live performances. Her live setup consists of a DJ, Saxophonist, Guitarist and vocals that have garnered her much deserved attention from BBC Radio 6, BBC 1 Xtra, as well as spots on festival line ups.
Kat was the presenter of choice for the MOBO Awards at Parklife in 2017
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Jenna G aka Jenna Gibbons is the Mancunian singer, songwriter, DJ and leader known for being one of the most prolific and recognisable female vocalists in the UK Drum n Bass scene for the last decade (including mega hit In Love with Chase & Status)
Jenna recently blew the lid on the endemic inequality and exploitation of female vocalists and vocalists of colour in the dance music scene, a long-overdue conversation that needs having beyond International Women’s Day.
Catch Jenna DJing and performing live with her band Jenna & The Gs when the city reopens and in the meantime on her regular slot at Reform Radio
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Multi-threat and one of the Manchester cultural scene’s most powerful forces producer/vocalist/songwriter/production facilitator/DJ and agitator, Pops is a local and vocal icon poised for world domination.
Lead artist with RnB neo/soul group Lovescene set to feature on the UK festival circuit when it reopens in full, she can be found at Wilderness Records.
As in demand for her eloquence, sense of justice and her impeccable taste as a selector and liquid sugar voice recently showcased in a Lovescene live stream via Mcr’s Finest.
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Proving Theatre graduates can change the world via Reform Radio (who’s latest ambassador is incidentally vocal spokesperson for equality for women and POC Radio 1’s legendary Annie Mac) Rachel and her fellow director and co-founder’s (Jemma and Sam respectively) brainchild is award-winning social enterprise where her work running workshops that empower young and underserved communities via radio and music industry skills training is where she has carved out a place as a Mancunian leader.
The online radio station’s strong emphasis on providing platforms for female and diverse residents not merely pays lip service to movements such as Black Lives Matter and Me Too but works practically to create an equal and healthy cultural landscape and model for streaming services that can do more for their communities.
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Henrietta Smith–Rolla is a British born Ghanaian/Russian/German artist, composer, producer and DJ based in Manchester who’s building an empire under her moniker Afrodeutsche.
NTS regular and Boiler Room class of ‘19 she is going beyond expectations for electronic music producers. Working across a wide range of styles including classical solo piano, techno, house and electro and recently composed a 6-piece piano score for BAFTA-nominated documentary Kamali, also released as limited edition 10” Vinyl and a sample pack.
A legend in the making.
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DJ, Hacienda, Paradise Factory and Homoelectric alumni over the last 30 years, Kath McDermott is an established name in the Manchester music scene.
Involved in the scene for 30 years, Kath has DJed at most venues in the city and was a resident at Flesh at the Hacienda and now a regular at Kiss 102 and BBC radio 6.
Kath is a pioneer, don’t be fooled by her humble and low key online presence.
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Brand new Radio 1 resident, NTS Manchester regular and breakthrough artist, Anna-Marie Odubote aka Anz is known to cherry-pick from jungle, hardcore, garage, footwork and afrobeats in equal measure and has been hailed as not only one of the freshest DJs on the scene but one who’ll “give you the hardest club workouts” of your life.
More to the point we stan her message that “Making sure that if you’re in a position to make things better for other people, for Black people, that you do it. If every person did that then I think we’d be in a much better space.”
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Tht Grl has been bubbling in the Manchester DnB scene for a little while now. Recently making a name for herself as a multi-Genre DJ of DnB, Bassline, Jungle, Garage, Techno, Acid and Disco. As well as being one 7th of “home-grown ethically sourced collective of women” Not Bad For A Girl.
With a few festivals and a residency booked in just before COVID… it’s no doubt that Tht Grl is one to watch.
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