Rich Mix: Youth Takeover

Gal-dem: Bridging the Gap

Gal-dem, an online magazine exclusively created and written by women of colour, teamed up with Rich Mix as part of their Youth Takeover month to curate a free music industry event that celebrated the leading women in the music industry and networking with industry professionals. In such a heavily male-dominated industry, events like this are so essential in motivating more women to enter the industry, in particular women of colour.

18:00: The evening kicked off with a speed networking session as the guests begun to arrive. It was during this time when myself and a mate of mine mingled with the other arrivals, sharing our backgrounds and passions about working within the industry. Everyone was so nice and friendly!

19:00: After the beautiful Emerald Lewis (presenter at Rinse FM and Katy B’s DJ) said her introductions, the first panel discussion of the night was within press and management. Most of the women on the panel were university educated but stressed that it was by no means essential as there were so many apprenticeships and internships out there that could lead you on the right path – networking is key!

19:40: This performance blew me away. The amazing Poppy Ajudha performed a few of her own songs with her band including Laura Misch to an audience in awe. Her sound and her voice was something I had not heard since Amy Winehouse and I recommend everyone into the jazz vibe to check her out!

20:00: The next panel to get the event back underway was the singer-songwriter panel. One of the key messages from this discussion was to take advantage of the many funding opportunities and cheap rehearsal spaces out there for budding singers/songwriters especially at the Roundhouse for 16-25 year olds.

21:00: After a 30 min Hip-hop & R’n’B DJ set by Born n’ Bread (a five girl music collective) the next panelists to join the stage were journalists & Radio presenters/producers. An interesting debate came out of the panel discussion on the future of radio and journalism especially after the rise of click bait articles and music streaming platforms.

21:40: The final performance of the night by soulful singer Fran Lobo was quirky and captivating alongside some hilarious sound bites and even included fun, interactive singing sessions with the crowd.

22:00: The final panel session of the evening was the DJs & Producers panel – and I would say the most inspiring Q&A of the night! Out of all the fields included in this event, the Djing and producing field is definitely the most male-dominated, so it was motivating to hear experiences from a female perspective and encouraging the gal dem to just go for it, push yourself out of your bubble and put your music out there.

Concluding thoughts

This was such a great night from the panel sessions, the amazing live performances to the new people that I made friends with on the night – props to Gal-dem for organizing such an inspirational event. For all those that were unaware of Gal-dem before this report, check them out here

Click here to see the Periscope video of the whole event!


Soraya Stanley

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