So what is International Women’s Day and why do we celebrate it? Well, the seeds of it were planted in 1908, when 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter working hours, better pay and the right to vote. It was the Socialist Party of America who declared the first National Woman’s Day, a year later. 

The idea to make the day international came from a woman called Clara Zetkin. She suggested the idea in 1910 at an International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen. There were 100 women there, from 17 countries, and they agreed on her suggestion unanimously. Clara’s idea for an International Women’s Day had no fixed date at first, but was formalised in 1917 after a war-time strike in 1917 when Russian women demanded ‘bread and peace’. Four days into the women’s strike the Tsar was forced to abdicate and the provisional government granted women the right to vote. The date when the women’s strike commenced was the 8th of March.

No no Mi In Italy, International Women’s Day, or La Festa Della Donna, is celebrated by the giving of mimosa blossom. The origin of this tradition is believed to have started in Rome after World War Two. International Women’s Day is not affiliated with any one group, but brings together governments, women’s organisations, corporations and charities through talks, rallies, networking events, conferences and marches. It is a celebration of women being mothers, entrepreneurs, community leaders, women rising up to fight the modern-day struggle of being heard without judgement.

We here at The Songbird wanted to celebrate and highlight this day so we caught up with some of our favourite women in the industry and put forward a few questions to them.

Georgia Blackman


Georgia 22 is the Founder and Editor in Chief of Happy People Music and Music Publicist of Happy People PR. The company has been going 3 years and is going from strength to strength.


1) What made you want to get into Music Journalism and PR?

When I was in my early teens, I found out slowly but surely that I loved going to gigs and documenting about it, whether it was mentally or I’d write about it on my laptop and it stemmed from that small interest and having a family friend who was an Editor at a lovely Liverpool-based blog which started my journey. PR came from my love for promoting bands and telling everyone about their music. Skip all the boring bits, I am now 22 and the head of my own music PR company and the founder of a successful online music publication that is loved across the country. I love what I do so much, it’s the most exciting job in the world and I wake up every single day happy that I work with exciting and wonderful people.


2) What female bands/artists are you listening to at the moment?

So many! Wolf Alice, SPYRES, Holly Humberstone, Pillow Queens, Phoebe Green, Cherry Glazerr, the list could go on and on.

3) Do you think the Music Industry is an equal place for men and women?

The most simple answer to this question is…no. Women are a minority in the music industry when you put everything down on the table – on so many different accounts and through my own personal experience, I have received personal attacks I’ve been publicly bullied and harassed and had defamatory comments thrown at me but, I still carry on and I still break the stigma of women being too “angry”, I want to be angry, I want to voice how I am feeling when men make me feel small. I’ve been shamed and silenced by men who think it’s okay to bring down women – it’s not an equal place but it should be. There are so many talented women.

4) Which women have inspired you in the music industry?
So, so many women and non-binary angels have inspired me, I could be here all day so I will name a few. Rebecca Mason, Ella Gregg, Lou Rogers, Elisha Cloughton, Sahera Walker, YNES, Ace Ambrose and so many more

Links
Website – http://happypeoplemusic.co.uk
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/happypplmusic

CATERINA SPERANZA

Cat is the Anglo-Italian frontwoman of the punk band Cat SFX. Forming her first band at 16 and also having a successful career as a songwriter she is now back in the studio recording with her band after making their mark with the last two tracks ‘Reunite’ and ‘Doom Generation’. Cat is an advocate for mental health awareness and does amazing things to break the stigma of talking about mental health. Cat SFX’s new track ‘All The Money In The World is out on Its Creation Baby on the 2nd April.

1) What female artists/bands do you think are killing it on the scene right now?

My favourite female artist on the scene is Lana Del Rey. She’s been around 12 years but she is still releasing relevant music, and continues to reinvent herself.

2) Who was your female music idol growing up?

My female music idols growing up were Courtney Love and Marianne Faithfull. I liked the fact they wouldn’t take any shit from anyone, and that they succeeded come hell or high water with incredible music.

3) Do you think it’s harder on women in the music industry to succeed?

Yes it’s definitely harder for women to succeed. I mean the shit that gets thrown at you, you don’t just have to grow one thick skin, you have to grow several.

4) Have you yourself ever come across prejudice or bullying from others by virtue of the fact you are female?

I have definitely been discriminated against for being female, a lot of “shut up and look pretty” and A&R people trying to make you into a pop strumpet. A woman with something to say seems to be a dangerous commodity.

5) What is your go to karaoke song by a female artist?

My go-to karaoke song is ‘What’s Up’ by Four Non Blondes, fucking classic tune!

6) Who do you think is the most influential woman is in history?

For me the most influential woman in history is Rosa Parks.

Links Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/cat_sfx

Sally Newman

Sally is, of course, the Owner and founding Partner of The Songbird HQ. She also works alongside many other sectors in the music industry, is an Artist Manager and a very recently appointed live booking agent.

What female in music inspired you when were growing up and why?

For me, it was the likes of Janis Joplin, Stevie Nicks, Blondie, Joan Baez, women who weren’t afraid to speak up and use their voices and for their music to be heard.

What songs by female artists are on your “feel good playlist”?

Same as above really! I love songs by female artists that pack a punch, the likes of Amy Winehouse should also be included in that list.

Who was the last female band/artist you saw live?

Oh that would have to be the totally amazing Cruel Hearts Club. What a band! totally love them. I was lucky enough to be at the filming of their most recent video for “Dirty Rotten Scum” back in the summer.

If you could be any female celebrity for the day who would it be and why?

Oh god, I don’t know! I’ve never been one to seek fame. I’m quite shy by nature so the idea of fame really doesn’t appeal to me.

How important is it to you to have females in your life who support and lift you up?

To me this is literally everything. I pride myself on being a good person who always goes above and beyond to support others. Its so easy to talk the talk and say “women should support women” and “be kind” but sadly all too often I’ve found that people who say these things in practice are anything but. Its very sad and totally unnecessary. We need to learn that there’s a place for everyone and you don’t need to degrade someone else in an effort to try and protect your own position.

Links

Instagram https://instagram.com/thesongbird_hq

https://www.instagram.com/sally_h_newman

Erin Power

Erin is a Music Artist and PR Manager, Promoter and Radio Plugger and runs The Songbird HQ along with The Songbirds Owner Sally Newman. She is 35 and lives on The Wirral with her 6 year old son Charlie.

1) What does being a woman mean to you?

For me, the first words I think of when I hear the word ‘Woman’ is ‘Strong’ and ‘Independent’. We carry babies for 9 months and go through the worst pain imaginable in delivering these little cherubs. We sometimes question our identity and place in the world, especially after having having children and going through maternity leave, feeling cut off from the outside world. Many of us are forced to give up our careers and then we are guilt tripped by others when we say that we miss parts of our lives before having children. There are so many old fashioned views still around on what women should and shouldn’t do. I believe that women should be able to be free to make their own choices and just because you have children you should never stop chasing and working hard towards your dreams and goals.

2) You’re a single working Mum, do you feel you’ve experienced prejudice from others because of this?

Gosh, I’m not going to lie, at times being a single Mum has been really difficult and it affected my confidence for a long time as I forgot who I was. I was used to a career as a Make Up Artist travelling around the country and attending celebrity events and being this social butterfly. When I had my son, I took on jobs in retail purely just because I needed to pay my rent but it wasn’t setting my soul on fire. Now I feel more passionate than ever to show my son that you should follow your dreams and that age or gender should never be a factor. I think people are shocked when I tell them I am a single Mum and do this job, because they wonder how on earth I juggle it all but I’ve never known any different, I’ve been a single Mum since my son turned one and I am really proud of that achievement, I don’t see it as a negative at all.

3) Do you think it’s harder for women in the music industry? 

I do, I feel like we have to prove ourselves so more and there is a pressure to look a certain way and be a certain size because for some reason women are still picked at for how they look and how much they weigh. You rarely see tabloids writing about how a guy looked on stage or the fact he’s gained a few pounds and things like that need to change. There are so many amazing female artists and bands out there,yet I feel the Unsigned scene is heavily male dominated and when you look at these big bands all their support acts are male. The same goes for music magazines, bloggers and podcasts, they are so male dominated. At The Songbird that is something we are so conscious about and want to make sure that we are fully supportive in equal amounts towards both male and female artists.

4) Who is your favourite female artist/band and why is this?

Oh I absolutely love Pixey, I have had her album on repeat, she just exudes happiness and joy. Cat SFX is just killing it and I can’t wait for the bands new track out in April, I have the utmost respect for Cat because she is doing so much to break the stigma of talking about mental health and I just have so much love for that girl. I love Haim, Jessie Ware, Lana Del Rey, London Grammar…I mean wow Hannah Reids voice is just something else!!

5) Who is your female role model/idol and why?

For me it has to be Michelle Obama for the simple fact that she was the first African/American Lady of the first African/American President and she has always stayed true to herself and her heritage, I absolutely love the woman and she is also incredibly funny, genuine and warm. Her autobiography ‘Becoming’ is a Number 1 International Bestseller which speaks volumes. She is an inspiration to so many.

Links

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/thesongbird_hq

Https://www.instagram.com/erin.thesongbird

CRUEL HEARTS CLUB (GABI AND EDIE)

GABI WOO

Gabi is the drummer in the punk-pop group Cruel Hearts Club. An explosive outlet of fearless expressionism that speaks directly to every single person that hears it, Cruel Hearts Club’s real talk grunge-pop has won over the hearts and pricked up the ears of some of the biggest names in the business since starting out just a few years ago. Their latest track ‘Dirty Rotten Scum’ is available to listen to on The Songbird HQ’s playlist ‘Songbird – IWD’ on Spotify.

1)  Who was the last female artist/band you saw live?

July Jones.


2) What female artists/bands do you think are killing it right now?

Haim & Deap Vally

3) Who was your female music idol growing up?

Debbie Harry

4) What is your go to karaoke song by a female artist?

Belinda Carlisle – Heaven Is A Place On Earth

5) Do you think it’s harder being an all female band in the industry and have you ever been subjected to any prejudice because of your gender? 

Yeah I’d definitely say it’s been a challenge for me at times. Some people automatically think because you are a girl, you don’t know what you are doing. I’ll turn up to a sound check and be sharing the drums with maybe 3 other bands with male drummers and it’s like they look down at me, but that’s why I tend to whack the drums even harder just to show them I can play just as hard as they can even if I am heavily pregnant. 

6) Who do you think is the most influential woman in history and why? 

Anne Frank, her diary was one of the first historian books I ever read and it blew my mind. What she went through…. what thousands of people went through is just unimaginable. I started writing in a diary after that and although my life is no way near like Anne’s life, it’s such a great way of just writing down thoughts and feelings. Helps with writing songs too, when you look back on what you wrote years ago.

Edie Langley

Edie is the main vocalist and also guitarist in Cruel Hearts Club along with her sister Gita who also sings in the band and plays guitar and synths. The bands musical adventure began when Edie moved to London with her sister and they recruited Gabi Woo as their drummer and after several successful tunes already under their belt they now plan to take things to the next level.

1) Who was the last female artist/band you saw live? 

Probably July Jones at our single launch at the Lexington just before the first lockdown!

2) What female artists/bands do you think are killing it right now? 

Cassyette is pretty great…she’s got an insane voice, hardcore 80’s rock vocals. I love the Nova twins too.


3) Who was your female music idol growing up?

Brody Dalle!!!

4) What is your go to karaoke song by a female artist?

Oh man…I used to love karaoke but now it’s my worst nightmare. I’d probably go for Britney!

5) Do you think it’s harder being an all female band in the industry and have you ever been subjected to any prejudice because of your gender? 

I think things are getting better every day. There are so many incredible female artists right now and everyone is celebrating them so let’s just keep heading in that direction and take over!

6) Who do you think is the most influential woman in history and why?

There are so many! I do have a soft spot for Princess Diana. She was something special for sure.

Links https://www.instagram.com/cruelheartsclub

Verona Edo

Spanish born Verona is an artist manager and manages Cruel Hearts Club and 45ACIDBABIES under her management company WILD 45 MUSIC. Now residing in London with her husband, she is paving the way for female artist managers and showing the music industry what she is made of.

1)  Who was the last female artist/band you saw live?

Cruel Hearts Club at the Lexington (London).


2) What female artists/bands do you think are killing it right now?

Obviously both my bands: Cruel Hearts Club & 45ACIDBABIES plus Deap Vally, Baby Shakes and L.A. Witch.

3) Who was your female music idol growing up?

Courtney Love 

4) What is your go to karaoke song by a female artist?

Don’t Speak by No Doubt.

5) Who do you think is the most influential woman in history and why?

Not easy to pick just one but as I always gravitate towards creative people, I would say: Frida Kahlo. She became a symbol of feminism and her paintings touched on female issues such as abortion, miscarriage, birth and much more. 

6) How did you get into music management and do you think you have had a harder job being a female manager?

I’ve been working within different areas of the music industry for 15 years and it was two years ago when I realised that working close to the artist was what I really felt passionate about. Then I found Cruel Hearts Club, fell in love with them and the rest is history!

There has been a few tough moments when some ‘old school’ men from the industry haven’t taken me seriously just for the fact of being a woman (and a foreigner!). But instead of bringing me down, that has helped me to get more strength to prove my value and fight for my dreams.  

Luckily, times are changing and the new generations are more open minded and believe in equality.

Link https://www.instagram.com/wild45music

Nikki Strange

Nikki is an Artist Manager and manages the 4 piece band The K’s who have just announced their 12 date tour with 5 dates already sold out.

1 How did you get into music management and do you think you have had a harder job being a female manager?

I’ve worked in music since leaving school, I did my work experience on TFI Friday and worked at Coda Agency and Warner. I always knew I wanted to be involved in an Artists development and I briefly worked with Trinifold Management with a band called Slydigs and this is how I met Ryan Breslin (The K’s) who was a session musician with the band at the time. Whilst on tour supporting The Who, Ryan played me some music from a brand new band called The K’s, who he’d recently met and had been invited to join, Ryan joined and about 6 months later I found myself planning their debut single release ‘Sarajevo’ which I’d just like to add, is now on over 2million streams on Spotify and the rest as they say is history!

I can’t say I’ve ever found it difficult being a female in this industry. You’re going to come across arseholes in this business, whether you are male or female, they’ll still be aresholes!

2) Do you think there are a lack of females in the music production side of things and if so why do you think that is?

Yes I definitely do, I think more options should be available in schools, for children to get an insight into different areas of music. I think it will come though, there’s nothing stopping them!

3) What female artists/bands do you think are killing it right now?

 Imelda May, I love everything she’s doing at the moment. Also Megan Wyn and Abi Rose Kelly, I’m really liking their sounds. I’d like to catch them live soon.

4) Who was your female music idol growing up?

So many! Stevie Nicks, Debbie Harry, Nina Simone, Etta James, Aretha Franklin, Janis Joplin, I always loved old music,  I looked up to those powerhouse women that were just doing their thing and doing it better than anyone else.

5) Who was the last female artist/band you saw live?

 Celeste was the last female artist I saw live, it was at a universal showcase at the roundhouse, she was incredible! 

6) What song by a female artist/band would we be most surprised to find in your playlist?

Rare by Selina Gomez was definitely one of my favourite songs of 2020

Links

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/theksofficial

Debbie Ellis & Witch Fever


Debbie Ellis manages the Manchester based grunge doom punk band Witch Fever and is also a phenomenal photographer with her own photography studio ‘A Supreme Shot’ based in Manchester. Witch Fever will be supporting ‘Idles’ on their European Tour next year playing 8 shows.


1) Debbie, how did you get into music management and do you think you have had a harder job being a female manager?
I got into music management by default. It was through my photography I found Witch Fever. I went to photograph them playing live & their raw energy & strong message just blew me away. Of course I have had negative experiences whilst managing Witch Fever that have been pretty ridiculous really, like being asked if I’m one of the bands Mums (many times) by promoters, venue staff, studio engineers etc. Once, I got banned from a venue that the band were about to play at by an overzealous bouncer which wouldn’t have happened if I was male.  I’m not phased by this kind of thing though, it just makes me want to ‘shout louder’ and when the band and myself are all in the same room we emanate a very powerful presence!


2) Have you ever come across bullying or prejudice of any sort because of your gender? 
Witch Fever – I think anyone that isn’t a cis-white man will come across bullying and prejudice of varying degrees in this industry, because it is still held up hugely by patriarchal structures and misogynistic mindsets. In 4 years of gigging we have had to deal with anything from subtle misogynistic comments, to up-skirting, sexual harassment and assault. Women, trans and non-binary people are often treated as ‘other’ in venues, on stages, in green rooms, particularly in heavier scenes, because for so long the default has been men. Lad culture is rife and it’s fucking disgusting. Everyone should be made to feel welcome in creative spaces, but we are so often pushed out. We refuse to let this affect us anymore. We’re just as capable, talented and passionate as our male counterparts so fuck em!


3) Do you think there are a lack of women and non-binary in the music industry and if so why do you think that is?

Witch Fever – Well for a start it’s no surprise that women and non-binary people feel like they aren’t welcome because we don’t see ourselves being represented equally! For example, festival and gig gender splits are so overwhelmingly male that it can feel intimidating to even try and get your foot in the door. There ARE way more female and non-binary people in bands than you think, they just don’t get as much coverage or opportunities. We’re starting to see a change to this though, so we’re very hopeful!

5) What females in your life inspire you?

Witch Fever – Our mothers!! ️ Oh and Madonna, obviously

6) Are there any other women in the music industry you’d like to give a shout-out to? 

Witch Fever – Ahhhh so many! Kris Esfandiari (King Woman), Phoebe Green, Julie Weir, Angel Olsen, Jehnny Beth, IAMDDB, FKA Twigs, Pussy Riot, Jenny Hval, noname, Adrianne Lenker, Amy Taylor and our manager, Debbie Ellis.

LINKS

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/witchfever

https:www.instagram.com/asupremeshot

Article by Erin Power and Sally Newman