Photo: Marta Salogni | By Rhian Jones, The Guardian | A good music producer facilitates a studio environment that allows an artist to plunge into the depths of their soul, and cleverly shapes the sound of their music – a bad one, meanwhile, can halt a promising career. But in 2023, 70 years on from the dawn of rock’n’roll, this tremendous power still lies in the hands of an overwhelming majority of men.

Women and non-binary people claimed less than 5% of producer and engineer credits across the top 50 streamed songs of last year, according to a recent report from Fix the Mix. Dated stereotypes have framed producing as the preserve of nerdish knob-twiddling blokes – despite there being ample historic evidence to the contrary.

The meticulous and patient work of Susan Rogers is legendary, engineering Prince records at the height of his career when studio sessions could last for days on end. Kate Bush self-produced Hounds of Love, regularly voted one of the best albums of all time for its arresting sound. Sylvia Massy has worked as an engineer and producer on music from some of the most successful rock acts of all time, including Tool, System of a Down, Skunk Anansie and Red Hot Chili Peppers. Artists including Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, Janelle Monáe, Alison Goldfrapp and Grimes are just a few in a long list of women to have production credits on their own albums.

Catherine Marks, who co-produced the recent UK No 1 debut from indie supergroup Boygenius and has worked in the industry for 17 years, says the lack of diversity is due to a ceiling that inhibits progression. “Since I started, there have been more women coming through at entry level but there’s no support,” she says. “There’s still a perception issue that impacts their ability to find management and get introduced to decision makers in the industry.”

For those who do manage to reach a professional level, a lack of imagination from music executives and artists when it comes to choosing who to work with results in what producer Marta Salogni, who has worked with Björk, MIA and Bon Iver, calls a vicious circle: “It feels safer sometimes for gatekeepers to employ the same people but if women are not being employed, they can’t build up the credits that would make sure they can be employed.”
> > > > > > > > >
Read more here:

[Thanks to Alex Teitz for contributing this article!]

Photo: Marta Salogni

Leave a Reply

Close Search Window