Words by Rachel Short
Photography supplied by One of One
The music industry can be an intimidating entity, rarely transparent to those outside of it and – unless you know someone right in the thick of it – sometimes hard to crack. We are exposed to artists all the time, but what about all the other jobs that exist within the industry?
Enter One of One, a website founded by Sarah Hamilton, Joanna Cameron and Vader Fame. One of One celebrates the stories of women in the music industry and publishes an interview every week with a new lady, asking them to share their stories about the ways in which they help the music industry tick.
With a less artist-heavy focus, the space exists for more behind-the-scenes roles in the industry to shine through; even women that have jobs that perhaps we didn’t know existed in the first place.
Launched in March, One of One has already published almost 25 interviews with women working in record labels, music publicity, digital distribution, audio engineering, blogging, production, bands and management.
The three women behind the project all come from the music industry themselves — Cameron having been with AIR for the past six years and Hamilton and Fame working for digital distribution company, Ditto. They all know exactly what it’s like to be a woman in the music industry right now and have brought forth One of One to spread the word to everyone else.
There are two methods that they use to find interview subjects — the first is a large database that the three women have put together simply from the networking that has come through their jobs and the second is a nomination form on the website, which people can use to put forward a suggestion to interview someone they think is killing it in the music industry at the moment.
“We want to talk to women in many different areas and at all the different levels of their career,” says Hamilton.
So what do the women in the interviews talk about? The responses have been quite positive up to this point, but the site is also a great platform for women to be honest about their experiences within their careers. “We just really wanted it to be open so people could do what they wanted with it. We ask if they’ve faced any challenges and some talk about their negative experiences, but others focus on their positive experiences,” says Hamilton.
Perhaps the most important aspect for One of One is that women are able to make their voices heard. “One woman said she was so happy to get some recognition because everyone works so hard and you just keep going and going and it’s nice to just stop and realise that people appreciate what you’re doing,” says Hamilton.
“We all get really excited reading the responses to the questions,” Fame chimes in. “Yeah — I love reading about what advice they want to give to people aspiring to enter the music industry, but also finding out how they de-stress and what their favourite karaoke song is,” adds Hamilton.
One of One is an important website because as we all know, sometimes in male-dominated industries, women’s voice can be muffled. The focus of One of One has meant that people looking to enter the industry – who have recently graduated or otherwise – can use the site as a resource to discover the many different roles within the industry that they might not have known about.
“My experience so far with the site has been young women and men at university who are looking to enter the industry. They are excited about it as a source to get motivated and help them understand which direction to take,” Fame says.
Fame recently graduated from an Entertainment Business Management bachelor at JMC and mentioned that a lot of the women in her course had become disheartened by the difficulties they faced in trying to enter the workforce using their degree and consequently have given up on finding a job in the music industry. Interestingly, only three members of her graduating class were male.
The three women say that women are much better represented in the music industry than people are led to believe, especially in music technology sectors. Mentioning attending a panel on music technology not long before we spoke, Hamilton and Fame were surprised to see an all-male panel. “But a lot of people have commented that for panels, our website can be a great resource to find women to speak,” Hamilton says.
“I guess what we wanted to do was show that there are a lot of women working in the industry.”
The future for One of One looks sunny, with the women hoping to one day make it international, rather than just Australian focused. They also speak optimistically of branching out into other industries like filmmaking and photography.
“I think having the community is what I really love about it,” says Hamilton. She says they’ve had a lot of support from Music Victoria and will be taking the site to Brisbane music conference Big Sound as a part of the women in music panels. They all agree that the support for One of One from people in the music industry and their readers has been huge.
“I guess it’s that thing of when you start something you realise how much of a conversation is happening already,” enthuses Hamilton.
Check out the website here
Also if you wanna nominate someone to be interviewed, contact the girls at firstname.lastname@example.org