I have the pleasure of knowing many beautiful and supportive women. In the past month I have had immeasurable support from several of them. From my team in Swords of Cygnus, to the buhurt warriors across the globe during the #buhurtbikinipullupchallenge. From the women in my family, to many women in music. It fills me with rejoice that the list is too long to name them one by one, but in this piece I would like to make a special mention to a group of unbelievably generous and incredibly talented women I’ve had the honour of working with.
Last month JoanOvArc posted a call out to all women warriors to be part of their up coming music video for their epic song Girls Wanna Rock. Naturally I could not resist such a calling as I’ve been embracing my inner warrior in full form for just about 2 years now thanks to discovering HMB! During the run up to shoot day, I was asked to be the leader of the women’s army for the video shoot. What an honour! Once again, how could I resist?
Before you know it, it’s shoot day! Discovering we have the one and only John Altman directing the video, and getting to meet Gary-Anthony Rogers and Andre Govia, both experienced professionals, made the shoot even more exciting! This is certainly a giant leap from making amateur home videos with college friends. Needless to say, it was an amazing experience and I cannot wait to see the final cut video!
But let me tell you a bit more about JoanOvArc.
JoanOvArc are a rock band who’ve been in the industry for over a decade. They have played across the UK, Europe and USA. They have battled through difficulties of addiction and the sexist oppression that many women in the music industry face. They have worked hard, never giving up on their life’s passion, and it shows. But making their music a success is not enough for them.
JoanOvArc work hard to raise money for charity, having played many many charity gigs and events. In fact, a percentage of proceeds made from the release of Girls Wanna Rock will go towards a Breast Cancer charity!
And yet, I hear the cynics out there, “So they have a successful band and help charities. That’s easy to do, and doesn’t prove anything as the type of people they are”… so let me give you a bit more insight having not only worked with JoanOvArc on the music video, but also having performed with them onstage. I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know these ladies on a more personal level and they truly are amazing!
JoanOvArc are all about supporting and empowering other women. In a creative industry such as the music industry, it can be easy to become defensive. I’ve known many women you’ve only seen other women in the industry as a threat to their own success, and so can close themselves off, even refuse to gig alongside other women. How ridiculous is that!? The path to growing the industry for female musicians is through teamwork and encouragement! This is a message I believe that is within the very ‘DNA’ of JoanOvArc. They are constantly encouraging other female musicians and bands, wanting to play shows with them, giving advice freely and promoting them where they can!
Being around JoanOvArc and feeling their honest attitude about this subject is refreshing and restores my faith. It can always seem a struggle to make a name for yourself, and as a woman who has been in the music industry around 5 or so years myself, I have experienced many different attitudes. I whole heartedly agree with JoanOvArcs point of view,- women should uplift each other, encourage each other to keep working hard and rejoice in each others success! The most important thing to remember is, we are all individual. We are all unique. Some of us may create similar music, may sing in a similar way, my naturally embrace a similar style; but it will never be the same! We each bring a significantly different perspective and creative input! So stop being afraid! You will need to put in the hard work to find and create your sound, you will need to put even more hard work into finding your audience especially if your sound is more niche. But the music business has never been easy. And in my experience, the more respectful and kind you are to other people in the industry, the more respect and kindness you’ll receive.