How many women do you know working in the music business? Are they recognised and praised by industry leaders? And do they normally shout about their achievements from the rooftops?
Studies show that women brag less at work than men and are also less inclined to self-promote.
That’s why One of One is such a vital project. Because it highlights and acknowledges the incredible female and GNC talent in the Australian music industry.
One of One and I have one thing in common – interviewing people working in different capacities in the music business. But the Aussie charity does something else – it elevates women and GNC (gender non-conforming) people on its platform.
One of the first things you’ll find on their website are these words:
“One of One is a community, and we invite you to be a part of it. We are here for you.”
And what an incredible community it is indeed.
When I first heard about One of One, I realised that many industry professionals I look up to cooperate with the charity. Amongst them are Helen Marcou (from Bakehouse Studios), Coco Eke (whom I know from her time at Bad Apples Music) and Sosefina Fuamoli (my music journo role model I interviewed for my podcast).
And that’s also how the One of One initiative was launched – through an extended network of female and GNC people supporting one another.
The three founders were Sarah Hamilton (she/her), Joanna (Jo) Cameron (she/her), and Vader Fame (they/them). In 2022, Rebecca (Bec) Young (she/her) was welcomed as a director as well. That A-team is supported and cheered on by other industry professionals contributing their time and skills to the organisation in different capacities.
One of One has been around since 2017. That’s when the first brekky was organised at Melbourne’s Bakehouse Studios. And the occasion couldn’t have been more appropriate – International Women’s Day (IWD), of course.
There’s a first-hand account of that day from Helen Marcou, which gives a bit more context as to why there was a need for such a gathering in the first place:
“In late 2016, Kirsty Rivers called me; she had been thinking a lot about the women who work in music, not necessarily artists, but those workers behind the scenes who collectively held together our music scene.
Many of these workers ran micro businesses out of their homes or tiny offices and were isolated and disconnected from their peers. We were concerned that on IWD, a day that globally recognizes working women’s suffrage through protests, events and gatherings, there was nothing that brought together these women and gender-diverse workers, particularly those from First Nations and underrepresented communities.
In March 2017, we decided to hold a breakfast at Bakehouse Studios. We were still fighting systemic and intrinsic inequality, and the day still held deep meaning for workers. We wanted to provide a sanctuary where we would share our sadness and laughter, a place for stories and to speak of challenges. A place to recognize and honour these women.“
That One of One tradition to meet on International Women’s Day has since been extended to Sydney (in 2019), Adelaide (2020) and Darwin (2022). This year, they’re hosting their first meeting in Brisbane.
Aside from the regular brekky catch-ups, One of One celebrates women and GNC people in the Australian music business in other ways.
For instance, they work with like-minded creatives and different music industry organisations sharing similar objectives to provide opportunities to develop and network.
Currently, they’re promoting a cool collab with Elefant Traks (a record label based in Sydney) and Offbeat Collective (an artist-run creative space). The 3-day camp, planned for April 2023 and dubbed ONE OFF TRAKS, will consist of curated songwriting sessions and music industry workshops.
But if you ask me, the spotlight interviews are actually the coolest thing about One of One. They aim to inspire and empower others, “whether they are people who have worked in the industry for decades, those in the middle of their careers, or paving their way into the industry and wanting to connect with others.”
From musicians (like Kee’ahn) and managers (Jane Slingo) to record label execs (Beth Appleton) and A&R professionals (Helena Ho), I find those chats quite insightful.
One of my faves is with Chryss Carr from AUM Management & PR. She wittily and humorously shares some harsh truths about the industry. So definitely check out this interview because Chryss doesn’t beat about the bush.
And you know what the best part is? You can also nominate someone to be interviewed. So if you know an awesome woman or a GNC person working in the Aussie music industry that deserves a shout-out, why not drop One of One a line on their website?
On that note, Happy International Women’s Day to all of you female-identifying readers from another gal trying to contribute her (blogging) bit to the Australian music scene.
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Check out more posts dedicated to women and GNC people in the Australian music biz:
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