While forging a career as one of Australia’s most exciting new producers, Woodes has never been afraid to call out behaviour she disagrees with. In fact, it’s the inspiration behind her newest single Run For It.
One of the quieter ways Woodes throws herself against the problem of gender imbalance in music is a Spotify playlist, aptly titled Boss Women. A personal project for more than two years, it’s a direct line for fans and Woodes herself to highlight, appreciate and discover women around the world doing amazing thing artistically.
We caught up recently to ask her about the playlist, why it was made and the ongoing discourse that it’s about time we changed.
Keep listening, keep sharing, keep supporting: if you’re looking for a new Spotify playlist to follow, Woodes has 7 hours of Boss Women waiting for you.
HAPPY: What was it that made you want to start the Boss Women playlist?
WOODES: I started my Boss Women playlist two years ago on International Women’s Day. It initially started as 30-50 songs that I wanted to share with friends but has now grown into being over 100. It’s made up of local and international artists. Some are quite old songs and others are brand new discoveries.
Sometimes I read articles that say “festivals would book more female artists… if there were more female artists” and it’s so incorrect. This of course is part of a larger issue, as festivals book artists based on stats and ticket sales. But I think across the board more blogs, radio stations, venues, bookers, promoters and festivals should celebrate and offer more female artists opportunity.
HAPPY: How have fans responded to your playlists?
WOODES: I use Spotify every day as a human, regardless of being an artist. I’m a big music consumer and find a lot of joy in music finding an artist in their early stages. My playlists are a shortlist of the many playlists I keep. I never really check ‘numbers’ on them, but it’s nice to know it’s slowly being discovered without me promoting them. I use my ‘Sleep’ playlist every night before I go to bed and I use my ‘Run For It’ playlist on my runs and at the gym. My female focused playlist is one I put on in the background when I’m driving or in the studio when I’m searching for inspiration. They’re quite personal and very well thought out for me.
I’ve had a bunch of shout outs on Twitter from people discovering them and finding new music from them, which is the ultimate goal. There’s seven hours worth of music in my playlist. I want people to discover their new favourite artist on there.
HAPPY: Who are some other artists you admire for throwing their weight into this issue?
WOODES: I honestly feel like every female identifying artist in Australia is weighing in, in some capacity, just by putting their voice into the void and pushing through.
For me personally I love watching and reading interviews with Björk, Imogen Heap, Grimes, St. Vincent, Jessie Reyez, Sylvan Esso and Banks where they talk about their experiences and the future of music moving forward. Often it’s the interviews where they’re just like, “yep, this is how it is, stop calling me a female producer, let’s move forward and create” that I’ve found the most motivating for me personally. There shouldn’t even be a divide. I love watching these and feeling like I’m part of a wider community of innovators that support one another. Björk and Grimes motivate me the most I’d say. Björk is so peaceful and direct about her involvement in her records. She’s extremely prolific and forward thinking.[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/328190951″ params=”color=000000&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]
HAPPY: What made you want to take it outside of Australia?
WOODES: I love Europe and the UK for music, a majority of the music I listen to is from that part of the world. I find it very inspiring for whatever reason. I wasn’t necessarily making a point of taking it internationally… it was just based on taste and organically adding what I love listening to. There’s a lot of Australian music on there too!
HAPPY: Aside from listening to the playlist, what do you think a music fan can do to pick away at gender imbalance?
WOODES: At venues – call out behaviour that doesn’t sit well with you, I’ve found that if I’ve been uncomfortable at a venue, or have been grabbed etc. I talk to security and they are diligent in kicking people out.
Reviewers – stop calling female voices sultry or describing our bodies when we play live. Don’t focus on age. Stop belittling risks or asking us when we want to start a family over how we crafted our music or saying “woweee that all sounds so technical” when we talk about production or engineering. It’s the whole conversation around it that needs changing. Fans will read that, children will see that and think that’s just how things go. It’s not one singular element. But ultimately, to music fans directly: keep listening, keep sharing, keep supporting. Weigh in when people are trolls.
HAPPY: Will you ever stop adding to it?
WOODES: As long as I exist I’ll be discovering, celebrating and loving music, especially crafted by women. And as long as Spotify exists that’s where I’ll be storing those discoveries.
Follow the playlist here.
Woodes is about to kick off an east coast tour, supporting her newest single Run For It across three dates. Grab tickets and any extra info you need right here.
Sat July 8 – The Workers Club, Melbourne
Fri July 14 – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane
Sat July 15 – Brighton Up Bar, Sydney