Equalizer Project, Now in Its Fourth Year, Makes Strides in Increasing Female Representation in Music

In 2017, Spotify launched the Equalizer Project to highlight the underrepresentation of female and non-binary creators in the Nordic music industry—and provide them with the knowledge and inspiration they need to level the playing field. Since then, Equalizer has supported numerous Nordic creators, including Sarah Dawn Finer, Petra Marklund, Sabina Ddumba, Silvana Imam, and Janice, through networking meetings, producer camps, and more.

Initiatives like Equalizer are still much needed: Behind the 50 most played songs on Spotify in Sweden in 2019, only 4.1% of the producers were women. Among the songwriters, only 20% were women. This shows a marked increase from 2018, when only 0.8% of producers and 10% of songwriters were women, and from 2017, when none of the producers were women—but there remains significant ground to be gained.

“It feels more important than ever to continue working with Equalizer when the year has brought such extensive challenges for the entire music industry, says Jenny Hermanson, Nordic MD, Spotify. “Although the statistics show a small step in the right direction, with more women represented as songwriters and producers behind the most-played songs, gender equality is an issue that must constantly be addressed.”

This year, we’ve continued Equalizer by creating a totally virtual program that will continue to give music creators knowledge and inspiration. From new videos that teach music production to a digital inspiration conversation with British hitmaker Charli XCX, here’s what participants have to look forward to:

Equalizer Project landing page

To make all things Equalizer accessible in one place, we’ve created a new landing page, spotify.com/equalizer. Head there for information about the project, including the networking sessions, producer camps, dinners, and Way Out West Festival Talks we’ve put on so far, and how Nordic creators can apply for Equalizer’s upcoming events.

Music production tutorials 

On the new landing page, you’ll also be able to find a brand-new video series featuring some of Sweden’s most prominent producers as they guide viewers through various elements in music production. Watch as Jenny and Cecilia of Vaz show how they create their unique sound and beats; studio manager Linn Fijal and artist Vilma Colling instruct how to best record a piano; and Tami T gives her best tips for working effectively in the studio. Now a taste of the Equalizer sessions can be available to anyone looking to hone their skills.

“The way I have learned about music production is all thanks to online tutorials,” says Tami T. “I love living in an age where you can cherry-pick from information and skills that people make available, and it feels really exciting to share some insights on how I do things.” 

Virtual Equalizer talk

In the past, Equalizer has arranged networking meetings for producer and songwriter talents with Katy Perry and Max Martin. This year, we’re announcing a virtual Equalizer Talk focused on creativity with British singer-songwriter and producer Charli XCX. Tune in on November 10 to hear Charli explain the inspiration behind her latest album, how i’m feeling now, which was released during the lockdown. The conversation will end with a Q&A with Charli.

“Obviously this year has been difficult and challenging on so many levels and so I think it’s important to be really open and have conversations with the community surrounding you,” says Charli. “Being creative has really gotten me through this time, particularly at the beginning, so it’s important for me to create an open dialogue with the artistic community. We’re in this together.”

“We are happy to have some of Sweden’s leading producers with us to continue to inspire more music creators,” adds Jenny Hermanson. “Another positive thing about this year’s strategy is that we have the opportunity to reach more people than we would have just done with physical events.”

Registration is now available here for 100 female and non-binary creators from across the Nordics.  

Head to the new site spotify.com/equalizer to learn more about Equalizer.