Saffron Records are on a mission to change the way women are perceived in the music industry, one empowered woman at a time. With Saffron Spotlights we highlight incredible female talent, asking about their music & methods. We increase their visibility and create a community of role models for future generations.
This summer we went to Larmer Tree Festival to grab some top interviews!
Larmer Tree Festival is honestly the NICEST festival you will ever go to. Within minutes of arriving on the campsite, excitedly ripping open my tent bag to pitch and go play, I realised I had, not a tent, but a waterproof square of plastic…no poles. The Larmer Tree officials chuckled ‘well basically you’re buggered aren’t you?’ but eavesdropping soon-to-be-weds (on their Larmer Tree Sten-Do) offered me a brand new one! Oh and the guy pitched it for me too… it’s just that kind of place.
The music is pretty rad too. Within the majestic Larmer Tree Gardens there was some amazing female talent played out across the five stages. From these interviews we wanted to not only showcase unique and powerful performers, but also create a community of support for young female musicians making a start in the industry.
For the full interviews check out my blog Musette or follow each artist link.
Weaving together a diverse tapestry of folk, soul, psychedelia and electronica, creating catchy songs stirring with passion. Her debut album ESKA won Mercury Prize 2015 Album of the Year.
Musical project of Kate Stables and whoever joins her. The raw beauty of album Bashed Out, along with her intimate performances, have received rave reviews from BBC 6, The Line of Best Fit and Stereogum.
Best known as one of the lead singers of Vancouver-
The gloom-pop solo project of multi-instrumentalist and visual artist Laura Kidd. Her third album Direction of Travel received support from BBC6 Music’s Lauren Laverne, plus The Line of Best Fit.
All female DJ collective with 10 DJs in Bournemouth, Bristol, London, Oxford and Cornwall. Creating a support network of female artists, they put on top nights around the UK.
Below are some of the most inspiring thoughts from our chosen artists’ interviews. These common themes emerged between the women, even though questions were as broad as ‘What’s your advice for young women in the music industry?’ Interestingly not all of them are directly related to music, but all are part of these women’s artistry and identity as a whole.
Thoughts on artistry
She Makes War
Ideas are worth more than anything else. Your ideas are worth much more than the gear you have.
Engage in your instrument for the pure joy of it.
Don’t do it to go into the industry, do it because you love your art.
This is the Kit
‘Bashed out’ is about how we get done in by life, but then we can turn it around, or it can all of a sudden turn itself around, and it’s good to keep going.
Surround yourself with like minded people, people who support you and you’ll be fine.
Thoughts on songwriting
Ruby: I’ve brought a song to the band and been convinced it’s going to be great and actually it hits like a lead balloon…sometimes I’ve found those ones end up some of our strongest songs even though they were some of our most painful to literally give birth to… like ‘aaaaaah!’ then actually when you get there it’s amazing.
This is the Kit
I feel it’s important for a song to work in an arrangement and other contexts, but – one person singing it – that has to work first before I feel like it’s a finished song.
Thoughts on being yourself
This is the Kit
If you can tap into your inner punk and just not care what anyone thinks and just be who you are for people, and then if they like what you do they’ll come to you, and if not… well 🙂
It’s not always easy being yourself, but doing it and chipping away, that does become clearer the picture does becomes a bit more decipherable.
Remember to support yourself… and other people. I think it’s important to bear in mind the idea of community… I don’t think you can get by in music without that.
Remain clear about why you’re in it and what you’re doing, so you don’t get led astray, even by the lifestyle or the expectations of the industry. It’s really about your life and how you want to live it, not to let anyone else define that for you, as an artist and and just as a person, there are no real rules, you can make it up as you go along.
Humans really respond to realness, more than we realise. It’s okay to go for realness as a physical persona, as everything.
My job is to be very vulnerable to people, as a society we don’t feel comfortable but we look to artists to be exposed and that allows us, as a culture that is shut down, to remain human.
Sometimes you have to confront yourself to gain confidence, rather than hiding in your social scene.
She Makes War
When asked about the sadness of her ‘breakup songs’:
I’m not massively in to positive music because I think it’s just bragging…I suppose some people find that aspirational (and people really like happy music, so thats cool) I don’t really, I prefer to hear something more introspective and more honest…for me it just gets me through this stuff, and I think people really respond to me sharing this stuff honestly.
Thoughts on body confidence
Feel free to express yourself in fashion no matter what your size.
True freedom from oppression is joy…so go out in your sequins and have fun with your friends.
Describing how, when filming naked for live audio visuals, the crew became naked with her in what was a respectful and liberating experience. The directors knew how important her trust was, and held this preciously.
I felt by the end of the process it wasn’t about me, it was about others asking themselves, how naked am I? How naked could I be?
Don’t ever be afraid of yourself, do not ever be scared of who you are, don’t be ashamed, be empowered in all your womanhood, celebrate that, be outmost creative, have intention in your life, whatever you do…and, you can change people.
I had some pretty serious Larmer Tree withdrawal symptoms after leaving this oasis of kind, loving and thoughtful people! Everyone I spoke to seemed to have a shared understanding that somehow if they expressed the way they uniquely were, they had already won. They all had a confidence in themselves, a genuine strength and a fully functioning bullshit detector. You know the cliche that you shouldn’t have to live up to other people’s standards? Well, the artists at Larmer Tree really demonstrated how that world would look. Even better is the attitude that came with it: ‘well of course..? Haven’t you always lived your life this way?’
The community really reminded me that achieving what you want in the music industry – protecting your art, ensuring you are valued for your art itself – requires support. And thats what Saffron works to create!
– written by PR Intern, Megan India McGurk