Sometimes it’s hard to be a woman…

Since an early age I have been quite adept in the fields of engineering, a girl among few that seemed to excel in these subjects. Physics always made sense to me, I won prizes in it at school, I was always a deep thinker, I naturally studied things, and how they worked and fitted together. I was also born an artistic creative soul and have always been deeply into music. It is funny how even if we look back at our youth, no matter the journey in between we often end up very close to where we started in one way or another.

I wasn’t really like most of the other girls in my school. Maybe this was part of the reason I was bullied. I used to fix people’s personal stereos and I found a close relationship with mine and the music tapes I had in it. From my early teen years this small device went everywhere with me and was my friend and comfort. Funny how now, music has ended up having to serve the same kind of purpose in my life after all these years.

When I lived in London I ended up getting into DJ’ing, another technical hobby that is not a standard female practice and another world where even if you are good, as a female your skills can be left unnoticed unless you are prepared to sell your soul or your body, which is fine if your internal conscience can cope with that, and boy I wish mine did sometimes, but unfortunately or fortunately the way I was brought up, the soul I am, just disagreed with doing things that didn’t agree with my heart. If I got with a guy, it was because I had a genuine attraction to something about him, not about where he could get me or what he had. This did not bode well for me to move up the ranks in my career as a DJ. It was always frustrating to be as good as the lads, be able to do what they do as well as they could, but when it came to gigs and being booked, it was generally the guys that got the breaks. We girls on the scene at this time in the mid 90’s were allowed to get the odd back room 2 slots, we were allowed to do radio shows, and we were allowed to hang out and have fun. It was often hard to get paid and often there was little or no pay, but still for some reason I was compelled to do it because I just loved mixing music an being part of the scene.

Having never really “made it” as a female DJ, and having had situations bring me to my knees emotionally, life took me to return to higher education as a mature student, I began with a course in Multimedia and Web Design, that progressed to a degree in Audio Technology with Multimedia and then onto study a masters MA Innovation & Entrepreneurship. The whole way it has been hard to get the grades, regardless of my abilities. I have always been in a small minority of females on the courses I have taken and had to encounter varying degrees of sexual discrimination, some that were just part of the usual banter you come to expect and others more subtle and manipulative within the systems that be.

There have been many times where I have given up for a short time having been de-motivated and demoralised with the results I was receiving after trying so hard to achieve but I have always bounced back not willing to throw in the towel and ready to run the next road trying to get “there”.

My journey headed into quite lonely and long road, but I have now been on it far too long and gone too far to turn back and give up. What I have built is so integrally part of me now as an person, as a soul, as an artist, that I have to continue to do it.

I am aware that the music industry is a tough place for females, and truthfully sometimes I wish I had been born a male, because it would have made my life a damn site easier with the kind of passions and mind I have in respect of career choice and what my soul has lead me to find is my calling. It’s always been a struggle, I’ve always been good at what do, always had intelligence, always had the stamina, always had the vision, the ideas and so many of the attributes required to be taken seriously but I am a woman and sadly that attribute changes everything, even in this day and age. I did try to follow other career paths in my life, but this is the only one that feels right.

I am now deeply into producing music, usually some format of house flavoured music. I have spent the last 8-10 years developing my skills as a producer, largely on my own self teaching and experimenting with various software packages, vst’s and pluggins trying to get great at what I do and like the sound of what I am producing. I have always written poetry and lyrics but I have only just started to add this aspect of my own voice to my tracks. Previously they were just instrumental compositions or I used accapella vocal samples to create the expression I was trying to create.

In tandem with developing my music and furthering my education, I have been setting up my own small business and building my baby Vital Grooves as a net label brand platform for my music. It’s been a slow incremental dynamic process and everyday another thing on the list gets done.

All that I do with this process gives meaning and purpose to my life every day, and a much needed outlet for my creativity as an artist. It is just part of my journey, I know not where it will lead, but I am ever hopeful that somebody somewhere will think I am worth investing in as an artist. Until then I shall remain true to the artist I am, living on a dream, working on a shoe string, just trying my best to keep it all moving…the journey continues…

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