LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE GIRLS: MUSIC APP CHALLENGES GENDER IMBALANCE IN MUSIC WITH ALL-FEMALE MUSICAL EVENT
The team behind revolutionary new music app, Pefoma, has announced (today) that they are to host a special female-only showcase event on Sunday 26th September called ‘Athena Unplugged’, aimed at helping to redress the under-representation of women in music.
The event, which is in collaboration with international, female-led management company, Embrace Music Management, will celebrate women in the music industry with an entirely female line-up, conceived and created by an all-female crew. The performances will be live streamed via the Pefoma app from 5-7pm on Sunday 26th September.
The concept was borne from reflection on the UK 2021 festival season, which has seen record ticket sales and has certainly been one to remember. Yet, there has been a serious lack of female acts in the line-ups. One of the UK’s biggest dance festivals featured a shocking 91% male line-up, while another multi-genre big name festival was made up of 73% male acts. The Pefoma app didn’t think this was fair – or reflective – so set out to do something about it, co-creating the Athena Unplugged event in the process.
Co-founder of Pefoma, Emma Arinze, comments: “Whilst the music industry is making progressive steps in becoming more representative, it’s still a sad fact that men are signed more frequently, aligned with more collaborators and picked to headline shows more often. This has to change.”
She continues, “Pefoma is committed to promoting diversity and equality of all forms in the music industry. We recognise the powerful contributions that women make to the music scene and believe that they deserve equal representation when it comes to getting booked. Gigs should be given on talent, not gender. Our ‘Pefoma Presents’ shows to date have been made up of 72% female acts, and this month we’re proud to be collaborating with a female-led music management team to dedicate a live music session solely to women.”
“The concept of the Athena Unplugged sessions is to champion these hard working, talented and strong women in music. Women have contributed so much to the music industry yet have to work so much harder to be heard, recognised and enjoy the same level of success as their male counterparts”.
The name of the show was inspired by the Greek Goddess, Athena. The most potent woman within Greek mythology, Athena and what she represents has had a huge cultural impact throughout multiple millennia. To the Pefoma team, she symbolises the strength in femininity that is often overlooked, and that they want to highlight through the upcoming show. But as well as their stance on inequality, the event has been created to be a fun way to access brilliant, new female-led music from around the world.
Kicking off the stellar line-up is Rebecca Garton – born in Ghana but now living in London, Rebecca’s music is an enticing concoction of R&B, Afrobeats and pop, infused with life stories and experiences. Her forthcoming EP is largely about female empowerment, so Rebecca was a natural fit to headline Athena Unplugged.
Joining Rebecca is special guest Alysha, also from London but with a Cuban-Indian heritage. The rising star has a hypnotic new sound cataloguing heartbreak, the tangle of coming of age and the unstoppable pulse of the city. Her fusion of lo-fi neo-soul and pulsating R&B encircles her velvety vocals and intuitive songwriting, setting her aside as one to watch in 2021.
Beth George is establishing herself as a progressive force in the next wave of Gen Z voices, delving into the depths of sound to voice her own personal experiences, providing a musical narrative for a disenchanted generation. Beth’s unique sound caught the ears of BBC Introducing and her track “Haywire” was featured, launching her career as a bonafide artist.
Chloe Ann has also been named one to watch by BBC Introducing after having her first two single releases go straight to track of the week. Hailing from Leicester, the singer/songwriter draws on inner strength and empowerment in her music, making it a powerful listen.
Diva Brown is a multifaceted artist that has been exposed to different cultures and genres, ranging from Afrobeat to Reggaeton, Hip Hop and more – her understanding of all these different sounds and unpredictability will take you on a journey that will leave a memorable impression on you.
Sophie Castillo is a musician based in West London. Born to a Colombian mother and a Cuban father, her musical influences stretch across the Atlantic and all the way back to her place of birth, London, to produce the alternative pop sound with a Latin twist she makes her own.
Khalysis are a sister duo from Hartlepool who write, produce, record and perform all their own original songs that they refer to as commercial with a hint of dancehall and reggaeton.
Kaey is an up-and-coming artist based in London who describes her music style as “it’s like if Aaliyah, The Weekend and Jorja Smith had a weird baby”! Her influences stem from old school R&B but have fused with the newer artists of this generation.
Rounding off the stellar line up for Athena Unplugged is Gisèle, an East London singer and songwriter who brings nothing but good vibes. Specialising in the Afro Swing genre, Gisèle’s music boasts of worldwide influences and being multilingual, she focuses on creating upbeat UK, French and Afro inspired music for her audience.
Pefoma Presents Athena Unplugged will be available to watch live via the Pefoma app from 5-7pm on Sunday 26th September.