May 9, 2018
FIRST THOUGHT: No Free Work
When you’re in a creative industry, you often encounter what I call Discount Dan and Entitled Ethel. These are the people who shamelessly expect you to provide your creative services for next to nothing. A friend of a friend asks an editor to “just look over” his resume (aka for free), a customer asks a designer to create at least six versions of her company logo by this weekend and is appalled at the expedited fee, and so on. From now on, ladies, don’t undervalue your creative work. Demand respect and appropriate payment for your creative endeavors. After all, just because it’s creative work doesn’t mean it doesn’t have real value.
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: Early 1990s
It can be difficult to gain respect as a creative, especially if you’re a woman in a sea of men. That’s precisely what happened in the early 1990s, when a group of women in Olympia, Wash., gathered to talk about how to address sexism in the punk-music scene. Feeling they weren’t being validated for their musical contributions, they decided they wanted to start a “girl riot.” The term and their refusal to bow down to the male-dominated punk scene eventually led to the powerful feminism-focused Riot Grrrl movement. This golden moment in history influenced women to embrace control of their content, from creating and performing their own music to writing lyrics specific to the female experience, and spawned some seriously groundbreaking girl bands that invigorated a whole new generation of female musicians and fans.
WOMAN TO WATCH: Molly Neuman, Global Head of Business Development at Songtrust
One of the most notable Riot Grrrl bands was the uncompromisingly rebellious Bratmobile. Their first album’s raw fury and jittery beats deeply spoke to women in the ’90s and beyond. Today’s Woman to Watch, Molly Neuman, formerly Bratmobile’s drummer, is continuing to make strides in the music industry, ensuring creatives’ voices are heard and respected.
Molly came onto the music scene with a real D.I.Y. approach. Big-time labels certainly weren’t super-eager to take female punk rockers seriously, so it took plenty of gusto to take the stage in a commanding and unapologetic manner. The mentality that women deserve to express themselves and be given an appropriate platform to do so led Molly from her onstage gig to a more behind-the-scenes job as the co-owner of the wildly influential Lookout Records independent record label and later, to a variety of music-industry jobs, including the position of vice president of the American Association of Independent Music and Kickstarter’s first-ever head of music.
In remaining true to her expertise of all things music, Molly’s got a new gig as the global head of business development for Songtrust, a super-cool biz that provides a tech solution to music publishing, giving creators and businesses control over their publishing royalties.
Billboard included Songtrust on its list of Top 10 Music Startups, and it’s clear why. Collecting royalties and distributing them accurately and fairly to music-business professionals can be complicated, but Songtrust’s software simplifies music-publishing administration and ensures the maximum amount of publishing royalties end up in the right hands. It’s a modern service for an ever-evolving industry, and one that thrives, thanks, in part, to Molly’s expertise leading sales, marketing and biz development for Songtrust, which represents more than 100,000 songwriters and 15,000 publishers, and manages more than 1 million songs globally.
That’s a lot to oversee, but if there’s anyone who can do it, it’s the woman who was foundational in initiating the influential Riot Grrrl movement and boldly continues to be an innovative force in the music industry. You rock, Molly!
QUITE THE QUOTE
Let’s finish up today’s story of a badass rocker with a quote from the Riot Grrrl manifesto:
“Girls constitute a revolutionary soul force that can and will change the world for real.”
This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.