Music Publishers Canada CEO on a new initiative to accelerate gender equity in music production

Sierra Noble

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Did you know that according to Billboard Hot 100, women only make up 2% of producers?

Montreal Rocks got to speak with Margaret McGuffin (CEO of Music Publishers Canada (MPC)) who is trying to lessen this staggering imbalance.  Shedding some much-needed light on the secret side of the music industry, Margaret is creating a space where women, gender-fluid, non-binary and gender non-conforming participants have access to a series of curated workshops, educational sessions, and networking opportunities.

“Many young girls don’t see this path. If they don’t see women in these roles, they don’t necessarily see themselves and the opportunities for themselves,” explains Margaret.

Margaret helped create a game-changing initiative called Women in the Studio National Accelerator

“It’s a seven-month program with formalized webinars and technical classes, with informal opportunities for collaboration.  The participants are encouraged to share ideas and information and work on each other’s projects.

MPC is a trade association for all of the major and independent music publishers operating in the space. I always say it is the best-kept secret in the music industry but music publishers work on a daily basis with composers, songwriters and producers. So, producers are an important part of this space for us and we really looked at the fact there were so few women in the production field.  And we really felt that we had to address that.  So we have some really strong volunteers in our organization and with their leadership and my staff we were able to launch this program 3 years ago.”

The program is national but the volunteers and mentors come from all over the world and they were fortunate enough to get Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee Linda Perry. Perry was the lead singer and primary songwriter of 4 Non Blondes, founded two record companies, composed and produced hit songs “Beautiful” (Christina Aguilera), “Get the Party Started” (P!nk) and “What Are You Waiting For?” (Gwen Stefani) 

“A producer is someone who evokes emotion and captures it on the microphone.” Linda Perry

“Women often feel like they don’t have a voice in the studio. They know in their head how they want their track to sound but they are not given the respect or feel intimidated.” MM

Now with funding from Factor, the government of Canada and RBC, this year they have 10 participants from including Montreal’s very own DJ Killa-Jewel

For more information on Women In The Studio National Accelerator please visit https://www.musicpublisher.ca/women-in-the-studio-national-accelerator-2021-meet-our-producers/

You can watch the full interview with Margaret McGuffin on our YouTube channel below.

“The MPC has consistently advocated the federal government for the rights of its music publishers, who represent, and invest in, thousands of Canadian songs and songwriters, heard daily on radio, streaming services, in videogames, and in film, television, and other screen productions, worldwide. The organization has pursued the modernization of the Copyright Act, and a review of CRTC Commercial radio policy.”

For more info visit musicpublisher.ca

Annette Aghazarian

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