At Public Hi-Fi Studios with producers (lr) Jim Eno, Gina Chavez and Lucille Garner (Photo by Jana Birchum)
Monday at Jim Enofrom the Tarrytown studio, he and Gina Chavez talk about the latest demo of an upcoming co-produced track in the works. Over the past year, the Spoon drummer invited eight women and non-binary artists to produce songs from his public hi-fi studio, hoping to improve the abysmal statistics on gender inclusion in music production. A 2021 report from the Southern University Annenberg Institute of California found that women make up only 2.6% of popular music producers.
Review the nominated songs for Grammys and on the Billboard Hot 100 year-end chartsthe study also found that the number of women producing hit songs actually decreased from 2019 to 2020. No woman won the Grammy for Producer of the Year (Non-classical) within 46 years of the price. Although it is more difficult to count participation beyond popular music, previous polls by Women’s Audio Mission and the audio engineering company to place the representation of women in manufacturing and engineering fields in the United States below 10%.
With these numbers in mind, Chavez suggested the name “Draft pull” – a way to gain a foothold in the recording industry.
“I never thought of myself as a producer until I talked to Jim,” Chavez says. “In the past, I was fighting for co-production credits on my own. [music]. It’s something I wouldn’t have been able to ask for if I hadn’t talked to other songwriters and said, “I deserve it. These are conversations that I think need to happen more often.”
Alongside Chavez, Eno works with Texan artists Emilie Basez (ley line), Kam franklin (suffers them), Lucille Garnier, Marclaire Glaeser (Lady Heartwing, KVN), Sara Houser, Megz Kelli (Magna Carda), and Grace Youn on the new business.
“I’ve worked with so many great female musicians and I’m like, ‘Man, she could produce easily. Why isn’t she producing?'” Eno says. “So I had the idea to invite a group of women and work together on tracks. We choose the groups and work on demos until mixing, laying the groundwork and gaining ground in the areas of production and recording.”
The resulting eight songs will eventually be released as an album, starting with the release of Project Traction’s first single next week. Before working with Eno on a track for a Houston artist Uncle TinoChavez had never produced outside of his own latin grammys-nominated pop music. In an interview earlier this week, she happily announced her departure from her job of 11 years to work full-time on music.
A former electrical engineer, Eno made the leap decades ago after launching Public Hi-Fi in 1998 to record Spoon’s third album. girls can say. Since then, the building next door to Eno’s house has been renovated into a two-story sound haven, which previously housed the likes of Lady Gaga and Justin Timberlake. Along with community connections like the Confessional song series of podcasts, Eno has also hosted a group of production students each year from Ohio University for six years. During the pandemic, he looked for an opportunity to work directly with more women and non-binary artists.
“The statistic was thrown around the fact that if you look at the recording and production fields in the United States, there are between 5 and 10 percent women,” says Eno. “It’s ridiculous. I have this great studio. I love mentoring. I love teaching. Maybe I can help make this better. Because with a little direction, there’s no far from being a musician or singer-songwriter to actually produce.”
Graduated from Berklee College of MusicAustin’s Sara Houser led an indie-pop troupe Low in and more recently launched solo SL Houser. Having recorded vocals on Spoon’s burning thoughtsEno contacted Houser early last year to get the ball rolling on their co-production of a song for locals Lizzy Lehman. Houser says Project Traction helped her realize she already had the expertise to produce.
“I just never thought I was qualified, and that happens to a lot of women,” Houser says. “I thought you had to know the science of engineering and know how to manage a board. Those things are useful, but it’s also about being able to generate ideas. My interest in the studio has always been its creativity unbridled.
“Once Jim called me and planted the seed, I was like, ‘Oh my god, I can’t believe I didn’t even think of doing this before.'”
After finishing their track Project Traction, Lehman asked Houser to produce his next EP. Like Chavez, Houser is also quitting full-time work as a music teacher, marketing herself as a freelance artist available for session work, songwriting, private lessons, film scoring, production and at the same time. -of the.
Megz Kelliby Austin’s famous hip-hop duo Magna Cardacurrently linked to Eno on the basis of a recommendation outside the country, from the UK producer Danio Forni Pier of Husky earrings. While producing his song Project Traction last year, Kelli worked on a score for his upcoming self-directed short, “Little Trumpet.” The MC says the two projects have encouraged her to expand her range of musical production.
“Jim was really encouraging me to step into the producer’s shoes and be confident in that role,” Kelli says. “I didn’t have that full confidence before, and Jim was a great mentor. One thing he said was, ‘You’re not going to write about this one. I really want to challenge you to just be the producer. He pushes me, and I really appreciate that.”
Coming to Project Traction from the production side, based in Austin Lucille Garnier offers its services as Siren Pop Productions. She studied at UT-Austin and the Registration Austin Conservatory, where she believes she was one of five women in the latter program. She sums up post-graduate internships at other local studios as “lots of spreadsheets,” rather than production credits.
“Looking back on those experiences, I never thought I’d be here to do something like this,” Garner says. “When I was in school, I just remember sitting with a bunch of guys who were recording voices or something. They were saying inappropriate things about other women and calling them names, indicating that “They weren’t very good. I really wish I had said something, but I thought no one would want to work with me.”
When Garner mentions that she can’t record drums in her home studio, Eno assures that she’ll get the “cool rate” for access to Public Hi-Fi in the future. Houser and Kelli join Eno at a South by Southwest panel, March 18, titled “Project Traction: Fighting the Gender Gap in Music.” With gold rush vinyl founder Caren Kelleher and dormitory founder Liz Lambert on the advisory board, Eno hopes to make Project Traction a model for ongoing mentorship, including merchandise and vinyl releases. Fans can follow @projecttraction on Instagram for updates.
“It has to start somewhere,” says Eno. “Eight artists get producer credit for the track and then some confidence to hopefully find another band to work with. I really hope to do that a couple of times. This template, for me, could really make a difference in any recording studio. Open report.”