When I was first starting out as a songwriter in New York City, I did what anybody did. I went to open mics. There’s an awesome, supportive songwriter community in the west village of NYC and I loved every second of my time there, but I did notice one thing that overwhelmed me time and time again.
Every open mic meant putting myself out there, being vulnerable, sharing my real thoughts and emotions I’d written into music in front of a room full of strangers – and I was the only chick in the room.
Now, this isn’t always the case, there was sometimes another badass female I could team up with and befriend and if there was another girl I always made a habit of buying them a drink, whomever she was, as a sign of support. I’m sure times have changed and there’s more of us now, but I remember this being a huge challenge for me. I always feel that if you’re female, you need to be twice as good to be taken half as seriously and the music business is NO exception.
When I started traveling and gig swapping, I had similar experiences, although having grown as a musician the ratio between genders didn’t bother me, it more fueled my fire as a writer. I spent the last year playing gigs in Ireland, Amsterdam, London, Copenhagen, Rome, Milan, Edinburgh, and more.
The most memorable things from my 7 months on the road are the relationships I made with FIERCE FEMALE songwriters I met, who travel themselves. I bonded with them over always being the only chick in the room – and I started being able to match-make artists who were gigging in certain cities with other songwriters I’d previously met in those cities. I booked girls gigs, introduced songwriters to each other and tried to help facilitate gig-swapping in any way that I could. This is the reason I became a musician in the first place, to create community! and then I had an idea.
What if there was a group for just us? An international community of fierce female songwriters, gig-swapping around the globe? My home market is NYC. Are you passing through? I’ll book you a gig and you could even stay with me if you like. I’ll take you to open mics and introduce you to people I know, so you can forge your way into this specific market and create relationships that expand your network as a musician. And then when I book a trip to Melbourne, Aus, maybe someone can do that for me? This is the idea.
I want to eventually have our own songwriter events in different cities featuring local and international artists, sharing stories and songs with each other. I’m proposing calling this group the Daisy Chain Song Exchange. I think this could be an amazing way to network, create community and grow as a songwriter and musician. I’m working on partnering with some really great organizations to begin to make this project a reality so if you’d like to partner with me or be a part of this new start-up, let me know.