April 29, 2021
Introducing Spotify’s Created by Women Playlist
For far too long women creators in the realms of production and songwriting have been overshadowed by their male counterparts. Noteable, Spotify’s home for songwriters, producers and publishers, recognizes the importance of shining a light on women in the music industry with the launch of the Created by Women playlist.
As part of the EQUAL campaign to empower women creators, the Created by Women playlist is a first of its kind, featuring music entirely written, produced, and performed by women. The playlist spotlights a diverse range of talented women creators from around the world and across various genres, highlighting that more needs to be done to create spaces and opportunities for women to collaborate and make music.
“When women get together and get our powers together we can create something magical,” producer, songwriter and engineer Kuinvi shares. The owner and founder of Kuinvi Records started as a singer in Ecuador, initially achieving success in her career as an opening act for megastars Justin Bieber and Demi Lovato until she realized her heart was pulling her behind the scenes. This led to a collaboration with one of Latin music’s most talented singer-songwriters, ELENA ROSE for the upbeat self-love anthem “No Voy A Cambiar,” which appears on Created By Women.
“It came from that very special place,” says Kuinvi, of her work with the Venezuelan Grammy-nominated artist. “We understand each other when it comes to writing and are a really good team. What’s special about collaborating and creating with other women is . . . I can’t explain how it feels [exactly] but it just feels right. It’s comfortable because we have the same emotional language and the same experiences only women understand. It’s so easy. When we get our powers together, we can create something magical. There is respect.”
Lack of representation of women in the music industry amplifies the significance of Noteable, a champion of women in this space — with only 2.6% of producers and 12.6% of songwriters identifying as women according to USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative’s “Inclusion in the Recording Studio?” report. “Hopefully in the future we won’t have to fight for this,” says Kuinvi of the EQUAL campaign. “It’s cool to help change the numbers and grow the community. I love being part of the fight.”
The Created by Women playlist aims to push the needle in the right direction by recognizing women creators and inspiring more collaborations between women in music. “I’ve been inspired, supported and lifted up by the women around me, learning that creativity has no gender, music does not discriminate and it’s about time the industry reflected that,” says Alex Hope, who is on the cover of the inaugural edition of the playlist. The Aussie powerhouse producer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist worked with Tove Lo on the song "hey you got drugs?" which is featured on Created by Women. "We talked about escapism and how harmful it can be when only associated with unhealthy behaviors. I started playing something on piano and the song just fell out. The whole process was very organic and therapeutic for the both of us and is still one of my favorite session experiences. I am honored to be a part of this playlist as we work towards inclusivity and equality in the music industry.”
Not only will the EQUAL hub serve as a one-stop destination that will highlight the work of women artists and podcasters, Noteable aims to act as a home for educational resources for typically behind-the-scenes creators. Later this year, Song Start will launch, in partnership with platinum Grammy-nominated songwriter Ali Tamposi and Armenian-American artist, activist and Eurovision Song Contest finalist Tamar Kaprelian. The music educational video series arriving in 2021 will focus on aiding more women at the start of their journey in the complex music industry.
“Representation and education are powerful tools in working to inspire the next generation and disrupt the systemic problem of gender disparity in the industry,” echoes Hope, “especially behind the scenes.”
That next generation of artists includes Joy Oladokun. The Nigerian-American singer-songwriter from Nashville was inspired to become a musician when she watched a video of Tracy Chapman playing London’s Wembley Stadium for the Nelson Mandela 70th birthday tribute concert. “It was just her and her guitar,” Oladokun reminisces. “It was the first time I saw a Black woman holding a guitar. I grew up in a farming town. It was a lot of country music and folk music. I'd only ever seen white people hold guitars. It was really powerful to see someone who looked like me, and who had a story like mine, use this tool that I had only seen used in one way to tell people what's up. It changed me.”
As part of the Created By Women playlist, Oladokun, who identifies as queer, hopes to help change the landscape for the women artists of the future, giving them permission to be themselves. “There is an internal self-esteem, self-awareness, and self-confidence that is needed to be a woman in music,” says Oladokun. After all women have accomplished, people still wonder if you can pull things off as a woman, like producing or existing. Know your value and your worth as a female and what you bring to the table.”
Oladokun, who made her television debut on The Tonight Show in February 2021 with a stunning performance of “Breathe Again,” does not take her position as a trailblazer lightly. “Being a woman in music in 2021 is the most exciting and liberating [time],” she explains. “I have opportunities to say and do things I know I wouldn't have 50, 30, or even 20 years ago. I am having experiences that women who came before me fought really hard for. I’m really cognizant of that and I take it pretty seriously. I can't imagine what Tracy Chapman, Odetta, Aretha Franklin or Ella Fitzgerald went through. This job is a whole lot of fun, but it's a whole lot of responsibility too and my whole gig is to show people both.”
Do you want to work with some of the women creators featured on the playlist? You can hire them — and many others — through SoundBetter, the world’s leading music production marketplace. To help facilitate those connections here’s a list of 10 amazing SoundBetter professionals who can help you make great-sounding, release-ready songs:
Krysta Youngs - singer, songwriter Kuinvi (aka Quinvee) - producer, songwriter Myah Marie - singer, songwriter Tiffany Red - singer, songwriter Mechi Pieretti - singer, songwriter Yasmeen Al-Mazeedi - violinist, producer, songwriter, singer Ruby - singer, songwriter Julia Ross - singer, songwriter Daniela Rivera - mix engineer Maria Elisa Ayerbe - mix engineer
Have you written and recorded a song yourself or with a group of women? We’d love to hear about it! Check out our guide to pitching your next release to Spotify here.
– Danica Daniel