It all started in high school, my mother decided to put me in an art school because she felt like something needed to be done! my light was fading as a kid. I used to be, the little girl talking to everyone, laughing but little by little I was becoming smaller and more invisible. I just stopped shining.
Some would say being a teenager can do that to you, but my mother thought that the best way to bring me back to life was to make me do the things I loved most; singing, dancing, and acting. I was 15 years old when I arrived at L'ecole du Spectacle and I was the youngest person in this small school in Paris, and because nobody was my age they pushed me up a year up. Imagine your first high school week, you are the youngest and they put you in a classroom with older kids, oh and we are in Paris so, during breaks, everybody goes out to smoke cigarettes, which I didn't, so yes not such an easy first week.
Regardless of all of this I for the first time felt like I belonged. Maybe it was the conversation about philosophy and art or listening to everyone's conversations, singing, and dancing lessons, or just being around people that I understood and felt the same as me. I met my best friends there, who still today are so present in my life even though I've been living in different countries for the past 15 years, and only spent 2 years with them. As an artist, I could never find the same unity with women working in the same industry that I did. My first show was in Las Vegas, Donn' Arden Jubilee production of more than 50 dancers, and singers, I was the youngest there as well (I guess there is a pattern!) but I didn't really have any friends, I tried to make friends, but it just didn't feel right and I couldn't understand why? What was wrong with me? New York City taught me so much, yet still, I could never find a girlfriend working in the music industry just like I was. I was looking for someone that I could support and visa versa, but it didn't happen. A lot of girls would pretend to be my friend, only to jump on any occasion to go behind my back. Just so you know nothing good happens from that, you may win a small opportunity, but in the long run, being honest will always serve you. Arriving in London changed my perspective on things, maybe because I was a little older and more confident, maybe because I stopped looking but when I joined the Spice Girls tribute band (yes I am still performing with them, I'll let you figure out which one I am ?) things changed. For the first time since high school, I was working with 4 women on stage and off stage, and the exchange of stories of what happened in our life felt like home again. We are all professional singers navigating the industry in our own way, taking it day by day, sharing personal and professional journeys and it is great. As a singer/songwriter it always felt like it was a competition but what are we competing for? and more importantly why are we competing? Some would say for the part! Which part? Whether you compete or help each other, whoever is supposed to get the part will get it, right? I know if you are reading this, you might think but Andrea we are talking about an industry that doesn't have any rules! You are right. Perhaps it's time for us to regain and create our power like we never did before. We are not victims, we are warriors, things don't happen to us, we make things happen. Today in 2022 we still suffer from the pay gap and gender equality, and in my opinion, it's because as women we don't always come together. Men in England go to the pub, maybe by themselves, to watch a game and start speaking to the lad next to them, where do women go to meet other women? I have joined a meetup group, and women's member's club, and still, I haven't found my people. There is nothing wrong with any of them, maybe I wasn't patient enough, it just didn't seem to fit. Amplify Her was created to include all women in the music industry, whatever your path in life is. A community where we share our journey, stories, and industry contacts, converse, support, help each other grow, progress, and become more successful in our industries, without the red tape. A place where we play music or create or showcase our projects or not, I want to be clear that all women with the right mindset and desire to get along and support one another are welcome.
Monthly coffee/or wine meeting where we can talk and share our stories will also be set up. In 2022 only 13 percent of headliners in music festivals were women in the UK. It is time to do something about it, it is time to speak our truth about what we are really going through professionally and personally, and it is time to come together. Why are we letting the industry run us over, we are not victims of the system, we need to choose to work the system, and together is the only way we will be able to make big changes so that the generations to come don't think that gender inequality even existed. It all starts with a conversation, an exchange of thoughts, but what counts is what are you going to do with it together.
I hope you can join me at our event Launch Wednesday 26th October, and enjoy a night of live music, community and togetherness.