Women In The Industry

A conversation about music, motivation, influence and sexism with LAYZ.

by: Jasmine Cattin

 

We see gender bias in every industry, some more than others. As a woman, I have faced sexism in various degrees in various areas of my life, and this is not an uncommon testament.

When entering the EDM community, simply as a fan and raver, I was pleased to be faced with welcoming and loving energy regardless of my gender, sexual orientation, appearance, etc.

But, as safe of an environment the community is for many, we often see different standards and criticisms aimed towards those working in the industry.

Whether that be managers, production crew, or artists themselves, sexism is prevalent and often dismissed when directed towards these female figures.

I had the honor to speak with the wildly influential artist, LAYZ, who shared with me a bit of her insight and experience with her unique line of work.

Can you tell me about your job title and what your work consists of?

I am an artist! I am a DJ and a producer. On top of producing, I create sets for shows and festivals, work as my own “art director” for merch and visuals, and lastly, manage my social media in deciding what to post because staying consistent and interactive on social media is KEY!

I was never interested in hiring a social media manager because I love being involved in everything that is LAYZ. I think it’s important for everything to come from me so it’s authentic, especially connecting with fans via DM.

What brought you to your position in the EDM industry and motivated you to get where you are today?

After first attending a few festivals in 2014, my love for EDM grew more. 2017 is when I decided I wanted to become an artist myself. When I first started out, I was mixing on a DDJ-SX3 controller and posting double-drop videos on Twitter.

As I got more traction on my mixing skills and SoundCloud mixes, I started to get booked for local line-ups. From there, the rest is history!

What motivated me to keep going was seeing my inspirations perform. It inspired me because I knew deep down inside I could end up in their position one day if I just give it my all.

Also, spreading my art around the world is what keeps me going, no matter if it’s for 10 people or 1000!

How does being a woman impact your work in the industry? Do you feel there are pros and cons? 

Being a woman in this male-dominated industry impacts my work quite a lot, sadly. I’ve been told that I get ghost produced by my boyfriend and that my sets are pre-recorded.

Also, I’ve been told I’m only on lineups because I am a female. But that’s not the case. I produce my own music. I mix live. I’m on lineups because of my hard work and dedication towards my LAYZ project.

Nobody sees the backend of things from my point of view. They don’t see me paying for 1 on 1 lessons. They don’t see me spending hours on Ableton.

They don’t see me watching endless tutorials on YouTube. They don’t see me practicing on CDJs. They don’t see me watching project breakdowns. They don’t see my frustration in trying to break out of writer’s block.

Being a woman in this industry has its pros. For example, since there aren’t many of us (because it’s rare), we stick out more!

However, it also has its cons. People aren’t so quick to assume that guys get ghost produced for, whereas for women, it’s the complete opposite.

What would you say to women wanting to work their way into the industry while battling sexism in the industry?

Women should be given the opportunity to a platform that can give other women the confidence to go out there to this male-dominated industry.

One of my main goals is to show other women that it’s 110% okay to put yourself out there as a woman.

I know a lot of people will doubt you at first. But, once you prove that you can throw it down like everyone else, it doesn’t matter that you’re a female in this industry.

All that’s important is your music, being able to inspire others, and providing awesome music for so many. You, also, need to have thick skin, like you do with anything else these days.

It’s important to remember that if we continue to let sexism discourage us or keep us from getting to where we need to be, we wouldn’t all be where we are at this very moment!

How we beat sexism and overcome it is by building an alliance with one another rather than pulling each other apart.

Also, be patient coming into the music industry. People will quickly recognize talent, whether you’re a male or a female. However, at the same time, stick up for yourself, your music, and your dream.

Always speak up for yourself in a way that shows you know why you’re there and you know what you can do.

Don’t allow sexism to stop you from shining or trying out new music because it doesn’t fit the “standard” of women in the music industry.

As I mentioned earlier, I was told so many times that I get ghost produced and that my sets a pre-recorded.

First, I have my own CDJs in my studio. So, why would I have sets that are pre-recorded? Would a man receive comments like that?

9 times out of 10 –Nope!

People will talk negatively no matter what. And, at the end of the day, you’re
doing something you’re proud of and that’s all that matters.

Don’t give up and keep pushing. Give it your all. Just let the music do the speaking.

In the end, like I tell any aspiring artist to focus on your branding, your music, and take lessons if needed! There are many sources of learning if you need the extra help (i.e. 1 on 1 lessons, YouTube tutorials, mentors, etc.)

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Thank you again to LAYZ for working with me ! She is such a genuine artist who I am proud to support wholeheartedly.

Check out her music and other socials below:
Instagram : @LAYZDUBZ
Spotify: LAYZ

About The Author: Jasmine Cattin

Jasmine Cattin is a writer and artist of various mediums in the Pacific Northwest. She is passionate about music, animals, and making a difference in her community!

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