Room For Queens: Women in Music and Spotify team up for a night of female empowerment


Studio 52 is a community artist space located in the heart of Allston, and is proud to support the Boston music scene and local artist community.

If you think of every concert as a party dedicated to music, last night’s “Women in Music” showcase at Spotify in Somerville was a decidedly female-focused bash. The Boston Women in Music chapter teamed up with the online streaming service to offer a larger, more visible platform to three locally-based female voices, as well as offer attendees a chance to network with other members of the Boston music community.

After wading through more than 130 applications, synth-soul band luhx., rapper Jazzmyn RED, and r&b artist Marcela Cruz were selected to perform, each offering the crowd a three-song sampling of their musical catalogue.

The event sold out in advance, gathering 102 attendees on top of the event staff, members of the media, and artists and their guests. Not including the performers for the evening, about 15 of the people at the show were men.

“It’s not very often that I’m in a room with the majority [of people] being women, especially going to Berklee — it’s all men,” said luhx. singer Corinne Savage. “I have been in a room where it’s mostly men, and I feel like I’m not being heard, or my opinion is being undervalued. I’ve also been in a room where I felt like I can’t say what I want to say without coming off like a bitch, or I’m overreacting, or like I’m ‘on my period,’ so it’s really nice to be around women and feel completely comfortable.”

Being the frontwoman for an “anonymous” band — that is, a band that doesn’t have any personal photos or names of the members listed online — Savage said that she and luhx. have not faced some of the same challenges as other women musicians in Boston.

“Our band specifically is anonymous,” she explained “I don’t even know if people know there’s a woman in the band when I show up [to a gig]. There’s this thing happening where women just can’t book shows in Boston, and I was completely dumbfounded because I had never even heard of that.”

As an organization, Women in Music has been around for 32 years, but they only established a Boston chapter about a year-and-a-half ago. Earlier this year, the local chapter hosted a “Women in Tech” event, and looking forward, the chapter has a networking brunch and Christmas party planned for later in 2017. But last night, the focus was on live music. “We decided we wanted to showcase local women who are largely overlooked and don’t get as much visibility as their male counterparts,” said Boston chapter leader Erin Barra-Jean, who opened the night by introducing luhx.

While the gathering ran from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., the actual performances only accounted for about an hour, leaving ample time for making connections — which is exactly what the local scene needs more of, according to both Cruz and luhx. “It’s great to have events like this and programs like SoFar Sounds that gather people who love listening to music and people who love finding new music — artists like that,” said luhx. guitarist Collin Keller.

Cruz echoed the same sentiment, saying the Boston music scene can improve the most by networking and getting together to discuss issues in the community more often.

“I think it’s important to connect a lot of people within the music community here in Boston, but also to showcase some badass queens that we have here,” she said. “I think it’s important to amplify that. I think what we can do better is have more discussions, more communications, connecting more, not only artist-to-artist but with promoters, venue owners — everything. We should definitely be more connected. There’s absolutely a lot of support put there as it is, but we can always do better, and I think it all starts with a conversation.”

All photos by Victoria Wasylak; follow her on Twitter @VickiWasylak.

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