Changing Attitudes to Females in Music… Celebrating the Women of WaterBear

WaterBear, the College of Music, is highlighting the changing attitudes toward women in the music industry this International Women’s Day, as it celebrates its pioneering female team members, mentors and industry partners.

Changing Attitudes to Females in Music… Celebrating the Women of WaterBear

WaterBear, the College of Music, is highlighting the changing attitudes toward women in the music industry this International Women’s Day, as it celebrates its pioneering female team members, mentors and industry partners.

The college’s commitment to supporting women in the music industry extends across every aspect of the institution, from tutors and mentors, events, marketing, careers, finance and recruitment staff through to their industry guests and partners, encompassing songwriters, musicians, event organisers, label and music managers, publishers, radio hosts, producers, vocalists, A&R, festival owners, DJs and more.

Charla Green, a Yorkshire-based electronic artist, producer, DJ, singer, songwriter, and WaterBear Sheffield tutor, is recognised for her expertise in drum & bass, jungle, and dubstep. Since 2018, she has made her mark by releasing music across several prestigious labels, including UK Jungle Records, Drum & Bass Arena, Deep in the Jungle Records, and Function Records. Notably, in 2020, she was selected as a mentee for the flagship EQ50 Mentorship programme, where she was paired with esteemed mentors, Mantra from Rupture and Digital from Function Records.

WaterBear mentor Stacey Haber, once tagged by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the music industry’s leading experts, boasts a remarkable career spanning over three decades. A seasoned music industry executive, lawyer, publisher, sync agent, music supervisor, promoter, marketer, songwriter, producer, founder of non-profits within emerging tech and neighbouring rights, podcaster, and author. Stacey's expertise is unrivalled. Founder of SHHH Media, Inside Baseball Music Publishing, FoxPin Artist Management, and The Music Firm, as well as Co-Founder of IAFAR, Stacey's entrepreneurial spirit has driven numerous successful ventures. Additionally, her dedication to fostering talent extends to Hope & Plum Book Publishing, where she has launched the careers of over 20 new authors.

In her mantra to aspiring artists, Stacey emphasises, "Believe in yourself and never give up. There is no age ceiling, no wrong genre, no barrier to entry. Create because you have to, not because you want to. If you just want to, keep your day job. If you can’t think until you write or record that hook, melody, or lyric, then do and don’t stop. Find your people and fuel each other. Learn about the business side and hire the right advisors to steer you and your rights to fiscal success and commercial recognition. You will need to be relentless with a voracious desire to learn all aspects of creation and administration."

Rasha Shaheen, the Director of Education at WaterBear, brings over 25 years of invaluable experience in the music industry. As a former DIY artist, festival curator, sound engineer and tour manager - Shaheen offers a unique perspective on navigating the complexities of the music business.

With a robust academic background, including an MSc in Performance Science, an MMus in Songwriting, and a BA in Creative Music Technology, Shaheen's expertise spans both the creative and administrative realms of the music world. Her holistic approach to working with artists is rooted in a deep understanding of the industry's intricacies.

Shaheen's message to aspiring musicians is simple yet powerful: "Don’t be afraid of business." In her view, business is not an insurmountable obstacle but rather a roadmap to success.

Georgie Palzeaird Tutor, Mentor and Senior Careers Advisor at WaterBear wears many hats within the music industry including radio presenter, event host, radio plugger, and accredited journalist. But beyond her impressive list of titles, Georgie is a staunch advocate for gender equality and empowerment, particularly for women navigating the often challenging terrain of the music business.

Significantly, in the ongoing quest for gender equality within the music industry, WaterBear recognises the work of numerous organisations leading the way in both the UK and globally, such as SheSaid.So, Women in Music, She is The Music, EQ50—a prominent drum and bass collective—Women in CTRL, and Women Produce Music; all of which are dedicated to dismantling barriers and fostering inclusivity at every level of the industry. Their impact goes far beyond mere advocacy; they serve as vital pillars of support and community for both seasoned professionals and newcomers alike.

Eve Massaad, WaterBear Director of Marketing commented: “At WaterBear, empowerment is not just a buzzword; it’s a philosophy ingrained in every aspect of our educational approach. With a commitment to nurturing individual agency and fostering a community of diverse talents, WaterBear aims to equip students with the skills and mindset to navigate the music industry on their own terms. However, despite these strides, the music industry still grapples with entrenched gender biases that hinder the progress of women.

“I believe that educators and industry stakeholders bear a collective responsibility to dismantle stereotypes and promote inclusivity across all facets of the music world. This calls for the advocation of women in music, highlighting female role models, providing mentorship opportunities, fostering collaborative environments, and promoting and providing career paths and opportunities irrespective of gender.  

“The Women of WaterBear exemplify the resilience, creativity and determination needed to effect lasting change in the music industry. Their stories inspire future generations to challenge norms, break barriers, and redefine the narrative of women in music. With their collective efforts, a more equitable and inclusive future awaits not only for women in music but for the industry as a whole.”

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