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House of Hi-Fi & Onyx launch female production initiative Balance

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It’s an issue that has loomed over not only Drum & Bass, but the whole of dance music for many years – gender inequality. Line-ups with too many males. Artist rosters with a lack of female presence. No longer can we go on like this.

It’s a necessary dialogue that has been getting louder in D&B recently with many recognising the need for change. But we need more people pushing active change. This is why Onyx Recordings has teamed up with House of Hi-Fi to launch a production initiative for womxn…welcome to Balance!

Aiming to help address the gender imbalance in the scene, Balance launched on Monday 8th March in conjunction with International Women’s Day. Over the course of six weeks, female producers of all skill levels will be invited to submit an original production to us. These submissions will be judged by representatives of House of Hi-Fi and Onyx, who will select the best ones for an EP release on Onyx.

“This past year we’ve seen so many females come forward as DJs and producers. The way the scene has evolved during the pandemic with womxn taking their musical careers into their own hands has really shown how much raw talent is out there. We need more womxn on line-ups and we need more womxn signed to record labels. Now is the time for existing labels to step forward and offer girls a safe, supportive and constructive space for them to release their music.” – House of Hi-Fi 

It is widely recognised that in order to truly turn the tide on gender imbalance we all need to nurture ongoing dialogue. That’s why Balance will be an annual initiative consistently supporting females in the industry. It’s not just about finding new talent either. The goal is to build a supportive network for womxn by creating opportunities for future releases and label signings.

“There are so many incredibly skilled females out there who deserve to be showcased on the biggest stages and rosters. For far too long we’ve accepted a male-dominated music industry as the norm. Change is needed. As one of the new wave of labels shaping the future of D&B, a fairer scene is something Onyx Recordings feels very strongly about. Through Balance we want to push active change in the industry. Particularly in the past year, the sheer scale of talented womxn in drum and bass pushing for recognition has become apparent. Hopefully Balance can be a platform helping these artists reach a wider audience.” – Onyx Recordings

As an organisation who have built a reputation for pushing the careers of womxn, House of Hi-Fi know all too well that the most important thing we can do is provide females with a safe, supportive and constructive environment to flourish as artists. This is what Balance hopes to achieve. Anyone with their ears to the ground will know just how many incredible female talents there are in D&B. Whether they’re waiting to be discovered, or are already making a name for themselves. You only have to look at the awesome EQ50 mentorship programme to get a glimpse of the undiscovered womxn breaking through.

With the current lack of events – combined with the increased time for reflection – now is the ideal moment to push forward with more positive initiatives, in order to see active change when life fully resumes. In the grand scheme of gender inequality, Balance may only be a small gesture, but House of Hi-Fi and Onyx Recordings hope it provides the females who take part with a platform to grow, develop and showcase their ability to a wider audience. It’s hoped that such an initiative will also encourage other labels to actively diversify their rosters and line-ups going forward. 

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