COSTA MESA, Calif., Feb. 9, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Vans and Record Store Day are joining forces to celebrate women in the world of music by releasing Portraits of Her, a 16-track limited-edition vinyl album featuring tracks donated by groundbreaking female artists, with sales of the album benefitting We Are Moving The Needle, a nonprofit organization that supports female recording industry professionals, including audio engineers and producers.
Portraits of Her will be available at independent record stores on Record Store Day, Saturday, April 23, 2022, which is the 15th anniversary of the global celebration of the independent record store. “Record Stores are a nice escape from the rhythm of our everyday lives. They allow us to really think about what music we’re engaging with and listening to,” says Joy Oladokun, who contributes a track to the album and whose album in defense of my own happiness found a place on many 2021 year-end Best Of lists. Oladokun is among 16 breakthrough female artists who joined the Portraits of Her project to amplify the power of female artists, songwriters and producers across the music industry.
“Women are an incredible asset to the music industry, yet they are underrepresented across the board, but particularly in recording studios,” says Grammy-winning mastering engineer Emily Lazar, who founded We are Moving the Needle. “To close the vast gender gap in this industry, we must all work together to empower women on and off stage, behind the music, in the studio, and everywhere else in this business. We are grateful for the support from Vans, Record Store Day, and these amazing female artists.”
According to the 2021 report by the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative at the University of Southern California, women make up only 21% of all artists, 12% of songwriters and 13% of industry executives, across the business. Behind the boards, only 2% of music producers and 3% of engineers/mixers across popular music are women. (Based on reporting data from 2012 to 2020 analyzing gender and race/ethnicity of artists, songwriters and producers across 900 popular songs.)
“This album celebrates generations of women who have overcome barriers to representation, recognition, and opportunity in the music industry,” says Tierney Stout, Director of Global Music Marketing at Vans. “Brands, record labels, musicians and other organizations, including Record Store Day and We Are Moving The Needle, are working together to give today and tomorrow’s female talent more visibility, support and opportunities.”
- Cranking Up the Volume for Females in the Music Industry at the 2022 SXSW Conference
Before the release of Portraits of Her, Record Store Day, Vans and We Are Moving The Needle will unite at SXSW 2022 for a panel discussion of the unique experiences of women in the music industry. The March 16 session, entitled “MOVING THE NEEDLE: Closing Music Industry Gender Gaps,” will discuss gender equality and provide real-world stories of women who overcame barriers to success in the music industry. Along with Vans’ Tierney Stout, the panelists will be Linda Perry, Grammy, Golden Globe, Critic’s Choice Award-nominated producer and Songwriter Hall of Fame inductee, and advisory board member of We Are Moving the Needle, and Ericka Coulter, Senior Vice President of A&R, Warner Records.
“The music that women make, as musicians, as songwriters, as producers or engineers or executives, has always had a place in record stores, both in their bins and on their Now Playing shelves. As we see more and more female faces on both sides of the record store counter, it only makes sense to spotlight that, and this compilation, with an emphasis on newer, younger artists is a great way to do it. It’s also wonderful to continue our partnership with Vans, and to work with a group like We Are Moving The Needle, whose mission we’re fully behind,” says Record Store Day co-founder, Carrie Colliton, who will moderate the SXSW session on March 16 in Austin.
The full list of 2022 Record Store Day special releases, which includes Portraits of Her, will be announced soon.