I AM WOMAN WATCH ME ROAR- WOMEN WHO ROCK IN MUSIC SERIES 2020
My feature blog theme/series for the year was inspired by Marilyn of the Red Church, a Melbourne band, sprouting the title ‘Women Who Rock’ .
It is important that we, as women uplift each other and support each other in our work, cause heck, we all know the odds are already stacked against us, but will that stop us, No sire’!
‘I Am Woman Watch Me Roar’ is a detour into the collective musical landscape, inviting the shared voice of my comrades to express on theme. The title of this blog hearkens back the powerful 70’s anthem by Helen Reddy, and also evokes a sense of a powerful lioness defending her children and pride (double meaning).
INTRODUCING SERAYA FROM BRISBANE
Briefly describe your role in Music? (eg songwriter producer dj, radio, manager, engineer, all rounder etc)
I started as a singer-songwriter and keyboardist. As time went by I became more involved in the production side, with arrangements, programming etc.
I also got involved in a different platform as a radio broadcaster for 10 years or so, with a lean toward supporting independent artists. I’m in Brisbane, I hosted a show called The Mess Hall, but I’m taking a break from the radio now and curating playlists instead. I am still currently active with Voice Over – I have done Qantas, Neuroscience in Design and at Horizon Power I’m ‘the voice’ in their corporate in house training software.
How long have you been engaged in your musical journey?
I was born into a musical family, and as a child I sang in church as a soloist and in choirs. I started writing at 14. As a young mum I didn’t have the opportunity to start recording until my early 30’s when my children were older.
In what ways has unconscious bias (sexism or other) affected you personally?
There has been a significant impact. I don’t really like to dwell on it because it’s not a great space to live in.
Why are you sharing this video?
I chose Peace Love and Understanding because these interview questions reminded me about some challenges I faced in the music industry, and some injustices and painful experiences that left me feeling manipulated, hurt, used and abused. The question was about things that women face. When I think of injustice to women, as the mother of two sons (and also through discussions with male friends) I am also aware of a lot of injustice toward men. I feel the same pain and hurt and sadness when I hear and see what has happened to men at the hands of women (and there are some really terrible things that happen, and these things are rarely discussed. Men in these situations don’t get the same support as women in similar circumstances). So, rather than being anti this or that against men, women, LGBTQ or anyone, for me it is more helpful to be Pro Peace. In the presence of true peace, love, understanding and compassion there is no room at all for violence or abuse against anyone.
What do you feel women need the most to thrive in the current social and musical climate?
Wow, the current environment is a major head spin whoever you are!!
I think things are perhaps a little improved since #metoo. Even so, damage is also done in the subtlest of ways, by opportunists who prey on the vulnerabilities of creatives.
To answer your question, I feel that being really strong as a person and as an artist is a good place to start.
- Know what your creative vision is and follow that.
- Go with your ideas no matter what they are.
- Don’t create for anyone else’s approval or to fit into any particular genre or niche.
- Create music for the way it feels when you are in that place of connection to everything, where time disappears, and you feel most alive.
- Follow your intuition.
- Carve your own path, research and look for ways to reach you goals.
- Be kind and considerate to others on the same journey.
- Watch out for people with a “great opportunity” or a “fool proof plan for success” to sell you! You are the creator, you should not have to pay people to listen to your songs. No other profession pays their customers.
- …..and don’t forget the great Hunter S Thompson quote we’ve all heard a gazillion times 😊
What has been the greatest obstacle you have had to overcome on your musical path?
When I started, there didn’t appear to be much room in the landscape for female artists in Australia. I found it very difficult to be heard, and to get airplay. Also, around this time my personal responsibilities limited the time I had available to pursue my passion for music.
Beyond these things, I would say that the greatest challenge was to be in an environment where my creativity wasn’t encouraged, valued or supported.
What is unique about a women’s voice, and approach that is so desperately needed in music today?
There’s a lot to it, but at the risk of oversimplifying it’s Venus and Mars, Shakti and Shiva. The feminine delivery and approach is going to be different to the masculine, and there is balance in having accessibility to both.
Interestingly though, when I think of female voices that I love and male voices that I love, the reason that I love them is similar – that their voice and music touch my soul in some way.
Do you have any advice for young women or others in the early stages of their musical exploration/ journey?
See the list 3 questions back.. and see live music as often as you can. Experiencing live music as an audience member will inform you in a way that nothing else does.
I have an offer on at the moment. If people subscribe to my newsletter at www.serayaonline.com they can request a digital copy of any of my projects for free.
They can view my projects at the website or on band camp
Thank you Seraya it is a pleasure to have you on board and to share your words my musical community. Cath
Check out Seraya’s website , social media and bandcamp catalog below. Next up Shelley Karutz of South Australia (I’m leaving my thoughts on theme till last so I can refer back and summarise).
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