I Am Woman Watch Me Roar-Women Who rock In Music series 1. Zoe Ryan

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We begin ‘I Am Woman Watch Me Roar’ of the ‘Women Who Rock in Music series’ for 2020, not with myself, but with an invitation that went out to my female musical friends to answer some questions on topic and help promote them and open up discussion. Please meet and enjoy Zoe Ryans performance and response. More to come.

“This is a video I am sharing with the world at this time while everyone is being advised to stay inside. It’s a time of uncertainty and change, and I wanted to send something out to people that relates to the experience of being apart from others. It is something I have written about a lot with my life on the road as music being a defining part of who I am as an artist. It also features a song that will be on my upcoming EP about change, but has a reassuring message”.

Briefly describe your role in Music? (eg songwriter producer dj, radio, manager, all rounder etc)

Singer Songwriter. Manager. All rounder.

How long have you been engaged in your musical journey?

Always. I had musical influences around me so I was very inspired as a kid. Putting on concerts was my idea of fun, and that became my life. The only time I took away from music was during university when I studied other things, but I was still writing and sharing songs with those around me. I spent the last few years living a troubadour lifestyle before setting up a studio and becoming more immersed in the recording process. I’m grateful to have been working with some great people recently who have made the recording process less daunting and more enjoyable.

In what ways has unconscious bias (sexism or other) affected you personally?

It’s undeniable that unconscious bias has affected me and many of my non-male, and non-white peers in music. Opportunities were more limited because of it in a number of spaces, from radio to print, digital and live opportunities. Unconscious bias isn’t really a conversation that is had openly and honestly within the music community or industry.

However, the issues that arise because of it have been. The conversation has been turning towards equality more and more in a changing world that leans closer to more expansive and less towards exclusive than once upon a time. I guess technology has led to this expansiveness. There’s infinite space, and it just becomes about finding ways to connect with the people who your music appeals to.

What do you feel women need the most to thrive in the current social and musical climate?

Women and non-men, and even men from minority backgrounds all need to be seen and celebrated in a whole new way. We need to remember that they have all existed in a system that has been set up in a way that unconscious bias and other influences continue to exclude them. Now is a time we have the opportunity to redefine our tastes, locally and globally, to a more expansive range of what music is. Maybe you know about artists and bands through your own social network that have been missed over the years by broader media, isn’t now a time that we can revive unheard music? Especially now that we are living in a digital age where music – old and new – can be just as easily accessed.

What has been the greatest obstacle you have had to overcome on your musical path?

I think everyone has to overcome the obstacle of self. The self can present a multitude of obstacles within it. Two of my big obstacles have been my own self-doubt and a scarcity mindset.

Once you become aware of the obstacles, they’re a lot more manageable. They might come back, but then you know what you’re dealing with, and can say to them “hello old friend, I acknowledge you’re here… but please don’t stay for long”

What is unique about the voice and approach of women that is so desperately needed in music today?

Women have always played a different role to men biologically, and this is a strength, not a weakness! The voice of women and the way of women, the nurturing and gentle nature, that’s what is needed in music and in the world. We can see that so clearly now in the times we are living in, and we are seeing some incredible examples of female leadership in the world today.

In a similar way, we really need to elevate and celebrate new women’s voices in music. Women in music have the power to speak to the world from this perspective and shape and influence what this changing world will be. Your voice creates the future! You are so powerful!

Do you have any advise for young women or others in the early stages of their musical exploration/ journey?

One woman in music told me two words when I was 20, and reminded me that I had plenty of time. ‘Keep going.’ It was significant. I would pass on that advice.

Because the world needs to hear what you have to say, and they need to hear it exactly the way you say it or sing it, no matter what anyone might say. That’s the truth. I learned that eventually.

Website URL? http://zoeryan.net 

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Next up Jenni Dagley…

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