Meet The SWIMmer: Iona Fyfe

Iona Fyfe #10.jpg

We continue our series meeting the women behind SWIM and our members.

Today we meet Iona Fyfe. A Scottish folksinger and one of our SWIM members.

PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF

I am Iona Fyfe, a folksinger from Aberdeenshire, based in Glasgow.

WHAT IS YOUR ROLE WITHIN MUSIC AND THE INDUSTRY?

I studied Traditional Music at The Royal Conservatoire Scotland and work as a National Director of the Traditional Music and Song Association of Scotland.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WORKING IN MUSIC?

Working is tricky to define, my first live performance was at Keith Festival when I was six and my first paid folk club booking when I was in my early teens. Whilst I was studying, to strike a balance, I pursued professional work. I recorded by debut album, Away From My Window and toured extensively with my band across the UK, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, France, Australia and Canada.

WHAT OR WHO INFLUENCED YOU TO WORK IN MUSIC?

I began attending traditional festivals and sing rounds at an early age, and was inspired by tradition bearers and singers of the North East. Growing up in the ballad-heartland of Aberdeenshire, I was surrounded by place names and locations which related to the ballads. I think I was equally inspired by landscape and location as I was by the brilliant singers I was surrounded by.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO ANYONE LOOKING TO WORK IN MUSIC?

Try not to compare yourself with other musicians and artists, focus on yourself and celebrate your own achievements instead of comparing your achievements to others.

PLEASE NAME ONE THING YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEE CHANGE OR IMPROVE IN MUSIC FOR WOMEN

I’d like to see more venues and festivals booking female musicians. Some folk festivals are still heavily male dominated, but will book a “token” female, often a singer, to try to balance it out. But it still isn’t balanced at all.

Meet The SWIMmer: Nadia Freeman

music.jpg

We continue our series meeting the women behind SWIM and our members.

Today we meet Nadia Freeman. A producer and musician and one of our SWIM members.

Please introduce yourself

Hello my name is Nadia Freeman (artist name Miss Leading).

What is your role within music and the industry?

I produce electronic music accompanied by song and spoken word

How long have you been working in music?

I have been making music for the last two years

What or who influenced you to work in music?

I have been really influenced by living in Edinburgh an art loving city and the freedom to be weird. My genre of music varies a lot and comes about through experimentation and exploration of sound. Vocally I have recently been training in jazz vocals which is why my hooks sometimes sound that way and I have been on the spoken word circuit for six years so that is will always bring in a strong foundation to my lyrics.

What advice would you give to anyone looking to work in music?

I am still learning how to navigate the music industry myself but it seems like committing time to making music and taking risks to put yourself out there is a good start.

Please name one thing you would like to see change or improve in music for women

It would be nice if it was clearer about where opportunities are as well as more opportunities to meet other female musicians who would like to collaborate or put on events and a stronger focus on intersectionality and the inclusion of minority groups.

Academy Of Music & Sound - Funded 1 Year Degree

ams_logo_medium.jpg

Karlyn King (our education working group team leader) is hosting an event for a funded 1 year degree in Music & Sound at The Academy of Music and Sound Edinburgh validated by London College of Music and UWL.

They are having an open evening on 20th August, people can drop in anytime between 5pm-8pm for a personal tour and have all questions answered. Suitable for either those who have just got exam results or those who have been in the industry and looking to upskill.

Contact: Karlyn.King@academyofmusic.ac.uk

You can find details about the event also via Facebook HERE

Location: 88 Giles St, Leith, EH6 6BZ
Time: 5pm-8pm (come in anytime between these hours)

Meet The SWIMmer: Hilary Brooks

61850716_2348078705468390_1988114359586390016_n.png

We continue our series meeting the women behind SWIM and our members.

Today we meet Hilary Brooks. Our board chair and also a director, musician and songwriter.

Please introduce yourself

Hello, my name is Hilary Brooks. I am a professional musician from Glasgow. I trained at the RSAMD, now the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland but mostly I learnt my skills from living a life steeped in writing and performing music.

What is your role within music and the industry?

I am a musical director & arranger working mainly in theatre, a composer commissioned by theatre, tv and film companies and a pianist.

How long have you been working in music?

Since I was 16 - over 40 years.

What or who influenced you to work in music?

My Mum was a great influence as she played classical piano too and my Dad loved listening to jazz, blues and folk music so we often spent holidays at festivals or going to concerts. My greatest influence came at a seminal moment in my life; after playing for 6 or 7 years when I was 14 I started with a new piano teacher, Betty Emslie-Smith, who became my mentor. She helped to shape my understanding of what music could be, offered an extensive course in the history of music and fostered in me a deep love of playing.

What advice would you give to anyone looking to work in music?

Enjoy it and expect it to be challenging. Work hard and make sure you are tooled up and ready to embrace every opportunity that comes your way. Be prepared to learn on the job.

Be resilient, trust your own instincts. Be polite in all working environments. Build true friendships in the arts and out. Be true to yourself.

Please name one thing you would like to see change or improve in music for women

Removing conscious and unconscious gender bias across all industries would be lead to fairer representation and a more interesting world.

Welcome To SWIM

Welcome to SWIM - Scottish Women Inventing Music.

SWIM is a network/community of music creators and industry professionals who identify as female. We welcome non-binary, trans, queer women. We are ALL inclusive. 


Membership is comprised of women working in all areas and genres of music, who are committed to achieving a level playing field for women, pushing for gender equality across the music industry. This includes musicians, DJs, industry, composers, photographers, journalists, tech - basically all-encompassing.