Get In Her Ears is all about supporting, collaborating, and communicating with other womxen and non-binary people in the DIY music scene. So, when Nancy Kells from the USA got in touch to tell us about her work as Facilitator of Grimalkin Records, we wanted to know more! Along with ten other members, Nancy works to support and release music by womxn from all walks of life.
Together, Nancy & Elizabeth Owens put the following blog together to explain more about their work at Grimalkin. Read what they have to say below and follow Grimalkin Records on Bandcamp to keep track of all the music they’re releasing!
Grimalkin Records originally started out as Friends For Equality after the November 2016 US election and passing of Brexit in the UK. What began as a small benefit compilation project between two friends has now evolved into Grimalkin Records, a benefit label and queer artist collective. Currently, we are ten members strong, scattered between Richmond and Hampton Roads, VA, Guayanilla, Puerto Rico, Philadelphia, PA, Springfield, MO, and Baltimore, MD. All of us are queer women, trans men, non-binary, gender non-conforming, or agender folx.
Our primary mission is to support queer people—especially queer artists of color— and encourage people to get more involved in their local communities, and we aim to get there by strengthening the bridge between music and activism.
- Release limited edition cassette tapes and lathe cuts to fundraise for various local organizations and individuals
- Organize benefit shows and release parties
- Create zines and merch items to spread our messages and augment our fundraising efforts
- Support each other artistically and emotionally as individuals and friends
We are not genre-centered and all genres of music are encouraged for submissions (yay, we love music!). While most of our releases are benefit releases intended to raise money for a non-profit or community organization of the artist’s choice, releases can also support the artist/band or any other individuals who are in need of financial support. You don’t have to be a “member” of (or “signed to”) the label to release with us, either. We dig flexibility and run on an independent, case-by-case basis.
For example, last year we did a co-release with Madison Turner and her label Close by Air. We made a small batch of cassettes for her latest album, A Comprehensive Guide to Burning Out, with the full album on side A and a live recording of a Grimalkin benefit show set on side B. She chose donate all proceeds from this release to support Health Brigade, a free local clinic providing service for marginalized and oppressed folks in Virginia.
We passionately feel that music, art, and collaboration provide vital fuel in the work of healing and restoring justice. We also believe that real change happens from the ground up, and so have a strong focus on helping people on an individual level and through grassroots support of local organizations who have already been doing important (and often unseen) social justice and civil rights work.
Logistically, everyone in the collective pitches in when they can with a variety of things in whatever ways they feel they can; whether that means helping other individual members or the label as a whole, it’s all part of the same body. There’s no pressure on how much anyone does–people do what they can when they have time for it. You can learn more specifically about everyone in Grimalkin and check out their projects here.
We have big dreams, and eventually plan to be able to pay artists and musicians stipends to help with releases and shows and provide cassette packages for musicians to promote and sell on their own platforms.
We are always looking for more folks to join our family and are especially in need of people who thrive on promotional/outreach work and social media (if anyone’s interested *hint hint*)! We are also always looking for more community organizations, artists, collectives, and labels to collaborate with and are always open to new ideas.
If you think you’re a good fit for our collective or would like to put out a release with us, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have several exciting releases and collaborations lined up for 2019 and we hope you’ll check us out and keep coming back. The best way to stay in touch is by following us on social media and subscribing to our email list. We also have a website in progress for more general info.