Xylo Aria is the Founder of Music Production For Women (MPW), an online platform that encourages women to start producing music for themselves. After the success of her first FREE work-shop in London, we asked this inspirational woman to write about her thoughts on the music industry, and what fuels her creativity and generosity.
I’ve been thinking a bit lately about why we kill ourselves to be in the music industry, which from afar looks to be an unforgiving, self-centered being which really couldn’t care less about you. I’ll be honest, even at proximity it’s probably much the same, although I’m not sure I’d consider myself on the “inside” by any means. Still, I have to say as frustrated as I get by it sometimes, I still am in love with it.
This is for many reasons. Firstly, my project that’s so extremely close to my heart, MPW (Music Production for Women) as cheesy as it sounds gives me a very strong reason to wake up in the morning. Although it was launched not a lot time ago, the message seems to be spreading slowly but surely, and I often get lovely messages from women all over the world, something along the lines of “I’m so glad I found this, and have been looking for it for a while. It’s very encouraging to see and if there’s any way I can support it I’d love to!”.
This obviously puts a giant smile on my face. If my project helps reduce the self-doubt and lack of control over one’s music that I experienced in anyone else, then it’ll be the best thing. In saying that, it is a struggle. Although I love what I’m doing more than I’ve ever enjoyed anything, it’s a constant battle trying to stay afloat in many ways including financially and (although I feel I’m getting better at this) mentally when you’re trying to set something up from scratch, not having any clue what the outcome will be a few years, or even a few months from now.
And then of course, there’s the actual music side of things. There seem to be a million routes which you can take as an artist these days. Self release, pitch to small labels, pitch to bigger labels, try for publishing (I still don’t really understand what this is if I’m being honest) try for synch, release monthly to keep the flow, release periodically to keep people wanting more. etc. In some ways, it’s the best time to create music because we have so many options available to us; but it’s also enough to overwhelm any sane individual. Whether we are sane, fighting tooth and nail to work so hard to be in an industry which is doing so fine without us is another matter entirely.
Although it seems I’m straying from the point I’m trying to make – and yes there is a positive point – there is a clear reason why we do this. To say we love it seems to be an over-used cliche when it comes to the arts, but for me I guess it’s more the euphoria I get when I’m creating something I believe to be beautiful, as well as when I feel I’m helping people through MPW in a unique way which I somehow have the perfect skills in my opinion to do, is like nothing I get from anything else. And that’s pretty much all there is to it. You can be fighting every minute, and be getting beaten down but know you’re ALIVE while you’re doing it, or you can take the comfortable option and be dying a little every minute because what you’re doing has nothing to do with what you’ve been given the unique skills to do.
Thanks to Xylo for writing this piece for GIHE. Follow Music Production For Women on Facebook for more updates.