Empower Productions was launched in Spring 2022 with the aim to enable more young girls and non-binary young people to become involved in music production. The project is implemented in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Helsingborg, and will be running until the end of 2025. The project is targeting young girls and non-binary young people, mainly from socio-economically disadvantaged areas.
Through this initiative, Fryshuset wants to raise the level of Swedish and Nordic music life by enabling more young girls and non-binary young people from socio-economically disadvantaged areas to follow their passion and create music. This will eventually create a richer and fairer cultural life and the opportunity for the public to enjoy high-quality music. The aim is also to enable a positive transition for the young people involved in the project.
A MORE EQUAL MUSIC INDUSTRY
Through this project, Fryshuset aims to change the perspective and expectation of who can become a music producer and in the long run contribute to improving the quality of music and to a more equal music industry. By working with young people, it is possible to create change over the long term – and greater gender equality in music production can lead to a more creative and qualitative music life.
Since 2022, Empower Productions is in a partnership with Signatur Foundation Sweden, who has also stepped in as a sponsor. The Foundation’s funding is of vital importance for Empower Productions’ operations and for creating opportunities for more girls and non-binary young people to get involved in music production.
EMPOWER PRODUCTION AND PARTNERSHIPS
Empower Productions builds on and complements an existing initiative within Fryshuset; Connect, Compress, Change (3C) which also aims to increase gender equality in the music industry. 3C creates method and commitment and through Signatur Foundation Sweden’s grant, it becomes possible to capture this commitment and channel it further as the young people spend time in the studio with professional producers, instructors and leaders.
Furthermore, Fryshuset collaborates with the non-profit organisation Popkollo. Popkollo has extensive experience of working to make music accessible to young girls and transgender young people. The collaboration strengthens the project’s collective expertise and experience, and at the same time makes it possible to provide greater opportunities for young people to meet and expand their networks.
EMPOWER PRODUCTIONS IN KINGSIZE MAGAZINE
In Autumn 2022, the Swedish magazine and web portal Kingsize Magazine interviewed Empower Productions’ Stockholm based course leader and members of the study group about their experiences of music production in a separatist environment:
“It automatically becomes a safe environment and you have the space to take your time, ask your stupid questions and feel comfortable at your own pace. I’m really anything but a tech geek so the course has de-dramatised something that otherwise feels quite loaded.” (the participant Arezo)
The course leader Katarina “BONBON” Testad (artist and producer) herself has a background as particicpant in Popkollo’s one-year producer programme “Who can become producer?”. She told Kingsize that the Popkollo programme had helped her to take the step from just writing and playing to recording and producing: “I learned so much that I was no longer dependent on anyone else. I hope to pass on this sense of independence to those in the Empower Productions group, so that more people can discover the incredible power and community that is to be found in making music” (Katarina Testad in Kingsize no.5, 2022)
The Empower Productions project includes:
- Leader-led individual music production sessions.
- Joint workshops and camps.
The Fryshuset Foundation is Sweden’s largest organisation for young people. Fryshuset works to ensure that society takes young people’s opinions and ideas seriously, currently running 60 different operations divided between 8 venues located around Sweden. In their music activities, the door is open to anyone who is curious, regardless of skills.