[Reykjavík – October 2022] The women of the Icelandic music industry are proud to launch an Iceland chapter of the renowned shesaid.so organisation during the 2022 Iceland Airwaves festival and conference. shesaid.so is an international community of women and gender minorities whose mission is to connect and empower underrepresented communities towards a more equitable music industry for all.
The launch event will take place at Loft Hostel on November 5, during the Iceland Airwaves Festival and Conference. This chapter is being started by Anna Jóna Dungal, Hrefna Helgadóttir, Kelechi Amadi and Kim Wagenaar; and what they all have in common is having spent significant time abroad where they individually came to appreciate the value of strong communities to share experiences, collaborate and accelerate career growth. In an industry so built on relationships like the music industry, this type of access to networks and communities is incredibly precious and is how projects get moved forward. It’s well documented that women and gender minorities are often excluded from existing networks which is a big factor in holding back their careers. While Iceland has some of the most revered women artists in the world, our industry here is far from equal. The percentage of women who hold decision making positions, work in studios, and produce music is still appallingly low and according to STEF, only 11% of songwriters collecting copyright royalties are women just to name a few.
They agreed to not having this sense of international industry community here in Iceland, so they decided to formalise one themselves for women and gender minorities under the banner of the global shesaid.so who’ve paved the way on how to model this type of organisation. The aim of the Iceland chapter is not just strengthening itself by connecting internally, but also building on this global brand to strengthen and build on connections to the international music industry.
“When I moved back to Iceland during the COVID pandemic, I was really missing a sense of community around the work that I was doing. Getting the opportunity to connect with dozens of women through the Keychange program in 2022 made it click with Kim and I that this is what’s missing from the Icelandic scene: a safe space for women to connect around the work that we do in music.” – Anna Jóna Dungal,
When they approached me, I instantly felt like this was something I should participate in. I‘ve worked mostly with women in my collectives as an artist and project manager, very powerful and legendary women whom‘ve inspired my in lifechanging ways. There‘s some crazy magic that happens when those projects work out. But those women-fronted collectives and teams are rarely the case in the music industry, and I think shesaid.so can path the way for that magic to flourish. – Ása Dýradóttir, Mammút
Anna Jóna and Kim were a part of the 2022 Keychange Innovator programme and through there contacted Andreea Magdalina, who had founded shesaid.so in 2014. She then put them in touch with Kelehci who had similar ideas about an Icelandic shesaid.so chapter in the past, and the three of them immediately decided now was the perfect time to get started and asked Hrefna to join them. Between them they have worked at record labels and festivals, in management, marketing and music export; so their experience spans most of the industry.
During the initial outreach the four of them sent out feelers to their contacts here in the Icelandic industry and the response was instant and almost overwhelming. So many others felt the need for this and jumped on the opportunity to get involved, exclaiming they’ve been ‘dying for something like this’ as while a number of women are working on great projects, they felt disconnected and alone in their work. Already involved with this launch event are Álfrún Kolbrúnardóttir founder of Flame Productions, Inga Magnes Weisshappel who is launching the Iceland office of WiseMusic Group, Ása Dýradóttir from Mammút and Tónlistarborgin Reykjavík, Unnur Karen Karlsdóttir singer/songwriter.
The goal is for the organisation to start in 2023 with four big events over the year and a series of smaller networking meet-ups. The chapter will be run by 5-8 industry professionals and artists who together make up the board, and then any woman or gender minority in Iceland can join as a member. Members will pay a small annual fee to access the events, the global community, job opportunities in the industry and much more and is open for all women and gender minorities who work in music in Iceland.
The organisation looks to educate, inspire, connect, and entertain its members offering up opportunities to network, showcase talent both at home and away – which will serve the wider music community here in Iceland by making the industry more equal and more visible.
Learn more at the launch event of shesaid.so Iceland chapter on Nov 5 at 6 PM >> Here