In this industry, it’s important to recognize the badass women who’re running some of the best independent labels out there. Although it’s only Women’s History Month in March, these ladies rock the industry every day, every month and every year without fail. Here are some of the best women owned labels you need to know about.
Women Owned Labels You Need to Know About
Cafe Rooster Records
This independent label is owned by the effortlessly cool Sally Jaye Smithwick. Passionate about the art of the craft, she deeply supports her fellow Nashville artists within their growing community. Conjured up in Nashville, TN, Cafe Rooster Records offers a welcoming home to genres spanning across Americana, Rock n Roll, Punk Rock and the more unique sounds that don’t quite fit in with the status quo. Their collective of artists includes Ladies Gun Club, The Minks, Blackfoot Gypsies and more.
Founder and CEO, Meghann Wright has been incredibly active in independent and major label music communities for 15 years. From Americana to Hip Hop to Hardcore Punk and Metal scenes, GrindEthos provides guidance, social media and web support, booking, management, promotion, networking opportunities, and many other invaluable services to musical artists of all genres and backgrounds.
Play Me Records
Founder and CEO, Reid Speed. Play Me Records is a multi-genre, full frequency range bass music. Reid Speed is recognized worldwide as a highly skilled drum & bass DJ as well as a pioneer of the multi-genre bass music movement. From her start at legendary NYC drum & bass store/label Breakbeat Science to founding her own labels Play Me Records and Play Me Too, she has remained a fan favorite DJ, a chart topping producer, and was seen as an instrumental player in the development of the North American Bass Music sound. She’s known for dropping blistering multi-genre sets that have inspired a generation of female DJs. With her keen ear, Play Me has become a launchpad for more hot new artists than any other label of its kind, helping to kickstart the careers of the likes of Dillon Francis, Must Die, Figure, Bare, Singularity, Cyberoptics, and many more. Reid is one of the few old skool DJs who opened the door for women and who continues to set the standard high for female DJs in EDM.
Expand your mind…
APOCALIPSIS is a record label celebrating works by those ni de aquí/ni de allá, led by RIOBAMBA. RIOBAMBA is a member of techno-feminist booking agency DISCWOMAN’s roster. As APOCALIPSIS’ founder, RIOBAMBA co-produced Boiler Room’s first reggaetón showcase, and solidifed music education partnerships with The Loisaida Center, Abrons Arts Center, and Sonic Arts for All, as well as a Brooklyn juvenile detention center.
Focused on metal/hardcore/alternative music, Famined Records has garnered heavy, technical and progressive underground bands from the US, Canada, Europe, Hungary, Turkey, and most recently, even acts in Hong Kong and Vietnam. Now under the badass reign of Chelsea Coronin, Famined Records maintains an insatiable hunger for new music and a never-ending drive that has helped them become one of the main up and coming underground labels in the industry, and things are only looking up.
A Diamond Heart Production
Owned by Vanessa Silberman, A Diamond Heart Production is an Artist Development Label, Recording, Music and Publishing Company. Vanessa works closely with various bands and artists like Carissa Johnson, Jess Adams, The Damed and more to help them develop different aspects of their career with care and a unique point of view. She and ADHP roll against the grain. They take risks and push their artists to venture into unknown territory. Her work spans across many different aspects of the industry, and her skills express the mastery she’s earned over years of experience.
We can’t ignore the lack of gender equality all industries, not only the music industry, possess. As female artists continue to yearn and hustle for a change, labels like these are changing the name of the game.
These women owned labels stand for more than just equality. They stand as an example for others to step up, speak up and support change. We applaud them and all the other organizations led by women who take no shit and spread inclusivity and love throughout everything they do.