International Womens Day: Getting through a ‘Rough Period’ with Annie Bass
Today is International Women’s Day, so we wanted to shine the spotlight on some incredible women that are working towards empowerment and equality for women everywhere.
One Sydney artist who’ll performing for IWD tonight is ANNIE BASS. She will be spinning tunes at ‘The Rough Period’ fundraising event. For those of you who may not have heard of ‘The Rough Period’, it’s an organisation aimed at providing basic health and sanitary resources for women in need. It’s run by three women, Jasmine Coronado, Amber Sisson and Noni Cragg; and despite it’s size, ‘The Rough Period’ already having a massive impact on the community. “We have a very simple objective and that is to provide women sleeping rough in Sydney with safe and clean sanitary items. No woman should have to choose between food and essential menstruation items due their period. We want our work to challenge the way Australian’s talk about periods and homelessness as well as hopefully remove some of the stigma and taboo status around this issue,” Amber commented.
We chatted with Annie Bass ahead of her DJ set at tonights fundraiser, to talk about being surrounding by strong role models, and her journey into becoming one.
Q: Growing up, who or what inspired you?
I am the youngest of three girls, and have been lucky to watch both my sisters grow into incredibly successful young women. My parents were both very career focused, and always encouraged us to do what we loved; there was never an expectation to fulfil any stereotype or gender rolls. They told us we were strong, and we could do anything.
My family will never stop inspiring and motivating me.
Q: You live with some pretty bloody inspiring women (i.e. one who works for the rough period / is running the fundraiser that you’ll be playing at on Weds), how does being surrounded by independent and ambitious women in your environment influence you?
I have always been surrounded by strong female role models, and rarely in my adolescent life did I ever feel like I couldn’t do something because I was a girl.
My close friends are some of the most hard working and ambitious women you’ll meet. I’m lucky to live and work with women (and men) who are dedicated to breaking the stigma surrounding unconscious gender bias, both in and out of the music industry.
When it comes to women’s health and wellbeing, the girls behind The Rough Period work tirelessly to create awareness. Seeing behind the scenes has made me crucially aware of the work that still needs to be done to generate change.
Q: The Rough Period is a pretty special organisation, with a name that’s both clever and poignant, can you tell us a bit about a particularly rough period you’ve been through (personally or professionally)?
Growing up around the music industry I learnt pretty quickly what it means to have to fight for gender equality. Studying and playing music as female vocalist I felt constant pressure to prove myself as a musician in a heavily male dominated environment.
It has taken me a long time to feel comfortable with who I am as an artist and who I am as woman, but with experience comes confidence. Working to see past my own ego and image to create art that I’m proud of and excited by is what keeps me focused.
Q: What are some of your goals as an artist / performer? What have been some of your biggest milestones to date?
My first live shows were supporting female artists like ELIZABETH ROSE, KILO KISH, BANNOFFEE, & NICOLE MILLAR. Nurturing those relationships is so important to me, especially within this industry. My goals as a performer sometimes feel endless, but at the end of the day I want to make music that represents who I am and what I believe in.
Q: What pearls of wisdom would you have for other women aspiring to make it in the music industry?
While we cannot deny it’s a male dominated industry, if you look in the right communities you’ll find a strong female presence.
Always ask for advice, be involved and be active.
If you wish to attend or donate to ‘The Rough Period’ you can find more details here.
Words by ROSIE RAE