Work All Day, Nap, Dance All Night: Who are Nap Girls
Madi Carr and Jennie Gilbert (aka DJ’s Sports and Jennifer Jennifer) are the heads of the Australian chapter of the collective trying to push for the celebration and collaboration of female identifying acts in the music industry, Nap Girls. This collective already has a huge presence in the USA as females and gnc artists on stage and behind the scenes have banded together to help boost each other up and emphasise each other’s contributions. In Australia, these two have put on a couple of banging parties chock full of brilliant femme talent and now they’re going to bring their own to the CURVY Creative Women’s Conference launch party – Like A Girl, alongside plenty more talented acts. The Nap Girls motto is ‘Work All Day, Nap, Dance All Night’ and these girls do not stop working on what they believe in, luckily we got a chance to ask some burning questions about women in the industry, napping and the future of the collective.
So for the uninitiated, what is Nap Girls?
JENNIE: Nap Girls is a non-profit creative collaborative collection of female and female-identifying persons working in music. It aims to promote gender equality particularly within the dance music industry through educating and inspiring individuals across the globe.
What inspired you guys to reach out across the pond to bring Nap Girls to Australia?
MADI: Well we already had a group of like minded girls in the biz who were working to do good things to connect & empower women – one of whom hit me up about applying to be a Nap Girl and realizing that there was a pretty good foundation of girls here in Aus. already in the collective, but no real base for action on the ground – it was sort of a natural instinct to see if there was a bit more I could do here other than just singing up to a group based in LA. The collectives mission statement really resonated with me and Liz Gerard (HBIC) was quick to agree to a few skype meetings. I asked my college/mate Jennie along and straight away we all figured out pretty quickly where our strengths would lay, as well as a few things we could do to officially launch the Sydney chapter.
How would you like to see the gender disparity in the music industry changed?
JENNIE: I think that currently the spotlight is focused the gender disparity when it comes to lineups. There’s a huge debate on whether females should be booked simply to fill a female quota or whether they should be booked due to the fact that they are good enough artists. It’s a very fine line – no female act wants to be booked simply because they are women however I think it’s important to have more females on lineups as it gives younger female musicians something to aspire to. I also think that there are plenty of female artists out there who are just as good as the guys on the lineup, however maybe don’t have enough attention behind them for promoters to justify the booking. Perhaps it’s a case of giving these female acts more exposure to generate more hype behind them? It’s a vicious cycle.
MADI: Further on this issue it is a very tunnelled perspective to outlandishly say that there isn’t a more balanced lineup in terms of gender simply because there are not as many qualified female artists out there. The whole thing, just like with any social issue is complicated and deep-seated especially in the music biz where a lot of women are overlooked from the get go. As well as not having any mentors, plus an intimidating boys club (to some) and in general punters assuming if a woman is an artist she’s simply a singer. Hell I’ve caught plenty an uber where upon saying I work in the music industry all of a sudden I’m a singer… We need more women behind the scenes as well– and in terms of CHANGE… it’s definitely on the horizon. The cogs are in motion people, I feel it in my loins however its definitely not around the corner and there are still plenty of misogynistic old dudes working in teams of dudes for other dudes with dismal attitudes on women, or even people (I say people yes) that simply don’t actually realise their engrained sexism. However these are generally the type of people who literally don’t understand the definition of feminism.
What makes you excited about the Australian music scene and being a part of it?
MADI: Aus music scene is great because there’s definitely a lot of brewing sub cultures and associated events and music. Post lock out laws in Sydney has been pretty bleak for the city as a whole but there’s definitely been more of an underground even illegal parties kicking off. We now have more collectives pushing European and UK sounds and more innovative events held in a much richer range of venues. Its also great to see the existing club nights push themselves to create new concepts for their parties to reach their full potential. I definitely feel sorry for tourists as you do need to know where these are at to really enjoy them, but hopefully this will just be the beginning nay the birthing of a much more vibrant city down the track once these crazy stifling and depressing laws are abolished. (fingers crossed)
Nap Girls has been up and running since your launch at EMC at the end of last year, how did that go and how has the response been?
JENNIE: We were really grateful to be apart of EMC last year and I believe that was an ideal way for us to introduce Nap Girls to the Australian music community we were lucky enough to be celebrating that week. We teamed up with local party Deeper Than House to showcase some local femme talent and we were really happy with the result. We packed out and were able to have the conversation about how important this movement is which was really our aim. We gained a lot of interest now and that’s how we were able to find some of our angel board members.
You just finished up a few parties at the night And Then at World Bar. What was the vibe you were bringing at those shows?
MADI: We just finished up doing a couple parties at WB yeah. There’s a few things to achieve with these events I feel. 1. to support women, but not exclude men. Not a huge fan of “Ladies Night” billed parties, we just want to make sure the lineup is mostly female/GNC artists. Its just about fixing up the imbalance, not male shaming. 2. Create a space for ideas. We want people to link up and have inspiring discussions. Ideas become things, and we want to provide a safe space for that. Also the tea rooms were especially good as it was quite an intimate space, much less initiating than walking into a huge room. And we went pretty ham on the décor.
Sydney is the hub for Aus Nap Girls at the moment, are there any plans of introducing more members and expanding across the country?
MADI: Oh yeah we actually have a napper in Adelaide! Which is very cool. I think the base, at least for us, will always be here in Syd but the aim is to spread the word, and influence and projects around Aus.
Who would you love to collaborate with?
MADI: I would LOVE to do stuff with the indigenous community. But early days.
How can people be a part of the Nap Girls collective in Australia?
JENNIE: We are always looking for recruits! It’s as simple as messaging the Facebook page or either of us and giving an expression of interest. Alternatively you can head direct and fill our a Napplication here.
What advice would you give women and gnc creatives trying to get into the scene? (whether it be as a DJ, producer, musician or promoter)
MADI: I’ve always said throw your own parties. If no one will book you.. book yourself! As long as there’s passion (and the internet) – the rest will follow.
You guys are part of the lineup for the upcoming Curvy Collective ‘Like a Girl’ launch party that celebrates women in the creative industries that are out there doing their own thing. Are there any femme music artists that have caught your eye lately?
JENNIE: Anna Lunoe, she’s definitely had an impressive and inspiring career so far.
MADI: For sure, Miss Blanks! Ella Maximillion local DJ/Designer also has a really great musical ethos supporting queer artists & lots of female rap. Oh and MUKI.
What do you want to achieve with Nap Girls before the end of the year?
MADI: We actually have a pretty exciting day in the works but nothing we can indulge just yet… stay tuned.
And beyond that? How do you see this going into the future, what else would you love to do with this platform?
JENNIE: Mainly we just want to further our advocacy for females and gnc individuals within the music community. We want to inspire and create a platform which celebrates powerful woman and the work that they do for such a fantastic and creative industry. Its important to highlight that this is not at all a man-hating collective but rather a group to lift woman up and provide a space for them to reach out to other women to gain advice and experiences to further themselves and their career.
In your professional nap taking opinions, how long should a nap be for optimal alertness? Do you have any nap hacks to share?
MADI: Oh my gosh. Before I was a DJ I could never nap. Now it’s a blessing, still not super easy for me but when it happens … it’s a glorious thing. I had a nap before a gig on the weekend which was 2 hours of bliss. But I also hear a hot 30 minutes is also refreshing enough.. could be something that’s just up to the individual? But no longer than 2 hours because then I’d say that classifies as more of a sleep than a kip.
‘LIKE A GIRL’: 2017 CURVY LAUNCH IN SUPPORT OF FEMFOUND
June 1st 2017 @ Freda’s
$10 donation on the door. All proceeds to go FemFound.
FB EVENT AND MORE INFO
CODA CONDUCT (live)
MISS BLANKS (live)
WORDS BY HOLLY O’NEILL