Music

Women’s Producer’s Diary: Read MNDR’s account of ‘No Name’, a songwriting camp run by non-male producers



	
		

	
		

	
		

	
		Women's Producer's Diary: Read MNDR's account of 'No Name', a songwriting camp run by non-male producers

Diversity

I am the artist, producer, writer and multi-instrumentalist MNDR (Amanda Warner). I’ve been playing music all my life and kicking the music industry for the past 15 years or so, and this is my diary of a creative musical experience that, as far as I know, never happened this way .

To give some context, the huge gender disparities in the music-making process over the years have bothered me, and the lack of representation has honestly bothered me. According to the 2022 USC Annenberg “Recording Studio Inclusion” study, 2.8% of producers are non-male (a 2% increase from the 2020 study), as well as 12.7% of composers and 21.8% of artists.

These numbers were not only a punch in the gut, but also a kind of surreal crisis for me. I always thought of music as that progressive and avant-garde space that pushed, bent and broke the boundaries of culture. In fact, I’d say it was the “IDGAF” attitude to music that got me through life. I believe that music is the language of the soul and that it transcends gender aspects as it amplifies what connects us all: emotions. So, it was heartbreaking to learn that a creative perspective was completely muted, to say the least, as the entire music industry was trapped in some ridiculously homogenous vacuum. I had to do something very different in my own creative life to get my soul back from the shock of realizing how much music I didn’t listen to just because of someone’s genre.

So this year I decided to try something that was “shocking” I think: I decided, not to post on social media or discuss with editors and managers, to work only in rooms and projects where there are people creative non-men up more than 50% of it. room and, ideally, 100% of the room. This is risky behavior, as a music producer, writer and artist who depends on the records that come out to support her family – especially in an industry that is as competitive and cursed as it can be. But honestly, I had to do it, because I felt my passion for music was dying, and the change I needed to make was the “talking about / sharing the trauma” to the “action” part of the change. the point: it’s about wanting to hear a fresh new take on music made by those people with the microphone, and celebrating their joy in making music.

With the help and support of successful songwriter Tayla Parks and my amazing management teams at Seeker and Tigerspring, this path took me to a castle in Denmark, where I worked with the best singers and creatives – all of them led by non-male producers. create the next generation of chart hits.

We call this experience or camp “No Name”, a title that embodies the rebellious spirit of the music, with a conscious win.

DAY 1

A two-hour journey from Copenhagen on a party bus from Denmark with twenty of today’s hottest musical creatives and we’re all buzzed and buzzed. The energy on the bus is supercharged with nervousness, jet lag, and lightning bolts of creativity. I can definitely feel that we are the rarest of the best because sometimes the best music is made later in the day.

We arrive at Dallund, a beautiful Danish castle from the 14th century located on a beautiful lake, completely surreal for all Americans on this trip. Although the estate has undergone many renovations and has all the modern facilities found in any luxury hotel, you are surrounded by history and beautiful history when you set foot on the property – it is as you would feel the souls you have. part of her life left here. The whole experience is beautifully curated, with organic farm-to-table foods at every meal. The air is sweet with hints of early fall, the farm’s apple orchard is abundant, and the weather is as pleasant as it gets. Not bad for a five day music camp.

We meet in the lakeside gardens, which are so clear we could dip our straws in for a cool drink. A small meeting and a champagne toast to start is just what we all need. Tigerspring, Seeker, Tayla Park, and I quickly summarize the spirit of “No Name,” and I hope you’re all inspired. t’s just about creating great opportunities for male and non-male allies to connect and collaborate, but it’s also about celebrating the joy of making music together, which can all get lost. After the toast, all the producers (Suzi Shin, V-Ron, Fanny Hultman and myself) went to our assigned studios and started to prepare. Let’s get it right: I’m exhausted, but everyone is… So let’s start making music!!

DAY 2

It seems like everyone is trying to get past their jet lag. Many people got up early and did a nice walk or run around the lake before the day started. Everyone is starting to go into the dining room for breakfast and coffee, because the only strategy is to caffeinate all morning. There is a lot of talk and buzz about the songs that were made the night before era. The room I was producing in was particularly crazy and noisy, as Benchwarmer, Bibi Bourelly, Oliver Frid and I worked well into the wee hours on a brutal electronic song that could only be played at a very high volume.

As the day goes on, I can feel the creative energy flowing through the castle. Each room has a completely different vibe, and everyone is making great recordings. It is also great to see everyone gathered in the garden to rest, smoke or drink; you will hear the laughter and muffled rhythms rolling out of the rooms. There’s something about a group of musicians together: We’re a competitive but loving group. As the night progresses, some have written and recorded up to six songs, and after a few bottles of wine they are sure to go all night long. I was really hoping that after the “fixed” sessions during the day, people would spontaneously start making songs together, and that seems to be happening.

DAY 3

Everyone left pretty late the night before, so it’s no wonder it’s a slow morning for the whole camp. I notice some new faces in the camp, which is exactly the loose atmosphere we were hoping to create. The day starts (slowly) at 11:30 am with everyone’s first session, but at 3 pm the whole castle buzzes again with melodies, rhythms, laughter, singing and the beginning of new friendships… there really is nothing like it.

I spent the first half of the day getting to know the other producers: Fanny Hultman, V-Ron, and Suzie Shinn. We’re all surprised that we’ve never worked together before, and here we all are, producing and writing almost every day: I’ve noticed how many non-male creatives are tackling it right now, but we don’t work very much together. often. Again the beautiful competitive nature of the musician comes out as people do four, five, even eight songs as the night goes on… and it never seems to end. It’s 1:45 in the morning, the wine is flowing, and we’re all outside with acoustic guitars around a bonfire, writing songs, laughing, and telling stories. I know I will be put to sleep by the night owls, who will play until the sun comes up. I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings.

DAY 4

The last day at camp starts with a lazy breakfast and coffee. People definitely move a little slower, as most of us were up until sunrise working on songs and hanging around the bonfire, but by noon the castle is pulsing with music. The day stretches into night again, and everyone spends their Danish adventure with music, chaos, joy, new friendships and creative love affairs. A sad end to a glorious condensed four day event that has really never happened before in our industry. This beautiful and idyllic castle that we call home for our musical dream holidays on the lush Danish hills is truly where fairy tales, inspiration and mermaids come from. And it turns out … girls / women / not really men CAN make hit records … but I think we already knew that.

LIST OF PRODUCERS:

MNDR is a Grammy Award-winning producer, artist, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist credited to Mark Ronson, Calvin Harris, Charli XCX, Santigold, Sophie, Tokimonsta, Flume, Louis the Child, and others. As a member of the Web3 community, MNDR has been a part of recent releases, including their collaboration with RAC, “Ether”.

The IS Singer, songwriter and actor Taylor Parx He is the co-writer of three Billboard Hot 100 singles: Khalid and Normani’s “Love Lies,” Ariana Grande’s “Thank U, Next,” and Panic! “High Hopes.” at the Disco. Her songwriting has earned her two Grammy nominations for the album “Thank U, Next” with Grande and “Justice” with Justin Bieber.

The multi-instrumental composer-producer Wynne Bennett he has worked with Janelle Monae, Haim, Lizzo and many more.

the singer-songwriter Bibi Bourelly Rihanna’s “Bitch Better Have My Money” and “Higher,” Demi Lovato’s “Anyone,” Nick Brewer’s “Talk to Me” among many others. He also appears on Lil Wayne’s “Without You” and Usher’s “Chains.”

The producer Suzy we are he has recently worked with Weezer, Fall Out Boy and Panic at the Disco, among others.

The IS composer Trey CampbellThe Grammy-winning artist has worked with Giveon, John Legend, HER Skip Marley, and Ella Mai, among others.

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Dan

I am Dan/ Anime/ K-pop/ ARMY/ Stay

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