Words by Becca Moore
Saffron Records. A Bristol-based record company with a twist. In 2015, the all-female record label was born hoping to help females aged 16-25 start up their musical careers. Laura Lewis-Paul is the creative director of the label and has a team of female mentors and artists working with her to help build her business. Saffron Records started out as a Prince’s Trust Enterprise Scheme and offers three strands of work; apprenticeships, becoming a signed artist and school programs.
Saffron Records has signed a number of female artists like China Bowls, a singer-songwriter with a “neo soul jazz vibe”. Bowls has played festivals like Glastonbury and Boomtown, perhaps proving that this fully female record label isn’t all that bad. Saffron Records are constantly working with new acts and helping them to release new music.
In the 21st Century there are lots of reason for us to believe that the music industry is male dominated, for example the ongoing problem that is festival line-ups being very male orientated (but I’ll save that argument for another day). Of course, female artists are doing extremely well also, look at Adele for example winning five awards at the 2017 Grammy Awards but that doesn’t mask the fact that in some circumstances there is still some level of inequality gazing over us. So does this mean that Saffron Records is helping the music industry take a step in the right direction?
Saffron Records have announced their new scheme of master classes for young women aged 16-25 were “inspired by Laura Marlings – Reversal of the Muse” and they’re also planning on “having their own studio that young women can hire out and that they can run courses from”. ‘Saffron for Sound’ is a series of 6 week courses running from February 4th to July 15th. In these courses you will be taught skills for either sound engineering or music production and their aim is to “encourage more young women to access music technology.” More information can be found on their website here
But I know what you might be thinking, if someone were to create an all-male record label then there’d be a great uproar and feminists would be chiming in left, right and centre. And in some aspects, I completely agree, it is slightly unfair, but Saffron Records isn’t here to bring down male artists and musicians, it’s here to help boost smaller female artists and help them grow into the most powerful versions of themselves that they can be.
So does this mean that in years to come we’ll see a rise in strong female artists? Will the music industry finally be balanced out? Don’t get me wrong, I think there are some incredible male artists doing very well for themselves and some maybe not so great and the same goes for the female musicians out there as well. But I think a bit of extra female lovin’ won’t do this industry any harm.
Find Saffron Records