Equalizer Project Opens Opportunities for Women in the Nordic Music Industry

Of the 200+ songwriters behind the fifty most-streamed songs in Norway in 2018, only 11 percent were women, and only one of the eighty-three producers was female—and Norway isn’t alone. While the majority of songwriters and producers around the world have historically been male, we believe Spotify has a unique opportunity to support and fuel the change in this dynamic as it spreads across the industry and, specifically, in the markets where we operate.

“The Norwegian music scene is insanely vibrant right now with the international success of so many artists, songwriters, and producers,” explains our Nordic Managing Director Jenny Hermanson. That’s why we’re bringing our Sweden-based Equalizer Project to Norway: “To highlight the fantastic female role models of the industry and inspire even more women to write and produce.”

In early spring 2017, we launched Equalizer Project, an initiative devoted to creating opportunities for women, transgender, and non-binary professionals in the Nordic music industry. With the support of Swedish singer-songwriter-producer Max Martin, we’ve held several subsequent events in Stockholm aimed at connecting women and non-binary creators in the beginning of their careers with professionals they might not have gotten the opportunity to meet with elsewhere, including Martin himself, Katy Perry, and Shellback, among others. We’ve also hosted a seminar, producer camppodcast, and more programs and events.

Our most recent Equalizer event took place last Wednesday in Oslo with industry professionals such as world renowned DJ, artist, and producer Kygo; acclaimed songwriter and artist Ina Wroldsen; and singer-songwriter Julie Bergan in attendance. These three talents met with five up-and-coming creators, MYRA (Regina Tucker), Amanda TenfjordSKAAR (Hilde Skaar), Lil Halima (Lillian Anderssen), and Margrete Hjelle, to share their knowledge and experience. Keep an eye—and ear—out for our participating newcomers.

At the networking event, Kygo, Wroldsen, and Bergan joined up with Silje Larsen Borgan, founder of Little Big Sister management; Marie Komissar, A&R Director, Universal Music Norway; Erika McRoy, Artist & Label Marketing Lead, Spotify; and Malin Kulseth, Senior Editor, Spotify, to give advice and recommendations to fledgling artists.

Bringing Equalizer Project to Norway’s capital is one step toward connecting even more creators with each other. We participated in the high-profile by:Larm music festival and conference in Oslo this past weekend. Held annually, by:Larm is an essential meeting point for local and international artists, managers, and industry executives—it’s considered to be a Nordic equivalent of SXSW. The music conference offered an important platform for sharing the aforementioned dismal statistics on Nordic female representation and fueling discussions about norms in the music industry, in particular in the music studio.

With our presence at by:Larm and our efforts with Equalizer Project, we are helping to lay the groundwork for achieving greater equality in the music business, from Sweden to Norway and beyond.

Check out the Swedish-language Equalizer podcast below.