From 3rd-6th October 2019, members of the shesaid.so network from all over the world were invited to gather and bring their online connection to life.
Our BA (Hons) Songwriting student Sha Supangan traveled to Portugal for the conference and returned full of enthusiasm and ideas. We caught up with Sha to hear all about her experience.
Taking place in Portimão, Portugal, MEETSSS has been the first international conference organised by shesaid.so. Established in 2014, shesaid.so is an international and diverse community of women working in the music business (record labels, artist management, bookings, tech, creative and more) which aims to connect and empower underrepresented female communities within the industry.
The MEETSSS event, which happened on shesaid.so's 5th anniversary, was open to executives, artists and creatives of all genders working in entertainment and willing to nurture new relationships in the music industry.
"I was not prepared for what MEETSSS had in store for me and everyone else at the conference; a women-led conference for all!
I didn't head over with specific expectations in mind. I thought it would surely be an informative and progressive conference - which it was - but there was so much more than that!
From workshops in building confidence, public speaking and social media skills, to how-to talks about promoting music on a global scale, hearing stories from women from such a wide array of jobs in the music industry (most of which I've never heard before!) was an eye-opening experience."
The busy 4-day schedule saw talks, panels and workshops with some of the most influential women (and men!) of the music business. MEETSSS' featured speakers from businesses like Universal Production Music, Resident Advisor, The Orchard, Sony ATV, AWAL, CAA and Spotify, all looking to share the best tools to thrive, give back to the community, and mentor future generations of leaders.
"These vibrant women are helping to shape the future of the industry; to hear their journey in the music business, how they got to where they are now, and their desire to see more women succeeding as leaders, was tremendously inspiring" , Sha told us.
Shesaid.so's founder Andreea Magdalina is extremely proud of how the event turned out: "MEETSSS was a beautiful experiment, first and foremost. It allowed us to test the pulse of our international online community and learn whether the same positive energy, openness and inclusiveness translate offline in the same way. Needless to say, it far exceeded our expectations.
The type of human connection that we were able to witness in those 4 days in Portimão is virtually unheard of, transcending seniority, age, race and other denominators that commonly pull people apart."
The safe and inclusive environment in which MEETSSS took place allowed women to open up and feel comfortable asking questions about sensitive topics such as racism and sexism in the music industry.
"There was no pointing fingers; all these women were genuinely looking for ways to solve problems using technology, research, training, mentorship programmes and other various initiatives", Sha commented.
The peer-to-peer mentoring scheme she.grows, also developed by shesaid.so, was represented in a mini-version during the 4-day conference. Five mentors and mentees took part in a series of group training sessions, as well as 1:1 meetings. In addition, the official MEETSSS schedule included a panel discussion to present the she.grows scheme and the concept of mentoring.
Sha continues: "Then there was the jaw-dropping music: from Dope Saint Jude, singing dance-ready, political, self-approved, and powerful songs, Dehlia de France who performed her beautiful electronic hits, to Da Chick with her funky tunes, and many more artists who explored technology, sounds and moods.
We also had brunch, a boat trip around the coast, tea ceremonies by the ocean, yoga in the morning, all surrounded by blue skies and simply the perfect weather. How can I forget the amazing food? It was breathtaking for all the senses and especially for the soul."
It's something that will resonate with me for a long, long time. 100+ women in the music industry, gathered together, rallying and lifting each other up in this marvellous place. I'm just in awe, empowered; as if I was suddenly given the gentle but firm nudge I needed to move forward."
Overall, MEETSSS was definitely a success and we are looking forward to the next one! We would also like to thank Sha for feeding back to our diverse student community.
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If you're interested in joining our diverse and inclusive community of students, and contribute to our commitment to bridge the music industry's gender gap, then speak to our friendly Admissions Team. They're on hand to help you find the right course that matches your ability and aspirations.
Contact the team on 020 7328 0222 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org and start your music career today.