PRS for Music celebrates International Women's Day with Girls I Rate

Four of the most hotly-tipped and outspoken women in UK music take to the stage for PRS Presents

Last night PRS for Music joined forces with Girls I Rate to celebrate International Women’s Day.

Four of the most hotly-tipped and outspoken women in UK music took to the stage at PRS for Music’s King’s Cross headquarters, with live performances from Etta Bond, Miraa May, Paigey Cakey and Amaria, hosted by Rebecca Judd and a DJ set from Ellie Prohan.

BRIT Award-winning, Grammy-nominated songwriter, activist and founder of Girls I Rate, Carla Marie Williams, and Claire Jarvis, PRS for Music Director of Membership, both spoke on the night about gender disparity in the songwriting profession, as the event coincided with new stats from PRS for Music revealing that of the top 20 highest earning songwriters and music composers in the UK last year, only one was female.

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These statistics are indicative of widespread gender disparity across the entire UK music business and shine a light on the need for continued positive action to be taken to make our industry a fairer and more inclusive space. Whether through creating opportunities, breaking down barriers, improving education, or mentoring, we need to work together to ensure tomorrow’s songwriters have visible role models to aspire to.

Claire Jarvis, Director of Membership, PRS for Music
Girls I Rate was founded by Carla in 2016 to campaign for change in the music business and is now a leading organisation pushing for equality through creating opportunities for young women in music. PRS for Music has previously worked with Carla and Girls I Rate on #GETHEARD, an annual two-day event that gives 200 undiscovered female songwriters the chance to have their demos heard by an expert industry panel.
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I’m extremely over the moon to be working with PRS again to further celebrate and put the spotlight on some amazing female talent in the UK. This year we have some great collaborations between Girls I Rate and PRS which will further push our mission to give as much opportunity to female songwriters artists and producers as possible! We have started but the work has only just begun.

Carla Marie Williams, Founder, Girls I Rate

More than 1,000 women in the UK registered as working songwriters and composers last year, according to latest figures from leading performing rights organisation, PRS for Music. Yet the ratio of female songwriters and composers remains flat year-on-year, with 17% of PRS for Music’s writer membership identifying as female. This figure was just 13% in 2011, signalling slow progress across the music industry to address gender imbalance in the profession.

PRS Foundation, supported by PRS for Music, launched the Keychange programme in 2017, which specifically aims to increase the number of women working in the music industry. PRS Foundation also launched a manifesto at the European Parliament last September, continues to run its Women Make Music fund, and achieved a 50/50 split between male and female applicants for all of the organisation’s funding opportunities last year. Girls I Rate has received support from PRS Foundation’s Open Fund for Organisations.

About Girls I Rate  

Girls I Rate is a leading organisation pushing for equality in the music industry by creating opportunities for young women in music. Founded in 2016 by Grammy-nominated songwriter and activist Carla Marie Williams (Beyoncé, Britney Spears, Girls Aloud) to campaign for change and create opportunities for young women in the music industry. Recognised by her peers for her far-reaching campaign work, Carla has been featured in shesaid.so’s Alternative Power 100 and named Stylist’s Woman of the Week. PRS for Music has previously worked with Carla and Girls I Rate through #GETHEARD, an annual two-day event that gives undiscovered female songwriters the chance to network and have their demos heard by an expert panel.  

About the performers 

Etta Bond is known and loved for her soulful British vocal and straight-talking attitude. Inspired by the likes of Jill Scott, Billie Holiday and Etta James, her songwriting finesse, coupled with her powerful delivery is teeming with a vulnerability and honesty that will warm even the coldest heart. Championed by The Guardian as a ‘skinhead soul princess’, she has been named one of their Future 50 rising stars to watch, as well as being tipped by The Fader in their list of 10 UK R&B Artists that you need to know about. 

Miraa May was born in Algeria and moved to the United Kingdom with her parents as a young child. Growing up, she gained a passion for music and all things creative, taking up music classes at school and any other place she could. Miraa left the UK for the first time in her life and travelled to Salaam Remi’s (Fugees, Nas, Amy Winehouse, Ms Dynamite) Miami studio to work on EP, N15. In November, 2018, Miraa May released her Island Records debut, Care Package. Miraa May is opinionated, passionate, feisty, honest, loving, righteous and deep. Never one to hold back on what she feels needs to be said or heard, not interested in doing what the rest do, just doing Miraa May. 

Paigey Cakey is an East London based rapper, emerging as an essential singing and rapping voice on the scene. Influenced by her Caribbean father and British mother, as well as the music that she heard coming over from the States, she is someone who always has a story to tell and does so with a real sense of fun and feistiness.  She has performed on stage as support for Lil Kim, Eve, The Game, Azealia Banks, Dappy, So Solid Crew, Krept and Konan, Stormzy and Geko. 

Amaria is just 15, but she has already won a TV talent show, appeared on the same bill as Leona Lewis, performed at Radio 1’s Big Weekend and represented Hackney on stage in New York. 

About PRS for Music

PRS for Music represents the rights of songwriters, composers and music publishers in the UK and around the world. As a membership organisation it works to ensure that creators are paid whenever their musical compositions and songs are streamed, downloaded, broadcast, performed and played in public. With over 100 representation agreements in place globally, PRS for Music's network represents over two million music creators worldwide. In 2018, 11.2 trillion performances of music were reported to PRS for Music with £746m collected on behalf of its members, making it one of the world’s leading music collective management organisations. 

PRS for Music’s
public performance licensing is now carried out on PRS for Music’s behalf by PPL PRS Ltd, the new joint venture between PPL and PRS for Music