LCoM students selected for Festival Republic's ReBalance

By Kath Hartley

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Two LCoM students have been selected for the ReBalance Project – an initiative from Festival Republic which aims to redress gender inequality in the music industry. The three-year, Leeds-based project aims to provide a step-up for female solo artists and female-led bands by providing a free week of studio time at Old Chapel Studios in Leeds.

Artists were nominated for the project by a panel of industry experts, who chose third year Jazz student Maya Kally and second year Popular Music student Tamzene Allison-Power.

We caught up with Maya and Tamzene to get their take on the project…

Maya Kally

How did it feel to be selected for ReBalance?

Initially I was in shock - it just came out of nowhere! It's truly such an amazing opportunity, I feel so lucky to have worked on ReBalance. 

How was your week in the studio, and what did you record?

My week in the studio was so insightful and one of my most enjoyable music experiences, the whole process just felt so natural. Yvonne recorded five of my original songs in a week, which was very intense but completely worth it. 

How has this opportunity helped you, and did you learn anything new? 

This opportunity has helped me in so many ways. I would have found it really challenging to come up with the funds to record my EP in a Leeds studio especially if I wanted to work with producers, such as Yvonne. However, after my week in the studio, I now have five fully recorded and mixed original songs. I'm now in the process of working on a music video for one of the songs, organising a tour for the release of the EP and sorting out some more live session for the tunes. I really just hope people enjoy the EP then I can keep doing what I love - that would be the ideal outcome!

Do you think this kind of initiative is important to help create a more equal and harmonious music industry going forwards?

100%, there's currently so much inequality within the music industry and ReBalance are trying to do something about this, which is extremely admirable. 

Anything else you’d like to add about the project?

Just how great the organisers have been, specifically Lucy Wood. A huge thank you to Yvonne Ellis, The Old Chapel Music Studios Leeds, ReBalance, PRS Foundation, Festival Republic and my band!

Tamzene Allison-Power

How does it feel to be selected for ReBalance?

Well, it's a honour to be awarded anything that's going to benefit my musical growth, but especially the opportunity to work and gain advice from such talented characters. It's exciting, and I feel privileged. 

What are your plans for your week in the studio?

It's going to be in July, and I'm planning to do something stripped back, and just experiment with live sound and harmony. 

How do you think this will help you - what opportunities do you hope to see arise as a result of it?

I hope to gain some more knowledge and make the most of getting another studio experience under my belt. Also, I work with so few female producers that I know it's going to be totally different and there will be a lot I want to know and will be able to ask. 

Do you think this kind of initiative is important to help create a more equal and harmonious music industry going forwards?

I think it's essential. The focus has given me a real boost in confidence, and I think will restore some faith in the younger female talent who are considering pursuing a career in the music industry. It's going to help achieve its title- rebalancing opportunities and making space for everyone to have an equal shot.  

Find out more about Maya and Tamzene Maya Kally website | Maya's Soundcloud | Tamzene Soundcloud

Find out more about Popular Music at LCoM | Jazz at LCoM

By Kath Hartley

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