EQ50 is back with their Mentorship programme for Womxn or non-binary producers in & Drum & Bass. After the huge success of their inaugural mentorship in 2020, they are back for season 2 with another 12-month programme set in place for 5 brand new mentees. This year they have partnered up with labels such as 1985 Music, Audio Porn Records, Drum & Bass Arena, Rupture and The North Quarter, not bad ey? EQ50 always try and represent the whole spectrum of Drum & Bass incorporating jungle, dancefloor, liquid etc, and looking at this list of labels, all areas are covered!
DJ FLIGHT ON EQ50 MENTORSHIP:
“We hope it inspires a new generation of womxn in d&b”
EQ50 was founded by DJ Flight, Mantra, MC Chickaboo, Jenna G, Sweetpea and Alley Cat and is a collective of womxn working towards fairer representation in Drum & Bass. This Mentorship programme is only one of the many forward-thinking ideas they have done to help make the d&b scene more diverse. I for one, as a womxn in Drum & Bass myself, could not be more proud of what they have achieved so far, and I still think this is just the beginning for this establishment.
SWEETPEA ON EQ50 MENTORSHIP:
“The first round exceeded our expectations. Where our mentees are now is huge proof of that”
If 2020’s mentees are anything to go by, this year’s programme is sure to unearth some real gems. The first round introduced the unstoppable Nia Archives who since being on this programme, has gone on to win an NME award for ‘Best Producer’, not ‘best female producer’, ‘best producer period’, and an AIM award for ‘One to Watch’. She’s toured North America, Australia & New Zealand, has had numerous BBC Radio plays and top 10 Beatport hits, and has collabed with Watch The Ride, Clipz & Beanie Man to name but a few.
And that’s only one of the mentees, there was also Bristol-based producer and record label owner Mandidextrous, who at the time was one of the most established mentees, but has now gone from strength to strength with their production and rise in popularity. Mandidextrious just closed the infamous Printworks for Ram’s 30th anniversary celebrations. Quoting back in 2020 whilst they were on the programme “This project has already given me more energy than I’ve ever had before,” they tell us. “I’m excited for this new venture and an opportunity to shape some new sounds in drum & bass.” and it’s safe to say that they have certainly done that!
Critical Music signed producer Spectral is also another star to come off the back of this programme, having recently been signed by one of the most established agencies in electronic music, Primary Talent. And to think she almost didn’t apply for the programme as she was convinced she wouldn’t be selected “Overall I just really want to grow and develop as an artist through the mentorship,” she’d said. “And definitely improve a lot as a producer. [It] has given me the confidence boost I needed to actually believe in myself and my ability, so I am manifesting success from here on out.”
And not forgetting Athena, Charla Green & Anikonik who have all been taking the scene by storm these last two years and representing womxn and non-binary artists since their mentorship. Hopefully, these six artists have inspired you enough to step out of your comfort zone and apply for this programme and you never know, it might be you winning an award in two years’ time or getting signed to a household name record label.
DJ MANTRA ON EQ50 MENTORSHIP:
A huge benefit of offering five womxn a mentorship is the peer to peer support that will be on offer. They will be able to form their own network and support structures which can have a huge effect on confidence and self esteem.
The whole point of this mentorship is about developing the artists into the artist that they want to be, and giving them the tools to do so. There are no promises of getting gigs, releasing on your dream label or headlining festivals from this programme, but what they can promise is their full support and belief that they can help get your production skills to a level you will be confident enough to try.
This year the applications are open worldwide calling all international artists to apply as well, which is really exciting. Applications close on November 1 at 23:59pm and the application form is available via the front page of the EQ50 website www.eq50.co.uk. EQ50 says that people who apply should be “serious about a career in drum and bass” and “ambitious with a good level of production skills”