“The very natural response, when a woman speaks of music technology, is either to be mansplained or to be challenged.”
We know that women are under-represented in many industries, including music. Slowly, the spectrum is changing with more and more women-only organizations around the world, from girls-only rap circles to women-only music technology summits. They shape a more balanced future that awaits us, no matter the segment, they have a common goal: gender equality.
Jasmine Kok is currently based in Valencia, Spain. She is the leader of She Knows Tech, a platform that emerged as a manifestation of dissatisfaction with the shortage of professional women in music technology. The idea initially came when Jasmine was completing her Masters’s Degree in Music Production Technology and Innovation Program. She noticed that very few women were involved in that department, and that’s how She Knows Tech was born in 2018.
The producer and songwriter’s mission is to close the music industry’s gender gap, she explained in detail the concept and goals of She Knows Tech.
“I was completing my master’s program in Valencia. I was in a program very male dominant. There was no female faculty in my program. I was just very curious, why don’t we see this many women? When I was a student I realized that a lot of women were highly interested in production and engineering, they just didn’t think it was for them.
So we created She Knows Tech as this peer-to-peer support platform, just like a space on the campus where we could support women where we’d have workshops and masterclasses and then, I was able to continue my research program at Berklee and I had She Knows Tech as my project and that was the year when I launched the Tech Training program where I collaborated with five graduated students that year and each one of them trained four undergraduate students in music production, coding for visuals, performing with tech, and recording engineering. It was very dynamic.
The result of the program was phenomenal, it was a small program we accepted 20 trainees, but the success was amazing. Most of them were songwriters or performers, and last year when Covid happened, we had to go remote. We decided to open up our zoom sessions to everyone Berklee students or not and through that, we had the chance to reach a lot more creatives. Last year we did several masterclasses and a whole summer Bootcamp, about 12 Instagram lives, also a speed mentoring session, we did a speed production challenge where we put 40 women in a zoom call and we gave them two hours to produce a track. We just felt that was the right time to do something.
The question is not where are women? The question is women are here, why can’t we see them? Jasmine KokTweet
We put the summit together, that was the most exciting thing we have done to date. The summit was the biggest event we’ve done so far, we are only a team of three. But it was so worth it because the energy of the summit was very exciting, people were so excited to learn from women. I have never attended a virtual event like this before, where people were connected. The gender gap in this industry is changing and evolving the more I get to see, we are still underrepresented in general but women are everywhere. The question is not where are women? The question is women are here, why can’t we see them?
Right now, we are still doing the same thing, but we are adding one more thing to our goal, which is to increase women’s visibility, we want to feature women in technical roles, sharing very technical knowledge, and start normalizing seeing women because on top of that, people are not used to seeing women talking about sound designing, or compressing, so we want to completely normalize it. Oftentimes, instinctively, the very natural response, when a woman speaks of music technology, is either to be mansplained or to be challenged.”
Who can participate?
Jasmine: Anyone can attend, all of our workshops are open to everyone. We also do a tech training program which is a much smaller internal program where we open for all female-identifying and non-binary creatives. We also have smaller programs, as a safe place, with fewer participants. We have a range of programs, we want to celebrate women in the best way possible, we do different programs targetting different crowds.
People are just craving to know different ways to connect, people are dying to learn from women and hear from different perspectives, and women are ready.Tweet
Where is She Knows Tech?
Jasmine: We are all over the world. I’m based in Spain, but there are two other members, Lisa is based in Ireland and Meghan is based in Boston. During the summit, we had people connecting from the U.S, Malaysia, and Europe.
How are people reacting to She Knows Tech?
Jasmine: I am surprised and not surprised. People are just craving to know different ways to connect, people are dying to learn from women and hear from different perspectives, and women are ready. The response is great, from participants to sponsors, everyone sees how crucial this program is, I am very humbled and excited by the response that we receive so far and this is driving us to be even more creative and to produce programs that are even more relevant and exciting for people who are looking for a platform to upgrade and upskill as a professional in the recording industry.
What are you most proud of?
Jasmine: The summit, but I wanna mention that without the team, the summit would not have been possible. We are just a team of producers, engineers, artists, creatives, who trust in this enough to take on different tasks like marketing, social media creation, just because we believe in this platform so much. I am constantly learning and re-learning, and I am very inspired by my team.
What’s next for She Knows Tech?
Jasmine: We are just gonna do everything bigger and better! We are already talking about next year’s summit. We have a huge summer series coming up. We have confirmed very high-profile and successful women in the industry. It is going to be a 4-month series. It is going to be phenomenal, I cannot wait. We are super excited and we are going to be sharing more information by the end of April.
Are you releasing music?
Jasmine: Everybody on the team is a songwriter, artist, or producer, myself included. I am building my artist profile. I have a couple more releases lined up for the next few months. I do a lot of acoustic covers I also toplined in a couple of tracks. I am really into dance-pop, which’s sort of my background.
Would you like to leave a message?
Jasmine: For anyone who desires to get into this career, just do it. If you are someone of gender or racial minority, there are plenty of support resources established just to connect with. If anything, feel free to reach out to She Knows Tech on our social media, we try to be as responsive as possible. Stay in touch with what we do, because we’re always producing series of content for beginners and intermediate learners. Resources are everywhere. There’s no stupid question, the worst thing that you can get from asking your question is “I don’t know” or “I am not going to tell you”. Feel free to say hello, this is exactly why we are here, to empower and celebrate women. We look forward to having you at our events.
Is it free to join?
Jasmine: Last year all of our workshops and master classes were free, but we began compensating our speakers. Some of our events are paid, that’s why we work with sponsors, so we have tickets at a rate that is accessible to everyone. The best way to celebrate women is to hire women and the best way to highlight women is to pay them the rate they deserve to be paid. We have free tech training and a range of events.
Say hello to She Knows Tech and Jasmine: