Everything You Need To Know About Hospital Records’ Women In Drum & Bass Production Mentorship 2021

Hot off the back of our interview with their mentee Stay-C, Dynamics caught up with Hospital Records to find out more about their Women In Drum & Bass 12-Month Production Mentorship.  

Initially launched in January 2020, the programme gives one lucky applicant the opportunity to learn and develop key industry and production skills with the guidance of the A+R team, artists and department heads over at Hospital.  

They welcome applications from all female and non-binary producers who represent drum & bass internationally or from the UK. And the best thing of all? Applications for the second round are now open until 10th November 2020! 

Nikki, Ellen and Megan, the team behind the scheme, told us more about what candidates can expect from the programme and, most importantly, how to apply!  

A WID&B event that Hospital put on last year

Hey guys! It’s great to hear that you’re running your Women In Drum and Bass Mentorship for a second year. Can you tell us what the successful applicant should expect? And who’s involved from Hospital’s end? 

The chosen mentee will work with our in-house A&R team, who are best suited to their musical style. They will meet monthly, online or in-person (depending on the artist’s location and covid regulations), for the year to discuss a selection of music the artist is working on. The A&R team will give feedback and guidance on the tracks, all in line with the same structure our signed artists have, to bring out the best elements in their sound. Alongside this, they will have sessions with each head of department at the label including Business Affairs and Sync, DJ Bookings with Clinic Talent, Promotions and Marketing, Merchandise, and Digital. They will also have a production masterclass with an artist on the label. If needed, they will have access to the Hospital studio and office based in south London. 

The mentee can contact any member of the team for advice, support and guidance outside of their sessions, we feel it’s important that they feel part of the family. Our team will also help connect them with key contacts and opportunities within the music industry. 

Following their mentorship, there is no commitment required from the mentee to the label however our team will always be available to the mentee should they need us. We are also working towards developing an alumni group of all our mentee’s moving forwards to create a long-standing supportive community that will grow over the years. 

Amazing! So, what are Hospital looking for in candidates? 

When our first application opened in October 2019, we were blown away with the amount of applicants we received. It’s great to know that there are so many female-identifying artists making drum & bass. It was so exciting to see! 

We’re looking for enthusiastic female-identifying or non-binary drum & bass producers who are aged 18 and over, we welcome UK-based and international applicants. The mentorship requires the artist to be dedicated throughout the year, so being driven and passionate about making music is essential, with a good understanding of how they use their DAW. Our aim is to provide development in their production/musical abilities throughout the year, so that they can work towards releasing that music with a label if they wish. 

Why have Hospital been keen to make sure that this is open to international applicants? 

People are producing and listening to drum & bass all over the world, and we want to make sure the doors are open to everyone so that we can reach as many artists as possible. This year’s mentee Stay-C has lived in Johannesburg, South Africa throughout her mentorship and the program has been very effective for her. We can run everything online these days, which covid has proven, so we have no reason to limit applications to just UK-based artists. 

And what has the feedback from Stay-C been like? 

Stay-C has been an amazing first mentee. She is incredibly talented and we hope the mentorship has helped her grow confidence in herself and her music. 

Stay-C’s feedback has been great, we love the fantastic blog piece written about her on the Dynamics website. Her music is sounding amazing and we’re all very excited about it! 

Obviously, this mentorship is a reaction to the barriers that womxn face within the DnB scene. What would you say some of these are and how does the WID&B mentorship aim to overcome them? 

There are so many intersectional barriers womxn face in the D&B scene but boosting the confidence of womxn and amplifying their voices is what is needed in a male-dominated industry. We hope additional support like this mentorship can help to empower more womxn to feel confident to get involved, in whatever aspect they wish within the drum and bass industry. 

It’s been incredible to see so many female artists thriving during lockdown – live streaming and appearing on social distancing event lineups. 

We want to continue helping talented artists to have confidence in their music and production, and reach their full potential! 

We hope more people in powerful positions can be actively vocal about committing to equality, and make a change within the music industry and drum & bass as a whole. 

It’s definitely a fantastic idea but for the scheme be successful there needs to be a more equal playing field when the mentorship is over so that the successful candidate can flourish. Will the successful applicant receive any support when the scheme is over? And what can we be doing to ensure that women are more empowered in the DnB industry in general? 

We aim to create a full support structure in which the artist can continue to grow after the 12 months. The team will link them up with contacts in the music industry to help them expand their network and increase their chances of getting more opportunities. Our support will always be there no matter the path they choose to take. 

To empower womxn in the industry, first of all, they need to feel comfortable. The more females seen to be playing on line ups and releasing tracks the more will have the courage to do the same. Inspiration is key! 

Promoters need to commit to balancing up their line ups. Labels and agencies need to go out of their way to find new female talent, rather than just going with who they already know and what is easy. Artists need to be championing more female talent. Everyone has to be committed to making meaningful change, it’s not something that happens overnight. It’s important for labels, agencies, promoters etc to be having these conversations and really going out of their way to being more inclusive for everyone. 

And finally, the most important question of all, how do we apply!? 

Head to the link below! 

This year we wanted to switch up the application process and give womxn the chance to remix a Hospital track as part of their submission. We have provided the stems to Keeno’s ‘I Wonder’ so you can get creative and put your own spin on the track. If this isn’t for you, we’ve also given you the option to submit two of your own original tracks. 

We can’t wait to go through the applications and if you don’t make it this time, we have so many more opportunities coming up that will be shared in the Women In Drum & Bass Facebook group. Good luck! 

Apply here > https://forms.gle/TwwPqwfTmaiB3aA18 

Applications close on 10th November 2020. 

Thanks for taking the time to talk to us. We can’t wait to find out who is successful and watch them grow.  

Words by Emma Rochford

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