Black Women Pushing The Right Buttons. A Look At Black Women Behind The Boards As Sound Engineers & Producers.
March 10, 2023
Black women have been making a significant impact in the music industry as music engineers, producing some of the biggest hits for successful artists. Despite this, some of the women involved in making the biggest hits are often overlooked by mainstream media and aren’t given the recognition they deserve. To breakout as a producer or engineer is already hard because you’re lending your talent to the public facing artist, and only when people take time to read producer credits do they get to know you, and that’s even difficult in the digital age, moreso for Black women in that field. Even though there are challenges in this male-dominated industry, some women have broken barriers and proved their worth, earning respect for their work behind the scenes. Let’s take a look at some of the notable Black women who have made a name for themselves as music engineers for successful artists in recent times.
Kesha Lee: Kesha Lee is an Atlanta-based music engineer who has worked with some of the biggest names in the industry, including Childish Gambino, Migos, and Lil Uzi Vert. She has received widespread recognition for her work on Childish Gambino’s Grammy-winning album “This Is America.” In 2021, Kesha Lee made history as the first female engineer to win the Best Engineered Album Grammy for Beyonce’s “Black Parade.” Her work on the album earned her widespread praise, with many crediting her for its excellent sound quality.
Georgia Anne Muldrow: Georgia Anne Muldrow is a musical powerhouse that has navigated and paved the way for so many women in the underground hip hop scene. Coming from a musical background, it’s no surprise that she wears so many hats in front and behind the scenes. Her midas touch can be seen in the works of artists such as Erykah Badu, Yasiin Bey, Robert Glasper, Blood Orange, and many other revered artists. Her recent work with Detroit rapper, Elzhi, saw her flexing her production prowess when they collaborated on the acclaimed 2022 project, Zhigeist. If there’s anyone who deserves recognition for being a behind the scenes extraordinaire, it’s Georgia Anne Muldrow.
Chloe Bailey: I think a lot of people underrated or didn’t know Chloe’s ability behind the boards as a producer. On top of having co-produced majority of the songs on “Ungodly Hour”, she removed any shroud of doubt with her IG / Tik-Tok videos making beats. It was entertaining to see people reacting to her making a song live. Her production is incredible but what I like about her, is that she’s having fun with it and making music that she wants. Her producer credit sheet is already extensive and I can’t wait to see what she does next.
Madison Mcferrin: Madison McFerrin is one of the highly gifted singer / songwriter we’ve had a pleasure of witnessing in our lifetime. Her talent allows her to produce music from multiple genres including jazz, soul, RnB, electronic pop etc. As a producer, her sound is heavily influenced by Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone and of course her father and brother, Bobby & Taylor McFerrin. Her recent single “(Please Don’t) Leave Me Now” off of Madison’s forthcoming debut full length album I Hope You Can Forgive Me is on heavy rotation on my playlist.
In conclusion, Black women music engineers and producers have been making a significant impact in the music industry, producing some of the biggest hits for successful artists. These women have broken barriers and proved their worth, earning respect for their work behind the scenes. From Kesha Lee’s work on Beyonce’s “Black Parade” to Chloe Bailey’s contributions on “Ungodly Hours” these women have contributed to some of the most critically acclaimed albums of recent times. They serve as an inspiration to aspiring music engineers, especially women of color, and their contributions to the industry are invaluable.
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