The Best Female Producers 2022
Find Out Who Features in The Best Female Producers 2022
Female music producers only account for a small percentage of those working within the music industry today with the world of the recording studio often seen as a male-dominated space.
The lack of diversity within the music production is certainly supported by various industry stats.
An analysis of the Top 100 UK radio airplay chart in 2020 revealed that women made up only three percent of music producers given production credits on tracks by British artists.
In the US, recent research found that women make up approximately 20 percent of all musical artists while only two percent of women in music are actually producers.
Female Music Producers in Today’s Music Industry
However, figures from the Music Producers Guild (MPG) suggest a change is beginning to take place.
Not only is the organisation’s board now majority-female but there has also been a steady increase in female members – from six percent in 2018 to 13 percent in 2019.
As it looks like the gender imbalance is tipping in the right direction with more women entering this part of the industry, we profile some of our favourite female music producers and learn more about what it takes for anyone looking to become a female music producer in this music world.
How to Become a Female Music Producer?
Outside of studying courses, connecting with a like-minded singer songwriter can be a great way to get started on your path to achieve success as a producer. Collaborating like this can extend your network and audience. It might also offer you some exposure to new skills and ways of working.
Releasing music can also be a huge step forward for a fledgling producer. Whether it is with a record label or on your own label, taking music from your computer and posting it online via SoundCloud or sharing with Spotify is a necessary step.
It sounds obvious but if no one hears your creations, then you might forever be making beats in your bedroom. This way, your approach to distribution is almost as important as the creative process behind your own music.
Read our ultimate guide for more advice for female music producers.
What Technology Do You Need to Master Electronic Music?
Whether you’re looking to record a great rock performance or a concept album exploring queerness, there are some essential technologies that will help you get the most out of any studio situation.
Digital Audio Workstations
Investing in a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) can be a great starting point when figuring out what technology you need to produce music.
From Pro Tools to Fruity Loops or Ableton, there are a variety of DAW options available for a female producer to choose from.
Choosing the right one for you will often depend on how you like to work, what interface you prefer as well as the various genres you want to master.
Investing in hardware such as synthesisers or drum machines is something essential for anyone looking to oversee music production.
The kind of gear you need depends on the style of music you want to make and how much space you can access.
For example if you are looking to capture hard rock sounds from a band that sound like the Red Hot Chili Peppers, then utilising a recording studio is the best idea. This way you can give the lead singer and rest of the band an opportunity to give their best rock performance. You should also have enough room to set up the equipment and backline for recording although the size of the studio space will depend on available budgets.
If you want to record the sounds of a producer specialising in psychedelic beats, then you can potentially capture this ‘in the box’ (so just using audio software on a computer).
Many smash hit tracks have been recorded in a bedroom studio thanks to the brilliance and power of the latest and most innovative technologies.
Who was the First Female Producer?
Born in the 1920s, Ethel Gabriel is recognised as the first female music producer.
Alongside the creative side of the sector, she also worked in A&R enjoying a four-decade career at historic label, RCA Victor. Ethel worked on more than 2,500 records during her music career. Her accolades include producing Henri Mancini’s ‘The Pink Panther’ Soundtrack and Elvis Presley’s ‘Pure Gold’ among many others.
Other important female music producers include the likes of female synth hero Delia Derbyshire and Linda Perry, hitmaker for singer songwriter Alicia Keys and pop star Christina Aguilera.
The Role of the Female Producer
Whether it be hip hop, different Jamaican genres of music or working with artists such as Katy Perry, the role of the producer is changing, thanks in part to the increased accessibility of powerful technology.
This role is morphing with increasing numbers of producers becoming an integral part of the creative process alongside the recording of a track or piece of music.
Here, we’ll get to know a wide range of music makers who are all expanding and pushing the concept of what a producer can do in 2022.
As one of Americas most revered female producers, Linda Perry started her musical career as a vocalist with rock band, 4 Non Blondes.
After leaving the band, she moved into writing and producing for other artists with her big hits including ‘Beautiful’ by Christina Aguilera and ‘What You Waiting For?’ by Gwen Stefani as well as musical contributions to tracks by Courtney Love and Adele.
Her awards include a Grammy nomination as Producer of the Year in 2019 and for Song of the Year in 2022 with Alicia Keys’ ‘A Beautiful Noise’.
Over the last decade, Catherine Marks has built herself a reputation as one of guitar music’s go to female producers.
Cutting her teeth at Flood and Moulder’s legendary Assault and Battery studio in London, her music career has seen her production credits include everyone from Wolf Alice to the likes of PJ Harvey and long-standing friend of ICMP, Frank Turner.
Her achievements as a female producer have not gone unnoticed by the wider industry. In 2018, she became the first woman to win the prestigious MPG award for Producer Of The Year.
In 2019 she turned her Grammy nomination into an award for her work as a mixer when St. Vincent’s ‘Masseduction’ was named as Best Rock Song.
Based out of her own East London studio, Marta Salogni is an eclectic audio auteur with a brilliant
Based out of her own East London studio, Marta Salogni is an eclectic audio auteur with a brilliant musical CV. Her work is mainly with similar experimental artists who all follow a unique creative process.
At the MPG Awards, Salogni won Breakthrough Engineer of the Year in 2018, Breakthrough Producer of the Year in 2020 while she’s been nominated for 2021 UK Producer of the Year.
Her client list is a who’s who of some of the most adventurous music makers working in music today.
From Bjork and her ‘Utopia’ album to Bon Iver’s ‘i,i’ via Daniel Avery and experimental indie noise merchants Factory Floor, Marta’s production skills are consistently found aiding our most exciting artists on their way to musical success.
Bishi is a classically-trained singer, multi-instrumentalist and music producer known for blending the sounds of her Asian heritage with electronic music with a host of varied inspirations.
She’s very much a musical chameleon, as comfortable performing solo as she is accompanied by the London Symphony Orchestra or the English National Opera.
One of her latest projects is WITCiH or the Women In Technology Creative Industries Hub aiming to promote greater gender equality within the music industry.
One of her most recent singles, ‘Don’t Shoot The Messenger’, was produced by David Bowie studio collaborator, the legendary Tony Visconti.
Catherine Anne Davies
Over the last five years, Catherine has fought her way to great acclaim not only as a solo artist but production expert, seasoned live performer, collaborator, educator and more.
She has collaborated with the brilliant Bernard Butler on their joint ‘In Memory of My Feelings’ album, toured extensively with music legends Simple Minds and performed at The Cure’s Robert Smith’s Meltdown Festival on his personal request.
Catherine has recently released her new, critically acclaimed solo record, The Art of Losing, an ambitious project born from plenty of sonic experiences. Written and produced by Catherine, the songs are unflinchingly emotive and mark a huge leap forward point on her musical journey.
Hinako Omori is a musician and music producer with a love for synthesizers and any device capable of making interesting and exciting sounds. Born in Yokohama, Japan she moved to London when she was three, where she is still based and has forged a successful career as a female synth hero.
Initially training to be a sound engineer, she studied Music and Sound Recording at Surrey University but then went on to work at record labels and distributors and then at audio equipment manufacturer Focusrite/Novation.
After session playing on the side, she leapt into music full time as a keyboard player and programmer – some of the artists Hinako has worked with include Ed O’Brien, Georgia, Kate Tempest, KT Tunstall, James Bay, Jaakko Eino Kalevi, Ellie Goulding, Sophie Hunger and Fionn Regan.
Producer and beat maker Wondagurl cut her musical teeth in Canada, participating in and winning several different music making competitions.
Using these as a launchpad for her musical career, she went on to land a beat on ‘Crown’, a song from the legendary Jay-Z’s album, ‘Magna Carta Holy Grail’ , a genre defininghip hoprecord.
Since then, her music has been used as the backbone of an increasing number of hits from the likes of Drake, Rihanna and Travis Scott, setting the path for the next generation to follow in a male dominated field and creating music history in her own lane.
Hailing from Enfield, North London, producer Loraine James is as a proilific as she is experimental with her productions richocheting between shards of UK garage, breakbeat and post-dubstep rhythms.
Her 2021 record ‘Reflections’ was an underground hit, which she followed up in 2022 with two more acclaimed albums for Hyperdub: the Julius Eastman-inspired ‘Building Something Beautiful For Me’ and a self-titled debut under the alias Whatever the Weather.
As a result of such output, James has been shortlisted as Producer of the Year for 2022’s DJ Mag Best of end of year polls.
Elkka is a London-based producer and artist making waves on dancefloors with own music alongside euphoric DJ sets.
Signed to Ninja Tune, she has been picking up pace with numerous releases with support from tastemakers including everyone from Four Tet to Annie Mac and Floating Points. Elkka also continues to do her bit to support female music producers with the launch of her own femme culture collective and record label.
Her latest track ‘I Just Want To Love You’ is house-based love song released via Ninja Tune and samples the late, great John Martyn’s ‘Small Hours’, a song with a huge amount of meaning for Elka and her partner photographer Alexandra Lambert.
As a DJ, artist, musician and music performer, Nabihah Iqbal has her creativity running across multiple different sonic worlds.
In 2017, she released her brilliant debut record, ‘Weighing of the Heart’, and has been showered with praise from all corners of the music industry for her ability to balance a creative approach to genre with songwriting skill.
Her accolades and achievements are many – she’s a regular DJ and broadcaster across the BBC and NTS, has been an artist-in-residence at London’s iconic cultural institution, Somerset House and has toured extensively around the world from the Barbican and Tate Modern in London to the MoMA in New York.
Another London-based DJ and producer is Sherelle, one of a number of female artists pursuing a frenetic type of electronica, bouncing somewhere between jungle, drum and bass and breakbeat. She’s as at home playing sweat-soaked basements for independent promoters and hosting radio shows on the city’s leading stations Rinse, NTS and Reprezent as she is taking on the bigger dancefloors of clubs like fabric and the Warehouse Project.
Her DJ set at the Boiler Room is how she made her name. But Sherelle’s music is now a mainstay of the festival season.
Watch her in action below:
Future for Female Music Producers
Becoming a female music producer is certainly a challenge in today’s musical landscape. But as we’ve seen from the lifes, careers and achievements of many of the inspiring producers above, there are opportunities out there.
Whether you want to produce artists like Alicia Keys, Stevie Wonder, Mariah Carey, hip hop acts like Grandmaster Flash, or Christina Aguilera, work on a debut album of underground electronic music or enjoy a two decade career at the top among headlining performers, then it can be achieved. As a female producer, you just need to believe in yourself, your abilities and music…