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International Women’s Day 2024: Celebrating All Women and All Mothers

A guest editorial by Music Executive Gabi Kochlani


International Women’s Day 2024

My passion has always guided my path in life. I love music with all my heart, which is why I decided to revolve my career around music and work as closely as possible with artists and music creators.


Throughout my 20+ years in the music industry, I’ve worked at major and independent companies as an A&R executive, publisher and manager, but there’s never been a more fulfilling role than my role of being a mother.


Today, on International Women’s Day, I celebrate all women, including all the incredible mothers out there.


As a queer woman, my ex-partner and I planned to have our child together. My daughter is nearly 7 years old now, and balancing motherhood throughout the years with a career filled with high pressure demands, irregular hours, sometimes late nights, and travel has been challenging. The good part of being challenging is just that, it’s been no more than challenging. This is an industry where you can absolutely thrive while working on your own time and schedule, deciding how you want your path to be, and what you want to be guided by.


I feel like it’s important to shed light on other challenges that mothers face in the music industry, as this is an industry that often perpetuates silence around their experiences, and dismisses the idea of mothers as serious contenders in the competitive and demanding music landscape.


Women are a minority in the music industry, mothers have even more of a profound absence. We know women are here, we know mother’s are here, but we don’t have (enough) data about mothers in music because of the systematic erasure of women and especially mothers in the music industry.


Why is this the case? This erasure stems from deeply ingrained biases and stereotypes. Because of this, do mothers and mothers-to-be feel discouraged from pursuing a career or continuing to pursue a career in the music industry? Lots of mixed emotions, but two feelings can be true at the same time, three feelings can be true at the same time.


In fact, many feelings can be true and co-exist at the same time. In addition to being a mother, a queer woman, I’m a Jewish Israeli. My father’s side is from the Middle East, Yemen, and my mother’s side is from Germany, that side is much smaller because we lost a lot of family in the Holocaust. My family was deeply effected by the October 7th attack on Israel, and I’m very sad and hurt by the fact that today, there are still 19 female hostages being held by Hamas in Gaza, I also truly & deeply care for all the innocent Palestinian lives that have been effected.


We continue to navigate the complex chords of progress as women, as mothers. I do feel a wave of change has been happening over the years, where gender roles and women stereotypes have begun to be un-pigeonholed. I’m now pleased to know and have great friendships with many executives, artists, producers, songwriters who are mothers in the music industry. Mamas in Music is a wonderful organization I recently connected with who advocate for equality for mothers in music, bringing mothers and allies together. In fact, I’m proud to be spearheading a Mamas in Music Songcamp this Fall.


Although we still have a ways to go for true equity for women and mothers in music, I think we’ve definitely made impactful strides. How long will it take? I’m not sure. But, what I am sure about is the unconditional love that comes with being a mother is one of the greatest feelings in the world. It's pure, resonates joy throughout your entire being, and I think this is one of the most beautiful parts that makes up the foundation of motherhood.


As I continue down my career path, I’ve generally not let obstacles deter me, and I’m still as passionate as ever about music.

 

About Gabi Kochlani 


Gabi Kochlani is an A&R Executive, Music Publisher and Founder of The Grey Administration. As a strategizing member of numerous A-List teams over her 20+ in the music industry, Gabi’s held A&R positions at EMI Music Publishing, Bump Into Genius/Warner-Chappell Music, signing and developing multi-platinum songwriting such as Ben Burgess and Mikal Blue. Early on in her career, she learned the ropes of the music business working in management with Crosby, Stills & Nash, touring with Miley Cyrus and The Jonas Brothers, and working alongside Adam Anders (Executive Music Producer for Fox’s hit TV show Glee) as Creative Director for his record label and music publishing co, Bump Into Genius. Most recently, Gabi served as Senior Director of A&R at Universal Music Group working across various frontline labels, including A&R for top Dance/Electronic DJ Alesso, and the Blade Runner: Black Lotus Soundtrack. Embodying a passion for equality in the arts, Gabi is rooted in integrity, her love of music, and is purposefully driven to influence positive culture. With an extensive and diversified music background, Gabi's new music publishing venture, The Grey Administration, focuses on community building to help foster talent and facilitate creative collaboration and success for Artists, Songwriters, and Producers. 


 

About Mamas in Music






Tiff Randol (USA) and Mary Leay (UK) connected when they were both knee deep in learning to navigate and balance the changes brought about in that beautiful and overwhelming first year of motherhood with their careers as songwriters, artists and composers.

Six weeks after giving birth, Tiff found herself suddenly without a management team, and despite all the music they had plans on releasing, found she could not do it all alone. This gave birth to the beginnings of Mamas in Music (MiM™), as she began to develop an idea for a platform that could support mothers in continuing to make music and give a voice to mums in the industry. She sent out an SOS email to a women’s music group, looking to connect with other mothers in music and thankfully it reached Mary.

Mary recalls, “That email was literally like somebody turned on a light inside of me. Once my daughter arrived I felt very alone and didn't have a clue about how I would balance my career and motherhood. I just knew that after dedicating my entire life to my "first baby" - music - I was set on finding a way to make it all work. The idea of creating a platform to disrupt all these disheartening feelings amongst mums in our industry and create a structure for Women in my situation to be able to thrive and continue making music, while also being amazing mothers - seemed like a no brainer. I was in!"

A dialogue unfolded over some time that bantered between breastfeeding and sleep advice to carving out this platform they were dedicated to bringing to light.

During those first few months, they became deeply connected through their shared experience within the industry, discussing the anxieties they faced as both struggled to balance career and motherhood. It can be difficult to find childcare and miss out on work opportunities as well as face the stigma associated with motherhood in the music industry.

Despite not having all the answers, they knew something had to change, so in 2019 they launched Mamas in Music and began the journey towards building the industry's first global organization specifically for mothers in music.


Learn more about Mamas in Music. Click HERE

 

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