With networking events, radio shows and collaborations with organisations such as Foundation FM, She.Said So or Boiler Room, Flexx changed the game by promoting and allowing womxn to be an important and necessary part of the music industry. I had the pleasure to talk to talented and driven Amy Collins and Jamz Supernova about International Women’s Day and Flexx.
Could you explain both of your background (education, origins), how did you start working in music and why and when did you found Flexx?
JS – I went to BRIT school & started my journey on radio there, after college I did an internship at BBC Radio 1Xtra & decided to never leave, 5 years later I got my own show and it all kind of launched from there! Being at BBC is how I met Amy and we always got on & promised to meet for drinks but we never did, we then had a conversation about how many people we must say we should meet up with & never do, so how about we start a lil drinking club for women in music to basically just hang out! That was about 3 years ago now in the basement of a coffee shop with about 50 women & we bought them all a glass of wine & nibbles!
AC – All true, offering wine is always a win! There are so many incredible women we work alongside that we also wanted to introduce them to one another, Flexx is a great way to connect them. I’m originally from Frome, Somerset and before working in the music business trained as a Dancer. I was always incredibly passionate about Music and when moving to London felt that was the route. Following internships and assistant roles I met my boss Christian in Radio 1– he was there with Sam Smith and I with Brandy, we started talking about our roster and every act he mentioned I was a big fan of, knew Your Army was the place for me! Over five years later, I am very fortunate to plug some of the most extraordinary artists our industry has to offer including Christine and the Queens, Jade Bird, Ms Banks, slowthai and AJ Tracey to name a few.
What are your goals as Flexx but also personally?
Our goal is to continue building a strong network of Womxn in Music. We want to assist women in finding new job opportunities from the women they meet at our events or be in positions to hear about such opening, to meet like-minded Women to perhaps collaborate or find friendship & support! The events are also designed to blow off steam. Come and laugh, drink till the bars dry!
Our events are generally only for women, and this has often sparked dialogue. We feel this is the best approach in enabling women to connect, a safe environment. We hope one day Flexx is superfluous – with equality across ours and all other industries, but for now – we feel it is still necessary.
What are the challenges/issues you want to solve and fight?
JS – For us it’s always been about trying to help level the playing field! Across so many industries Men have been able to merge social activities with cutting Business deals, whether it’s drinks down the pub, playing golf or watching the footie. Women can often be excluded from the boys club & it can sometimes mean they miss out on that promotion or opportunity. So we wanted to create our own space to bring social & business together! Hopefully through our events we can help bring people together to create those relationships!
Have you seen a huge change in how women are treated in the music industry since you created Flexx?
AC – Because of our roll as ‘co-founders’ I feel people are more conscious and aware of equality when we have a conversation, which is a positive thing and I hope people take it in to their day to day chats. Over the years we’ve seen a real increase in female support systems – we are sisters not enemies! There is of course still a lot to do before we reach full equality.
You have a big event with She Said So, Sorority House and Girls I Rate at in Curtain Hotel in Shoreditch for Women’s International Day, could you tell me more about that?
JS – I had an epiphany last year that what was the point in all the Women in Music collectives I’m aware of going head to head with events on International Women’s Day when we could team up & do something on a larger scale! So that’s what we’ve done! It’s a night of celebration for all the Women behind the scenes who work day in day out in music! We’ve got a Three Course meal curated by immersive Dining Duo Mam Sham, guest speaker Arfa Butt, Performances from Alicai Harley, Ms Banks & Miraa May plus DJ’s across the night DJ Nikki Beatnik, Melody Kane, myself, Ellie Prohan, Dobby, Melle Brown & J-Distant. It’s gonna be a great night good food, good music, networking and dancing! (TICKETS)
What was the impact of MeToo and Times Up? What do you think about it and do you think it is still helping women in the world ?
AC – This felt like a big shift in attitude and actions, especially in media. it was a powerful moment to not only ‘out’ those perpetrators, but I think it brought awareness to what’s right… and wrong!!!
You also have a show on Foundation FM, could you tell me more about that and about what you want to achieve there?
AC – Our show happened organically, one of the co-founders Ami comes along to our night so understands our ethos, when she Becky and Frankie asked us to do a show it felt like a no brainer! It’s a fun, new element to our usual night – we support new music and have great features reflecting female acts. We’ll keep building on the show – bringing in new DJs for mixes that can hopefully then DJ at our night and of course support the Foundation FM culture!
What do you think of London’s nightlife scene for women now ?
JS – It feels really positive and that we’re stepping in the right direction! I’m seeing way more balanced line ups then I did a few years back. Also Clubs are working hard to be safer spaces for women, most venues have a strict policy protecting Women & code words for anyone feeling unsafe!
What’s next ? (For both of you, for Flexx and for womxn in music in general)
AC – We’re really excited to continue developing Flexx with more nights in London and also hopefully moving in to other locations also. This month we’re launching a podcast called ‘Flexxcast’ where we interview influential Women in Music! Personally, I’m working on some really exciting emerging acts at Your Army including Delacey, Jvck James, Mae Muller and Joy Crookes… it sounds cheesy but assisting each career step and gaining success is where the real job satisfaction is, but I’ll take a chart topping single too 😉
JS – For me personally it’s a continuation of last year keep pushing my label, throw some dope parties, DJ around the World! And with Flexx I’m excited about our podcast, I hope that with our podcast we can influence & empower the next wave of female CEO’s as I think that’s what’s really needed in music so we don’t revert back and keep pushing inclusivity forward!
Sarah-Louise Maillet | WRITER