Representation is not found by the sense of fitting in, but by the confidence of belonging. Sometimes it just takes representation to open one’s mind to believe what is possible to achieve.
The “if I can do it, so can you” mentality is powerful to aspiring artists and creatives. However, the reality is that the representation of women in the music industry is lacking, as women make up only 21% of all artists, 12% of songwriters, and 13% of industry execs, according to a 2021 report by the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative at the University of Southern California. Representation is even worse behind the boards, as only 2% of music producers and 3% of engineers across popular music are women.
For this year’s Record Store Day, Vans is shining a light on women in music, their passion and dedication for all that they do, and the stories they have to share. The celebration includes the release of a limited edition vinyl album titled “Portraits of Her,” a compilation of some of the most groundbreaking female artists we have today. The 16-song tracklist features artists such as Taylor Swift, BANKS, Julien Baker, Princess Nokia, Girl In Red, Mariah The Scientist, and many more. The songs on the album speak to the challenges women face in male-dominated spaces, with hopes of inspiring women to overcome adversity and triumph. Cover artwork for the album is designed by Mexican-American fine artist Sofia Enriquez.
Vans has also made a donation of $20,000 to We Are Moving The Needle, a nonprofit organization that supports female music industry professionals including audio engineers and producers.
“This album celebrates generations of women who have overcome barriers to representation, recognition, and opportunity in the music industry,” says Tierney Stout, Director of Global Music Marketing at Vans. “Brands, record labels, musicians, and other organizations including Record Store Day and We Are Moving The Needle, are working together to give female talent more visibility, support, and opportunities.”
The vinyl arrives alongside a “Portraits of Her” zine created by Jordi Ngd. The publication is dedicated to honoring women in the world of music, and features their personal stories about self confidence, individuality, mentorship, and more. These stories are dived into deeper in a three-part “Portraits of Her” video series, directed by Christina Xing.
Bringing the “Portraits of Her” project to life, a special record fair hosted by female-owned Wax Trax! Records will take place at House of Vans Chicago on April 30th. The fair features live performances by Boyish and K. Flay along with DJ sets by Laura Jane Grace, Jill Hopkins, and DJ Patrixa Goth. Readers in Chicago can RSVP to the event here.
The limited edition “Portraits of Her” vinyl will be available at independent record stores on Record Store Day, Saturday, April 23rd. Check out the full tracklist and the accompanying video series below.
PORTRAITS OF HER TRACKLISTING:
Taylor Swift – The Man
K.Flay – Nothing Can Kill Us
Joy Oladokun – i see america
Julia Michaels – That’s The Kind Of Woman
Leyla Blue – What A Shame
Asiahn – We Can
Laura Jane Grace – Ice Cream Song
BANKS – I Still Love You
Princess Nokia – Sugar Honey Ice Tea
Alice Longyu Gao – Never Coming Back
Bully – Never Needed
Julien Baker – Hardline
Girl In Red – Serotonin
Boyish – Superstar
Mariah The Scientist – 2 You
Girl Ultra – Pena
Melissa Logan (Senior Manager of Amoeba Music) Meets Lottie Moore (DJ, DubLab Curator, and Co-Founder of SOS Music) // Episode 1:
Leyla Blue (Musician) Meets Ericka J. Coulter (Senior Vice President of A&R at Warner Records and Founder of TheBasement) // Episode 2:
Alice Longyu Gao (Musician) Meets Alexis Rommel (Director at Live Nation) // Episode 3: