Sydney Blu and Rebekah Spearhead New Female Representation Initiative

Sydney Blu and Rebekah

Renowned artists Sydney Blu and Rebekah are calling upon labels to commit to increasing the number of female artists on their roster.


Although the dance music scene got its start in the LGBTQ+ community, it has since been dominated by male artists for decades. This can be seen in the vast sea of releases and lineup announcements that surface with each passing week, many of which lack female, trans, and non-binary artists who are producing and playing some truly amazing music. While the scene has slowly begun to take action to help bring more representation and address the discrimination against these artists, Sydney Blu and Rebekah are hoping to accelerate that with their new initiative, #23by23.

Launched with the intent to challenge labels to increase the number of female artists on their roster to 23% by 2023, this initiative looks to combat the typical responses that have plagued the scene over the years. #23by23 is already gaining support from a range of industry members from artists such as LP Giobbi and Baby Weight to Native Instruments and Ableton Live. Additionally, a number of labels have already begun to join in on the initiative as well including Toolroom, REALM, Club Sweat, Rules Don’t Apply, Desert Hearts, and more.

I believe in 2021 we need to do better with how we shape, brand, and release music, to support a new generation of female producers and create lasting change and equality. I encourage the following question to any A&R rep: Are you making your label a welcome space for women? Do you provide feedback to female submissions? Are you proactively seeking female artists who are producing music similar to the sound of your label? This is the basis of the 23by23 campaign.

Sydney Blu

Announced alongside the launch of the initiative are a number of remix competitions and demo challenges from the participating imprints on the Metapop community. Powered by Native Instruments, it will begin on December 11/12 and run throughout 2022 in the group for female, trans, and non-binary artists. Additionally, Ableton Live is set to host online production content in partnership with the campaign, while LP Giobbi is set to bring forth a 23×23 takeover on Friday, December 10 to her Femme House Friday’s show on Twitch.

All too often, I feel like the music industry is this echo chamber. People say things should change and be more equitable, but nobody really sticks the landing or makes a hard commitment to the changes we would like to see — especially in situations where femme, non-binary, and gender diverse talent are straight up asked the question, “What can we do better?” I stand by 23×23 because, as a transwoman, this is an action plan which sets the tone; it generates the necessary visibility or diversity to create more opportunities for artists who aren’t cis, het, or male in a way that can be executed with accountability, grace, and focus. It’s just as much a call to action as it is an entry point for those uninitiated to the conversation.

Baby Weight

Stay tuned for more information on the #23by23 campaign and if you identify as female, trans, or non-binary, head over to Metapop to join their community as well.

Grant Gilmore’s authoritative voice as a media professional lends credibility not common to EDM journalism. As the founder of EDM Identity he has effectively raised the bar on coverage of the past decade’s biggest youth culture phenomenon. After ten years of working for nonprofit organization Pro Player Foundation, Gilmore launched EDM Identity as a media outlet offering accurate informative coverage of the rave scene and electronic music as a whole. Although they cover comprehensive topic matter, they have taken special care in interviewing the likes of Armin van Buuren, Adventure Club, Gorgon City, Lane 8 and Afrojack. In addition to household names, they have also highlighted unsung heroes of the industry through their ID Spotlight segment. Whether he’s covering it or not, you can expect to find Grant Gilmore attending the next big electronic music event. To find out what’s next on his itinerary, follow him via the social links below.

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