By Ali Glatt
Saturday, September 14th I had the pleasure of attending another Future Female Sounds performance at the Ludlow House, a members club affiliated with the Soho House. The exclusive performances are invite-only, and curated by musician Michelle Rose, celebrate up-in-coming female voices from New York City. The quarterly shows started a year ago after the popularity of an all-women performance celebrating international women’s day in 2018.
The stage, which is set amongst a cozy lounge reminiscent of a casual living room with its chic wallpaper and eclectic art-covered walls and comfortable velour furniture creates a welcoming, yet intimate space. What I love about each show is that you never know what to expect. Past shows featured significantly diverse genres that seamlessly fit beautifully and others like tonight, had artists whose styles were all reminiscent of moody music from the 90s.
Each show generally features three to four performers whose sets include both original songs and covers, usually by artists that inspired them. Saturday night’s lineup included Jaki Doyka, Tanners, a music video premiere of Leanne based on the song featured in the TV show Broad City, and Chelle.
The premiere was a fun experience, especially for fans of the popular TV show Broad City. The song, voiced by Michelle Rose and created by the music director of Broad City, was made specifically to be used in the show as a radio song that appeared in season four in a karaoke scene, and also kept finding it’s way throughout the rest of the season. The song itself was never completed, which makes the music video that much more enjoyable to watch.
Michelle who curates the most fun evenings always impresses me. So, I wanted to learn more about how the series got its start and what we should look forward to.
AG: What inspired this series? How did it all come about? When did you realize that this should be a regular thing?
MR: In the wake of #metoo and #timesup, many female-focused meet-up groups and organizations began to organize. In the spring of 2018, Soho House commissioned my sister Sarah Frances and me to curate a concert for International Women’s day at Ludlow House. I wrote a short message asking artists to come together to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women on International Women’s day, which marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.
The collaborative night became effortless to book as powerful women from nearly every genre of music possible signed on board to be a part of it. Each artist performed 1-2 songs–an original, and a cove–accompanied by a few words describing how the female artist they chose affected their musical journey. The night evolved into the most high-energy experience I’ve ever had at Ludlow House. With over 15 female artists incorporated into the collaborative night, the room was at capacity and the pride and enthusiasm were unparalleled.
Refinery 29 set up a Livestream of interviews in the cinema room for their Facebook Livestream “The Mention”. And after this media platform was confirmed, Soho House decided to film all of the performances. There were camera crews, electric energy, a full house, and a star-studded crowd for close to five hours of live music & poetic interludes.
After the success of the event, I sat down with Yasmin Daguilh, the previous event programming manager for Ludlow House. We decided to create a quarterly series based on the demand and reception from the concert. From there the series Future Female Sounds was born.
AG: Why all women? What is the goal? What do you hope audiences take from this experience?
MR: I’ve been a part of the New York music scene for over a decade, and have experienced the cutthroat female competition in a male-dominated industry first hand. The goal was and is still to create a safe space for female artists to perform, collaborate, network, and experience an intimate night of new emerging female artists.
There’s a unique power to a female lineup. In this style of curation, I noticed women feel more confident to explain the backstory of a song, exchange contact information, and set up collaborative writing sessions when they’re not the minority gender in the room. I took a lot of inspiration from participating in Rachael Pazden’s all-female collaborative series “The Hum.” The goal of Future Female Sounds is to build community amongst female musicians in a beautiful safe space in New York City.
AG: What should people expect when they come to a show?
MR: They should expect a cross-genre showcase of female musicians, a safe space to network and form friendships, and a silent, engaged, and attentive audience.
AG: What is your curatorial process? How do you find the artists? What do you look for? Do you choose artists in a similar genre/style?
MR: I usually find my artists from experiencing them live, or finding their Instagram and DMing them. I aim for the showcase to be inclusive, diverse, and include multiple genres.
AG: If someone wanted to be considered, how can they reach you?
MR: DM me on Instagram @heymichellerose
AG: When’s the next show?
MR: It’s the 2nd Saturday of the month every three months! So the next one will be December 14th.
AG: How do you get tickets?
MR: A private Eventbrite link that I circulate amongst the community.
AG: How can one find and follow up with the artists?
MR: All the artists plug their social media handles after their performances and engage with the audience. I’d like to create a unique space for the roster to live and I’m working on developing that. It will probably be an Instagram handle in the next coming months.
If you’re interested in attending or being in Future Female Sounds, as well as know more about and or follow the artists who recently performed, follow them and Michelle Rose on Instagram.
Jacki Dokya’s soulful voice, accompanied only by a keyboard, beautifully renders a raw performance that’s hypnotizing.
Tanners, known for her psychedelic pop music, gave audiences a stripped-down acoustic performance that was both passionate and haunting.
Michelle Rose is half of the pop duo Frances Rose, along with her sister Sarah Frances. She has also just premiered her new solo project, Chelle. Chelle, similar to Frances Rose, which is heavily inspired by 90s pop rock. It draws her audience in with powerful deep vocal chords that showcase her talent as a storyteller and performer.