crystal caines by Julia Ismail April 25, 2018
Even in the 21st century, female producers seem to be a rarity in hip-hop these days, but low key women in production have been part of the industry for a while now.
Sisters is a 1,300 person collective of “women and gender non-conforming” music professionals consisting of producers, singers, and songwriters that work together in destroying gender stereotypes.
Of course, there are a few headliners like Beyonce, Lana Del Rey, Alicia Keys, and Mariah Carey who double as producers and entertainers.
But there are a handful of women producers that have been working with your favorite artists on the low. Here are a couple of talented female names you should know today.
Only 19-years-old, WondaGurl, whose real name is Ebony Oshunrindee, has been around for a few years now. Since the age of 16, she’s been producing hits, such as “Money Money” by Sonreal & Rich Kidd. And before she turned 18, she had produced the beat for Jay-Z’s “Crown”, changing her life forever.
She is one of the youngest women to be a part of a platinum-selling hip-hop album, which naturally catapulted her career. Since then, she’s worked with names in the hip-hop game today like Lil Uzi Vert, Travi$ Scott, and Kanye West.
She told MTV News at the time,
“I was at home one day and I was looking for reggae samples for a while and I finally found this one that was crazy, Sizzla ‘Solid as a Rock. I took it and I cut it up and I put it in the software FL Studio and I started building around it, adding 808s.”
She is also known for being quiet with her moves, working with very few people and putting a strong focus on her career. She’s even told The Fader that her friendships are “resolved around beats.”
Check out her beat “Fix” which sounds like a somber derivative of psychedelic bass and electronic beats.
Crystal Caines hails from Harlem, New York. She is a songwriter as well as a producer who’s best known for working with A$AP Ferg and Baauer.
She tells Complex that she lived right around the corner from A$AP Ferg, which led to them working together.
“Me and Ferg just worked together to get a solid sound. He was recording in my home studio actually, because we lived around the corner from each other. Everything was done in my home studio like ‘Shabba.'”
She’s shown off her talent as a singer time and time again, releasing dark, fire singles like her 2017 track “No Drama.”
2018 is sure to hold a lot more in store from Crystal. Hopefully, we’ll see another banger by her and Ferg hit the charts some time soon.
DOT, born Kate Ellwanger, does a lot of things. She’s a producer, a singer, label owner and “multi-instrumentalist,” according to her website bio. She was born and raised in Olympia, Washington, before moving to California at the age of 17 and was shortly thereafter signed to Alpha Pup Records.
the future is bright ⚡️
much love & blessings to you and yours in 2018 pic.twitter.com/sKxMqGtaXP
— dot (◕‿◕)♡ (@dotmvsic) January 1, 2018
Since then, DOT has created her own record label: Unspeakable Records. She’s produced for artists like SZA and Teri GenderBender. She also prides herself in her creative strategies, telling Status Magazine:
“I don’t think we’ve fully realized the power that newer music technology has given us, so I’m excited to watch it unfold as more and more artists combine electronic elements with live instruments in unique ways.”
TRAKGIRL is also a multi-talented producer who writes and partakes in some interesting business ventures to empower women.
Kicked it with Red Bull @rbma @redbullradio and discussed the importance of collaboration and women in music. New collab with @imaneurope dropping at 6PM EST via @redbullradio on @tuneyards’ @_c_l_a_w episode. Video by @newyorkcityvibe love to @jordonmanswell for helping with the vibes. More tunes to come.
Shakari Boles has played around with several different genres, working with Jhene Aiko, Omarion, Timbaland, and Luke James, as well as partnering with other producers such as the aforementioned Crystal Caines.
TRAKGIRL has taken her position in the industry and expanded her career. She helps empower and encourage women everywhere to reach their goals through speeches and production meetings.
In such a heavily male-dominated field, it’s important to have people like TRAKGIRL speaking their mind and boosting their successes.
Her website says that 2018 is sure to bring a lot more from her, so we’ll just have to wait for her to drop some more fire!
Grimes is a producer and a recording artist like you’ve probably never seen before.
Born and raised in Canada, Claire Elise Boucher grew up forced to take ballerina classes and learned how to shoot a rifle by the time she was in elementary school. Showing up with a shaved head at ballet class one day, she realized that she was different and needed to get away.
Grimes has since signed with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, received the Juno award for video of the year, and a Much Music video award.
She has released darker, otherworldy pieces like “Genesis”, jumping to quicker pop synthetics in “Venus Fly”, and everything else in between.
She is currently working on her fifth album, so get ready to bump to some of her new shit.
These ladies set a good example for women looking to join the music industry. If you’re scared to take the leap, just remember never to give up, and look at the examples these women have set.
The more women we have, the more empowered others will become in any field of work, including music production.