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Interview with BadKat - The Future is Female

  • 06 September 2020, Sunday
BadKat Angel of Mud

Kathryn Roberts, also known as BadKat, is a electronic music producer and DJ based in Berlin, Germany. She describes her music as bass, melodic, and adrenaline.

In response to Underplayed, a new documentary on gender and ethic equality issues in EDM premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival, iMusician gets Kathryn's opinion of current existing issues in the electronic music circuit. She tells us her personal journey and the challenges she has faced as a woman in the industry and how we could imagine a more diverse future generation of electronic music artists.

BadKat Angel of Mud

Could you introduce us to yourself and your music?

I started out writing, composing and performing Hip Hop music in 1994. This carried me all over the USA, and eventually brought me to Europe in 2008. I had fallen in love with electronic music in the '90s, and started producing a crossover genre of dubstep/Hip Hop in 2010. I started DJing shortly after, and have been producing a few genres of house music (and others) since 2016.

What is you favorite events you played?

Kater Blau, hands down, has always had the best response to my particular brand of music, as guys and gals alike get very excited, and scream and dance the entire set.

What is your creative process like? What attracts you to a particular sound/rhythm/melody? Where do you draw inspiration?

I like to compose based on where a sound wants to go. It is up to my ears to hear the direction, and my brain can fill in the gaps, but the sound itself is always in the driver's seat.

BadKat - cat wearing glasses

In light of the documentary Underplayed, do you experience gender or ethnic inequality in the music industry? How?

Power structures are always in play at every level of life. When it comes to music, the boys club has always been the norm, and learning how to infiltrate various studios, crews, recording sessions, labels, sponsor and promotion opportunities, etc. has always been the necessary method of gaining access to getting my own music noticed. It is never easy, but you just have to keep showing up and proving yourself 100 times over. Every once in a while, you will meet someone who appreciates your talent and effort.

What do you think is the source of gender and ethnic inequality in the electronic music circuit? How do we tackle changing it?

In my experience, it has always been about access. When men (and subsequently, ethnic groups) tend to gravitate towards each other for team building or group goal setting, it is not often that women/outsiders can easily gain access to the same circles and objectives. It takes extra effort to make those connections, and accepting a lot of disadvantage right from the start to be allowed into those circles. For example, if you want to gain access to the boys club, you inherently must accept the social rituals and group think of the boys club to be invited back. This mean, there will be a lot of language, ideologies, and perspectives that you may not agree with that you must keep to yourself. Otherwise, if at any point they feel that you are critical of them, or even just an inconvenience, they will not invite you back. This is why access can be so difficult to achieve. Because it's not just one studio scenario, or development session - it is an entire mentality that requires either adjustment, or acceptance to be included in a general sense of the word "team".

BadKay Angel of Mud

In your opinion, what women in electronic music are underplayed and you would like to hear more of? What do you love about their music?

ANJA SCHNEIDER - I can't say if she is underrated, but I do love her bass grooves and her dancing personality!

In the industry, who has guided you and your music? How have they supported you?

Other artists have supported me over the years, but I can not claim that any industry person has ever taken notice. Not that I am aware of, anyway.

Follow this artist on Spotify, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and SoundCloud.

Music distribution promotion - 20% off

In support of gender and ethnic equality in all genres of the music industry, iMusician is offering a 20% discount on music distribution for the month of September. Create an account, upload your release, and use the promo code PLAYEDM at checkout.

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