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Katrin Braga
Photography Katrin Braga

Why is it important that women work together?

Intersessions is an all-girl DJ workshop co-founded in an effort to create a safe space for women wanting to work in music

It’s a magical time for women in music right now. We have fearless female voices who aren’t afraid to do or say what they want – including those of musicians Chippy Nonstop, Kitty, Brittney Scott and Kreayshawn, who are hell-bent on ensuring other women feel like they can do the same.

Nonstop, alongside best friend and fellow creative Rhiannon Blossom, founded Intersessions, a DJ workshop series that hopes to inspire the next generation of women looking to forge a career (or hobby) behind the decks. “It’s a DJ workshop led by girls for girls, in an effort to give girls space, access and confidence to enter the music world through DJing, without feeling hyper-judged or scared like many of us do in club settings, with an abundance of bros around us,” Blossom tells me over email. Nonstop adds: “People with common interests get to interact with each other and learn in a safe, comfortable setting, and obviously have a lot of fun too.”

Offering one-on-one time with an instructor, their latest edition is happening in Toronto’s Studio Bar tonight (April 18). But with events coming up in New York City, LA, Montreal, and London, you’d best be keeping an eye on their Facebook page for updates.

We spoke to Nonstop, Blossom and fellow Intersession crew and musicians Kreayshawn and Kitty, as well as photographer Katrin Braga – who shot the girls for this series of portraits – to find out the importance of working with women, in the music industry and beyond.

Chippy Nonstop: Being a woman is a constant battle. There are still mostly men in high positions, even in a ‘progressive’ industries like art, music, and fashion. If, as women, we take a stand to mostly work with other talented woman artists and stay united, hopefully this will trickle up to other industries, because we need more women in power. And it’s sad that we have to remind men – this isn’t about hating men, this is about taking control and power into our own hands, because we haven’t had similar opportunities for so long, so before it can even become a fair playing field we need to overcompensate for the time we haven’t been able to make the same amount of money or have the same power. That’s why it’s important to have all-girl work teams and all-girl festivals – because before shit can be ‘fair’ for both sexes, women need to prove to the world that they are just as capable as men and it sucks that we have to ‘prove’ it to anyone, when we all know, to be honest, we are the better side of humanity. (laughs).

Kreayshawn: In 2012, I had my first headlining tour, called ‘Group Hug Tour’, and it was an all-female rapper ensemble. Rye Rye, Honey Cocaine, Chippy Nonstop and I toured across the country in pretty cool tour buses together. Every night we all killed shows. It was interesting, because we all hail from different backgrounds in life and almost different genres of rap. We all came together without fighting or pulling hair and had a great time. From drunk freestyle battles to endlessly exploiting our male fans to exploring the cities we were in. It’s important to reach out to fellow females, because in the art and music industry there’s tonnes of shady business going on, so working with girls – even if you’re not sure you’ll be best friends, which me and Chippy ended up becoming – (shows that), when it comes to work, women don’t play.

“It’s important for girls to unite and work together not for the strength in our numbers but for the love, power and understanding we possess” – Kitty

Kitty: I’ve always been all about girl power, but sometimes I catch myself preaching to people about how difficult it is to be a girl in the music industry. Most women respond that it’s difficult to be a girl in any industry – and it’s true. Even after centuries of fighting for equality, women are still forced to battle for the respect they deserve, and are still paid less and provided far fewer opportunities than men. The silver lining of this shitty cloud of disrespect comes in the form of strength, resolve and creativity, things that grow within us that we use to have our voices heard. It’s important for girls to unite and work together not for the strength in our numbers but for the love, power and understanding we possess. Working and creating together is empowering. We have to appreciate and depend on each other to thrive in a world where we’re constantly underestimated by men. I love throwing parties, and the best party I’ve ever helped coordinate was one I did with two of my close friends, Chippy and Lina. We decided to put our ‘Candy From Strangers’ event together on a whim and ended up with an awesome line-up of female artists, a packed house, and one of the most fun parties I’ve ever been to. 

Rhiannon Blossom: The necessity of women and girls coming together is enormous, just like it is with any other oppressed group of people. Because of the unique struggles, abuse and exclusion we face, we understand each other better than anyone and we know what we need to help move our current reality forward. My favourite thing about working with girls is that I genuinely feel like they’re hanging out with me because they appreciate my brain and aren’t just there to fuck me. Most girls don’t do that because we all know how it feels. We experience that in every single field, and outside the work environment too. The support we can offer each other is the most valuable thing we can do. In meeting Katrin, Chippy, Kreay, Kitty and Britt, a sanctuary has been created, and I am so glad to call them my friends and brilliant artists. I feel safe and inspired working with women, and I hope every girl out there finds these women in their lives. It will save your life, no doubt.

Brittney Scott: It's important for girls to work together and support each other. We live in a male dominated society... we need to work together. We deserve the same amount of respect as men and before we can feel unified we need to make a statement with girl power. It's crucial to (get an) education and help each other so we can eventually create a path towards true equality. 

Katrin Braga: I think it’s important for girls to work together and empower one another. As women, we have been taught to always compete with each other and compare ourselves on the basis of the way we look and act. Working with each other closely kills that way of thinking, empowers us and helps us create together in an environment that we feel safe in.

Follow Chippy Nonstop on Instagram and Twitter, follow Kitty on Instagram and Twitter, follow Kreayshawn on Instagram, follow Rhi Blossom on Instagram and Twitter, follow Brittney Scott on Instagram or Twitter, follow Katrin Braga on Instagram