2% Rising: Meet Guoda Dirzyte

Audio Media International is delighted to present the latest in an ongoing series of engineer and producer interviews as part of our partnership with 2% Rising. Here, we catch up with Glasgow-based producer and composer Guoda Dirzyte…

Launched earlier this year by artist and producer Rookes and mastering engineer and AMI columnist Katie Tavini, 2% Rising was founded in response to the widely reported statistic that female producers only make up two per cent of the industry. The hub, which is currently 250 members strong (and still growing), is intended to serve as a safe space for women and non-binary producers and engineers to converse, share opportunities, ask questions and network. Sound designer Suze Cooper recently joined Rookes and Tavini as one of the group’s core staff members.

The partnership between AMI and 2% Rising will see us posting monthly spotlights on some of the most exciting new talent emerging from the network, while providing regular updates on its latest developments and activities.

Here, Guoda Dirzyte tells us about her career to date, an obsession with building her own instruments and what the future holds for the industry…

Can you tell us where you’re based and what you do in the pro music and audio industry? |
I am a Lithuanian-born music producer, composer, and creator of experimental music instruments, currently based in Glasgow, Scotland.  

How did you come to work in music and audio production?
You could say that my way into the music and audio production world was quite a weird one. I have been obsessed with music and instruments (especially guitars) since I was a teenager. That obsession led me to remaking/hacking guitars, as well as making my own music instruments. In my hometown Alytus I started a noise band Otorinolaringofonija with few of my friends and we were experimenting and playing with those instruments without fully understanding how music or recording techniques work. Things changed when in 2014 I moved to the UK and started studying BA(Hons) Digital Music and Sound Arts at the University of Brighton, where I had an opportunity to learn about digital production techniques, as well as gain a network of creatives for future collaborations and projects.  

What’s been the job you’ve most enjoyed in your career so far?
I found that collaborative projects, with other passionate creatives, are the most fun to work on. However, the most enjoyable project that I have been involved in so far (and it is still ongoing ) is with Hungarian singer Maja Mihalik and it is called Más Hangok.Our debut EP is coming out in early December and we are very excited about it. 

Of which achievement do you feel proudest?
I am most proud of not giving up on my passion to create music and instruments despite the struggles and the pressure of modern society.

What’s been the most difficult or challenging aspect of your job?
Overcoming the gender stereotypes of the music industry that cause imposter syndrome and proving to myself that I can do way more than I give myself credit for.  

What do you want to focus on in the future?
Making and learning more about music and have all of the fun doing so.  

How do you feel the pro music and audio industry has changed (or not) since you started to now?
It is hard to say, since I am a complete newcomer in the music industry, but it already seems like the industry bit by bit is getting more inclusive and supportive. I can only hope that I will live long enough to see a music industry that does not care about your gender, skin colour, or sexuality but only about your skills, talent and hard work.  

Have you ever been star-struck by anyone you’ve worked with?
I would not say so. I have been quite overwhelmed when meeting and interviewing a few artists that I have listened since I was a teenager but I somehow managed to keep myself together, and I am quite proud of that.  

Which artists and producers are you listening to right now?
My current heavy rotation and main inspiration would be the work of Leifur James, Justin Vernon, Sevdaliza, Son Lux, Woodkid and  a new album ‘9’ of Lithuanian indie electronic folk band Kamaniu Silelis.   

What do you feel that being a member of 2% Rising has given you?
2% Rising is probably first the audio-related group that I have joined in many years that has a sense of community; a safe space to share experiences, as well as receive advice, and for me personally, it helped a lot to gain confidence in my own knowledge and skills. I really hope that it will grow into a big community that will ignore the gender, sexuality, race of the individuals, and focus on creating a better world through music.    

Website –  https://www.guodadirzyte.com/
Soundcloud – https://soundcloud.com/gonggirl
Instagram – https://instagram.com/goudawouda