Anoushka Shankar named president of The F-List musician and producer directory

Award-winning artist Anoushka Shankar has been appointed as the inaugural president of the The F-List CIC, a not-for-profit directory featuring female musicians, producers, composers and bands.

The F-List is a comprehensive resource containing the latest information on over 4,500 musicians, 1,000 bands and 300 labels and publishers with women on their rosters, across all musical genres. Any musician, songwriter or composer can join if they are female (The F-List is also trans and gender minority inclusive). UK record labels and publishers can also apply if they have female artists on their rosters.  

Originally published in February 2020 as a Google spreadsheet, The F-List has evolved into to a fully functional and searchable website that makes it easier for promoters and commissioners to find female talent. The initiative was spearheaded by equality and diversity campaigner Vick Bain. 

Commenting on her appointment as president, Shankar said: “I am delighted to represent this fantastically talented and committed community, who are passionate about creating opportunities for the great wealth of female talent that exists in the UK. The F-List is the first initiative of its kind to give female artists and musicians a platform where they can be discovered. Its breath-taking thoroughness and scope nullifies any excuses from people in the music industry who blame a lack of representation and diversity by saying there’s a dearth of women to hire. But it’s also a supportive network that can transform the music industry into a place that better represents, and reflects, the richness and diversity in British society.” 

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At present, women make up only 14 per cent of UK writers and composers signed to publishers and just 20 per cent of artists signed to record labels. These figures are echoed in the live events sector, with 84 per cent of UK festival acts being entirely male in 2017. 10.5 per cent were mixed bands and just 5.5 per cent were solo/all female).

“I wanted to create a nationwide network that represents the interests of all female artists and musicians in the UK, and spearheads projects and initiatives that match their ambition,” commented Bain. “I am thrilled to be working with so many talented and experienced women, who are committed to creating the lasting changes that are so desperately needed in the music industry. With their collective passion and energy, I believe we can empower more female artists to successfully start and sustain their careers in music.”  

Sybil Bell, founder of Independent Venue Weeks, added: “The F-List encompasses everything we need to move towards making a lack of female representation a thing of the past. Independent Venue Week is so proud to be a partner of this brilliant initiative. We look forward to working closely with Vick, and her team, as we develop programs to ensure greater gender balance and more equitable representation across the industry.”

Hilary Brooks, chair of Scottish Women Inventing Music, also commented: “Scottish Women Inventing Music (SWIM) is proud to be a partner of game-changing initiative The F-List. We are very excited about working together on what will surely be a fundamental tool for those in the music industries. The F-List will be a directory which will prove invaluable on a macrocosmic scale when it comes to providing opportunity and growth.”