Dundee pop sensation Be Charlotte has revealed she already has plans for another songwriting camp for female musicians after the success of her first this week.
The singer, real name Charlotte Brimner, invited several established Scottish female artists to the two-day camp at the University of Dundee’s Botanic Gardens ahead of International Women’s Day on Sunday.
Following the gathering the artists played a laid-back show at Assai Records on Union Street to showcase their creations last night to fans who got tickets through the singer’s website.
Charlotte said: “It’s been amazing – there was a lot of organising, and I’ve never done anything like this before.
“It’s the first time I’ve just invited some other female artists to just come and do their thing.
“There aren’t many women in music at the moment and I want to change that and help more women to get into it (the industry). The goal is to do another one this year and just try to make it a ‘thing’.”
Since breaking onto the scene several years ago Charlotte, 22, has endeavoured to break down barriers in music for others.
She is embarking on her third year of cross-country school tours, playing to pupils and encouraging youngsters – especially young girls – to get into music.
To her, there’s more to being a musician than just writing and performing her own tunes.
She added: “These are just things I wanted to do. They take a lot of work and they are time-consuming, but I’ve always done things beyond just my music, like charity events.
“I want to inspire other young people, 13 and 14 year-olds trying to write songs. For me it couldn’t be any other way.
“I wouldn’t be myself if I didn’t care about anybody else.”
The singer-songwriter’s camp attracted attention from female artists across Scotland, with creatives travelling from Ayrshire, Glasgow and Edinburgh and elsewhere in Europe to jam in the City of Discovery.
— be charlotte (@iambecharlotte) March 2, 2020
Those who took part say there are still huge issues for women trying to break into music. Licensing body PRS says just 17% of registered songwriters are female.
Singer-songwriter Anna Sweeney, 25, said: “It’s really important for women to come together because sometimes you’re just surrounded by men. Look at most festival line-ups.
“The first thing I got told by a record label in London was that I had to change my name, to rebrand – but how many male singers just perform under their own names?”
Rebecca Shearing, 28, who performs as Shears, added: “You’re not seen as an established artist when you’re a woman.
“I always get asked if I write my own music, for example. Men don’t get asked that.”
Edinburgh-based artist Emily Atkinson, who performs as Fourth Daughter, said: “It’s been amazing, and interesting to work with different artists with different processes.”
— STEPHANIE CHEAPE (@stephaniecheape) March 2, 2020
Glaswegian singer Stephanie Cheape, 28, said: “This camp has been amazing because it just highlights the fact this sort of thing doesn’t happen often.
“I was surprised because it made me think about the fact I’ve only ever worked with men.
“I’ve never thought about that until now, but it’s weird that I’ve never worked with other girls until now.
“It’s been such a positive experience. We’re a force to be reckoned with.”
Last night’s gig was attended by Emma Preston, the University of Dundee’s cultural projects officer, who sorted Charlotte out with access to the Botanic Gardens.
She hopes the camp’s forward-thinking, pro-women message could see the songs produced showcased at the university’s Festival of the Future, which returns in October.
“We’re trying to do more things like this using the facilities that the university can provide,” she said.
“The hope is that maybe something comes out of it that we can use as something for the festival in October, but we have a general civic responsibility to the city and its arts and culture too.
“It’s also really important to support Be Charlotte in her endeavours and encourage more women to get into the music industry, as a role model for younger women.”