6. Art and Inclusion Vol. 2, Personal Identity and the Music Industry-Part 1

Gender identity in music has been a focus of many researches and discussions. The popular stereotype of ‘boy’ and ‘girl’ preference of music and musical activities especially the choice of instrument has been discussed over time. This topic gets more complicated when gender identity become a choice itself, and the artist has to overcome two cliché situations.

Portraits of Carlie and Vivek

Vivek Shraya and Carlie Howell on Personal Identity and the Music Industry!

Hi, we are Arezoo Talebzadeh and Kaveh Ashourinia and this is our podcast on inclusion.

Arezoo: Quantization is an independent project with support of Inclusive Design Research Centre at OCAD University.

[Music: Quantization (Theme-Guitars)]

Welcome to the sixth episode of Quantization!

In this episode, which is coming in two parts, our guests are talking about the role of gender in the music industry. For this episode, we have Carlie Howell and Vivek Shraya.

Portrait of Carlie Howell
Carlie Howell

Carlie: Hi, my name is Carlie Howell and I’m really honored to be here as a guest host on quantization.

Kaveh: It was Carlie and as you already heard she is our guest host for this episode.

This is season one called Signal, episode six, Personal Identity and the Music Industry.
[Music: Quantization (Theme-Guitars)]

Carlie: I’m a professional musician, composer and artist educator. I studied Jazz and Classical music in university, but in my professional carrier I played many styles of music such as pop, rock, reggae, blues, improvised and world music.

Working with diverse musicians in different genres has influenced me greatly as a player, a composer and it shaped me personally. The topic of inclusion is one that I connect with on all of these levels. As a female musician, I am well aware of the barriers that exist in society and in the music industry. As a woman playing the bass, I am often subjected to a host of assumptions and judgments that people make. As a queer person, these prejudices can be doubled or amplified. Song writing is a place where I really feel I get to share who I am and tell my own story, but sharing that story can be vulnerable, especially when breaking norms about what gender pronoun I use or the love I sing about. As an educator I am constantly thinking about how I can make sure my students are seen or heard for who they are and to create class environment where they feel safe to collaborate and be creative.

I certainly don’t have all the answers and I know my experiences are mine alone that every person has their own set of privileges and faces barriers based on their unique identity.

So really excites me to dialogue with many different people to find ways we can make the music industry and our communities more accessible and inviting for everyone.

[Music: Quantization (Theme-Guitars)]


Carlie: I am so excited to be here in the studio today with Vivek Shraya. Vivek is a Toronto-based artist whose body of work includes several albums, films and books.

She has read and performed internationally at shows, festivals and post-secondary institutions, including sharing the stage with Teagan and Sarah.
she’s one half of the music duo Too attached and just put out a brand-new album with the Queer Songbook Orchestra.

Welcome Vivek!

Portrait of Vivek Shraya
Vivek Shraya

Vivek: Hi, Thanks for having me.

Carlie: Ya, my pleasure.

[music: Girl, It’s Your Time]

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