Kristina London is not only a social media assistant at a marketing agency, she is the founder of Amplify Her Voice, an online platform that promotes gender equality in the music industry through awareness, education, and empowerment.
Amplify Her Voice shares interviews with music industry professionals, partnerships, panels, networking events, and educational initiatives that provide their community with the tools and support to confidently pursue a career in music.
At her core, Kristina London is just a girl eager to make a difference in the music industry. She lifts up other women. As a person, London is very very detail-oriented, maybe sometimes too much so, but she ultimately thinks it’s a skill that has got her where she is today. Outside of work and music, she loves dogs, wine, long drives, and crushing the patriarchy.
In May 2019, London used her background in marketing and social media to create an active online space for women in the music industry to learn and find a sense of community. We now know that community to be Amplify Her Voice. Within a few months, they were collaborating with music festivals, businesses, artists, and more to promote equality. Now with over 15,000 followers, Amplify Her Voice is one of the best communities to go for resources, statistics, music releases, interviews, tools, and more.
For The Punks is happy to highlight Kristina and Amplify Her Voice as one of our ‘features of the month’. We are very inspired by everything that this community does. Continue reading to learn more about the founder behind Amplify Her Voice, how we can promote equality in our scene, and more!
How did you get started in this industry? What was the moment when you were like ‘I want to be part of the music industry’? Tell us an early story you remember!
Like many people who decide to pursue a career in the music industry, I started out as a musician. Since kindergarten I’ve always been a ‘performer’ but in high school after performing in various bands and building my skills as a musician, I realized it was never the performances that fulfilled me but the planning and behind the scenes work that did. I went to college with the intention of eventually working in the music industry and took advantage of as many internships and opportunities as I could in music marketing and social media.
While working my first couple of part-time jobs in music, the gender divide was immediately evident. Not only was I consistently outnumbered by my male peers but sexual harassment was rampant. I began looking closer into the statistics regarding the gender divide and was shocked with what I found. From there, I knew I wanted to use my skills in social media to amplify this issue and educate other women and people in the music industry on the significance of this problem. I love being able to work for a cause that impacts me personally but is also important for the growth of the music industry as a whole.
We all know that the music industry has its ups and downs, especially within the last year. How do you choose to survive your bad days?
Lately it seems like the downs have been outweighing the ups. People are losing their jobs, venues are being forced to shut down, new college graduates are struggling to find their career starts. What brings me a sliver of hope is seeing the work of female musicians and the greater music execs before me making change happen – even during the most difficult times. Dayna Frank, the president of the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA), who began the #SaveOurStages initiative has been a massive inspiration to me. Other names that come to mind are HAIM, Phoebe Bridgers, Mickey Guyton, Noelle Scaggs – all incredible women making themselves heard in an industry that is systematically against them. They are the ones who inspire me to keep trying.
What is your favorite part of getting to work in your career field, whether that be Amplify Her Voice, your position as a social media assistant, or both!
Amplify Her Voice began as an Instagram-based platform so it was a great experience to be able to utilize the power of social media to get our mission out there. We grew over 10,000 followers in less than a year which I think shows that the message we put out really resonates with women in the industry. For both positions, I love that I can connect with people in a virtual space and get to see what they want and what they don’t. As a profession, social media is largely about numbers and data but ultimately it’s about connection.
Since March is Women’s History Month, let’s talk a little more about you, your experiences, and Amplify Her Voice. How is AHV helping and shaping the music industry?
I hope that we are educating music professionals on the importance of creating inclusive and equal spaces. If we can help even one person either learn something new or get an opportunity, then our mission is successful! I’d rather have an effective impact that genuinely helps women in music than have a massive reach but not actually help them.
What is your favorite success story associated with Amplify Her Voice?
Right now my favorite success was our Virtual Networking Event in partnership with Girls Behind the Rock Show. We were expecting about 50 women or so to sign up but actually had over 600 sign ups! It was one of the first times I got to speak face to face with Amplify’s community and supporters and learn about their own interests and career goals. I even heard that many of the women who came went on to connect and continue zoom calls with each other following the event. With the pandemic, it’s been an especially difficult time to network in an industry that is all about connections so it truly makes me so happy that we could facilitate that for our community.
Amplify Her Voice offers many educational experiences from industry professionals. Even though this may be a common question, what would you say to a woman who is just getting started in the music industry, especially if they have an interest in a platform or organization like Amplify Her Voice?
I would say they should take advantage of as many opportunities as they can, (internships, college marketing representatives, volunteer positions, etc.) and don’t EVER let anyone make them feel small. There is a lot I wish I knew going into the music industry. My best advice is speak up when you have something to say, don’t take shit from anyone, and don’t take business matters personally. Ultimately, if they are interested in organizations like Amplify, I hope we can provide them with the insight and tools to navigate an industry that is very difficult to succeed in – whether they enter as a performer or an industry professional. Sometime this year, we’re going to launch a program where we work with 20-25 women to give them educational, networking, and creative opportunities! So keep up with our pages if you’re interested in working with us.
What are your goals with Amplify Her Voice in the next few years? What do you hope to accomplish, whether small or large!
There’s so much I want to do in the next few years! I would like to see our team grow even more, I would like to find a way to streamline more women into internships and jobs to set them up for a successful career, and I’d love to have more initiatives in music careers and genres where women are seldom found. On top of that, I want to begin an educational initiative to spread this information to music businesses, venues, and male professionals. This includes providing businesses and venues with more information on the importance of inclusion, promoting consent and ending sexual harassment in the workplace and at concerts.
What are three things everyone can do to promote equality in our scene?
1. Educate yourself and take the critical feedback or experiences of women, POC, or LGBTQ+ persons seriously.
2. If something doesn’t feel right – say something. If they don’t listen, say more.
3. Check in with yourself to see if you’re actively doing something to better the music industry. Silence is the equivalent of compliciness.
Who are three women in the music industry that constantly inspire you?
This might be cheating but I’ll say:
1. My friends
2. Women working in positions or playing in genres where they aren’t often found
3. Phoebe Bridgers (Absolutely obsessed with her right now)
Have you ever been treated less than equal because of your gender in this industry?
A B S O L U T E L Y. From being paid a much lower wage than a man doing the exact same job with far less experience, having creepy men say or do incredibly inappropriate things, and even being questioned if I faked my work experience because it seemed advanced “for a girl”. I believe that the world is changing for the better but it’s a very slow change – my goal is to amplify this issue to speed up that process.
What were three 2020 releases (women releases) that stood out to you and why? What releases in 2021 are you excited for (let us know if they already came out)?
I love HAIM’s ‘Women In Music Part. III’, Phoebe Bridgers’ ‘Punisher’, and Taylor Swift’s ‘folklore’. I think they all bring something special to the industry. I’m a sucker for all-female bands and wish I had more to look up to when I was younger. I love the rawness of Phoebe Bridgers – her music brings such a pure comfort to me. ON top of that, I’m definitely a new swiftie. I think ‘folklore’ was a real testament to Taylor’s ability to adapt to an ever-changing industry. For 2021, I’m really excited for Billie Eilish’s new documentary and seeing what Olivia Rodrigo has in store for us. It’s young women like them who are the true future of music so I can’t wait to see what they do next.
Outside of musicians/music industry, who are some women artists, writers, or business owners that we should know and support?
If you like art you should definitely check out my friend @bekindbella. Not only is she one of the kindest, most authentic people I’ve ever met but her artwork is incredible.
If you wrote a thank you letter to yourself, what three things would be on that list?
Wow, this is a hard one. I’m very self-deprecating (working hard not to be) so this question is definitely challenging.
1. Thank you for believing in yourself, even when you barely did.
2. Thank you for continuing to try and putting yourself out in the world even when you get rejected over and over and over again.
3. Thank you for being a good role model for your past self. She would be so proud.
Last but not least, leave the readers of For The Punks with one last message…
As women, it can be hard to appreciate your own hard work and sometimes you might undermine your own achievements. It’s important to support and empower other women but don’t forget to empower yourself as well. Your voice is one of your most powerful tools so don’t forget to use it.