shesaid.so Berlin in conversation with: Annika Weyhrich

Feature #26 — shesaid.so Berlin speaks to Annika Weyhrich, Global PR Manager at Native Instruments

Background:

In 2002 a friend asked me to take over his shift at a local radio station while he was traveling. Little did I know that this was the humble beginning of what later became a calling to invest my time and passion in the music industry. With only a few contacts, but a very curious mind and a dash of naivety I packed my bags and moved to Berlin in 2003.

Since then I have been producing, consulting and curating in the music and culture space in Germany and throughout Europe. This included content programming (MTV Europe) and interview production (SLICES Electronic Beats) while hosting events in Berlin since 2005.

By the age of 25 I was booking talent for Tape Club (R.I.P.) and working in freelance artist management, followed by booking for DJ Hell and another two years at SSC Group representing Azari & III, Juan MacLean, Shit Robot and Vitalic to name a few.

In 2011 I got tired of how booking agencies operated and how much politics defined the promoter business, so I founded Fling, my own creative agency focused around Public Relations, Marketing Strategy, Event Production and Artist Bookings. Fling was my baby, my creative playground, quintessentially me.

When 2015 came around, another big project came on the radar: Institute of Sound and Music; a project invested in founding a museum for the preservation of sound and the contemporary exploration of electronic music in collaboration with artists such as Matthew Herbert and visual pioneers Pfadfinderei was born and kicked off with our so-called „Hexadome“ exhibition at Gropiusbau in 2018. You need to keep your eyes peeled for that one.

Shortly after I began to lecture at the Universität der Künste zu Berlin and also became regular guest on international panels speaking on creative marketing strategies, gender equality and diversity — topics very close to my heart.

1,5 years ago Native Instruments came knocking on my door and what seemed a far away dream soon became reality. After 7 years it was time to let Fling go and discover new shores and challenges.

Narrative:

Throughout all those years I sat in plenty of music studios and guess what: As a woman with no musical background I was intimated by the technology, terrified even. I’ve been asked for advice and feedback on musical directions for a reason, but I struggled using the right terminology. Seeing friends blossom writing and even releasing original music, made me jealous. Why did I never have the guts and determination to follow that path? There is no use in beating myself up over it. I am 37 years old and it is never too late.

Goals:

Music is such an integral part of our daily lives, yet music production seems to be reserved for a small part of society. Only 5% of all music producers are women producers — a number I found shocking and which made me ask: Is music mainly made by dudes for dudes? Yes, rap music, I am looking at you in particular. How do we break out of this cycle?

In order to make a more diverse range of music and to create better products we need to see more women in music studios, marketing departments and executive positions. Dear music industry, you are very much behind. Stop being a drag.

Personal advice to the new generation of woman who would like to make their career in the music industry:

Don’t take NO for an answer.

„Aus Wut im Bauch wird Strom gemacht“, is what my mama used to say.

In other words: Use the frustration that comes from the trials and tribulations and turn it into energy.

Your community is what will elevate you: network and share ideas.