Q&A: Club No Quiet Records aims to break barriers for female artists

There’s another new label in town. Club No Quiet is the brainchild of Rachel Tomlinson Dick.

It’s meant to be a non-profit label and a haven for less established female artists. Basically, she told me, there are barriers for female artists in independent music and they want to help smash them.

With the Durham Museum’s “Women Who Rock” exhibit coming this weekend, I talked to Rachel about the label, where it came from and what planned goals and events she has for Club No Quiet. (Read my rundown of “Women Who Rock” over at Omaha.com/GO.)

The label recently had a launch party on Feb. 1 and they plan on releasing a mix tape soon. I’m looking forward to it.

Q. Where did the idea for the label come from?

A. The concept for the label gradually took form several months after volunteering at the initial year of Omaha Girls Rock camp in the summer of 2011. The experience was amazing and inspiring in so many ways, and caused me to ponder both what resources existed on an ongoing basis for girls and woman who are interested in music, and also how many female musicians I know who are working independently of label support, or are not currently pursuing their own musical projects. Slowly these distinct, yet related, subjects began to connect in my mind, and I began to mull over and research the idea of a not-for-profit record label that had the established female musicians it worked with act as mentors for younger and/or less established female musicians. During the next session of camp, in the summer of 2012, I mentioned the idea to my longtime friend and fellow volunteer, Darcy Covert, and she started really pushing and helping me to take steps to make it a reality. Shortly after that, local musicians Melissa Amstutz, Teal Gardner, and Ellen Wilde joined the effort as well, and have contributed massively to the label’s conceptual and practical formation.

The reason we are seeking to focus our efforts on women and girls is because there is a clear and persistent underrepresentation of female-identified individuals in independent music, and there seem to be more barriers, both interpersonal and structural, to their active and uninhibited involvement. Also, the marginalization and objectification of women in society as a whole is an issue that we are concerned with, and we believe that empowering girls and women to create loudly and unapologetically can help push society toward greater overall equality.

Q. Are you working with any artists right now?

A. We haven’t formally entered into contract with any artists yet, but have entered into discussions with several bands about putting out upcoming releases for them. Our initial project, due out in late spring, is going to be a mix tape, which will introduce people to the label’s aesthetic and some artists we plan to work with in the future, including bands that played our launch show on Feb. 1, and more.

Q. Why operate as a non-profit?

A. The motivation to function as a non-profit is partly practical, and partly ideological. Since a large portion of what we will be doing is mentorship and educational programming, it simply makes sense; it lends legitimacy to our organization, and gives us eligibility for more grants and funding. Beyond that, we are committed to the organization, and all decisions surrounding it, being based first and foremost on social good, rather than on financial gain. We want to maximize the community impact of this project, and functioning entirely outside of a corporate mindset seemed to us to be the best way to do that.

That being said, we are in the early stages of applying for our non-profit status. We just launched the label, and are still figuring out as we go exactly how it will function, particularly as there are no other equivalent organizations on which to base our structure.

Q. Do you have any more events coming up?

A. Not yet. We will be having a release show for our upcoming mix tape, and are working on partnering with various organizations for events and workshops in the near future though!

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