Saffron is a music tech initiative taking an intersectional approach to redressing the gender imbalance in the industry

OUR STORY

Founded in Bristol, UK in 2015 by Laura Lewis-Paul, Saffron operates as a social enterprise that primarily offers training in music production, sound engineering and DJing, as well as running an artist development program and record label.

The music tech industry is currently composed of just 5% women. Saffron’s aim is to increase that figure, advancing gender equality in the sector by creating a safe space for women, non-binary people and other minority genders to learn and build confidence. We want to inhabit traditionally male-dominated music tech spaces and become visible role models.

Laura Lewis-Paul by Carmel King

Saffron’s goals:

Support, champion and inspire people in music tech

Empower women and non-binary artists to take more creative control of their careers by learning new skills and technological understanding

Promote inclusivity and representation on stage and behind the scenes

Spotlight a diverse range of people in music tech and take up space in historically male-dominated areas

Have a tangible effect on gendered stereotypes society holds about roles and abilities, through long-term community building and education

Inspire a future generation of women and non-binary people in the music tech industry

Impact & Growth

 

In its five years of existence, Saffron has built a reputation as one of the leading music tech development platforms for women and non-binary people in the UK and beyond. Hundreds of people globally have engaged on our courses and workshops and many go on to study music tech full-time, release their own music, perform at festivals and get radio residencies with world-class institutions. A key aspect of our work is nurturing our ever-growing community interested in music tech, especially those who may not have had access to it if it weren’t for the infrastructure and accessibility that we provide.

Saffron is embedded in the music industry, working with a diverse array of mentors, tutors and project managers. Our staff have decades of experience in both the professional music industry and in community building. Renowned musical figureheads, artists, broadcasters and sound engineers have guest-hosted workshops with Saffron, including the likes of Jamz Supernova, KeiyaA, Shura, Lady Leshurr, Hannah Peel and Marta Salogni.

Saffron has delivered stand-alone and long-term projects in the UK with the Arts Council, The Prince’s Trust and in partnership with the PRS Foundation as one of their Talent Development partners. We have also presented multi-day music tech programs as far afield as Moscow and Azerbaijan on behalf of the British Council. Other brand supporters and partners on our mission include Spitfire Audio, Ableton, Moog, Red Bull Music, Team Love and DBS Music.

Saffron has received attention in the press in the form of interviews, videos and profiles in the likes of the Guardian, Crack Mag, Music Tech mag, Clash, Dummy, Resident Advisor, Bustle, Mixmag and Boiler Room.

Gender & Inclusion

 

The gender imbalance in the music technology industry is well-recognised. While Saffron is absolutely not ‘anti-men’, we see that a short-term solution is to provide fellowship and learning environments that are not dominated by the cisgender male perspective. The majority of Saffron’s courses and workshops are solely intended for cisgender women, trans women, trans men and non-binary people to attend. We are extremely passionate about serving the needs of all these people.

Many of our public-facing events, such as concerts or club nights are open to ALL genders (cisgender men included). We also have a small number of men involved in Saffron in various ways, as we feel that if we want to see real change in the industry then we need to have good role models across the gender spectrum.

Regarding our use of gendered language – we are always open to take feedback and hear people’s thoughts. We recognise that language is important and ever-changing and different terminology can feel comfortable for different people – our individuality means there’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’.