When LP Giobbi learned that only 2% of chart producers weren’t male, she knew something had to be done. As someone who didn’t see herself, a producer, growing up, she wanted to be that person for someone else. Thus, she founded Femme House.
Femme House creates opportunities for future producers, mixers, engineers, DJs, artists and industry executives. LP Giobbi goes even further with its Femme House Tour. During the day of each leg of the tour, certified LP trainers Giobbi and Ableton host free production and deejaying workshops as well as professional development events in select markets featuring Alicia Key’s She Is The Music. On the tour, LP Giobbi booked all female lineups at all shows and made an effort to have women of color on as many slots as she could. Producer Bklava, with whom she recently released “Sinner” through Defected’s D4 Dance, was on tour with her.
In addition to her work with Femme House, LP Giobbi recently premiered a Femme House compilation for Insomniac Records and she is set to host an art car takeover at this year’s EDC Las Vegas, featuring artists who are women or extended people. “I think education is an important aspect of changing that 2% figure and there is representation,” she says. “That’s why it’s really important for us to start getting into the live space and doing takeovers at festivals and live shows.”
We shouldn’t have to live in a world where women producers are called producers—there should be enough representation that they can just be called producers. While we’re not there yet, LP Giobbi is indeed making significant strides to help combat this. LP Giobbi sat down with Forbes to discuss the inspiration behind starting Femme House, the woman who empowered her the most, her single “Sinner” with Bklava and more.
Lisa Kocay: What was the inspiration for your single “Sinner”?
LP Giobbi: “The song was really written by Bklava. I sent her a bunch of tracks and she liked one of them and wrote what we now know as “Sinner” on top of it. And the voice was so good that the track wasn’t good enough for the voice. And I thought that voice was remarkable. It’s already stuck in my head. It gives me power and I want to dance to it. It’s beautiful, so I went to work, rebuilding a song around the vocals, which was really fun to be really intentional about how his lyrics work and where the song builds and drops hard, if you will. She was in the UK and I was in the US, and we were sending her back and forth. I went to Defected Studios in December when I was playing a bunch of gigs in the UK, and she came in and recorded the final vocals. We were able to finish it together in the studio.
Kocay: It’s exciting because I feel like pretty much now the norm seems to be that everyone emails each other and can’t work together.
LP Giobbi: “Oh, a 1000%. It’s like queuing in the same city at the same time and having the same days off, for touring artists and producers, a real miracle. Luckily, we had this technology. And what is very special about this release, for me, is that Bklava is the opening of the Femme House tour, my first main tour and our first Femme House tour where we are doing free in-person workshops, teaching the introduction to Ableton before every Show. And so she’s on this tour with me and the track came out on the second day of the tour, and we played it together. She sings live, [we’ve] I played it in these little sweaty, packed clubs, night after night together, and see the reaction right away and see the dance floor dance [to] this song is so special. I never had an outing where I could shoot with the artist right away.
Kocay: What was the inspiration behind starting Femme House?
LP Giobbi: “Woman House is my 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that teaches women and gender-broad people the technical aspects of music, production, and engineering. There are many ways to respond to that question, but I must have been in an all-female electronic band when I started learning sound design and playing synths and stuff. I was in the studio one day [and] we were working with all the male producers, as we always have been. And they were lovely, amazing allies who really helped me and taught me so much. But I was reading an article about how Grimes produces his own records and his own records. I had the privilege of being raised by parents who thought you could do anything and you could be anything, but that light bulb moment went out for me because it taught me the power of visual representation. Even though I thought I could do anything, I didn’t see myself in that role.
“It didn’t even occur to me that I could be the producer in the room. And then afterwards, I remember where I was sitting, I remember what I was wearing, I remember how I felt – I have the worst memory ever – and that moment was really pivotal for me because then I became determined to be that to someone else. Do I think having more female producers changes the world? I do not know. I do know, however, that believing you can really do anything is world-changing, and we’re just coming to that from electronic music and production. But I think the overall goal is full empowerment of voices that aren’t as represented.
Kocay: I know you talked before about how you teach workshops before your tour, but what other opportunities does that create for women?
LP Giobbi: “So every month we run a free online workshop. We actually have two a month now, one in deejay classes and one in production, and then we also have more in-depth online classes that are month-long programs. We’ve partnered with She Is The Music, Alicia Keys’ nonprofit. She Is The Music, which is a very intense production bootcamp…this partnership really launched us globally because Alicia talked about it. Then on the first day of launch, we had around 3,000 registrations from all over the world – Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Australia – which is such an awesome and wild thing to see. And then we have a scholarship program for BIPOC, for women of color, where we provide all the materials, which is another big barrier to entry. Production is quite an expensive thing.
Kocay: What does the dance music scene look like for women today?
LP Giobbi: “I think it’s the perfect time to be a woman in electronic music. I know this may not be a popular answer, but I believe that because I have personally seen guardians raise their hands and realize it’s time to make a change and come to me to help make a change. [For example,] Insomniac [saying] we realize we don’t have enough women in our festivals, can we do a Femme House stage. I wish a Femme House didn’t have to exist. I would like to live in a world where I am not called a producer. It would be amazing, but we’re just not there yet. And so I want to draw attention to the fact that I’m a producer and I’m a woman – you can do both. I know there are like two different thoughts on this.
“There are women who hate being called producers, and I respect that. I think there are two types of activism: activism for change, where you just normalize being in that position and don’t not call attention to it – it normalizes it – and then there’s militant activism, which draws attention to it, and I think both are equally necessary.
“I think we still have a lot of work to do, especially with our lineups with festivals in the electronic space and beyond, but I think things are going in the right direction and I’m really excited about it. “
Kocay: Who are the female artists who have edified you?
LP Giobbi: “SOFI TUKKER. She’s female and male and the male, Tukker, is a huge ally. And Sofi is… she’s the one I call and she’s working on all of this with me. They literally created a label [and] release my music. They took me on tour when I wasn’t good, [they are] huge supporters. What TSHA does is a British artist, their productions and music are so special. I’m on Bklava, which is on the single “Sinner”. She is incredible. His deejaying is remarkable. She sings when she deejays and her voice is crazy. She’s a great producer and that’s just cool. I really believe in her. Mary Droppinz: She’s remarkable and does cool things. I always feel energized when I talk to her, and she’s actually our DJ educator. [for] Women’s House.
Kocay: Outside of music, what other women have empowered you?
LP Giobbi: “My piano teacher, with whom I started studying since the second year, she is the reason why I am sitting here in front of you. She cultivated creativity. Some days we just play the piano inside or we play the bar or we just dance. She just had this firecracker, this happy energy and she’s the most remarkable human being ever. She has Alzheimer’s disease, one of the most difficult things. She comes to visit me at least once during most of my shows when I play the piano, [and] I just feel his spirit. If she [could] see the show today, if i could have something i would ask for that would be so cool to share that with her. Alzheimer’s is the worst. She was just such a powerful woman. I started working with her in second year, so she was confident, powerful. She knew what she wanted. She was full of joy and didn’t quite make herself or herself smaller in the spaces. He was my biggest mentor. How lucky am I to have this?