LOS ANGELES — When LP Giobbi set out to master music production, she knew the field had a massive gender gap. But she hadn’t realized just how big that gap was until she walked into a warehouse to take her first Ableton course.

“It was me and 229 guys,” she said. “That was pretty scary to me to walk into this room and feel like I had to prove myself and, you know, feeling that you have to be twice as good is a real feeling.” 

What You Need To Know

  • According to USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, less than 3% of pop song producers are women

  • LP Giobbi helped launch Femme House to encourage women to become producers, engineers, and mixers

  • As part of Grammy Week 2021, the Recording Academy will hold first ever Women In The Mix virtual event

Rather than let that intimidate her, Giobbi decided to let it fuel her. She didn’t doubt that she could do it, but she did feel a certain amount pressure to represent her gender.

“In a way that makes all women look amazing,” she explained, “because this may be the only time that these men are interacting with a female producer.”

Being a producer was not her original plan. Mainly, she said, because she didn’t know it was an option. Then one day, while recording with an all-female band in a studio with an all-male production team, she read about how singer/songwriter Grimes had produced her own record. For her, this was the lightbulb moment.

“It never even occurred to me that as an artist and a musician, that I could have that role,” Giobbi remembered. “Subconsciously, it didn’t even occur to me because I didn’t see myself visually represented in that role.”

The lack of women filling technical roles in the music industry is something the Recording Academy has taken note of as well.

Research from the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative found that less than 3% of producers on the top 800 songs of the last eight years were women. Which led the Academy to launch Women in the Mix — seeking to expand opportunities for female producers and engineers. As part of Grammy Week 2021, The Recording Academy held its first ever Women In The Mix event on Monday, March 8, International Women’s Day.

Giobbi sees the lack of diversity in the field as a self-feeding system.

“When you see yourself in a role, you believe you can do that role and so then you do that role,” she explained. “There’s a few parts of that feedback loop right now that are broken.” 

So she set out to fix them. Giobbi helped launch Femme House, a nonprofit organization that offers classes and workshops to teach women and non-binary individuals the technical aspects of making music.

“Being in a classroom full of women, talking about warping audio and how to get the biggest boom out of your kick, is a really game changing, life-affirming experience,” she said.

Even if they don’t want to be producers, and not all female singer/songwriters or musicians do, Giobbi said it’s still important for women in the music industry to become fluent in the language of the studio.

“Because I was meeting a lot of women in L.A. who were such talented singer/songwriters but they were like, waiting for a producer to pluck them out of obscurity and put out their music,” she said, “and so this weird, horrible power dynamic happens, and I just wanted to create a space to shift that.”

And she does see that shift happening…slowly. She recently met with a female A&R — a first for her even though she’s met with a lot labels at this point in her career.

“Obviously we still have so much work to do and a long way to go but it is happening,” she said.

She also points out that it’s not just women who need to encourage and enable this change in the industry to happen.

“There has to be male allies who are already in positions of power that raise their hands, that open the door,” Giobbi explained.

The performer and DJ isn’t just satisfied with being a producer. She also wants to be the representation that has been lacking, the lightbulb moment that encourages other women to pursue a profession they didn’t know was open to them.

Music is her sphere, but her vision is much grander.

"My ultimate goal is to live in a more equitable world, period,” she said.  “If I can uplift and encourage and support and say ‘I believe in you’ to other women around me, that’s how I want to live my life.”