The WiMN’s Front and Center is a weekly column that showcases accomplished women who work in the music and audio industries. We spotlight successful female performers, manufacturers, retailers, educators, managers, publicists, and everyone else in between. Want to be featured? Learn how here.
Front and Center: Social Family Records Marketing Manager and She Who Rocks Founder, Alli Hodge
This week we’re thrilled to spotlight Alli Hodge, an Australian music marketer and advocate for women in music.
Hodge spends her days working with Social Family Records, “an independently minded record label living life on the fringes and working to the beat of our own drum.” As marketing manager, she interfaces with some of Australia’s most remarkable artists to develop and further their careers.
In addition to her work with the label, Hodge founded She Who Rocks, a community bosting almost 20,000 followers on Facebook. The thriving page is dedicated to all women who have shaped rock ‘n’ roll, and regularly features inspirational quotes, photos of legendary female musicians, contests and more.
Most recently, She Who Rocks announced a national tour co-headlined by Baby Animals and The Superjesus, two of of most popular female-fronted bands in Australia. The community also plans to release a compilation album, with a portion of sales being donated to an international women’s charity.
WiMN: What influenced you to work in the music industry?
AH: I’ve always been drawn to it since I was very young. When I was five my dad took me to see Cyndi Lauper in concert, and straight after that I was putting on shows on my street where all the kids would dress up and perform. We’d charge all the neighbors five cents to watch the “concert” and then buy sweets.
My dad listened to all the great rock bands like Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, AC/DC and Mum loved Janis Joplin and Dusty Springfield. So I feel like my passion for music from a young age is what gave me the drive to work in the industry. That, and a lack of musical ability!
WiMN: Tell us about your role as Marketing Manager at Social Family Records. What is a typical work day like?
AH: It’s super creative and a great environment. We work with such a diverse roster of artists that the marketing behind each release is very different. One day I could be writing a brief for a photo shoot or album cover, the next could be meetings all day planning a publicity strategy, and the next I could be launching a fan generated activation on Instagram. My team is amazing and we all work together to come up with release strategies that break tradition.
WiMN: How is the label different than others?
AH: We take risks by trying new things. We don’t do things the way the industry says they must be done or how things have been done traditionally. Across the board we believe in the integrity and credibility of our artists and find ways to generate income and profile via album sales. We put the fans first, and at the forefront of our approach is innovation, especially in digital marketing and social media.
WiMN: Tell us about the She Who Rocks community. How did it start and what is your mission with the group?
AH: It started as a Facebook page that highlighted women who have influenced rock ‘n’ roll and by doing so have been an inspiration to the rest of us. The page grew so quickly, and everyone who is a part of it is so engaged, so I felt compelled to offer them more.
We’ve launched some great competitions on the page with prizes that include signed merch packs or concert tickets. In December we announced the first She Who Rocks national tour which is being co-headlined by Baby Animals and The Superjesus, two of Australia’s highest profile and most influential female fronted bands. Suze DeMarchi (Baby Animals) is an icon and one of my teen idols, so it’s just amazing that this is happening. Each show will offer an opportunity for a local band to open, all in the name of promoting women who rock.
It’s never been about comparing women to men, or excluding men. It’s just about highlighting female achievement, and of course we welcome all the guys on the page and at the tour! The future is looking amazing for She Who Rocks with the release of a compilation album titled She Who Rocks on April 10. It is 20 tracks from the likes of Suzi Quatro, Heart, Garbage, Hole, The Bangles, Tina Turner, No Doubt, Baby Animals, Pat Benatar, Concrete Blonde and loads more. It will be available to purchase worldwide and we’ll be donating a portion of sales to an international women’s charity. Keep an eye on the page for more info! It’s really a dream come true!
WiMN: Do you play an instrument?
AH: I play guitar very badly. I used to be in bands but I’ve not played for years, only as a bit of fun.
WiMN: What is the female music scene like in Australia?
AH: I believe it’s great. I don’t see it as a male or female industry but just as a thriving live music scene. I see lots of bands with female members, at all different levels. Australia is such a new and multicultural country that creativity flourishes. Maybe I’m being optimistic but I tend to find the people that claim “rock is dead” just arn’t getting off their arses to go to gigs and support it.
WiMN: Can you share your experience as a woman in the industry? Have there been any challenges?
AH: I’ve been fortunate enough to always have awesome people working with me. Sure, I’ve dealt with a couple of patronising douche bags, but I don’t think they were rude because I’m a woman, they were just idiots. I know so many awesome women working behind the scenes in labels, as agents, promoters and managers. And just as many men! The only challenges I’ve faced are because I wanted to do things differently, not because of gender.
WiMN: What is some advice you’d offer to a young woman pursuing a career in the industry?
AH: To not be afraid to do things differently and to not be afraid to challenge “the old boys club” (the 60 year old suits who won’t break tradition). Mostly to always keep learning, strive to be creative and to take risks. Above all, to enjoy it. If it feels like work then it’s probably not the right career path for you.