Supersonic x Swamp present… Sounding Out Intersectionality
In Conversation: Stephanie Phillips (BIG JOANIE), Shannon Funchess (LIGHT ASYLUM) & Lorena Quintanilla (J. ZUNZ)
Friday 15 January 2021, 19:30 GMT
Live stream via YouTube
FREE (donations welcomed*)
*Whilst these conversations are free to watch, we ask if you’re in a position to, you please contribute what you can afford. Your donations will help to secure the future work of Supersonic, enabling us to support the artists we host and our freelance team. You can donate by buying our merch or making a donation.
[Stephanie, Big Joanie live at Supersonic 2019 – image by Joe Singh]
Supersonic was founded and is led by womxn, one of our key aims is to be an inspiring space where womxn, trans and non-binary artists who are creating extraordinary new music are celebrated and recognised.
So we’ve teamed up with Swamp Booking, one of Europe’s leading independent agencies, to launch a series of talks that amplify the voices and experiences of womxn, trans and non-binary artists who are creating new music. Together, we’ll be exploring how to create a better working environment and a more cohesive scene, sharing wider perspectives first-hand whilst also focusing on more specific topics such as identity, collaboration, and the use of the body in live performances.
Despite some positive trends, gender disparity is still a major concern across the wider music industry. For example, PRS for Music’s membership remains heavily skewed towards men, with only 18.4% of members identifying as female. In 2019, the top 10 female songwriters/composers in the UK generated 67% less revenue via PRS for Music compared to their top 10 male counterparts. This revealed that women, even at the top of their field, receive less opportunities than men for their music to be heard and performed.
With this in mind, together with Swamp, we’re delighted to share with you the third instalment of the series on Friday 15 January 2021 – this time we hear from Stephanie Phillips (Big Joanie, co-founder of Decolonise Fest), Shannon Funchess (Light Asylum) and Lorena Quintanilla aka J. Zunz. This conversation entitled Sounding Out Intersectionality will be hosted by journalist, Jasmine Ketibuah-Foley.
[Shannon, Light Asylum – image by Denise McMullin]
First coined by Professor Kimberlé Crenshaw back in 1989, intersectionality is the acknowledgement that everyone has their own unique experiences of discrimination and oppression and we must consider everything and anything that can marginalise people – gender, race, class, sexual orientation, physical ability, age etc.
Without an intersectional lens, our efforts to tackle inequalities and injustice towards womxn are likely to just end up perpetuating systems of inequalities.
During this talk we’re aiming to explore intersectionality from the perspective of the musician, learning from these three formidable artists how their experiences converge, impact and informs their creative output.
Stephanie Phillips is a music journalist, musician, and organiser based in London. She formed the punk band Big Joanie in 2013, after becoming frustrated with the lack of intersectionality in the scene. She found her fellow bandmates for this black feminist punk band by posting online, and now they have since been named “ones to watch” by The Guardian. Steph is also a co-founder and organiser of Decolonise Fest, a festival created by and for punks of colour. Out May 2021, she is also the author of Why Solange Matters, on University of Texas Press.
Shannon Funchess (she/her), is the founder, producer, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist of LIGHT ASYLUM. A well known figure in the U.S. underground and alternative music scenes since the early nineties. Fronting the post-rock, punk-funk Seattle outfit IMIJ and indie rock bands A/C Autolux and Toy Train, by the mid 90’s Funchess would discover her love of vinyl and rave culture and begin djing renegade parties, club nights and pirate radio stations regularly before relocating to NYC. Arriving just three days after ‘9-11’ perched at the epicenter of the Williamsburg, Brooklyn music scene in 2001, just enough time to find a community of musicians and friends crawling out from under the fear of destruction and terror to lend soulful vocals to bands TV ON THE RADIO, !!! and LCD Soundsystem to name just a few.
In 2012 she would be credited with co-writing a song and feature vocals on brother, sister, Swedish act, The Knife as well as be invited to perform as a touring multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and dancer on the ‘Shaking The Habitual’ farewell tour in 2014-2-15. Among other collaborations that followed, Funchess was invited to team up with Detroit husband and wife electro duo ADULT. for their Knight Foundation granted full length musical work ‘Detroit House Guest’ and become a principal actor and musical creator in the S.F. Moma commissioned work of Michelle Handelman’s ‘Hustlers and Empires’ in 2015.
Her long and multifarious performance art career has extended across many genres, styles and eras and is influenced by countless musicians, film makers, performance artist movers and shakers from around the globe. She maintains the greatest appreciation and utmost respect for those artists whose consciousness of a sociopolitical environment, drive them to make art that raises awareness and pushes the envelope of change for the benefit of all living creatures, at all costs.
Lorena Quintanilla (she/her), based in Mexico, has a new solo project under the moniker J. Zunz, and it’s is purely hypnotic. Within a thick atmosphere of an experimental post-punk sound, wonky synths and haunting melodies shine through via cold repetitions.
Her recent single released on Rocket Recordings ‘Four Women And Darkness’ is a story from her grandmother’s childhood. Lorena explains how “she told me that once during wartime in México in the late 1920’s, she and her sisters were hidden by her grandmother in a little, cold secret room. She hid them there because the militia wanted to search the house. Soldiers used to look for women or girls to rape them or to kidnap them. My grandmother and her sisters stayed there in the dark room for hours until the soldiers left.”