The Indian chapter of Women in Music, which promotes women's visibility in music, launches today. The Guide in conversation with its India chair and lawyer Priyanka Khimani
Tell us about your association with Women in Music (WIM).
Founded in 1985, WIM is a leading non-profit that works towards building a community of not just women musicians but also label executives, artiste managers, songwriters recording engineers, agents, publicists and those in streaming services, radio, television and social media. With 95 per cent of my legal practice involving intellectual property-related cases including royalty and copyright disputes [she fought one against Indian Performing Right Society Ltd on behalf of music composers including Javed Akhtar, and Jatin and Lalit Pandit], the global WIM community perhaps felt I could helm the India chapter.
How have you dipped into your experience in the industry to carve out the goals for the Indian chapter?
The single-point agenda for the Indian chapter is to encourage championing — women looking out for each other, and men championing women too. The idea is to shift the focus from how women don't have it easy to facilitating access to opportunities, and just making work happen. Men in the industry can simply pick up the phone if they need help in a certain department; we want to create the same sense of oneness among women, too. If we don't do it, no one else will. For instance, this interview is happening through the help of a publicist. If an acquaintance needs to get the word out on an initiative, the point is to make sure she has access to the right contact.
What is the launch event going to be about?
It's a sundowner tonight, where we'll tell attendees what WIM is and what it does. A global member will give a keynote address, after which we will throw it open for membership. Internationally, the focus for 2019 is mentorship, and through the year, we will keep working on ways to add more value to the membership. And things seem to have begun on the right note already. When I tapped into my existing pool to join us for the launch and continue to remain associated with the initiative, everyone — including Neha Kakkar, Neeti Mohan, Shalmali Kholgade, Sneha Khanwalkar and Kanika Kapoor as well as female executives from Radio City, Netflix and Warner Music — came on board.
Log on to womeninmusic.org/wim-india.html
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