Inside Platoon & Femme Africa’s She Runs the Boards Camp

She Runs The Boards is a global music programme created to challenge the status quo and provide the tools, time and opportunity for women in music

From the euphoric release of operating behind the mic to navigating the drama that unfurls at boardroom level, there is no Afropop without the contribution of its women. In the twenty-odd years since the genre has risen from a sub-regional powerhouse to a key component of global pop’s framework, women have been at the forefront of that evolution, working ardently to propel African music to the top of the charts and the minds and hearts of millions across the globe.

The theme for 2024’s International Women’s Day was ‘Accelerate Progress,’ and our friends at Platoon and Femme Africa took this up a notch with She Runs The Boards in London and Lagos last month. At no time has the propulsive force of the women in AfroPop been felt as much as it has now, and the scene seems ripe with opportunities for women to charge their way through the often male-dominated music scene.

To reiterate the initiative’s ethos, Toluwaleke Subair, Programs Manager for Femme Africa explains

“Through She Runs the Boards, we’re not just creating music; we’re shaping the future of the industry and inspiring the next generation of female artists, songwriters and producers, it is important to me that we continue to build platforms for women to connect, collaborate, and create and SRTB represents just that!” 

She Runs The Boards is a global music programme created to challenge the status quo and provide the tools, time and opportunity for women in music to create and connect with each other. The programme was created by Linda Ayoola (Head Of Music, Africa) and Grace Hsiu (Senior Manager of Artist Strategy) with the aim of challenging the lack of racial and gender diversity in the global music industry. Last year, the pair came together for the first She Runs The Boards activation in Lagos, which saw a day-long producer masterclass with women in production.

While women in the far more established global industry continue to create space for themselves, women on the continent are also making their unique marks on the scene. With Platoon and Femme Africa’s latest collaboration, we are being introduced to fresh new voices in the music scene, to add to the already bold and vivacious music we’re getting from women on the continent such as Asa, Tems, Ayra Starr, Bloody Civilian and more.

Speaking to the NATIVE about She Runs The Boards, Ayoola says:

“We believe in the transformative power of music to break barriers and build bridges across continents. By creating a music camp and initiatives exclusively for women, we aim to foster a supportive and inclusive environment where diverse voices can shine, collaborate and inspire.” 

Helmed by a female-led group of musicians, songwriters, producers + more, the Lagos She Runs The Boards camp is the first of its kind, with the aim to develop female talent and give them the opportunity for their music to be heard. The importance of third party spaces such as this for women in music has never been clearer than it is today, and we’re looking forward to hearing more from such partnerships.

[Featured Image Credits/The NATIVE]