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April Clare Welsh
4 March 2022, 12:31

Saffron launches zine, announces free music tech kits project

40 free “Music Tech Kits” will be made available to Black women, non-binary, trans and gender non-conforming people in the UK


Saffron, the Bristol-based not-for-profit organisation tackling gender imbalance in the music tech industry, is launching a new zine written by and about Black women, non-binary and trans folk in music tech.

The first edition of the zine will spotlight six Black professionals and their stories: Xana, TAAHLIAH, Leslie Gaston-Bird, Josette Joseph, Geaola Adeyemi aka Princess Trium and Zakia Sewell. 

“To be featured in this ‘zine, encourages my hope that we can see that there are those of us living and building the future, rather than just speculating,” said Xana. “The ancestral cycles are being healed and the tormented question of "Can I do this too?" will be shifted to ask "When will I start?".

Supported by Spitfire Audio and Arts Council England, 3,500 copies will be distributed for free to various schools, colleges and youth clubs around the UK. Buy a copy of the zine from Saffron's Bandcamp here.

The group will also make 40 "Music Tech Kits" available for free, with hardware including studio headphones by AIAIAI, synths or samplers by Teenage Engineering as well as the Ableton Live 11 software and an Ableton Push 2 MIDI controller. Educational resources will be offered alongside studio gear, including 1-2-1 music production tutorials with Ableton-certified trainers.

A 2021 report from the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative shows that less than 5% of the music tech industry is comprised of women, non-binary and trans folk, and less than 1% of these are people of colour.