Female artists have taken the music world by storm, and thanks to Hip Chick Music, a record company (out of Oakland, California) that features only female artists, these musically inclined women have an even greater chance of letting their music reach out to listeners all over the world.
The mastermind behind HCM is Elise Lebec, who has been in the music industry for over twenty years. She was a Steinway Sponsored Pianist in Sydney, Australia where she held charity events so that music students could be heard and donations could be made to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. HCM is her second attempt at a record company for female artists; her wish finally came true in October 2007. Since then, the company has grown to include over fifty-six artists from around the world, all of whom were handpicked by Elise.
To select artists, HCM first checks out each woman’s material online or through mailed in submission. Next, the music makes its way to the A&R team for their response, though Lebec makes the final decision. What does she look for in new artists: someone who has the potential to attract large audiences and presents music that is original and inspiring to “make the charts.”
“I spend a lot of time getting to know artists,” she said. “If I feel that their mission is sincere and that their sound is accomplished enough to take it to the next level, then we will allow them to bring their music to the site and be a part of the HCM community. All of [our] artists have a drive and thirst for their career, which is required by the company. We have also noticed that many of the women are happy to be a part of a community that is made up of other female artists.”
The people at HCM have worked very hard to get to where they are today. The company has partnered with many women-oriented non-music companies such as Bay Area Business Women, Ladies Who Launch, and DivineCaroline. The staff works long hours to assure themselves, and the artists, that everything is as it should be; they do not charge for the overtime, nor do they take any publishing rights away from any of the artists. So far, these artist perks have kept the company going strong.
“In the future, HCM will be expanding by signing more artists to an exclusive deal which will give them more of what they need and will help our company generate an income,” says Elise. She stresses that a greater income is needed for people who are currently “involved and making things happen,” and singles out Matt from Lunia Blue who creates the HCM Web site.
All of those who are involved hope that the company will really take off and expand in the years to come.
“In two to five years we are hoping to be the main resource for all female artists across the world by giving them direct access to their fans,” says Elise. And, for those men who feel “put out” by this female focused company, HCM actually encourages men to join the community as well, just as long as their lead singer/writer/performer is from Venus (you know ... a chic).