Our second ‘Skivvy Speak’ is the invincible Catrin Vincent - frontwoman, instrumentalist and lyricist to rising band Another Sky, as well as experimental musician in her own right. Catrin writes lyrics inspired by politics and gender that are both beautifully eloquent and emotional, as well as commanding, direct and stirring. Catrins voice is incredibly distinctive and has once been described as a “pining choirboy” (best quote ever). The first time I met Catrin it was our first day of uni, she sat down and played me a song she wrote on the piano. I am not ashamed to say that I was weeping in the corner pretty quickly!
When my Dad bought me a multi-track recorder, making music became transcendental. I'd lock myself away for hours on a piano. Nothing else mattered.
I was the only girl in my Music Technology A-Level class. When we showed our work to the class, one of the guys said, “oh, it’s actually good”. I turned round to a sea of surprised faces. I didn’t understand.
I booked a recording studio at University once. A male student came in uninvited and started setting up microphones, telling me how to record and sitting at the computer. I asked him politely to leave. He wouldn’t leave until I shouted at him. Afterwards, I got nothing done because I was too shaken.
Slowly, I associated producing with anxiety. It was no longer a safe, fun outlet. I stopped using that studio.
There have been many more incidents, and at the time, I didn't know how to deal with them. They are called microaggressions. They build up into anxiety, depression and a lack of women in male-dominated fields. Examples of microaggressions are men avoiding eye contact with women in the room when making decisions, undermining a woman’s arrangement or idea in favour of their own and changing settings on her pedalboard or computer without asking. The intentions might be benevolent, but the outcome remains the same.
In 2017, my band scored a record deal, so I’ve been able to buy a lot of gear. I pushed myself to mix my friend’s tracks, even when I felt like a fraud. I set up a women’s producer night to build a support network.
I have learned to be assertive, even if it makes people think differently of me. Now that I have the language to define sexism, it stops me internalising it as much.
When I see men produce effortlessly, I want to scream at my younger self, ‘you shouldn't have let it get to you!’, even though it wasn’t her fault. I am still grieving all the time I’ve lost, but it’s important not to dwell on it, and look forward. We can’t help being a product of our environment, but it’s never too late to fight socialisation.