Throughout this yr’s Girls In Music Awards, we inducted an additional 14 superb business executives (together with one posthumous award) into the Roll Of Honour, in association with TikTok. They be a part of the pantheon of earlier honourees, together with among the greatest names within the enterprise, from Emma Banks and Sarah Stennett to Kanya King, Rebecca Allen and Stacey Tang, which have been chosen because the awards started in 2014.
The Roll Of Honour goals to focus on the breadth, depth and number of people who’re game-changers within the music business, with their actions persistently benefiting ladies, or specializing in empowerment/gender disparity. Following the Girls In Music Awards ceremony, Music Week is operating Q&A interviews with all of this yr’s Roll Of Honour inductees.
Ellie Prohan has quick cemented her identify within the business as a passionate music lover, gifted DJ and an advocate of ladies, intersectionality and marginalised communities.
Emigrating to the UK from Iran at an early age, in a single mum or dad household of Persian heritage, Prohan overcame a number of obstacles as she pursued her dream of turning into a world DJ as a queer, center japanese lady.
Prohan is understood, amongst many issues, for her weekly 15 Seconds Deep characteristic, a staple of her Tuesday night time Kiss FM present, which was impressed when studying Angie Martinez’s e book exploring how she used to interrupt among the biggest hip-hop artists of her era on radio. Making use of it to her personal love for drill and UK rap, 15 Seconds Deep has created a wholesome and vibrant gateway alternative for artists, the place two go face to face every week with simply 15 seconds of their track, leaving the general public to resolve and vote on who will get a full play on the present at a primetime slot of midnight every week.
Curating not solely her Tuesday night time Kiss FM present with the most effective of drill and UK rap – giving 28 new artists per week their first ever Kiss play – you may as well hear Prohan dwell as one of many voices to The Apple Music 1 Record present out of the London studios. You too can hear her Kiss Contemporary present from Monday to Wednesday, 7-9pm.
Prohan’s infectious vitality doesn’t finish at radio, both. In 2022 alone she has DJ’d at worldwide festivals together with Reading And Leeds, Kisstory, Outlook Competition, Glastonbury, Flackstock, Wi-fi and Boardmasters. She additionally offered the primary ever foremost stage rap competitors with 8Bars at Strawberries & Creem Competition and was honoured at Brunel College with an alumni billboard for her work within the music business.
Prohan has additionally labored with manufacturers corresponding to Nando’s, Puma, Homosexual Occasions – of which she hosts a month-to-month unique playlist Engayged – JD, Ford and Duppy Share. Prohan hosted TikTok’s first ever dwell UK rap and tradition present, Oi TikTok, alongside creator Moyo, to use her presenting expertise to a dwell present. It’s however step one in an thrilling new path into digital and TV media presenting.
Right here, Prohan displays on her outstanding profession to date…
How do you are feeling about becoming a member of the Music Week Girls In Music Roll Of Honour?
“I really feel completely overwhelmed to be nominated on the Roll Of Honour this yr for my contribution to the music business. I’m grateful to have the ability to get up each morning, doing what I really like, working alongside communities, manufacturers and platforms that imply the world to me and who’re aligned with the identical ardour and goal that I’ve. I’ll be celebrating this honour alongside the opposite nominees, who’re themselves sturdy figuring out ladies within the music business who proceed to interrupt down doorways for the love of music.”
How do you look again in your early years moving into the business?
“I had a totally totally different profession earlier than I stepped into the music business. Once I began to discover ways to DJ, I didn’t even realise it could result in the place I’m at present. After three months of practising my fingers to the bone, I acquired my first residency. Quickly after that I made new DJ associates and attended my first feminine solely networking occasion which was known as Flexx on the time. I’d say at that time, I realised, ‘Woah, this can be a entire new world for me.’ One bit of recommendation I used to be given earlier than I acquired into radio was don’t inform them you’re over 25 as a result of no lady over 25 will get into radio. Secure to say that’s not true. Wanting again, the help I had from my neighborhood mixed with being impressed by ladies throughout me who owned their lane with true ardour and resilience gave me the arrogance to step into my very own reality and be fearless in what my goal was. This has grown me into the individual I’m at present. I need to say an enormous thanks to my neighborhood and allies within the business. You recognize who you might be. Thanks in your love and help now and all the time.
And probably the most particular thanks to my nearest and dearest household, my pocket rocket Persian mum for all the time pushing me, my associate in life and love Parris for being my rock by means of all of the ups and downs and my co-d Amanda Maxwell, Nadia, Gemma, Ellen and Amelia. Thank in your love and help now and all the time. It’s appreciated greater than I can say.”
Did you will have a mentor at that stage?
“I really imagine my radio profession wouldn’t even exist if it wasn’t for Jamz Supernova. She ran Flexx alongside Amy Collins and so they have been devoted to connecting like-minded ladies within the music business. They created so many alternatives for progress, and are accountable for some unimaginable relationships which have survived the check of time. Jamz selflessly gave her time to me and helped me get my foot within the radio door, which led to the profession I’ve at present. And I’m ceaselessly grateful. I additionally met my supervisor Amanda Maxwell at Flexx and we’ve been driving by means of thick and skinny for the final six years, and I’d say Amanda has additionally been my mentor in so some ways personally and professionally. I’d be misplaced with out her.”
You could have been extremely open in interviews about your want to be an “energetic illustration” of your individual heritage and sexuality. If you’re comfy sharing, what have been among the obstacles you confronted as a feminine, homosexual center japanese lady particularly, each within the business and society?
“I’d say my greatest achievement is solely dwelling my life, being authentically true to who I’m, and the eagerness that I’ve on a day-to-day foundation. This will sound cliché however being homosexual and Persian isn’t the simplest path on the planet. The place I’m from, being homosexual is against the law, which is punishable by loss of life. With every little thing that’s occurred in Iran just lately, the place ladies don’t have a selection of freedom and so they don’t have a option to be who they need to be or love who they need, it’s crucial that whereas we will, we honour and nurture that freedom and actively push for illustration of all underrepresented and underprivileged communities inside our business. If the eight-year-old me had a homosexual Persian DJ, radio host and TV presenter to look as much as after I was rising up, my life decisions would have been very totally different. That’s the reason I’m as loud and proud as I may be, DJing at festivals everywhere in the world attempting to encourage younger ladies to be who they need to be no matter age, sexuality, race or gender and carrying that by means of to nationwide radio each week. That is why I am pushing and supporting 28 new artists from the UK rap and drill scene who thrive off their first nationwide radio play after which have an incentive to spend six hours much less on the road and 6 extra hours in studio. The problem for us all comes from being underrepresented – the answer is: illustration issues. It brings alternative and hope to those that want it probably the most.”
If the eight-year-old me had a homosexual Persian DJ, radio host and TV presenter to look as much as, my life decisions would have been very totally different. That’s the reason I’m as loud and proud as I may be
In 2019 you launched an occasion sequence, Ellie Prohan & Associates, geared toward equalising abilities on all ranges surrounding intersectionalities corresponding to race, gender and sexuality. How far has the business acquired to go in its journey to equality?
“Since 2019, the business as a complete has began to acknowledge the issues that music executives and expertise have skilled and are nonetheless challenged by daily. The statistics communicate volumes. The reviews highlighted by the UK Music Diversity Taskforce, Black Lives In Music and the work of Help Musicians – that are just some examples of organisations highlighting the problems in order that we will make a change – present that we nonetheless have to date to go with regards to equality surrounding intersects of sophistication, race, gender, neurodiversity and psychological wellbeing. Change in my eyes actually does begin with becoming a member of forces to sort out the problems and making the stats obtainable to us all, in order that we all know the place the factors of concern are. It was encouraging to see what number of corporations had signed as much as the UK Music Range Taskforce Ten-Point Plan, which outfitted corporations with actions and dates to carry them accountable for change. Nonetheless, till we’re now not asking the query, it appears like we as people and as an business have the chance to be pushing for as a lot development as attainable. However doing it from an genuine standpoint to create a legacy for the present and future generations to thrive and never simply survive.”
What recommendation would you provide younger ladies about having fun with a profitable profession in music?
“My finest recommendation for having fun with a profitable profession in music is preserving good firm and ensuring that they’re having simply as a lot enjoyable as you when you go on the journey. The help and neighborhood round you is paramount, within the ups and the downs, celebrating your wins loud and proud and, whenever you really feel like giving up, pushing you to maintain going.”
And what’s the most effective recommendation you’ve ever had?
“The very best recommendation I’ve been given is from my little Persian mum who as soon as stated, ‘You should purchase a Lamborghini, however after per week, it’s only a automobile’, which is her method of claiming that materials issues in life don’t matter, and what actually retains you alive is goal, as a result of life is nothing with out goal. And I’ve all the time lived by that.”
Lastly, what’s your greatest lesson from 2022 to date?
“The most important lesson I’ve learnt in 2022 is that the way you begin the yr isn’t essentially the way it’s going to finish. For instance, in January post-Covid, we had no DJ units, no festivals, nothing. The panic set in so Amanda and I put our heads collectively, drew up thoughts maps, prayed, supported one another, and each single objective and extra on that thoughts map got here to fruition. It was such an enormous lesson of endurance and the facility of a optimistic psychological angle that I’ll genuinely be carrying that by means of for the remainder of my life.”