As a young woman living in London, it can be quite difficult to exist. Let alone, as a young woman who is trying to navigate the crazy world that is also known as the “creative industry”. Getting that foot in the door can be difficult enough, so having to break through those barriers whilst simultaneously trying to break through the barriers faced when gender, race, class, and sexuality are brought into play is a crazy task that takes resilience, strength, patience and dedication.
Therefore, when I come across amazing young women who are disrupting the status quo of the creative industries, I can’t help but feel excited and inspired to shout them out. I know this crazy Corona outbreak has got a lot of us stuck at home and has created a lot of uncertainty and worries for us all.
So, in the midst of all this craziness I think it’s important for us to take a step back, reflect and celebrate all the amazing work we have done so far.
Without further ado, here are 10 Phenomenal Women who I want to celebrate, because as Maya Angelo once said they are phenomenally, phenomenal women!
1. Alizé Demange
I know we have all seen at least 5 of Maya Jama’s looks that we would love to steal. Well look no further, because the mastermind behind a lot of those looks is here!
Meet Alizé, the stylist, image consultant, curator and founder of the self-development and lifestyle brand ‘Note to Self’. Alizé takes her inspiration from her teenage years of growing up in West London and that nostalgia shines through the work she has done with the likes of Jorja Smith, Katy B, Michael Dapaah and many more!
Not only has she styled some of your favourite celebs, she has also consulted for some of your favourite brands like Pretty Little Thing and Adidas. This phenomenal woman launched her own business in 2019, through which she aimed to create a safe and encouraging space for young women in the creative industries.
The ‘Note to Self’ platform does this through hosting workshops, networking brunches, podcasts and posting inspiring content on Instagram. For International Women’s Day, Alizé hosted a live recording event of her podcast ‘Women on the Rise’, which she curated in collaboration with Puma SportStyle!
2. Julie Adenuga
Julieeee! *MoTheComedian voice*. I mean, if you’ve listened to Beats Radio 1, or listened to Rinse FM some years back, then you most definitely know who Julie is! Radio host, presenter, curator and overall tastemaker Julie Adenuga is a force to be reckoned with.
Julie is the host of Beats Radio 1’s Agenda show and the Friday Show, where she plays us all the best music within genre’s like hip hop, grime, R&B, Afrobeats and many more. Julie has interviewed the likes of Noname, Jorja Smith, Billie Eilish and many many more of your favourite artists.
Not only does Julie bless us with some amazing music but she also hosts her very own YouTube series named Julie’s Top 5, where she is joined by her friends to debate and discuss the Top 5 songs of different UK Artists.
On top of all of this, this phenomenal woman also curates and hosts the amazing ‘Don’t @ Me’ live music events which she launched in collaboration with Apple music in 2018. As you can see, overall, Julie is a music journalism superhero who continues to champion and shed light on emerging talent, especially within the UK Urban music scene.
3. Cassandra Kyeyune
Cassandra is a phenomenal young woman who has been flourishing in the creative industries for many years now. She began her journey as an intern for a start-up music and creative agency, which led to her taking part in a Broadcasting programme with Create Jobs.
After completing the course Cassandra landed a role at Universal Music Group, where she worked as part of their Global Music Marketing department. Amazing right?! I know. But she didn’t stop there! Cassandra then went on to work for Channel 4 as Production Trainee, which ultimately led her to her current career.
Now, Cassandra is a Freelancer in the TV industry and has gone onto to cover exciting content such as the General Election Debate with ITV.
4. Anouska Anastasia
Long story short ladies, if you want your nails to be on fleek, you need to call Anouska.
Anouska is a phenomenal, self-taught, bespoke nail artist who has been equipping us with the most amazing fingertips for over 3 years now.
She is also the Co-founder of the Nuka Nails a shop based in Portobello Road, London. With over 100,000 followers on Instagram, Anouska has not only been working on nails, but she also decided to share her secrets with up and coming nail techs through her Nail Art Masterclasses.
Anouska and her co-founder, Kadimah (another phenomenal woman), have been collaborating with amazing brands such as Nike, GymShark, Depop and Shein! From an independent nail tech, to co-founder of a booming business… what a boss!
5. Velma Simmons
Speaking of Bosses… meet Velma Simmons. Nope, she is not related to Russell Simmons, but might as well be with how well she is doing in the music industry!
Velma is a phenomenal woman whose journey shows us why having resilience, confidence and patience really does pay off. After university, Velma realised her dream of entering the music business when she went to see Jay-Zand Kanye West on the Watch the Throne Tour.
Velma then made the greatest move of all when she tried to shoot her professional shot at one of Roc Nation’s Creative A&Rs, Omar Grant, through social media. This led to Velma interning for Roc Nation!
Fast forward many years and Velma has now gone onto work for companies like Universal Music Group, ASOS and now Warner Music Group where she is currently a Business Development Manager specifically working on brand partnerships.
This phenomenal woman doesn’t stop there though, alongside all of this she founded her own company LifeTalksUk, through which she has managed to bring some industry experts to the UK to host panel talks for people who aspire to enter the industry. Panellists have ranged from Karen Civil to Swizz Beats!
6. Faith Aylward
Photographer, director, writer and model, Faith Aylward, is another phenomenal woman who has been creating some thought-provoking and visually stimulating content that addresses a variety of issues that many of us as young women face today. Such as, mental health, identity, sexuality and culture.
Faith took part in a Creativity Works: Visual Storytelling programme with Create Jobs and Magnum Photos, where she responded to a brief set by It’s Nice That.
Faith responded to the brief with some stunning work that really encapsulated what London means to her. She didn’t stop there though; Faith’s work has also been shown in multiple exhibitions including; Creative Debut’s Creative Disruptors Exhibition at Adidas.
7. Henrie Kwushue
Presenter, DJ and content creator Henrie is a phenomenal young woman who went viral for her 3 part docu-series called ‘Is your area changing?’, where she takes a look at areas such as Brixton, Peckham and Dalston and shows ushow gentrification is changing these areas and affecting locals who have grown up there.
After going viral, Henrie has been recognised by so many media outlets such as BBC Radio, Brixton Blogs and Complex UK. What makes Henrie’s docuseries even more phenomenal is the fact that she actually produced the series through her own independent production company: HTK Productions. What a boss!
Alongside all of this, Henrie is also a Presenter/DJ for Reprezent Radio where you can catch her every Tuesday from 4-7pm. She doesn’t stop there though, Henrie has also gone on to interview the likes of footballer, Raheem Sterling, for H&M.
Even though, she has already achieved so much, it seems like Henrie, is just warming up. So, if this is the warmup, I can’t wait to see what the end of the race looks like for Henrie.
8. Annie Andoh
Meet Annie, the Social Media Queen, who has been bossing it in the maze that is social media marketing for over fiveyears now.
I first came across Annie’s work when she was a panellist at the Create Jobs X Here East event in 2019, where Annie shared many social media gems.
After studying History at University, Annie initially went into consultancy as a Trainee consultant. She then moved on to working for many different creative agencies, such as YOU Agency, Catch Digital and Eight&Four, where she progressed into roles such as Social and Content Strategist and Social Media Manager.
Fast forward a few years and Annie has now gone on to become Social Media Manager at the V&A Museum! So, when you see all the artistic, aesthetically satisfying content on the V&A Instagram that has over 1,000,000 followers, just remember that Annie is probably one of the social media angels behind that content.
9. Rebecca Judd
First of all, if you missed her International Women’s Day show on Beats Radio 1 then you need to go and listen to it now! It was two hours of non-stop throwback songs by female legends.
If you’ve ever listened to Westside Radio, then you have probably heard of Rebecca Judd. This phenomenal woman has been giving us amazing content for over five years now. With her distinctive voice, Rebecca has captured the attention of many through her funny commentary, lively interviews and amazing music selection.
After spending four years at Westside Radio, Rebecca began to also work alongside her fellow Beats Radio 1 presenter Julie Adenuga, hosting The Friday Show.
Now, Rebecca has landed her own show at Beats Radio 1 where she has interviewed amazing musicians like Brent Fayaiz, Teedra Moses, and Shaybo. She has also launched a movement called #AscendingArtists where she highlights some amazing up and coming talent.
10. Chelsea Kwakye & Ọrẹ Ogunbiyi
Last but not least these two phenomenal women, have been shaking things up by simply speaking their truth.
Cambridge University grads, Chelsea and Ore, didn’t have the smoothest journey through university, a lot of which was due to the colour of their skin.
So, instead of allowing their experiences to defeat them, they worked on their own projects that highlighted the fact that there were young Black people at Cambridge and the need for a more diverse student body and curriculum.
Some of these projects included Ore’s article for the University magazine ‘A letter to my fresher self: surviving Cambridge as a black girl’ or #TheBlackMenofCambridgeproject which went viral and captured the attention of many national media outlets.
All of this brought Chelsea and Ore to the attention of Penguin, the book publishing company, which led them toco-writing a book called ‘Taking Up Space: The Black Girl’s Manifesto for Change’, which ended up being published by #Merky Books!
Chelsea and Ore have shown us why, as women and in particularly women of colour, it is important to speak up and speak out about your experiences.
Originally written for http://www.createjobs.org