Mental Health Awareness Month may have come and gone, but Philadelphia-based singer and songwriter ROZES is emphasizing that mental health awareness should be year-round with her new single “Call Me.” Released Friday (June 7), “Call Me” is also the first-ever track to come out of the She Is the Music (SITM) non-profit organization’s all-female writing camps for songwriters, engineers and producers.
Like all the songs to come out of SITM, “Call Me” was written, produced, mixed and mastered by a team of women creators. The team behind the effort includes Elizabeth Mencel, the mastermind behind ROZES, Alex Hope (Tove Lo, Troye Sivan, Marina, and Fletcher) and Frances. SITM was co-founded by Alicia Keys and Ann Mincieli, and held its inaugural songwriting event in June 2018 at Jungle City Studios in New York City. (The two women are also on its board of directors.)
Keys tells Billboard, “When women come together to support each other and empower one another, magic happens. It’s surreal to think that just one year ago, we hosted our first-ever She Is The Music Writing Camp, giving female songwriters, engineers and producers an opportunity to create together. Now, the first amazing song has come to life and I am so proud of the talented, inspiring ladies who are sharing their music with the world! This milestone is just the beginning: women are rewriting the playbook, changing the numbers and making history.”
Besides being passionate about mental health, Mencel also advocates for empowering women, anti-bullying, body-positivity and spreading love. In March, she enlisted Marian Hill‘s Samantha Gongol, SHAED‘s Chelsea Lee and MisterWives‘ Mandy Lee for “Halfway There,” an empowerment anthem released to coincide with International Women’s Day.
SITM was launched last December by Keys; her sound engineer, Jungle City Studios’ Ann Mincieli; Universal Music Publishing Group chairman/CEO Jody Gerson; and WME partner and head of East Coast Music department Samantha Kirby Yoh. The quartet were moved to action by a music industry report from the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative in January 2018, which highlighted enormous inequalities for women in the business. The study reported that only 22.4 percent of performers of the 600 most popular songs from 2012-2017 were women, among other findings.
The Annenberg Initiative, Billboard Media Group and Universal Music Group have since committed resources and support to the organization, which focuses on three initial pillars: all-female songwriting camps, an industry database of women creators and a mentorship program. SITM has also added Executive and Creator committees including the likes of Ariana Grande, Missy Elliott and Billie Eilish.