Beth Yen is an ARIA chart-topping producer, DJ and SAE Creative Media Institute graduate. We chat to Yen about her ARIA chart success, supporting some of dance music’s biggest artists and inspiring women and the LGBTQI+ community to get involved in the music industry.
Hi Beth, thank you so much for chatting with us. Firstly, what is it about EDM that you love so much?
All my life I loved music. Growing up, music was a form of escapism, and I found comfort in it. Music matters to me. I love house music and have loved it ever since I heard it for the first time on the radio back in the UK as a teenager. It really resonated with me and I was addicted to how it made me feel.
You have performed alongside some pretty influential people in the industry, who are some of the producers and DJs you have worked with?
Over the years I have supported the likes of Carl Cox, Danny Tenaglia, Roger Sanchez, Chicane, Duke Dumont, Disclosure, Seth Troxler, Claptone, Faithless and more.
What does it mean to you to reach number one on the ARIA charts with your single ‘Ocean’, knocking Calvin Harris off top spot in the process?
Knocking off the king of dance music was a pretty awesome feeling. Having my peers recognise and support my single means the absolute world to me. It’s a huge achievement and it’s one I’m very proud of.
You have spoken about your desire to inspire women and the LGBTQI+ community to get involved with the electronic music industry, why is diversity so important?
As someone who is part of the LGBTQI+ community, I feel that although the industry is changing for the better, we are still underrepresented and as a woman in the music industry, some issues need to be addressed and conversations to be had. Though on face value it may seem that the music industry is filled with inspiring and prolific women, it remains embarrassingly lopsided when it comes to gender parity.
There have been recent studies done on this issue, and they found that women entering the music industry in Australia are at a disadvantage and only represent a third of employed musicians in Australia. So, there is still much work to be done in terms of fighting for women of all ages, all social backgrounds and communities to be embraced and championed by this industry, both in front and behind the scenes. We need to promote the women who are doing well so that the next generation feel that music is a viable career option and open to everyone.
What aspects of your time at SAE have been most valuable for your career?
I was very fortunate to have great teachers at SAE Sydney, particularly Dean Belcastro who was very approachable and friendly. My course taught me how to structure my work flow and get ideas down quickly. I still use the template they gave in class today.
What advice do you have for those looking to pursue a career in the music industry?
Make sure you know why you want to get into music and believe in what you’re doing and that can take time. Learn about how the business works and be prepared to wear many hats. Be diligent, be consistent and produce quality music. Most importantly have a good attitude, have fun and enjoy the journey.
SAE Creative Media Institute offers courses in Audio, Animation, Graphic Design, Film and Games. Enrolments are now open for SAE’s May intake, find out more at sae.edu.au. Catch Beth Yen at The Mill House in Flinders Lane on Friday June 14.