Run the world girls: Velour’s Les Femmes series aims to inspire female artists
For the last week, women owned the limelight at Velour Live Music Gallery.
Les Femmes, a four-night event spotlighting local female musicians, kicked off its eighth annual showcase on Thursday, Feb. 21. Every band on the bill featured acts fronted by women. The series continued the following two nights. On Tuesday, Feb. 26, Les Femmes 2019 concluded with an acoustic showcase.
According to a Facebook post by Velour, this series aims to do more than spotlight female musicians already performing—it aims to empower new ones.
“We hope that showcasing all of this talent in one event will catch the attention of young females in the community and inspire them to pick up an instrument, start writing their own songs, and forming bands,” the post said. “Sometimes all it takes is strong and talented role models.”
Shari Lyon, who is Belle Jewel’s mother (and merch table attendant) said she is grateful to Velour headmaster Corey Fox for creating a space for female artists to shine.
“I appreciate most that Cory supports women in music as much as he does because women aren’t always supported the way they should be,” Lyon said, adding that her daughter got her start at Velour years ago playing open mic nights.
Thursday attendees Eliza Lahti and Emme Franks showed up to support Jumpmonk, a jazz-rock hybrid act. Franks said Les Femmes provides an opportunity for bands with a unique sound to share the bill with acts they normally wouldn’t play with.
“Jumpmonk isn’t folksy so I feel like they don’t get a lot of opportunities to perform here at the other themed nights,” Franks said. “I just think [Les Femmes] is a really good series for them … because they don’t super fit in with the type of stuff I feel like Velour does a lot of the time.”
Lahti believes that, with Provo’s musical talent pool, it’s easy for female artists to be overlooked.
“I think [Le Femmes is] so great because Provo has a lot of great musicians and females can just get lost in it all,” Lahti said. “I think it’s really great that [Velour is] showcasing them.”
Friday continued with a roots-rock theme featuring Mia Grace, Cherish DeGraaf, Celsey and Velour’s recent Winter Battle of the Bands winner, Roadie. Saturday featured an eclectic mix of electro-pop, garage rock and indie groups. Jung Neil, Kambree, Madge, and Tishmal all played sets.