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Women Behind the Boards: Gwen Bunn

For every male music producer that becomes a household name, there is a female counterpart who deserves the same notoriety. Despite producers like Patrice Rushen and Missy Elliott who are recognized as musical pioneers, others like Angela Winbush and KING who are just as adept behind the boards are still wholly underrepresented in media and on the Billboard charts. In recent years however, women producers have made folks sit up and take notice. No longer willing to bide their time waiting for major label backing, these musical architects are taking matters into their own hands by creating and releasing music on their own terms. This class of fearless women, including Jack Davey, Georgia Anne Muldrow, Gwen Bunn and THEESatisfaction, know exactly what they want. Parlour reached out to discover how these ladies began, what they’ve learned and how they exist in the music industry. Look out for a fresh installment over the next few weeks!

With musical sensibilities far beyond her years, Gwen Bunn is not your typical 21-year-old. While many her age are still trying to map out their career path, Bunn has already gotten a  jump on her goals. After independently producing and releasing her debut EP The Verdict in 2009, she’s already hard at work on her sophomore effort, which she hopes to have completed by this year’s end. In the meantime, Bunn’s busy earning new fans via multiple appearances on BET’s 106 & Park during their “Wild Out Wednesday” segment and performing at the network’s Music Matters showcase in New York City. The Georgia resident shows no signs of slowing down or playing by the rules anytime soon.

Parlour: What instruments do you play and when did you start?
Gwen Bunn: I’ve played trumpet before and the xylophone but my main instrument are keys. I started playing around 12 or 13 and everything I do is self-taught. I used to get into a lot of trouble when I was in school, so when my friends were hanging out, I was in my room with no television or computer, all I had was music.

Would you or have you produced for other artists?
I have, and I’m working with a couple of people right now including Iman Omari. He’s a singer, songwriter and producer who has also worked with the Pittsburgh rapper Mac Miller. Omari’s crazy and extremely musical. He drove to my crib in Georgia from New Jersey, it was epic.

Is there a new increase in female producers, or is it just a matter of these women gaining more visibility on the Internet?
The Internet has enhanced our ability to see people because there are females who have been doing it. I may not know every single one but I know that women like Patrice Rushen or Sheila E. are there.

What are your creative influences?
Actual situations and not every situation that I write about is personal. Sometimes when I talk about things, they’re things that happened to people I know or just things I think could potentially happen. I’m also inspired by other producers, Pharrell Williams is one of my favorites. He’s probably my biggest inspiration along with Missy another favorite.

Her Sound: Honey-dipped vocals take listeners on a soulful journey through the ups and downs of love. Check out “Epitome” below:

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