By: Rina Torchinsky
MilkBoy ArtHouse’s stage invited a race car red guitar, teal hair tips and studded boots to Saturday’s all-female lineup at the MilkGirl: International Women’s Day concert to benefit Girls Behind The Rock Show.
The College Park event opened with student duo Meagan and Jenna of Terrapin Record Label and closed with student headliner Sahara. The terps performed among others, including D.C.’s Black Folks Don’t Swim?, Nalani & Sarina and The OSYX.
“I thought this would be a reason to go out where women feel safe, they feel empowered and they feel excited,” said super senior communications major Kristina London.
London, the marketing coordinator at MilkBoy, planned the concert after identifying an imbalance between male and female performers. After doing the math, she found that 95 percent of performers were male.
“I was just like so triggered that day,” London said. “I was like ‘do you see these stats?’ We need a show that showcases women.”
London worked behind the scenes, assembling the lineup and choosing to support Girls Behind The Rock Show, where she serves on the executive board. The female-focused nonprofit is dedicated to the empowerment of women in the music industry, both on and off the stage.
She called on Meagan Griffith, junior information science major, and Jenna Erdogan, hearing and speech sciences major, of Terrapin Record Label to perform at MilkGirl. Both musicians worked behind the scenes before they joined forces about three months ago.
The duo blends indie rock, bedroom pop and midwest to produce their personal style and original covers. Erdogan sings lead vocals and strums guitar, and Griffith chimes in with another guitar and soft harmonies. The two are supported by a bassist and a drummer.
“I am a junkie for harmonies,” Erdogan said. “I think it always elevates the sound a little bit. We have two very high, girly voices and I think they mesh well. I think that adds a very girly flair to a lot of these hardcore songs.”
Their songwriting process begins when it hits Griffith. She said she’s “never not written a song in one sitting.” She’ll send Erdogan recordings, which Erdogan uses as a base for her harmonies and guitar sounds. After some trial and error, they land on an arrangement.
“We’ll hang out one day and try a bunch of different stuff then we’re like, ‘yeah, that was dope, let’s stick with that one,’” Erdogan said.
When they shared their songs with the crowd at MilkGirl, Erdogan had some goals in mind: she wanted to play well, see a lot of smiles and maybe even make her mom cry. But most of all, she wanted to prove that women are capable musicians.
“The entire campaign for this was rock like a girl,” said Sahara Mokhtari, a junior communications major. “All of these acts killed it, so I’m lucky because I got to hear all of their crazy sick vocals and how powerful they are.”