Ewelina Ferenc - Sweet Beets Music & Artist
Where were you at in your music career when you had your first child? Was there much discussion about how that life choice would affect your career within the music/entertainment industry?
I had my first child in the middle of the pandemic. She was born in July 2020. My contract with Small World Music finished and was waiting for the birth of my child. I was part of two music groups at that time, I was working on a record with my Polish folk band Polky, but the band was on hiatus because of the pandemic and I wasn't busy then. There were a few discussions with my groups about how our touring will be when I will have a child.
I didn't have a busy schedule and I had more time to spend with my daughter, without any other distractions such as career development. I'm grateful for that. She is my biggest inspiration in creating new projects. She was one of the main reasons I started my agency. Unfortunately, I had to leave one of my bands as I didn't have the capacity and the time to remain involved as a mom.
As a working parent in the music industry, what are some of the biggest challenges you are facing?
There are a lot of expectations of moms in the music industry.
People expect me to be available all the time without considering my needs and the needs of my child.
People act surprised when I say I don't work on weekends or evenings as I have to pick up my child from daycare and spend time with her.
Being a solopreneur is challenging too, as I don't have a team to help support my business and do some of the jobs for me when I'm with my child.
What is one small change within the industry that could make a positive impact on working parents?
Free mental health support and other accessible and affordable health services for artists and arts workers.
People shouldn't act surprised when we take time off to spend with family.
There should be more awareness about the challenges working parents face, as children often get sick, and have to be taken care of. Business hours should be respected and not everyone understands that evenings are a really busy time for families and we often cannot do any work.
How do you find support and community with other working parents in or out of the music industry?
There should be more meet-ups with other moms in the industry. And the topic should be part of every conference to make people aware.
What’s one specific example of an organization/venue/company doing something great to help support working parents?
You :) This is the first time I see an initiative like this one and I think this is a great start for other organizations to follow.
What could a music event (festival, conference, etc.), do or provide to make it easier for you to participate?
Childcare. Festival or conference-provided daycare. Daytime "parties" or kids-friendly programming.
Can you shout out another music mama doing great things?
Claudia Balladelli from Axe World Fest, Marichka Marczyk from Balklava Blues, Kristyn Gelfand from Uma Nota Culture