loading
drag

Nicole Millar and Jaguar Jonze on being women in the music industry today

PHOTOGRAPHER – KAITLYN BOSNJAK
STYLIST – ISABELLA MAMAS
HAIR AND MAKEUP – VIC ANDERSON
TALENT – NICOLE MILLAR AND JAGUAR JONZE

A new tread.

It’s an unfortunate truth that a lot of sportswear is marketed largely towards men, despite the fact that women are just as likely to need a great pair of sneakers.

To right this balance and celebrate the brands kicking goals in women’s sportswear, JD Sports is hosting a month-long pop-up space showcasing the best the category has to offer.

In the spirit of highlighting trailblazing women, we wanted to shine a light on talented females in other typically male-dominated industries.

The music industry came to mind and, because nobody knows the drill like musicians themselves, we asked them to do all the talking. Here’s what locals Nicole Millar and Jaguar Jonze had to say about their own experiences as women in music.

Jaguar Jonze: How did you get into the industry?
Nicole Millar: Just by being a hustler. When I was younger, I would always message everyone on Soundcloud like, “Hello, hello, I want to be a singer.” And it worked. Maybe it’s not the way to do it anymore.

JJ: No way, I totally think that’s the way to do it.
NM: Well, it’s how I did it. But it finally became a job rather than just a hobby through Peking Duk. They messaged me on Instagram and we had two sessions, and then it all just rambled from there. What was it like for you?

JJ: I got into the industry really late. I didn’t grow up doing music at all. I was doing engineering and my really close friend passed away. When that happened, I just walked past this garage sale in Melbourne and thought, “I’m going buy this guitar and learn to play.” But I ended up writing songs, which was something I’d never done, and from there I found my passion. I knew I had to hustle after that because most people who work in the music industry have grown up doing it and I only started when I was 21.

NM: Do you ever feed from sadness when you write songs?
JJ: Yeah, a lot of the time. All of my songs are pretty dark and sombre.

NM: I don’t know how to write a happy song. It’s just too cheesy.
JJ: I do this ironic thing where I write sad songs and put upbeat drums behind them. Then people think, “Yeah, I’m grooving”, and I’m like, “Tricked you, it’s a sad song!” While I’m thinking about that, what does success mean to you?
NM: I’m such an anxious person with music, and if I’m thinking about all the things I want to do and achieve, I get so overwhelmed. I’ve ticked off so many things already, and I can afford my lifestyle and not work another job, but you always want more. I don’t think I ever want to be a huge, Justin Bieber-level celebrity, because that’s intense. But for me, success would be being able to sustain this for the rest of my life. How about you?

JJ: I’m not at that sustainable level yet, but that’s what I want.
NM: Oh, it took me so long.

JJ: Exactly. But I’m a visual artist too, so all I do now is visual art and music. It’s a struggle, but success for me is the same, just doing this for the rest of my life.
NM: It’s nice that we’re on the same page. We’re not saying, “I want to be Beyoncé.”

JJ: “I want to be Celine Dion!” I mean, I do.
NM: I wouldn’t complain.

JJ: Do you see music as a male-dominated industry right now?
NM: To be honest, I think it’s a really good time for female, non-binary and LGBTQ+ artists. We’re all having a big moment. But in other areas backstage there’s always a lot of guys.

JJ: My sound engineer is female, and even over email and on the phone people always say ‘he’. I’m like, “You mean she.” She’s definitely in a space that’s male-dominated. As an artist, I feel like there’s more space for us now and for people of colour, but I still think the industry is an old boys’ club. Although, those power plays within the old structure are coming to light and starting to break down with the #MeToo movement.
NM: It’s definitely better now. When I first started, I felt like I had to dress down everything I did just so people would believe I wrote my own songs. My old manager was very much like, “Wear baggy T-shirts, don’t show any of your body, don’t post too many selfies.” With pop music, as well, there’s always this stigma that you’re this plastic, bubbly girl and don’t write your own songs.

JJ: How does that affect the way you navigate the industry?
NM: Back then I used to care so much about hiding myself, but it just doesn’t bother me anymore. I used to have only older men working around me as managers and the like, who were trying to shape and control what I did. But I got rid of them all (laughs).

JJ: That’s it. When you first enter the industry it’s so daunting and you’re trying to grab hold of all these opportunities from people who are probably trying to take advantage of you. Then, as you carve out your own space, you start letting go of the people who don’t serve you, or are detrimental to your career.
NM: You want the opportunities so you’re going to say yes. But then you realise that you’re actually the boss of these people, and they work for you.

JJ: Do you have advice for other women looking to carve out a space for themselves?
NM: Go in knowing exactly what you want. There are so many things you’ll have your label throwing at you like, “Oh, you should do this.” Or you’ll have a manager that says, “You probably shouldn’t say that or dress or look or sound like that.” But everyone else can see right through that, so you’ll just regret it.

JJ: I agree. Anyone going into the industry has to do it with thick skin and guns blazing, and you have to keep pushing. Don’t change who you are to get short-term success. Because if you want a long-term sustainable career, you’ve got to be yourself and be known for who you are. It’s so transparent if you do otherwise. And, going back to what you said at the start, you have to hustle.
NM: You gotta hustle! There’s so much talent out there, but once you get into the industry, it’s not just about talent. You could have the best voice in the world, but if you don’t have the drive it’s not going to work.

JJ: What are your plans for the future?
NM: Well, my immediate plans are to get a coffee. But otherwise, I got a bit lost in the industry at the beginning because I’m really easygoing and I’d be like, “Yes, yes, yes.” Even though I like my songs, I haven’t been as honest in previous interviews when someone asks, “What’s different about your new song?” and I’d say, “Oh this is so true to me.” I’ve just been writing for a year, and I’m going to put things out, bang, bang, bang.

JJ: Oh, some bangers?
NM: Bang, bang, bang, bangers. That’s it. What about you?

JJ: I just released a single, so just letting that one run. Also working on another single and an EP, and spending the rest of the year touring with Lime Cordiale and Ali Barter. And bang, bang, bang, bangers and mash.

jd-sports.com.au

JD Sports Women’s Pop-up
189 Sydney Arcade, Pitt Street Mall, Sydney
Weekends from October 4


Styling credits

LOOK ONE
JAGUAR AND NICOLE WEAR / ADIDAS ORIGINALS LOCK UP BODYSUIT FROM JD SPORTS, NIKE AIR MAX 720 WOMEN’S FROM JD SPORTS
LOOK TWO
JAGUAR WEARS / ADIDAS ORIGINALS A2K FITTED CROPPED TOP FROM JD SPORTS, NIKE AIR MAX 720 WOMEN’S FROM JD SPORTS, VINTAGE BLAZER, CAMILLA AND MARC PANTS, RELIQUIA JEWELLERY
LOOK THREE
NICOLE WEARS / NIKE TRAINING INDY BRA FROM JD SPORTS, NIKE AIR MAX 98 WOMEN’S FROM JD SPORTS, DION LEE TOP, CAMILLA AND MARC PANTS, RELIQUIA JEWELLERY
LOOK FOUR
NICOLE WEARS / ADIDAS ORIGINALS TRACK PANTS FROM JD SPORTS, NIKE AIR MAX 98 WOMEN’S FROM JD SPORTS, DION LEE TOP, CAMILLA AND MARC PANTS, RELIQUIA JEWELLERY
LOOK FIVE
NICOLE WEARS / NIKE TRAINING INDY BRA FROM JD SPORTS, NIKE SWOOSH BRA WORN BACKWARDS FROM JD SPORTS, ANNA QUAN BUTTON UP, RELIQUIA JEWELLERY
LOOK SIX
JAGUAR WEARS / ADIDAS ORIGINALS POLAR 1/2 ZIP FLEECE SWEATSHIRT FROM JD SPORTS, RELIQUIA JEWELLERY
LOOK SEVEN
JAGUAR WEARS / NEW BALANCE 574 WOMEN’S FROM JD SPORTS
LOOK EIGHT
JAGUAR WEARS/ THE NORTH FACE NUPTSE 1996 GILET FROM JD SPORTS, NIKE SPORTSWEAR SWOOSH CROPPED HOODIE FROM JD SPORTSSUPPLY & DEMAND ASTRID CYCLE SHORTS FROM JD SPORTSNIKE AIR MAX 270 REACT WOMEN’S FROM JD SPORTSRELIQUIA JEWELLERY
NICOLE WEARS / THE NORTH FACE 1996 NUPTSE JACKET FROM JD SPORTS, NIKE TRAINING INDY BRA FROM JD SPORTS, NIKE FUTURE AIR PRINTED LEGGINGS FROM JD SPORTS
Lazy Loading