The music industry is not an easy one to break into, even more so for women attempting to find success in a male-dominated genre.
Even so, there are producers like Tommy Brown, otherwise known as TB Hits, who unlike so many producers, makes the creative and conscientious choice to work with and support women.
The Grammy-nominated producer has worked with major artists like Arianna Grande, Jennifer Lopez, Meghan Trainor, Fifth Harmony, and The Black Eyed Peas. It was with the Peas that he earned a Grammy nod for his work on their hit “Just Can’t Get Enough.”
When it comes to why he chooses to work with mostly women artists, Brown says, “I’m really in support of any women who have a dream, because my mom had a dream, my sister had a dream.”
Along with that, Brown believes the music created by women has a way of affecting our culture. That’s something he wants to invest in.
“A lot of women have a different message in their music, even though a lot of them do a lot of hating men music. It’s ok,” says Brown with a laugh. “But I just like the message that I’m able to spread through that kind of music versus other kind of music. And I work with male artists as well, but I’m just very conscious of the kind of music that I involve myself with now.”
But really, who doesn’t love a good men ain’t shit song?
The other big reason Brown keeps a largely female roster of artists will not surprise any woman.
“[Women] just work hard. I feel like sometimes the bar is set a little higher for women, and I feel like a lot of the women who I see who are successful outwork the men, outwork the women,” he says. “They pretty much outwork everybody.”
He uses Grande as an example of that tireless work ethic that sets many female artists apart. Grande, who is a longtime friend of the producer, was performing a sold out concert at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The singer performed a grueling hour-and-a-half set. After her show, she didn’t stop.
“She leaves [the stage], kicks off her boots and is like, ‘Let’s go to the studio.’ And that’s like whoa. I’ve never seen a guy do that,” says Brown.
Brown recognizes the dangers women artists face in the music industry. Look at Ke$ha, Lady Gaga, Björk, Halsey and countless others who have come forward about the men in the film and music industry who have sexually harassed and/or assaulted them. It doesn’t create a welcoming environment for women. The issue is rampant, and he knows it.
He strives to create a working space that’s not just productive but also safe for artists.
“I feel like I keep it a very open environment,” says Brown, adding “It’s a leave-your-egos-at-the-door kind of thing. It’s no differences. We’re all gonna have fun. We ordered pizza, we’re all gonna eat it. That’s just what it is when it comes to my working environment.”
Grande even took Brown and some of his friends to the Women’s March, giving them sweatshirts that read “Boys Will Be
Boys Held Accountable” to wear. Together they marched, and Brown helped push Grande’s grandmother’s wheelchair. He calls it an “incredible” moment.
As he puts it, women often have a point to prove, but he does as well. As an ally, an artist, and someone wanting to bring impactful music to the world.