In The Studio with: Samantha Togni & Boudica Music Conference

With live streaming opening up a whole new world of opportunity for creators, curators and producers to express themselves and connect globally, we caught up with Samantha Togni, a DJ, producer, music educator and founder of the Boudica Music Conference, to explore how streaming brought an entirely new dimension to her event platform that aims to give visibility to underrepresented genders in the music industry. Plus, find out her three tips and tricks on how you can start your own online event on Mixcloud LIVE.

Tell us about Boudica and how you integrated live streaming at last year’s debut conference.

Last year we streamed Boudica Music Conference via Mixcloud LIVE. We streamed eight hours of DJ sets and panels filmed at the Freemasons Hall. With Boudica we operate as a party, a radio show, a podcast, a music conference and soon to be label. Boudica Music Conference is an event that aims to encourage more people from underrepresented genders to join the music industry.

Having access to Mixcloud LIVE not only allowed for our event to happen during the pandemic, but also it connected us with people from all over the world, and also it allowed people with limited accessibility or people that don’t usually go to clubs, or people that live too far from cities like London to join us, watch the DJs sets, watch the panels and just have a great time.

What was the inspiration behind the project?

I wanted to inspire others and also bring solidarity during the pandemic. Having access to Mixcloud LIVE allowed me to put this together and utilise new ways to connect people from all over the world. This experience has taught me so much and I will surely continue to host similar events.

Live streaming an 8-hour event is no mean feat, tell us how you helped streamline on the technical side of things.

We used OBS, which is completely and it’s fully integrated with Mixcloud LIVE. We used pre-recorded videos; we filmed everything in a day, we edited everything and after we streamed it via Mixcloud LIVE, which allowed us, first of all, to be less stressed, and second we had a final project that was completely seamless.

What was the feedback like from the community tuning in?

One of the things I love the most about Mixcloud LIVE is how user friendly the chat is. Throughout the event I was chatting to people, connecting, encouraging others to connect and also encouraging others to share their social media assets and that not only connected me to other creative people but also it allowed me to have precious feedback about the conference and some tips that I will use when I will programme the next event.”

How can we better utilise live streaming to foster more visibility for marginalised people?

Representation is a key step towards equality. Creating spaces where people can freely express themselves without having to distort their narratives to fit in certain boxes are so important.

We need to amplify the voices of those that are not given equal platforms and nurture talents from underrepresented backgrounds. We need to use our music and platforms to uplift others and allow them to express themselves in an authentic way. 

What was the most challenging part of hosting the conference and what was the silver lining or solution?

Creating an 8-hour conference was challenging, everything had to be seamlessly coordinated as our time at the location was limited. Luckily I had some amazing people assisting me and we managed to get everything done without delays. A lot of time went into the preparation of the conference, until the very last minute we were sending emails and doing phone calls to finalise everything. It was hard work but it allowed everything to run smoothly on the day and for the team and I to fully enjoy the conference.

What three creators, artists or speakers have you been inspired by through Boudica and can you tell us a little about them and why you’ve chosen them?

It’s hard to pick only three of them, they just all worked so greatly as a team.

I was inspired by how honest and vulnerable the speakers featured on the panel in collaboration with Keychange were. This was a panel on the disparity of genders through the music industry, hearing the panellists talking about the challenges they experienced throughout their career and how they overcame them was very empowering.

Post pandemic, what are your hopes for the evolution of the industry? Do you see a future for hybrid live-streamed and IRL events?

I will definitely carry on with live-streamed events in the hope to reach out to people that don’t or are not able to go to clubs, have limited accessibility or live too far away from cities that put together these types of events. This year really made me reflect on this and I want Boudica’s message to reach audiences outside of London as well.

What are your three Pro Tips for anyone looking to live-stream their own music conference?

  1. Firstly, be organised, make sure everything is planned beforehand. Have a checklist and send out a call sheet to everyone involved. Try and consult someone that has previous experience in setting up similar events.
  2. Secondly, make sure you have access to a high quality camera and don’t forget to record your audio separately, the camera audio quality won’t be ideal.
  3. Lastly, don’t be afraid to reach out to people if you would like them to be involved! Make sure you do it professionally, create a pitch explaining the concept of the event and add some links and cool images to go with it.

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