A version of this article was originally published in Ottawa Beat’s “First Crush Promotion’s Guide to Being Your Own Boss & a Community Ally”
My name is Zoë Argiropulos-Hunter, and I am a music promoter, radio DJ and freelance writer and photographer from Ottawa, Canada. I am excited to announce that I will be joining the Pink Things team as their monthly music columnist.
To answer the magazine’s favourite question, What does pink mean to you? :
For some reason, I have always associated pink imagery with the feeling of vulnerability. Maybe this is because when I get nervous my cheeks tend to flush pretty obviously. As far back as I can remember; this is what pink signified. However, as I’ve started to pave my career path, the meaning of pink has evolved. I’ve realized the vibrancy that vulnerability can embody, and the kind of strength it can carry with it. Allow me to explain.
I innocently fell for my hometown’s music scene at 15 years old when I started going to DIY all-ages shows. It only makes sense that someone as unassured as I was at that age would grow excessively attached to anything that would remedy their limited self-esteem with a clichéd sense of belonging. This immature infatuation is what inspired the name for First Crush Promotion, the booking company I launched in the spring of 2017. That being said, I mainly decided to become a promoter when I realized that I had lost touch with the way that I initially glorified the grassroots music circuit that acted as the backdrop in my fondest memories of my most impressionable years.
There is no point in me trying to state the following eloquently for the sake of sounding less dramatic; the world is fucked up right now. One night, it dawned on me that more approachable-sized versions of contemporary Western issues were happening right in front of me, and I wasn’t doing anything to stop them.
For example, there were (and continue to be) so many conversations going on in my hometown about how local venues are unsafe for members of my community who identify as anything other than white and/or cisgender, and how failing to recognize this has perpetuated the tolerance of discriminatory sentiments in our music scene. While participating in this discourse has provided me the opportunity to do a lot of learning and unlearning in the past couple of years, I can shamefully admit that I didn’t posses enough courage to put my new knowledge to radical use until very recently. To put it in plain terms: one day it just clicked for me. This music community is falling apart because people like me can’t distinguish between guilt and accountability. I was heartbroken that the same scene I held so close to my heart was endangering my peers. And so began my course of action for restoration from the inside out.
When I promoted my first show at the end of my freshman year of university, I honestly had no idea what I was doing. What I did know, however, was that my perception of vulnerability had started to change. For years I had admired artists pouring their emotions out on stages in many shapes and forms, and watched how audiences connected with them. I learned to associate vulnerability with power because of this. Seeing others emote passion in creative ways inspires a feeling that is almost impossible to describe. But, I knew it was something I cared about. So, I decided to give back to my community in a meaningful way that made sense; through music and protecting the spaces that let it thrive. In the last year or so, I’ve put the nervous version of pink behind me to challenge the fear of putting myself out there. While getting to where I am now has certainly not been easy, I can safely say that this version of pink is more confident and proud. Pink is a color that can make a difference.
Pink Things Monthly Mix
From some women who are currently kicking butt…
1. Anemone - Bout de toi
2. Kali Uchis - In My Dreams
3. Charlotte Day Wilson - Falling Apart
4. U.S. Girls - Rosebud
5. Soko - Diablo Menthe
6. Dream Wife - Hey Heartbreaker
7. Frankie Cosmos - Apathy
8. Melody’s Echo Chamber - Breathe in, breathe out
9. Tei Shi - Justify
10. Sunflower Bean - Human For