…recognizing the need to do something about the lack of exposure and promotion given to local female performers…

In 1994,

while running a mentoring programme called Each One, Teach One, Ebonnie Rowe approached DJX of the Power Move Show to talk about misogynist lyrics in Hip Hop at the time that were having a negative effect on the way young men were behaving towards women. He offered her an opportunity to explore these issues and she produced a 3 hour radio special Power Move show in 1994 to discuss how women were portrayed in Hip Hop lyrics and videos. As a result of being heard on the radio show by the magazine’s editors, she was asked to edit an all-female edition of the now defunct Mic Check entertainment magazine. The celebration party for that issue in 1995, intended to be a one-off show, was called “Honey Jam.” The success of the show pointed to a void in the artistic community.

Necessity is the mother of invention, and in 1995, after recognizing the need to do something about the lack of exposure and promotion given to local female performers, as well as the lack of female representation on the business side of the industry, particularly in Urban music, we decided against just kickin’ sad raps about “too bad it’s like that” and came up with ideas on how to give exposure to and encourage more women to step up and over the existing biases and sexist attitudes. The first show was supposed to be the only show, a celebration of the publishing of an all-female entertainment magazine, but the enthusiastic audience wanted more.

PhemPhat Entertainment Group was formed in 1995 to foster the growth, education and promotion of women in all aspects of the music business, to break through and establish a presence in areas which have traditionally been “boyz clubs”, not only as artists, but also dj’s, producers, engineers, managers, label owners, and promoters.

PhemPhat has produced the successful all-female talent showcase called “Honey Jam” featuring artists from across the country representing pop, rock, hip hop, opera, country, jazz, gospel, reggae, blues, r&b, dance music, etc.. The Honey Jams are stellar showcases of homegrown talent. Hundreds of artists have played to hyped and capacity crowds including Nelly Furtado, Jully Black, Reema Major, Anjulie, Kellylee Evans, Graph Nobel, Toya Alexis, Natasha Waterman, Melanie Durrant and many more.

Vocal and performance coaching and workshops about the business of music including songwriting, publishing, management, funding, media training, entertainment law and much more are also offered to the artists who take part.

PhemPhat believes in giving back to the community and has made donations from past Honey Jams to Big Sisters of Toronto, Each One, Teach One’s Sista 2 Sista mentoring group, the Immigrant Women’s Job Placement Centre, At the Crossroads Women’s Art Journal, the Coalition for AIDS Prevention, Breast Cancer Research, Sistering, and Voices of Positive Women. In 2005 we started working mainly to promote and donate to YWCA Toronto’s programmes for women and girls.

PhemPhat believes in giving back to the community

and has made donations from past Honey Jams to Big Sisters of Toronto, Each One, Teach One’s Sista 2 Sista mentoring group, the Immigrant Women’s Job Placement Centre, At the Crossroads Women’s Art Journal, the Coalition for AIDS Prevention, Breast Cancer Research, Sistering, and Voices of Positive Women. In 2005 we started working mainly to promote and donate to YWCA Toronto’s programmes for women and girls.