The New Nine all started with my friendship with a girl named Kasey. We were interns together at a public relations agency. I was a die-hard music snob, fresh out of college. I only liked indie bands and really heady albums that a lot of people just didn’t get. I thought way too highly of myself and Kasey, she loved One Direction. Every day I tried to change her mind about them but she was as in love with them as I was with Radiohead’s ‘In Rainbows”. She was unshakeable. When I stopped fighting her on it and started listening that’s when I realized that music is subjective and a girl’s passion for it should never be discredited.
If you look through history, young women, or “fangirls” have always been at the forefront of musical revolutions. They’ve predicted musicians that we now deem as the saviors of music. They had a hand in making Frank Sinatra a sensation. They were the first to start the teenage craze of Elvis Presley and the birth of rock n’ roll. They were the first to request that The Beatles be played on the radio but most music publications still roll their eyes at the opinions of fangirls despite their history.
That term, fangirl, has always been associated with being a silly groupie but it’s so much more than that. These girls are experts and they’re passionate and they influence the music industry more than any other demographic. They buy physical albums, spend fortunes on meet-and-greets and they’re vital for any musician.
Where would an artist be without fangirls? The industry keeps brushing these girls aside and when they do that they’re telling young women that what they’re interested in isn’t important. What kind of example is that setting? These girls are growing up and experiencing real emotions and real passion.
One time I was at a Troye Sivan concert at Southside Ballroom. I’d waited in line for four hours but fans had been there way longer. I was about to leave when I saw a girl in the hallway crying. She was only 14-yrs-old and absolutely overcome with emotion. I took her back inside and we watched Troye perform. As soon as he started to sing “Blue” she looked at him in awe and tears started streaming down her face. She said, “I wouldn’t be here without him, he’s changed my life so much.” Then she continued to tell me about her struggle with anxiety and depression and how she felt absolutely alone until she heard his music. That’s life-changing and I can remember the artists who did the same thing for me. I’ve seen this happen so much and it never lessens the effect.
There is so much raw, unfiltered emotions with these girls. It’s beautiful. They’re learning how to express themselves and be vulnerable and fully understand their emotions. That’s something that can’t be taught and it’s essential. A lot of people write this off as being hormonal and young, but why are we directing young women away from their emotions?
One of our favorite artists, Sizzy Rocket said her best advice to young women is, “It’s okay to feel things really deeply,” and she stresses the importance of finding a way to channel them. That’s advice that no one told me when I was 14. That it’s okay to be emotional and it’s rare to feel things strongly and we need to be applauding it instead of discouraging it.
After freelancing as a music journalist I saw this all the time. I started seeing how young women’s opinions on music were often overlooked. We started The New Nine as a home base for young women to share their passion for music. After initially discussing the idea with Kasey, my original inspiration, the whole site came together. I partnered with Grady Moore from Byline Advertising and we came up with the whole concept.
Most of our interviews are with bands that girls suggest to us on Twitter. When we cover festivals we’re looking at lifestyles and fashion because it’s not just about the music, it’s a way of life and it’s a religion.
I met some of our contributors in line at concerts, I met some on Twitter, and now we have this unshakeable bond and mission. We listen to every girl on social media, we talk to them at shows and we wait in lines with them for hours. All of our writers have different opinions on music but it’s our driving force. It’s a broad spectrum, we don’t turn our noses up at any band or any opinion. Together we share our music. We support each other and we support all of our readers. We’re more than fangirls, we’re a family.