Poppy Tohill - What Does Suffrage 125 Mean to You?

October 3rd 2018
Suffrage 125 to me is about celebrating the strong women who fought so hard for equality and made it possible for women like myself to live the life that we do today.

What do you do in the industry?

I've worked as an artist manager, promoter and online marketing manager for CRS Management/Presents for the past four and a half years, which has given me the privilege of working alongside multiple artists and on various tours, including large scale festivals, Auckland City Limits and Austin City Limits. In this role I also book, organise and run ‘Seamless,' a bi-monthly all ages gig series which for the past two years has given over 30 young artists and bands the chance to play live and created a community that allows young music fans the opportunity to see live music. In addition to this, I also continue to work as a freelance music journalist, contributing to various publications such as NZ Musician Magazine, Rip It Up and Libel Music, whilst running my own publication, ‘PoppyWrites,' which has just turned ten years old!

What does Suffrage 125 mean to you and what advice would you offer other women pursuing their dreams and career goals?

Power, strength and support. Suffrage 125 to me is about celebrating the strong women who fought so hard for equality and made it possible for women like myself to live the life that we do today. I was incredibly lucky to have so many strong female role models and mentors in my life growing up, which I think was hugely important and if I can support, inspire and impact others in the way they did me, I will be content.

The music industry is great at drawing people in and then spitting them out, so persistence and ambition are key. If the sheer drive and desire to pursue your goals is prevalent, then you're halfway there. Remember that nobody starts at the top, so work hard and don't ever lose hope or let anybody tell you that your dreams aren't possible. Take every opportunity that comes your way, be friendly, patient, dedicated and most of all, enthusiastic - because eventually people will notice that you're there to stay.

What does New Zealand being a world leader in social change mean to you?

For a country with such a small population, we're incredible leaders and trailblazers in so many different fields, which makes me immensely proud. If the fact that we have a female prime minister who is the world's youngest female head of government and the second elected to give birth while in office, doesn't show how forward-thinking our country and people are, then I don't know what will. I also grew up being told that I could do and be whatever or whoever I wanted, whilst watching both of my parents do the jobs they love, so in my mind there was never any limitations to achieving my goals, if I was passionate enough, which is something I am still very grateful for to this day.

This is part of a NZ Music Commission project for Suffrage 125 highlighting women working behind the scenes in the New Zealand music industry, with features here on our website and profiles on our Instagram.

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