Updated: Feb 10
Patricia Ziegler aka Bitten By is not only a very empowered artist with a great sense of equality and sustainability but also a skillful businesswoman through and through. We had the pleasure to talk to her about her music, her co-working space "The Nest" in Vienna, and the empowering projects that the Austrian artist is working on at the moment.
Empowerment in music
The former singer of the Viennese indie band We Walk Walls embarked on a solo path in 2017 and until recently, enriched the band, Oehl with the sounds of her harp. Now, she is fully focused on her second solo EP, to be released in early 2021. At the moment, Patricia is busy documenting the whole process of making her album in detail. One of her aims is to showcase her ways of creating and publishing music at full transparency in order to create a step-by-step guide to making music, empowering fellow artists on their respective paths. In the end, after the album's release, she plans to create an exact list of how much money she has spent, how much time she has invested, and how much she has earned. "It's a very fulfilling art project I'm working on right now because with this project I'm also questioning many things in the music industry, e.g. do you need a label?", she describes her project.
In the musical creation phase of new songs, she composes and writes all by herself; in the final phase of production, she gets feedback and support from acquainted producers. "I like working with women because there are so many men in the business already.", she tells us. For example, she had planned to work with a female drummer, but this turned out to be difficult because the few female drummers are mostly already involved in established musical projects - she observed similar experiences with female producers. And yet, she always finds a way to emphasize diversity in her work environment. Patricia's stage name reflects this overarching sense of determination to do things differently, too. For her, "Bitten By" stands for an omnipresent feeling that inspires and fascinates. It's about ideas and conceptions that you cannot let go of easily.
"We are a collective of people from the music and the music business, fashion and media, all united by a passion for music and community, and always looking forward to growing"
Creating new spaces
The theme of innovative ideas stubbornly begging to be developed also heavily influences Patricia's life beyond her own realm of musical creation. One idea she has never been able to let go of was to transform a former coffee factory from the Biedermeier era of Vienna into an innovative creative space. She realized that musicians and creative people need office spaces as much as corporate businesses do, and thus created a very original place where everyone feels comfortable and is able to focus on their creative work. Within this space, sustainability plays an important role, too. "We are a collective of people from the music and the music business, fashion and media, all united by a passion for music and community, and always looking forward to growing," writes Patricia about her co-working project, The Nest. "In the beginning, there was the vision to create a space for musicians and colleagues from the music industry, as well as creative people and doers, in which ideas can flow, merge, and innovative projects can be realized.", she describes the project in 1170 Vienna further.
The creative exchange between innovative minds of the Nest works out well, and the community works together efficiently, which in turn has a positive effect on Bitten By. The success is proof of the reliability of Patricia's intuitive approach: over the past month, her Nest has been fully booked, and she even has a waiting list of people wanting to be part of the co-working space. "It's also good to have a job next to the music... it has totally taken the pressure out of the music and I now feel that I can do whatever I want", Patricia reflects on this professional experience.
Diversity and sustainability in music
"I think that the music industry can be an ambiguous place, it is the best and most respectful platform, but then there are also areas that are extremely sexist.", Patricia describes the music industry. Patricia has been around long enough to confidently be able to say that the music business is not totally equal. Change is noticeable in many parts of music, in which women and people of different gender identities conquer their place in the music world, making it much more colorful, diverse, and open.
Over the past two years, sustainability has become an increasingly important aspect of her professional journey. The approach to sustainability - or lack thereof - in her immediate professional environment has largely influenced this development. "I find it incomprehensible how bands can't pay attention to fair trade and at least organic cotton.", Patricia takes a stand on fast fashion in the music industry. There are even bands that promote feminism but then print their label on cheaply produced goods from China. In any case, feminism in music also includes the entire value chain of the products sold, which an artist should pay attention to. Of course, she also understands that merch has become an important source of income for many artists - unfortunately, one where every cent of profit can make a difference. She is also aware of the argument that the selection of sustainably produced merchandising products is still relatively limited in terms of color and fabrics.
When it comes to staging outfits, Patricia loves to rely on sustainable alternatives: all wonderful pieces worn during live performances come directly from the racks of her favorite vintage stores. But also when touring, Patricia focuses on the small things that make a concert more sustainable. "As an artist, you always have the possibility to note sustainable wishes on your rider."
Patricia Ziegler is a very reflective woman in many ways, having obtained a very strong awareness of sustainability and equality, be it within her own artistic career or her co-working space. Beyond her own work, she aims to inspire people in their work every day and shows them that anything is possible and that we can be everything we want to be. This is equality empowerment at its best!