What is the status quo of the music industry on International Women’s Day 2021?
Music Industry Is Focused On Men
Our wish is just to be treated as equals. And to get more women included, to get more women to dare, dare to step forward. We’ve experienced a music industry focused on men and it’s hard changing that. We want men to encourage women to play, invite them to your jam sessions and step back for just one second. It’s like men are afraid to lose their positions, like we’re a threat? We’ve been asked several times “do you have a boyfriend or such to help you with the sound technology?”. We’ve been told not to drink before a gig, although the men could drink as much as they wanted to. We also had a photographer once who had edited our faces when we got the pictures back. He had deleted our wrinkles and folds. Men expect us to be ignorant, to behave well on stage, to sing pure and to look nice. So please, just treat us as equals and let us do our thing! P.S. Name-dropping bands is just not sexy at all…
– Lovisa and Felicia, LILY ARBOR, Folk Pop from Gothenburg
No Toxic Competition
I wish there where no toxic competition between women artists. That bookers and promoters would support more female festivals or residencies so we could heal, learn and co create with each other.
– EMMY CURL, Modern Jazz from Copenhagen
Just Because It’s Good Music
Well, I’d quite like to see women championing each other for the sake of just encouraging one another, and not for personal gain or because we might feel like maybe that’s the way for ‘us‘ to be heard better. I’d love to know people are genuinely connecting with good music because it’s good music.
– MEGAN LARA MAE, Synthiepop from Brighton
Woman In the Leading Role
My wish for the music industry as a female artist would be to be taken more seriously in the role of one’s own manager. But this is rather based more on status than on gender. When sending out press packs and booking gigs the emails are going out under my name and countless go completely ignored. I need to do follow ups most of the time due to the absence of a management agency or label backing my name. I rent the van, do most of the driving, contribute in carrying the equipment and primarily deal with logistics. My solo music is my baby and I take full responsibility for it being so, which usually seems to come as a surprise to media outlets, clubs, crew and hosts. In turn, it often makes the work much more difficult.
I’d have to say I’ve been accepted in various musical communities and haven’t had many issues with feeling like I’m being treated unfairly because I’m a woman. This is my world, and gender has no role to play in that. I’m an artist like the rest of ’em. I am the only woman in my band and crew, who happens to also play the leading role – everyone is extremely respectful and we work as a solid unit.
“The times they are a changin’” and I think more and more women are putting themselves in the leading role so it’s just not so out of the ordinary these days. In Poland, I see a pretty high percentage of women paving the way at festivals. With everything that is happening politically in the world we are generally seeing so much more acceptance and tolerance in many areas as we continue to break the silence, publicly fight injustices and stand together in solidarity with these movements. Women are fantastic leaders, guitarists, phenomenal songwriters, and are just badass band members. Period.
– MORIAH WOODS, Dark Folk from Pulawy
Art Is A Precious Commodity
I remember playing a really big festival, being the only female act in the line up. Didn’t even think that was weird at the time… However my wish for the music industry doesn’t apply only to women artists. I feel the industry has become or maybe has always been too much of an industry. Catchy choruses, paid radio playlists, shelved albums, life-sucking record label contracts, ageism and the list goes on. Art is a precious commodity, in my opinion right next to water, and my wish is to start treating it as a precious commodity. Our society is speeding up towards extremes and as Terence McKenna said “…if the artists cannot find the way, then the way cannot be found.” The future is emo.
– Ilia Darlinh, IOTA PHI, Experimental Pop from Athens