Hi everyone, it’s #MondayMusic&Me. This time, I’ll be focusing on women and challenges in the music industry.
Let’s start off with a quick little exercise. On a piece of paper, off the top of your head (don’t think too much about it), list ten great songwriters or musicians that you know. Now look at the list.How many women do you have on it? Maybe one, two or three?
If you ever had the chance to witness a music festival or concert or even see the lineup of artistes performing, the ratio of female to male performers is usually low.
It can be arguably said that male artistes are usually regarded more seriously than their female contemporaries. Just head on over to YouTube and have a look at the comments that trail the video of a female artiste. A lot of times, the comments relate to the artiste’s physical appearance -what she’s wearing, her physique, her hair, her shoes and on and on – rather than her talent/performance.
Now, I’m a female singer/songwriter, so it’s natural that I am concerned about this issue. There are those with no real talent, but a lot of ‘show’. They have adopted the strategy that sex sells, and yes, sex does sell, but not everyone is buying, and eventually, even those who buy will still turn around and crave real music from those who can give it even if they aren’t baring it all.
When women are portrayed or viewed as sex symbols, it becomes harder to give any credence or regards to their ability to have a music career. So we have music producers and label owners, who approach talented female musicians, holding the promise of a brighter career in music in one hand, and on the other, the condition to ‘sleep’ their way to that career.
When you decide to become an Indie artiste, you are faced with another set of challenges. This is the category I fall into. You’re on a never-ending quest to abate the self-doubt and absence of a steady income, and like a Reverend who has answered his calling, you cannot turn back or quit.
In my experience, I have realized that it takes confidence and courage to act upon your vision; to go out of your comfort zone into the world for everyone to see. Without finances, and necessary moral support, it is even harder, but with the grace of God and conviction, your passion for your music, and your determination, you will keep going.
In addition to all this, when I added being a mom to the mix of being a woman and being an Indie artist, I came up with the term, ‘Momusician’.
My role as a Momusician puts me at crossroads every waking hour of the day. Imagine writing a song at one point, then doing school runs, on the other hand, battling to be present at their school activities, planning my ministrations and performances, all the while also making sure that I’m meeting their needs – physical, emotional, spiritual, psychological,educational and everything else in-between.
Right from their birth, my boys were always going around with me, save for a few instances where they had to be babysat; and now that they are nearing teenagehood, I’m up for another phase to navigate them through. All glory to God for every step of the journey!
I’d say that in all honesty, it is harder for women/mothers to break into and maintain their stay in the music world. But if women who are in this music industry can begin to understand and realize that their femininity surpasses their physical assets, their sojourn as musicians will not be short-lived.
I would like to hear from you. Can you share some of the challenges that you think are confronting the female artiste?
OBA2016@Thekingsoracle. All rights reserved.