When asked to list off popular female musicians, it is often much harder to come up with than if asked for a list of popular male musicians. This clearly isn’t because female musicians aren’t as talented as male musicians. It’s due to the fact that the popular music industry has been dominated by men for years, and oftentimes, when a musician has a larger young female base, they are not looked at as legitimate musicians. This is why we need to look to incorporate more female musicians into our playlists.
Now, that isn’t to say that the iconic male musicians we all know and love aren’t talented. They are incredibly talented and 60s and 70s rock constitutes some of my favorite music genres.
However, in a report by Statista that was released in January 2020, only 22.5% of the artists that appeared on the top charts in 2019 were women. This number was at 17.1% in 2018.
In addition, only 11.7% of nominees at the Grammy’s between the years of 2013 and 2020 were women.
Like I said, this isn’t because women are less talented — gender certainly does not equate to competency and creativity — but it’s due to the fact that their work is often discredited. They are often stereotyped and over-sexualized and in many cases, these women are often the only females in the studio at the time of recording and producing their music.
In addition, female musicians typically bring about a lot of female fans. As we often see, artists with a larger young female fan base are often discredited as an illegitimate artist. Take Harry Styles for example. He is not a female artist but his fanbase is largely based of younger female fans due to his time in One Direction. As a result of this, many rock stations do not view his work as worthy of air time on rock radio stations even though his music (his debut album especially) certainly has all the elements of a well-produced rock song.
In regard to famous female musicians, artists like Taylor Swift, Dua Lipa or even Britney Spears have a larger young female fan base, causing people to discredit their talent and skill in the industry.
In light of this, it is incredibly important to tune our ears to both widely-known and lesser-known female musicians.
There’s good news for us. Of course you have your chart-topping females such as Billie Eilish, Taylor Swift, Dua Lipa, Rihanna and Phoebe Bridgers that deserve their praise. However, there are also a plethora of lesser-known female musicians.
When thinking this through myself, a number of females came to mind.
Firstly, WILLOW. Daughter of Will Smith, WILLOW is a 20 year-old artist. From her discography, I personally recommend “ARDIPITECUS” and “R I S E.” She released these at the ages of 15 and 19 respectively, and they truly display her talent.
Clairo is a 22-year-old singer-songwriter who has been gaining traction since age 13. Her album “Immunity,” released when she was 20, holds a beautiful collection of soft music that shows the clarity and beauty in her voice.
Similar to Clairo is a 27-year old named Kacy Hill. Previous model and backup-dancer for Kanye West, Hill poses the similar soft features of Clairo’s voice in her album “Is It Selfish If We Talk About Me Again.”
These are just a few examples of talented females in the industry. Luckily, if you’re a Spotify user, they offer a wide variety of playlists that only feature female artists.
“Women in Indie,” “Top Female Artists of 2020,” “Black Female Artists,” “Women of Pop,” “Women of Rock,” “Women of Acoustic,” “Women of Country” and “Women of R&B” name just a few of the playlists Spotify allows you to listen to to continue discovering talented women in the industry.
So, make a conscious decision to add more female musicians into your Spotify playlists. Not only does it allow you to continue to seek new music but also gives a voice and an outlet for undiscovered talent and creativity.