Should there be a need for a female-only artists playlist on the radio? This is the case today (8th June) on BBC 6Music, a station which has done more in recent years to ensure that anything outside the generic norm is catered for.
The answer, somewhat disgracefully, is that yes, there is a need. Regardless of your own view, there can be little doubt that female artists are still treated as variously as:
- A novelty
- Pop flotsam
- Sexual objects
- Lesser versions of their male equivalent (example: “they can rock just as hard as…”)
That’s before we get onto the genuine threats female audiences have if they were to brave the moshpit. Not the flying boots but the wandering hands. Imagine if this happened so routinely in cinemas; in theatres; in record stores. You’d be splashed across the papers for sexual assault, without question. And yet, it happens. We know it happens. Nothing is being done, this is the reality. Here are some artists flying the flag for music with no gender agenda, just talent and a desire to entertain people.
A Goliath talent from Stockholm, Sweden, Sara Steele has already amassed over 5 million streams of her tracks as well as getting the nod of approval from US music bible, Billboard. Disconcertingly twisted twilight fairytales told with an ever-present malevolence that evokes Twin Peaks and Kate Bush.
Nu Jazz-Electronica from classically-trained percussion genius. Drifting cosmic seas of vibraphone (yes, vibraphone) and thumping bass beats are the perfect backdrop for all your woes and insecurities. Forget everything and lose yourself in a world that feels as if even the imaginary grass has been concocted for you.
Classical cross-over stars are (or were) ten a penny but to actually conquer both the classical worlds and the main stream fully is almost unheard of – even Katherine Jenkins and Sarah Brightman have had to embellish their classical achievements with a bit of largesse. Not so Jane Marie, who despite being born in China has managed to study at the highest level in Europe, play lead in operas across the continent and back home, whilst now making waves in the crossover market.
French jazz – tempted? Ok. French jazz plus rock guitar shredding; a vocalist who sounds like she’s possessed by something out of Grand Guignol and a few splashes of eye-popping cabaret? You’re welcome.
Not, incredibly, a household name, despite treading the boards for over a decade, this Mexican garage-punk band are utterly merciless and have captured the hearts of John Frusciante, Iggy Pop and The Mars Volta, even if the general public are a little slow on the uptake.
Even kids need inspiration. Based in America and with roots in India, 13 year old Hitha needed her own resolve to make it this far in music, with peer-pressure at school and at home doing its best to drag her away from her first love. Her song Standing up with Pride is the result, a rally cry for others to do the same.