By Ashley Koett
Although the inner workings of the music industry are currently dominated by men, many incredible women are still finding ways to make an impact and and pave their own paths through this unwelcoming field. As reported by Nashville Scene, women only account for 5% of producers and engineers in the music industry, which stems from the generally sexist environment and discouragement women face when trying to participate in the music production process. Despite the opposition, more and more women are beginning to break the mold and transform the music industry. In the spirit of International Women’s Day, it’s important to highlight the strong women who are successfully navigating this musical battlefield.
The artist Grimes is a well renowned producer, singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist from Canada, who makes a point to handle every single part of the production process of her music. Her latest self produced album ‘Art Angels’ reached no. 1 on on the Billboard’s top alternative albums, and no. 2 on the top independent albums. She has gained widespread success, despite the fact that she has faced sexism since she began producing, and uses her experiences to shed light on the inequality in the music industry.
Solange Knowles is another incredible female singer, songwriter, and producer who often speaks out on the injustices that plague the current music industry. Although she co-wrote and co-produced every song on her latest album ‘A Seat at the Table’ - which topped the Billboard charts and earned her a grammy - she often has to speak out about not being credited for her success. She has taken to twitter to state, “I find it very disappointing when I am presented as the "face" of my music, or a "vocal muse" when I write or co-write every f****** song.” in response to not being credited by journalists for her part in her music’s production. But despite that others often receive the production and writing credit that she deserves, nothing has stopped her from creating and taking a major role in her breathtaking music’s production process.
There are countless other women making strides in helping fight the male domination of the industry. WondaGurl, a female producer from Canada, produced the hit track ‘Antidote’ by Travis Scott, as well as tracks by Jay-z and and Drake. The artist and producer TOKiMONSTA, signed under Flying Lotus’ label, has not only worked with Anderson Paak and toured with Duran Duran, but has also created her very own label called Young Arts Records. St. Vincent, a female guitarist and songwriter, recently designed a guitar that included room for breasts so women could play it more comfortably. Other popular female artists, including Missy Elliott, Beyonce, Bjork, and MIA to name a few, have been playing a major part in the production their tracks for years, although unfortunately not often receiving the credit they deserve as producers.
These are only a few of the incredible women who are starting to take control the modern music industry. As more and more women speak out about their experiences and demand the credit they deserve for their genius and talent, it will become easier for the next generation of women to enter this industry confidently. Thanks to these - and many more - influential women in the music industry today, we can begin the road to an inclusive industry where anyone can thrive, regardless of gender.