Happy International Women's Day!
What a time to be a woman. Sure, there's a lot of horrible things surrounding us right now (read this for one), but can we just take a moment to celebrate the generations of women that have fought for the many rights we live with today? Thank you ladies! Thank you mothers, protesters, politicians - fierce women of all ages and industries that don't sit down at injustice. Love you all!
I've decided that I'm not going to use this platform to bash on about everything that needs fixing, but rather celebrate the progress we are making. I'm a firm believer in the notion that change starts with one. It starts with you. It starts with me.
And before you think I'm some self-righteous lass, keep reading... I'll be honest, one of the biggest things I struggle with being a girl in music is bashing on other girls in music. And why? Because we're a damn rare breed and I think we were raised to think like this. And yes, I know I need to change. So to address this issue that I (and probably a lot of other women in or out of music face) I'm going to write about some female artists that inspire me and have and are killing it in music.
1. Gwen Stefani (No Doubt)
I was about 11 years old when I got my hands on a No Doubt Live DVD for $5 at some market sale, and it changed my life. She carries this energy that inspires my own live stage antics. She is uniquely herself and I would be an idiot not to credit "Just A Girl" as my anthem as I became more self-aware growing up.
2. Hayley Williams (Paramore)
Yup, how typical right? Oh well. I tried really hard early on to disassociate myself from this band, and tried hard to pretend like they weren't an influence. Okay they are! In high school I dyed my hair red, I sang songs like "Born For This" and "We Are Broken" - and you know what I freaking love "Decode". There, I said it. Say what you will. Paramore are that band that I listened to on repeat because their music resonated with whatever adolescent awkwardness I was dealing with back then. Hayley's singing actually inspired me to seek out proper vocal training, it's been almost a decade since I started getting lessons and I've come such a long way.
3. Isabella Manfredi (The Preatures)
I froth over female rock artists killing it. I have this real deep-rooted fear that rock is dead and I'll never make it. But Isabella gave me hope to keep writing and plugging away. I love the sweetness and roughness that she creates with her voice. Thanks for championing live music & late night culture in Sydney.
4. Vera Blue (Celia Pavey)
I bloody love every song she puts out. Her lyrics are so interesting and challenge me not just to blabber on and fill music with empty words, but to be really purposeful with the what I come up with. Sometimes I'll be listening to her songs and I'll think "Oh wow! That's clever". I couldn't be more happy for the explosive success she's having.
5. Billie Holiday
When I started learning about jazz and listening to her stuff, I thought to myself "What the heck is this?" Though thankfully, that changed. I think this lady is pretty freaking rock 'n' roll. With songs like "Strange Fruit" - I feel that she takes really dark, melancholic themes and turns them into really beautiful works of aural art. She had come from nothing, and turned that into a legacy.
There is a long list of women in music that I love, Carole King, Susan Tedeschi, Aretha Franklin, Ella Fitzgerald, Amy Winehouse, Lorde, Beyonce, Courtney Barnett, Grace Potter and so on... We could spend hours just listening and watching some of these legends and talk about how amazing they are. Lastly, if you're like me, and you're trying to make your way through this tough place, take a deep breath, keep working hard, our time is coming.