Watching this opener for the CMAs made me sad.
I know, weird response right?
Why would a bunch of amazing, talented artists make me sad?
Because I saw some of my favorite artists, sing some of my favorite songs (and SO many that weren’t up there!!) … and I’m just sad that there is no longer room on our radio stations for this collective talent.
I’m sad that people 10 and 20 years younger than me won’t experience getting to hear their own voice represented on radio.
I became an artist because I was inspired to be one by Leanne Rhimes, Tricia Yearwood, Reba, Shania, Faith, Dolly, Gretchen, Taylor…
I always enjoyed Garth Brooks, Travis Tritt, NGDB and Dwight Yolkham… but I became a singer because of the females. Because I heard stories and songs that I could sing along to. That I could imagine myself experiencing.
I wonder what the coming generations of female artists will look like. Will they persevere regardless of the lack of representation… or worse, will they start singing songs that are a watered down version of what they truly want to say in attempt to adapt to the narrative that’s deemed commercially desirable.
I’m tired of this conversation too. The constant fight for women’s voices to be heard on radio to be once again smashed down by statistics and reports saying our voices aren’t as saleable.
In effort to simply be acknowledged, we’ve worn the topic so thin that we have become a classic cliche for being naggy. Ugh.
What’s the answer here people? Do we ditch radio altogether? Or create our own stations or streaming playlists that are exclusively, or predominantly women? Do we create our own events, festivals, and shows?
Good lord. If we have to, we will. But it’s not what we really want. We just want to play with the boys.
There are so many other areas where women and men are separated because they have to be because of physical stature (Olympics, First Responders, Sports…) But women in music… we aren’t handicapped, or physically less able. We don’t have lesser production, or inferior musical capabilities. In many cases, women can outsing and outperform many, MANY males. So why aren’t we being offered equal opportunities?
Like, to be clear, you aren’t doing us a FAVOR by representing us. We’re not a charity. By giving us time and performance slots, you’re giving us the opportunities that we’ve earned through our own intense investment into our careers, voices, performance, and writing. By making room for women’s music, you’re validating generations of young women and girls that are desiring to be represented in country music as something more than the hot girl at the party with a sweet ass in tight shorts.
Honestly, I avoid this topic as often as I can because I’m so bleeping tired of it. I have made my own efforts to be someone in ACTION of creating a change – rather than contributing to what is becoming a drawn-out and unfruitful conversation.
I have stopped pursuing radio for the time being and focus my efforts elsewhere. I have created opportunities for myself and created events and shows where I am able to create an even line up of male and female performers. And I align myself with the men and women of this industry that are authentically interested in shifting this dynamic, rather than surrender to and accommodate it.
Here’s the thing. If you look at any economic trend on a broad scale there will be ups and downs. And right now, the ‘stock’ on women in country music is low. And it WILL rise. This is a certainty. Not a guess, not optimism. Economics.
I know where my capital is invested, and I have no doubt I will see returns – and in the mean time, I’m really noticing the people that know women’s value and are respecting it – even in our ‘recession’ years – and those that are behaving as though we’re second-rate charity cases.
Enjoy your sausage festivals peeps. But we all know that at the end of the day, everyone prefers tacos.