So there I was writing my weekly piece on the best music I heard within the last seven days desperately searching for a theme to tie it all together. On this particular day I was floored by three incredible songwriters who all just happened to be female. Now, we like to categorize music with pieces like these if we can. “Three Acoustic Songwriters”, “Eleven Electrifying Electro Pop Tracks”, and so on. I was about to do the same with this piece:
“Three Female Songwriters That Will . . . . (enter a feeling or adjective describing whatever great music does).” #clickbait
Then I realized something about the industry and myself; we still do not know how to give industry respect to female artists without categorizing them by gender. One look at nearly any music publication will show you how exploitation is still alive and well in a sexualized industry. Unfortunately, songwriters like the ones I was about to cover are summed down to mere objectification over talent and substance. There is a reason why the most popular female acts are called to stylize their sound and figure; perhaps their music is simply not good enough to speak for itself.
Of course I was not doing this consciously, but I was still boiling them down to a descriptor that was completely unnecessary. I mean, would I have written a piece on “Three Male Songwriters That Will Make You Swoon”? Probably not. And this is the crux of the problem. We cannot limit music by gender because it is so much more than this. Music connects with all of us regardless of race, politics, perspective, or gender. It is truly a blind art form. We have been blinded by a soulless industry looking to prey on our lowest compromises.
I truly believe we are living in an incredible time for artistic expression. The current wave of changing consciousness and social upheaval is generating some of the best art of recent decades. We truly can be a part of this with how we consume and speak about such matters. We are in the middle of a musical renaissance; let us not water it down with trite descriptors.
(If you want to read the finished product, read it here. It has some incredible songwriters)