It wasn’t just one journalist getting it wrong, everybody was getting it wrong. I’ve done music for, what, 30 years? I’ve been in the studio since I was 11; [Arca] had never done an album when I worked with him. He wanted to put something on his own Twitter, just to say it’s co-produced. I said, “No, we’re never going to win this battle. Let’s just leave it.” But he insisted.
10 women who ‘became men’ to get ahead. (Telegraph)
California-born Tatiana Alvarez had spent years trying to build a career as a DJ. She found herself repeatedly being booked for gigs on the strength of her music, before being rejected by venue owners upon learning she was a woman. Furious at the double standards in the industry, Alvarez decided to reinvent herself – as a male DJ named Matt Muset, aka Musikillz. Through email, she set up another alter ego – that of agent Maya Feder – and started touting Musikillz around to clubs in Los Angeles. Alvarez (as Musikillz) was immediately successful. She will serve as music supervisor in the movie of her life, the rights to which were purchased by Warner Brothers last year.
While last year Honeyblood and Haim made up part of the measly proportion – 4% – of all-female groups performing at UK festivals, 2015’s offerings may help shift that statistic towards equality. Festival bookers should pay close attention toMadrid outfit Deers, real names Ana Garcia Perrote and Carlotta Cosials, whose scratchy, Velvety romance on record is shredded into ramshackle punk on stage. Another band injecting energy into the big venues of Britain are London’s Juce, whose sound, like ESG and TLC locked inside a karaoke booth, is singlehandedly bringing positivity, funk and fun back into music, so much so they’ve been picked up by Island Records for their forthcoming debut. Not so enjoyable are the sceptical comments left under their YouTube videos – a reminder that with female bands, there will always be one male snide who claims there’s a man pulling the strings.
When I was an editor of a music and culture website two years ago, I constantly felt like I was fighting against a current to feature women who played music or women who made art. I don’t doubt that in the process, I was careless about how I labeled these acts or quantified their talent because they were not just talented, they were women, and that point—that so many of them were also fighting against a current themselves—was something to be proud of and celebrate.
The idea at the time was to focus as intently on female artists as possible, to give them a spotlight that was shining so brightly that no one could negate the fact that there were women making fantastic music. The quantification was meant to boost female artists by highlighting them and drawing attention to their gender, their feminism, their battle to earn respect. But this system only failed by limiting women musicians to certain constraints that meant nothing. Did they play music? Yes. Was it good? Yes. That was all anyone really needed to know.