The music industry is notorious for categorising by definition, but none more noticeable than the ‘female’.
Genres such as 'girl rock' and 'girl rap' emerging have set an expectation of the default musician to be male; so, when females are involved there is a specified genre exaggerating the angle and sound of that act by consequence. The term ‘female fronted’ only solidifies the male dominant claims by creating a sub-section, with a band not simply seen as a band.
To add perspective, how many times do we refer to a band as ‘male fronted’, or discuss that the members are ‘all male’? I mean, in the rock genre, have The Killers ever been called a ‘boy band’?
Now more than ever, women are fronting bands, writing music, and producing records with global success. Haim as a group of sisters redefine the rock band, Beyoncé continually inspires women to embrace the world through empowerment, and Lady Gaga has taught lessons of unconventional success. Though, whilst we should constantly be encouraging girls to play music, this should in no way should this be seen as lesser.
Festivals across the country, most recently Wireless Festival, have been criticised for the lack of diversity by prominent figures in the industry – with people quickly noticing how few female artists are lined up to perform. Whilst these events fairly know their audiences, both genders will attend, and therefore merely showcasing male acts exhibits the very narrow-mindedness females in the music industry face.
To create a genre with a notion of ‘female-fronted’ would imply these diverse, creative, modern acts are devoid of any character than their gender.
It’s no secret that women in music are passionate about 'girl power', but the adjective should become somewhat obsolete as a definition. This is not new nor relevant to just the music industry, yet still having to prove
yourself as a female creative is hard to comprehend in the 21st century. Perhaps this comes at fault to industry labels who perpetuate this idea to a media orientated community, or even journalists who can focus attention to asking ‘what's it like to be a female in a band?’.
Ultimately, it’s up to us to change the conversation.
Women and men alike deserve to be recognised for their art and treated as equals – so, let's drop the definition of ‘female fronted’ and enjoy music for its sound rather than its label.