By: Tulasi Sundaresh, 6/8 Records Intern
Unfortunately, female fronted music groups have become a rarity. But, there are a few that perpetuate the image of a strong woman leading her pack to create art together. We appreciate them for all that they bring to the industry. God knows music could use a lot more female empowerment.
The establishment of the feminist movement in the 60s and 70s served as a catalyst for change in the music industry. There was an increase in strong female artists and female fronted bands. But, throughout the years this age of progress has has not been continued. Contemporary mainstream music is lacking the image of a strong female leading a group. Rather, females in the music industry are more often solo artists, which although is an important role for women to have; it also diminishes the idea of women being a leader among a crowd.
But, here are some modern women leading their groups with strength:
Alabama Shakes: Brittany Howard leads this blues rock band from Alabama. Howard has been the lead vocalist of 3 different bands in her career. She, along with her bandmates, create unique, purposeful music. Alabama Shakes specifically, taps into an underrepresented genre in modern music: soul. They seek to create very distinctive content and reject many norms put forth upon modern artists.
No Doubt: No Doubt is an American pop/rock band who was led by Gwen Stefani, for most of their career. The band has been active on and off since 1986. But, Gwen Stefani had been the frontman, while maintaining her own solo career as well. She also portrays a lot of feminist messages or empowering themes in her songs, both with the band and on her own. She is definitely an artist who takes advantage of her platform to spread a message.
Florence + the Machine: Florence + the Machine is an indie rock band, most famous for their song “Dog Days are Over”. Their lead singer, Florence Welch, represents the band with a smooth, strong voice. The band has released three albums, all reaching the top of the charts in the UK or the US. They experiment a lot with genre and musicality, making them a unique group in the industry.
Paramore: Paramore is a pop/rock band that gained popularity in the early 2000s. The band is led by lead singer, Hayley Williams. Their strong sound and abrasive lyrics give the band a bit more edge and drive home the feminist theme. Williams even uses her fame as a platform to promote gender equality in the industry.
Daughter: Daughter is an indie folk band from the UK. It is fronted by Elena Tonra. They create very beautiful, emotional music and have released four EP’s and two full albums. The British trio have topped indie charts in both the UK and the US. Their expressive, acoustic style makes them unique among others in their genre.
Of course, these aren’t the only strong women in the music industry. But, they do make up an underrepresented minority as females leading a band. They lead and represent a group in creating music for their audience. These type of leaders are far and few between in the industry because of years of institutionalized discrimination. Maybe, that is slowly starting to change and more women will follow in the footsteps of these amazing females.