The tide is turning in the music industry. Fans won’t stand for the “good ol’ boys club” anymore, and women are increasingly receiving the exposure they deserve, despite having always been just as capable as the men. While at the 2018 South by Southwest Music Festival last week, Paste only took portraits of female solo artists and female-fronted bands, and we provided an open space for them to say whatever they chose to share with us—about being a woman in the music industry, at SXSW and beyond. Here are nine images of some of SXSW’s best and words reflecting how they wanted to be heard. Unedited.
Check out our roundup of the best music we saw at this year’s SXSW festival.
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Speedy Ortiz's Sadie Dupuis:
"It's nice to see most of us on stage working around events and booking events. I hope that when people with a platinum badge [at SXSW] see women doing sound, drumming, or anything really, that they'll take it into consideration as they're hiring."
"As a performer, when I see that a woman booked the show or is a stagehand, doing monitors...it makes me think as a performer that the venue takes inclusivity into consideration and it makes it a better show. And I'm sure everyone in the audience, women and non-binary people see it too. And you'll make more money!"
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Common Holly's Brigitte Naggar:
"I think it's very obvious that a deliberate space is being created to push female artists to the forefront. The most important thing now that we're here, is to get to the next stage...where female artists don't have to identify as female artists. They should just be bands, like male bands have been for the whole history of rock 'n' roll."
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"If people are at my shows, they should listen to the lyrics to 'Water' and a sample of a water goddess [Oshun]. The gods tried to shun her and wash her out and she went to the moon and dried up the whole world. You gotta recognize the power of the feminine energy."
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"This is a song about how the patriarchy ruined my life. And it probably ruined yours too, so wake the fuck up!" -- on stage, before playing, "Kid Gloves"
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"I feel like as young girls, we sometimes aren't encouraged to be the main characters of our lives and mainstream media reflects that. I have always found it challenging to be completely and unapologetically myself, but this year has been amazing for so many women taking control of who they are and becoming the main character in their lives and in general."
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Soccer Mommy's Sophie Allison:
"For a lot of female artists—from what I've heard—it feels strange to have so much discussion about women and how it is, because we've always been here. There's more people being held accountable, but it's nothing that we've changed. We've always wanted equality and to be like everyone else. And at the end of the day, everyone just wants to do their music."
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U.S. Girls' Meghan Remy:
"I think that being a woman is like being a man here...Any way you identify at SXSW, we're all just in a corporate web. We're all treated the same. We're all fucked."
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Hop Along's Frances Quinlan:
"Being a woman, I've ignored that part of myself as a writer...I never thought of it as a writer. But no part of it should be considered a hindrance. My voice—maybe even as a woman—can be more valuable than had I been born a straight white man."
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"I feel proud to be a woman, especially right now. Because women are coming together and supporting each other. We've been so conditioned to think of each other as competition, but there's definitely a feeling that we can all win together if we support each other. There's room for everyone. We are becoming more powerful."