Women in Indie Music: a CBC Radio 3 documentary featuring Amy Millan, Jenn Grant, Creature and more


Photo courtesy of CBC Radio 3

We all face stereotypes in our lives. Put on a checkered scarf and people think you’re a music snob. Wear black eyeliner and a trench coat and they think you eat bats a la Ozzy Osbourne. Or sport a big, shiny belt buckle with some Wranglers and they think you can rope cattle.

But when it comes to gender stereotypes in the music biz, that’s a thing of the past, right? Aren’t the sexes equal today?

I’ve never been much of a feminist, or really thought of the music biz as being gendered at all, but after scouring my CD collection, record stores and even the CBC Radio 3 playlist, I found a vast majority of artists in the Canadian independent music scene were men.

So I tracked down some of Canada’s most prominent female musicians to find out exactly what it’s like to be a part of the indie scene today. What unique challenges, if any, do female musicians still face?

I had a chance to talk to Creature’s CowbellaStars’ Amy Milllan, singer-songwriter Jenn GrantThe Pack A.D.’s Maya MillerThe Stolen Minks’ Erica Butler and Black Mountain’s Amber Webber.

They all had very different perspectives to share, ranging from stories about the genre stereotypes they’ve encountered to the pressures of having to sell your body in order to sell your music.

After a bit of girl talk and a few heart-to-heart confessions, I discovered that gender stereotypes still exist in the Canadian indie music scene today. However, they’re not stopping any of these talented songstresses from shining in the spotlight.

Take a listen here, start a discussion, and let me know what you think.

One Response to “Women in Indie Music: a CBC Radio 3 documentary featuring Amy Millan, Jenn Grant, Creature and more”
  1. Adriane says:

    Working in the electronic music genre, it’s even more apparent that the women are few and far between! It sometimes gets a bit lonely, but fortunately it mainly seems to benefit me now. Back in electronics school, or in corporate job interviews — well you really had to prove yourself as a nerd. Now people can just throw on a CD to find out if you have synth mojo.

    People do have pre-conceptions. Nobody is surprised that I sing. People are surprised that I do my own production and mixing.

    Personally, I’m surprised the other way around.

    So there you have it – there’s no accounting for expectations.

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