Lead singer of London Grammar, Hannah Reid has spoken out about the struggles of being a woman in the music industry—a place she expected to be ‘progressive.’
The 31-year old singer, songwriter, has been in the music industry for nearly a decade now, but her journey to success has been crippled with experiences that no woman should ever have to go through. She talked about the micro-aggressions she faced during an interview with The Telegraph, and she said:
When I entered the music industry it was a bit of a shock. I was dealing with so many micro-aggressions, sometimes on a daily basis, more sexism and misogyny than I had ever experienced before. I mean, of course I experienced the day-to-day crap that all women just have to put up with, but in the industry it was little things, small things, that actually added up to being quite a profound experience.
It was extremely difficult to stand up to, because a lot of the time it’s kind of invisible and you can’t prove it’s happening.
Sexism in the industry
Being the only female member of the band, Reid testified that although her bandmates are supportive, her opinion is frequently overlooked by external parties because they care more about what the men think. She opened up about instances where her clothes were questioned, and the times she was denied entry into venues because no one believed that she was a part of the band. Her interactions with other members of production, like sound engineers, were no different because they often preferred to talk to her male bandmates, Dot Major and Dan Rothman, about technical aspects of production.
She also noticed thather emotionswere interpreted in a very different manner as compared to her counterparts. She explained:
What I noticed with the boys was that they could get angry, emotional, sad; they could be all shades of their colourful selves, and actually it would be taken as having integrity. But if I showed any emotion, I was treated as if I was being irrational. I felt like the bigger the band became, the smaller I had to make myself.
Last week London Grammar released the album, Californian Soil, which is all about feminism and femininity. The band broke down the meaning behind the album in an interview with NME, in which Major said:
Lyrically, [Californian Soil] is very much about Hannah’s experience as a woman, and we wanted that message to come through as loud as possible.
There’s a lyric, ‘Take all your limbs and wrap them round your neck / So they all laugh at your predicament’, which is about that feeling of those thousand moments that I’ve experienced over the course of my career, and how then I internalised it and tied myself up in knots because I didn’t feel like I could always be my true self in the industry I was in.