Kacey Musgraves, Cam and More Talk About Sexism in Country Music
Talk about #squadgoals. Some of the top names and rising stars in country — Cam, Kacey Musgraves, Maren Morris, Aubrie Sellers, Margo Price, and Mickey Guyton — came together recently to talk about what it’s like being a woman in country music in 2016.
In a new feature in Billboard, this generation’s country ladies tackle everything from ‘Tomato-gate’ to the state of things a year later and the women before them who paved the way. Though for a while it seemed women in country music were being pushed aside and pigeon-holed by the industry, these six artists (among many others) are stepping out with their own individual styles unapologetically.
“Women are coming back in a big way,” Sellers insists. “There’s a lot more freedom for women to be themselves.”
Musgraves, a prolific songwriter and the group’s oldtimer by comparison, agrees. “For a while, you had to have a pretty face and a big voice,” she furthers. “Now, I don’t feel like that’s as important — what you’re saying and the substance behind it is more important. That makes me excited.”
Each of these artists have experienced sexism in different ways, they explain. Price clapped back at Keith Hill, the proprietor of Tomato-gate, with a clever T-shirt, and Hill responded by posting derogatory comments about her on Twitter. But a bright side to the controversy is the conversation that resulted, Cam says.
“It was nice [that Tomato-gate] acknowledged there was something going on — everybody knew there was something — but there are these excuses sometimes,” the “Burning House” star says.
“If they can’t get your song off the ground, it’s immediately blamed on your personality, or the fact that you’re female, or that you didn’t make a radio station program director feel important,” Musgraves adds.
Price reveals that she was excluded from a label once simply because she was female.
“They were like, ‘We already have two girls on the label. I’m so sorry, we just can’t take your project,’” she recalls. “You can have 15 guys, but if you have two girls, the quota is filled.”
Morris has been getting buzz for her bravery when it comes to her coarser language on her record, Hero, but she doesn’t see it as anything particularly pot-stirring. “I’m so flattered when people laugh at my songs because I use the word ‘shit’ in them, but it shouldn’t be that shocking, because it’s like real-life conversation,” she says.
The ladies span a myriad of subjects in their laid-back roundtable, including the upcoming election and what they think are the most important issues for their generation.
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