The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Diversity and female artists in the rising music industry

Artist Yvngxchris performs his hit “Off the Leash” at the Culture Kings Stage on Day 1.

Festival season is upon us, and with that comes a new array of lineups and artists on the rise. Similar to other industries, the music industry has a history of racial discrimination as well as discrimination against female artists, so it is refreshing to see artists both male and female from all backgrounds leading the future of music. Lineups for Coachella, Rolling Loud and many more are full of a powerful mix of ethnic and gender diversity.

In 2023, we saw one of the most prominent rises of female artists within the hip-hop space. Rap artists such as Ice Spice, GloRilla, Gloss Up, Sexyy Red and Kharraboo made waves within the industry, showing aspiring artists that they too can build successful careers in music. Women from all backgrounds reached incredible heights in Billboard’s annual list of the Greatest Pop Stars of the Year, where 7 out of the 10 spots were female artists.

As the years go on, diverse female artists are getting the recognition they deserve and are having more impactful effects on societal culture. There is a noticeably broader trend of increased acceptance of female voices in all genres of music, especially hip-hop and rap.

These achievements are a refreshing change from the abundance of discrimination towards both women and different races throughout the history of music. “Gender and Racial Discrimination in the U.S. Music Industry” by Ying Zhen, a 2018 study conducted by the Music Industry Research Association and the Princeton University Survey Research Center, surveyed 1,227 musicians in the United States displaying disheartening results.

The survey reveals that females, who make up about a third of the musician population, report experiencing high rates of discrimination. When considering female musicians, 72% report being discriminated against because of their gender. For non-white musicians, 63% said they faced racial discrimination, as compared to 36% of non-white self-employed workers nationwide who said the same.

It is apparent that women specifically have experienced prejudice based on their gender in the music industry, but they are slowly gaining the respect and equality they should have.

Rolling Loud is one of the most influential music festivals in the industry, not only for artists but for audience members and aspiring artists. Rolling Loud LA 2024 features headliner Nicki Minaj for the first day, being the festival’s second-ever female headliner, following Cardi B’s 2018 headlining performance. Artists such as Sexyy Red, Summer Walker, Flo Milli, Kaliii, Lay Bankz, and Anycia are also featured in this year’s lineup.

The 2024 Coachella lineup, another massively influential music festival of this generation, features Lana Del Rey and Doja Cat as headliners. Other diverse female artists included are Jhené Aiko, Peggy Gou, Sabrina Carpenter, Faye Webster, Tyla and Tinashe. These festivals continue to shape the expansion of diversity and inclusion in the music industry and create a space for artists to share their message and fans to get inspired.

Diversity inclusion within the music space has been increasing over the years with artists representing places all over the world.

The global impact of artists like Blackpink, TWICE, Bad Bunny, Peso Pluma, and Karol G is showcasing the backgrounds of K-pop and the Latin music genres. These artists are not only demonstrating that any person of any background can be a musical artist but also introducing new sounds and perspectives from a global viewpoint.

The power of music is so vital to transcend cultural boundaries and unite people all around the world from diverse backgrounds. Music brings people together and is a commonality the world loves to share. The impressive and phenomenal achievements of female artists from various cultures going against a discriminating history are renewing and inspiring.

With incredible artists both male and female representing nationalities globally in today’s industry and beyond, the music world is ensured to have a vibrant and inclusive future.

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