The “Female-Fronted” Discussion, and Women in Music
There is a discussion to be had about the term “Female-Fronted.” This is used to describe bands whose lead singers identify as female. In some cases, the use of this phrase can cause discomfort and critical discourse between people who accept it and reject it. Bands who have male lead singers are never referred to as ‘male fronted’, they are just referred to as bands, if this is the case, why is there a different treatment towards bands that have a lead singer who is female?
If you take a look into your own personal music library, count the number of bands who have a male lead singer. More often than not, you’ll discover that you listen to more bands who do not have a female lead singer. One of the reasons this might be the case, is that according to womeninmusic.org, out of 600 performers with the most popular songs between the years of 2012-2017, women only made up about 22%. When we think about how many influential and or iconic rock/alternative bands there have been over time, who comes to mind? The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, or maybe even Queen? What do all of these bands have in common? They are all made up of men male musicians.
That being said, it seems as though in the music scene especially, the term can also be used in a derogatory way. It seems as though people who do not agree with the use of the phrase, believe that its use implies that it “reduces the band to the gender of its members..” When we talk about bands like Paramore, The Regrettes, or even artists like Billie Eilish, women are continuing to make their mark in music. These artists are important, not only because they are providing representation in a male dominated industry, but they are trying to make a difference within the community itself as well. Furthermore, whether you have no opinion on the issue, or feel strongly one way or another about it, it is something that is pertinent to discuss, especially in 2019.