What’s it like to be a working woman musician today? Is the road tougher? Are experiences unique to women – and shared by women, regardless of level of success, genre, and years in the business? How important are looks, on-stage personas, quality gear?
NPR Music reveals answers to these questions and many others – straight from the minds and mouths of women musicians themselves – in “Hey Ladies,” a massive multimedia database and companion radio series airing this summer across all NPR News programs. “Hey Ladies” is made up of interviews with nearly 700 working female musicians in all genres, women who candidly speak about their careers, industry, experiences and lives. More information on the series can also be found at NPR Music’s recently launched music news blog, The Record: www.npr.org/blogs/therecord
In March, NPR Music started surveying hundreds of women working as musicians. The responses informed the stories, discussions and analysis now available at the “Hey Ladies” site (www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=128564299), the centerpiece of which is an interactive database profiling all of the nearly 700 survey respondents. The database allows users to sort artists’ answers individually or by one of nine general themes: Onstage, on the art of performing; Offstage, about the hard work that happens out of the spotlight; Working It, giving insight into the music business; She’s Got the Look, addressing the importance – or lack thereof – of appearance; The First Time, revealing decisions to become a musician; Old School vs. New School, musing about whether times have changed; Advice, offering words of wisdom for others in the business; Decisions, Decisions, making personal choices and how they affect work; and Gear, talking equipment.
The on-air companion series begins on NPR’s All Things Considered, with an exposé on this year’s Lilith Fair music festival, and will include reported pieces, profiles of musicians from the survey, and roundtable discussions. Upcoming pieces in the “Hey Ladies” series will include a conversation with pop phenomenon Ke$ha on why some women performers feel the need to adopt on-stage personas; the importance of social media for female artists; drummer Kate Levitt on what it’s like to be the only woman among a bunch of guys; and a roundtable of women music journalists and critics who comment on the state of women in the industry.
As honest feedback has been at the core of “Hey Ladies” from its beginning, NPR Music encourages audiences to share their reactions, stories, ideas, criticisms and questions for the musicians at its Facebook discussion board and by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
NPR Music celebrates great music in every genre and is an industry leader in music discovery. The free, multimedia website at www.npr.org/music offers more than 300 new features monthly and an extensive archive, in collaboration with NPR's newsmagazines, 12 public radio member stations and the passionate NPR community. NPR Music creates and distributes inventive music coverage across multiple platforms - from web, to radio, to podcast, to mobile, to social media, to live events - with first listens to new albums, live performances, concerts at the Tiny Desk, interviews, reviews and blogs.