Female artists struggle to be taken seriously, says Brit-winning singer

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Anna Brech
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Two-times Brit winner Dua Lipa says male artists are automatically given more credibility than their female counterparts 

The music industry is filled to the rafters with strong women who aren’t afraid to voice their own minds, whether that’s Madonna, Tina Turner or Beyoncé.

And yet, it isn’t immune to the same insidious sexism that seeps through the workplace the world over - as two-time Brit winner Dua Lipa points out.

Speaking in a new interview with GQ magazine, Lipa calls out the type of subtle prejudice that female artists face on a daily basis.

“For a female artist, it takes a lot more to be taken seriously if you’re not sat down at a piano or with a guitar, you know?” the singer says. 

“For a male artist, people instantly assume they write their own music, but for women, they assume it’s all manufactured.”

Dua Lipa says female artists struggle to be taken seriously

Lipa, who has amassed a YouTube following of billions of fans, wrote the majority of work on her award-winning debut album.

And she’s not the first artist to speak out about double standards in the music world.

In 2014, Lilly Allen revealed herself to be “astonished” by the lack of female executives at major record companies.

“You will also notice of the big successful female artists, there is always a ‘man behind the woman’ piece,” she said. If it’s Beyoncé, it’s Jay Z. If it’s Adele, it’s Paul Epworth. Me? It was Mark Ronson and the same with Amy Winehouse.

“You never get that with men,” she added. “You can’t think of the man behind the man. Because it is a conversation that never happens. If you are Ed Sheeran or someone, no one ever talks about who has produced or who is the man behind Ed Sheeran.”

Lily Allen has also spoken out about industry sexism

In this latest interview, Lipa also throws her support behind the #MeToo movement that has galvanised women of all professions and backgrounds to share their experiences of sexual harassment in recent months. 

“I’m lucky in that I haven’t really had any sexual harassment in any way,” the singer says. “But I think [#MeToo] is so important. You know, even from school, growing up with kiss chase or whatever, it’s been ingrained in our heads that boys will be boys and its harmless fun and no big deal and to brush things off. Like catcalling. 

“To some it might not seem a lot, but it affects your mood, people get embarrassed about the way they dress. For lots of females, be it actresses, singers, models, no matter what it is, it’s not being able to have the right to dress and wear how and what you want and be taken seriously.”

Hear, hear. 

Images: Getty


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Anna Brech

Anna Brech is a freelance journalist and former editor for Her six-year stint on the site saw her develop a vociferous appetite for live Analytics, feminist opinion and good-quality gin in roughly equal measure. She enjoys writing across all areas of women’s lifestyle content but has a soft spot for books and escapist travel content.