ALICIA KEYS PIONEERS ‘SHE IS THE MUSIC’ INITIATIVE FOR FEMALE ADVANCEMENT
Accrording to Variety, Alicia Keys announced on Wednesday the formation of a music-industry group for female advancement called She Is the Music, as part of her acceptance speech for the Icon Songwriter honor at the National Music Publishers Association’s annual meeting in New York.
In her speech, and in her Instagram post above, she cited statistics from the University of Southern California’s Annenberg Schoolfor Communication and Journalism study of Grammy nominees. “Of almost 3,000 pop songwriters credited last year only 12% were female, only 3% of the engineers were female, and one of them is Ann [Mincieli, Keys’ regular engineer]. Only 2% of producers are female and one of them is me! Our world is 50-50, and it’s time for our industry to reflect that.”
Keys went on to talk about the Time’s Up movement as well as the gender pay gap. “We deserve the utmost respect, and so many of these women across industries are telling our culture that time is up on double standards,” she continued, “and it is over for pay inequity and colleagues who are at best disrespectful and at the worst unsafe – so it’s over for that.”
The singer highlighted the importance of diversity and women of color in the music industry. “Songwriters tell our stories, they sing who we are as people — don’t we all want to hear from all of us? My ancestors’ spiritual songs told their stories and gave them strength, and we’re all stronger because of it.” Keys named some of her influences, such as Joan Baez, Nina Simone and Aretha Franklin. She also mentioned contemporary female artists of color who are carrying the torch such, as Janelle Monáe, SZA, Solange and Mary J. Blige.