The music industry can be an unforgiving place — even if you’re one of its most successful artists. Grammy-nominated singer and songwriter Bebe Rexha is ambitious and passionate, but in this industry (and many others), misogyny runs rampant. Rexha spoke candidly with the folks at Honda Backstage about her struggles to be heard and taken seriously, and shared what she has been doing to make the music industry a kinder and more inclusive environment.
“I think there’s so much pressure, especially on women, to fit into this certain role of what people have created for us,” Rexha says. “At one point in my career, I felt so stressed out and so competitive with other girls […] I think it’s the industry, always having to compete with somebody else.”
Rexha is using her platform to fight against the needlessly competitive environment for women in the music industry. Radio is already putting female artists at a disadvantage — Rexha recounts a statistic that female artists get just 16 percent of radio play, compared to male artists. If women had more opportunities to feel a sense of community, they wouldn’t feel as lonely in their struggles against the same oppressive systems.
“I thought of this idea called ‘Women In Harmony,’ an event where all the girls in the industry could come together and we could support each other,” Rexha says. “I threw the first one in LA and all these women came out. It’s just cool to celebrate women and feel the support.”
Events like this lift up-and-coming songwriters, providing crucial support and a sense of community. Rexha is proud of her work. “It makes me really emotional, but we’re making a change.”
To learn more about Rexha’s efforts and her climb through the industry, check out the video above.