The Underrepresentation of Female Personalities in EDM : A Closer Look into the “Boys Only”-Genre
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EDM, or Electronic Dance Music for short, has become a big and lucrative genre. The once nerdy and uncool phenomenon has become quite the profitable business. Superstars along the lines of Calvin Harris, David Guetta, Avicii, and Tiësto have become the rock stars of today, and for many, the role models for tomorrow. This is though not the case for females. The British magazine DJ Mag has an annual contest, where listeners and fans of EDM can vote for their favorite DJs. In 2016, the top 100-list only featured three women; Australian twin duo NERVO and Ukrainian hardcore DJ Miss K8. Nor is it easy to find female DJs and acts on the big electronic festival-lineups like EDC, Tomorrowland, and the Ultra Music Festival, thus being heavily outnumbered by the go-go dancers on stage. Furthermore, the commercial music released are almost always by the male demographic, creating the myth of EDM being an industry by, and for, men. Also, controversies on the new phenomenon of ghost production are heavily rumored among female EDM producers. It has become quite clear that the EDM industry has a big problem with the gender imbalance. Based on past and current events and in-depth interviews with several DJs, both female and male, this paper discusses the ongoing problems women in EDM face. Finally, this thesis addresses the central research question on how we can narrow down the existing gender gap in EDM through actions such as closing down the sexism, motivating role models, and further raising awareness, thus creating a better future for women in EDM.
Master's thesis Music Management MU501 - University of Agder 2017