Stevie Woodward was ever so gracious to take the time to talk to me about her music and her input on female empowerment in the music industry.
So, who is “Stevie Woodward?
I am a 25-year-old Singer/Songwriter from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. I started writing songs at five, playing guitar at 10 and playing live solo gigs at 14 along the coast of SC. After I graduated from high school, I moved to Nashville to pursue a career as a singer/songwriter. I studied the Recording Industry with a concentration in Songwriting at Middle Tennessee State University.
What’s your favorite song you’ve ever written?
My favorite song I’ve ever written would be a song called “Gypsy Soul.” I remember sitting down one day and telling myself to forget about if people would like it and just write what your soul is trying to say, so it’s felt like the most honest thing I’ve ever written. A song I wish I had written would be “Follow Your Arrow” by Kacey Musgraves. It just has the perfect amount of sarcasm to keep the listeners intrigued throughout the entirety of the song, while maintaining a legitimate meaning. Plus the melody is just extremely catchy!
What is one thing you’ve learned early on in your career that you carry with you today?
Something I learned early on would be to just be completely you, whoever that is. There’s so many people with so much talent out there, but no one can ever be you or create what you do. As much as you set yourself apart from everyone else and make your craft unique to you, the better it will be.
How important is music to you?
Aside from family, music is the most important thing in my life. It was my first passion and first real way I learned how to express myself
Who are your female influences?
My female influences in music are Sheryl Crow, Stevie Nicks, Bonnie Raitt, and Nancy Wilson. My female influences outside of music are Michelle Obama, Ellen Degeneres, and Rupi Kaur.
What about new female artists?
The next big female artists I’m obsessed with would be Brandi Carlile (although she’s been around for awhile, she’s just started to get the recognition she deserves), Jade Bird, Maggie Rogers, and Hailey Knox.
Female empowerment in the music industry is an important thing to me, and I would like to shift and get your opinions on female empowerment and your experiences. What is one thing you would change about the Music Industry?
If I could change one thing about the music industry it would absolutely have to be the amount of women involved in high positions (or any positions for that matter). Especially in country radio, the numbers are truly heartbreaking.
Do you believe that there is a double standard in the music industry, or entertainment in general?
I do believe there are instances where there is absolutely a double standard in the entertainment and music industry. I know in music, it’s okay for a man to sing about women in a misogynistic light, where as if a women calls a man out on it in her song it won’t get played on the radio. I can’t speak for other industries because I haven’t immersed myself in them enough to know, but I can say that men are without a doubt valued higher in the music industry than women. (speaking in general terms). Just turn on country music radio or look at a country music festival line up and see the lack of women present.
Have you experienced situations where you feel you were treated as a lesser artist simply because of your gender?
I have experienced multiple situations in which I felt like I wasn’t good enough because I am a woman. I remember being told by several publishers that they wouldn’t sign me because I was a woman. One said he had been at a company 25 years and never signed one. Another publisher told me “people just don’t want to listen to women sing, and they don’t like brunettes for some reason”. I couldn’t believe I actually heard that come out of someones mouth.
What is your advice to young girls starting out in music?
My advice to girls that are just starting out in songwriting would be to not worry about what other people will like, but just to create what they like and what they are happy with, because at the end of the day, they are the ones who have to live with the song. Also, I would make sure I tell young women if they are coming into this industry to have tough skin and rock solid values, because all that can be easily distorted when placed in certain situations when trying to make it in the industry.
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