Earlier today, Bebe Rexha visited the London College of Music (University of West London) to host a talk about her ‘Women in Harmony’ initiative and gender inequalities within the music industry.
Speaking to 50 students from the courses of Music Management, Music Performance and Music Technology, Bebe got candid about her experiences in the industry through her talk and a Q&A with the audience.
Bebe launched the ‘Women in Harmony’ initiative last year as a way of bringing female creatives in the industry together, allowing them to support each other and form connections and collaborations. Events have been held in both Los Angeles and London, with the likes of Rita Ora, Charli XCX, Nicole Scherzinger and Noah Cyrus in attendance.
The initiative also creates a strong community which supports young women who are at the beginning of their journey in the industry. Speaking about why she formed the initiative, Bebe told the music students: “I created ‘Women in Harmony’ to bring women together in an industry where they are not equal, and they should be.”
Not only are women in the industry at a disadvantage as they are treated differently to men, but they are also often pitted against other female artists. Sharing her thoughts on this ridiculous double standard, Bebe said: “I’ve been told ‘she’s signed to your label so she’s your competition’ – nobody is your competition but yourself. There’s enough room for all of you guys.”
Many in the industry, in particular female artists, also feel that they have to look a certain way or carry a stereotypical sound in order to succeed as an artist. However, Bebe strongly believes in the importance of staying true to yourself.
“For me personally, I don’t want to get to the biggest level where I lose a sense of who I am. No matter what you do, you should be happy and have balance in your life,” Bebe told the students.
“If everything doesn’t touch your fingers then you’re never going to be happy. Because if you don’t paint the painting you want in live, someone will paint it for you.”
Bebe also spoke about women in the music industry feeling the need to be sexy. She emphasised to the audience the importance of wearing what you feel most yourself in, stating “What I would say to younger females is that if it feels natural to you and you want to wear a push up bra or wear something sexier – you should wear it because it makes you feel good, but it has to feel comfortable to you.”
Record labels also came into conversation during Bebe’s talk, with the powerhouse songstress acknowledging that signing to a label often leads you to becoming their property. “When you’re signed to a record label you are a product. So if you’re not selling or making money for them then they don’t care, you are a product,” she said. “That’s when it gets hard because you are a human.”
Bebe is currently enjoying success with her latest hit, ‘Last Hurrah’. Just last week, she unveiled an acoustic version of the track which allows her striking vocals to truly shine.