International Women’s Day & How female Grime artists have made their mark
TOO MANY MAN: WOMEN IN GRIME
Artists like Lady Leshurr and Nadia Rose have both been a major part of the UK grime scene for years.
But when it comes to chart success, they still haven’t matched male artists like Wiley or Stormzy.
Women who work in grime – whether as MCs, DJs or producers – discussed their talents as part of an event to mark International Women’s Day.
Radio 1 Newsbeat went along to talk to some of the people taking part.
Roxxxan is a grime artist from Birmingham who was part of the panel.
“When grime first came out, and it would be everyone round a mic, the mic would not get passed to me,” she remembers, “unless it was, like, my best friend.
“And then, say you were good – I grab the mic, kill it – everybody goes crazy. Everyone would turn round like, ‘oh yeah, Roxxxan’s here, she’s sick.’ And then they want to pass it to you.”
“When I started on the grime scene, women were alien,” says Coelle, who recorded as Lady Fury and took part in clashes from as early as 2002.
“You had women behind the scenes, and the photographers or videographers, but as an MC? You had Ms. Dynamite, but she was more garage. So it was unheard of.”
“The way society is, I think the men would always have got through first.
“It’s like women playing football. Why aren’t women footballers paid the same as men? They’re probably just as good, if not better – and they’re better looking! That’s my opinion anyway.”
Ellie Ramsden is a 23 year old portrait and music photographer from the UK who really had a vision to highlight and push forward the Girls of Grime in such an empowering way, marking the date of the book launch to coincide with International Women’s Day.
“I saw there were so many talented women in the scene, but they just weren’t getting the recognition the guys were,” she tells Newsbeat.
“I just thought it was really important for someone to showcase their talent.”
And she says there are stereotypes around the genre that need to be looked at.
“Grime is seen as more of an aggressive genre, and I think we’re trying to break out of that. It’s about breaking those boundaries and saying ‘it’s ok for women to do this’.”
“We should be further, but you know what? Let’s celebrate the fact that we’ve already made some steps,” concludes Lady Fury.
“The world is changing.”