Femmes To The Front: Part 2
Continuing our Femmes To The Front series, we present the second part of our ongoing project where we photograph women in the music industry, and chat the musicians who have inspired them the most.
Shot by Pam, we met with each person in their own homes and spaces earlier this year, to create these intimate photographs and asked:
"As Love Letters is dedicated to femme/non-binary musicians, who would you say has impacted and influenced you to create the work you do the most and why?"
Casey McLean (RTRFM Drive Time Presenter)
Someone who inspires me in my work is Isabella Manfredi (The Preatures). Her incredible talent, strength, and confidence influences me to be confident in my work. She’s passionate and vocal about women’s rights, which inspires me to want to help out where I can.
RTRFM champions music and news from a diverse range of people that otherwise might not get a platform. There are specialist shows dedicated entirely to women’s music/LGBTI+ News and music. Volunteering at RTRFM allows me to add my voice to all the amazing people already there and create radio that reflects the awesome diversity we have in WA.
Growing up I looked up to female artists like Grace Jones, Aaliyah, Debbie Harry, Missy Elliot, and Beyonce. I was just in awe of their talents, boldness, and individual style; and later in life, it definitely influenced my confidence when it came to my work. I felt like I belonged to this universal female gang of baddies who did cool as fuck shit and were fearless with their skills. Shoutouts to all the women kicking down doors, stereotypes, and bullshit sexism to create safe places to express themselves and run the world! I love you all and I'm inspired by you all on the daily, live your best lives babies.
Jennifer Aslett (San Cisco/Gunns/Stella Donnelly/DJ Lindsay Slohand)
A huge influence guitar wise is Sarah Mary Chadwick from this band called Batrider, they’re not a thing anymore but I saw them play at the Norfolk basement. This girl just melted my face off in the way she played the guitar, it was a little bit wrong what she was playing but really right, just super fuzzed out lead lines, so my wonky lead guitar playing is definitely influenced by her, just playing the wrong note, but playing it really wrong and right.
Most of my lyrics start as poems, I love writing. There is something beautiful about writing and getting your feelings out. Musically my biggest influence would be Erykah Badu, but in terms of words, I really look at the work of amazing women like Nayyirah Waheed and Anais Nin. One of my favourite quotes comes from Anais Nin. ‘The day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
A female musician who has been an influence in my life growing up in the 90s and continues to inspire me in all facets of work is Debbie Harry. Having worked in radio & developing a prolific career in music as the front-woman of band Blondie, Debbie Harry is a versatile, fierce, talented & hardworking woman.
In the early 80s when her boyfriend and band member Chris Stein fell progressively ill, Debbie took time away from her music to care for Chris. In addition, Debbie is known for her charity work. Debbie’s compassionate and humble being, along with her fierce nature and musical talent are qualities I admire. I find I resonate with these qualities as an Occupational Therapist and as an artist working in music.
Without a doubt, Debbie Harry is a female musician who significantly inspires me and continues to influence me both creatively and personally.
Your Girl Pho
An artist who has hugely influenced my work as a performer and has taught me the most about Girl Power is Gwen Stefani. She has always been such a powerful woman on stage who demands the audience respect and attention.
She is so unapologetic in the way she presents herself with toughness and powerful directness with qualities of flirtatious charm. In writing music, I am inspired by her brave storytelling and exciting risky melodies. She was one of the few women you would hear in rock radio or MTV.
I first heard No Doubt’s Just A Girl while watching cult 90s chick-flick Clueless and it changed my life. Suddenly, I was no longer a girl with a pink ribbon held over my eyes, but a thundering feminine behemoth, who wasn’t going to let her societal depicted gender be the excuse to not be everything and anything.
Originally published in Love Letters Issue 001.