By Hope Vista
Most people see me with my Fender Strat and think I’m out of my mind. A female artist playing alternative rock-ish/power pop-punk songs on an electric guitar, and she’s not the frontwoman of a band? Most think that’s crazy, but I’ve never understood why.
I’ve always written heavily rock-oriented songs with strong content; I pay a lot of attention to the lyrics and trying to figure out how to relate to a large audience with a wide age range. I’ve written about 9/11, bad boyfriends, the emptiness of depression, you name it. It’s crucial to me that I am able to be a voice to those who are afraid to speak up about anything they’re dealing with. So why isn’t there any demand for this in today’s digital-based music industry? I think a lot of this is centralized around fear of the unknown. Nobody sees it, so nobody wants it.
The state of the music industry right now is SUPER male-oriented, especially in the areas of the industry I fall under. The alternative rock and pop-punk scenes are drenched in all-male bands with just a few female counterparts (Chrissy Costanza, Lynn Gunn, Hayley Williams, Tay Jardine.) The awesome part about this, though, is that I’ve been able to find some truly talented friends that have always been open to the idea of the career path I’m taking as a solo artist.
Amongst the different "band" friends I’ve made, all male, they’ve been super accepting when it comes to doing shows together or having me added on to their bill - which has really been helping my kind of career seem more "normal." It’s always interesting being the only girl on the bill, and I love it. I absolutely LOVE it. Why? Because I’m able to get up there and show every face in that crowd that sharing the same stage with these guys is completely possible.
I know it’s something different. And I know it’s a long shot to take this kind of career path, but if there’s one solid piece of advice I could give to any aspiring female musician, it would be this: do not EVER lose sight of what makes you an individual. A lot of outside opinions are going to try and shape you; and by that I mean mold you into something different. It’s important to leave a little room to bend, but it’s also important to know when to keep your feet planted firmly on the ground. Your personal instincts and opinions on what’s best for you should always come first.
It CAN be done. The state of the industry may currently be male-dominated, but it is absolutely time to inject some powerful female pop-punk vocals in there with some sass. Who knows? Maybe one day down the line being a front woman could happen. But right now, my focus is 110% on the task at hand: opening up that floodgate to show that female alt. rock/pop-punk solo artists can walk the same ground as the phenomenal bands I’m surrounded by - and succeed together.
New Jersey based artist, Hope Vista (also know as HV) is a vocalist, rhythm guitarist, songwriter, philanthropist and the original face for the non-profit organization, SUPERBANDS. She is currently wrapping up work on her new EP. Be sure to pick up her single, "Dominance" on iTunes.
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