Friday 9 December 2016

'We're living in Donald Trump time of music' - Laura Mvula blasts 'sexist' and 'racist' music industry ahead of Glastonbury

Published 14/06/2016 | 10:06

Singer Laura Mvula
Singer Laura Mvula
Glastonbury organiser Emily Eavis said having more female artists playing and working on the festival is a priority
Laura Mvula, who will play Glastonbury, says the music industry is 'sexist' and 'racist'
Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine performs at last year’s Glastonbury festival. Photo: Ian Gavan/Getty Images
Glastonbury Festival - the festival season is upon us.

Singer Laura Mvula has described the music industry as "sexist" and "racist", and says we are living in the "Donald Trump time of music".

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The 30-year-old will perform at Glastonbury music festival and joins a star-studded line-up that includes headliner Adele, Ellie Goulding, Jess Glynne and Cyndi Lauper.

Adele will be the second female musician to headline the famous festival over the last century, following Florence Welch who replaced the Foo Fighters at the last minute in 2015.

Talking to the Radio Times, Mvula said: "I think that's sad and surprising and it highlights we have so far to go, so much to do."

Glastonbury organiser Emily Eavis said having more female artists playing and working on the festival is a priority
Glastonbury organiser Emily Eavis said having more female artists playing and working on the festival is a priority

The Birmingham-born singer admitted she is also often left feeling "isolated and misunderstood" as a woman in the music industry because "if you say anything with assertiveness or authority, you are often quickly labelled a diva."

She added: "The music industry is sexist, it is racist, it is a lot of 'ists'. Take your pick."

Laura Mvula, who will play Glastonbury, says the music industry is 'sexist' and 'racist'
Laura Mvula, who will play Glastonbury, says the music industry is 'sexist' and 'racist'

Glastonbury organiser Emily Eavis said having more female artists on the bill and working on the festival is a priority.

"To be fair there's always been a lack of balance in the music industry when it comes to opportunities for female performers, but it is slowly changing and hopefully we're doing our bit to support the new female artists coming through," she told Radio Times.

Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine performs at last year’s Glastonbury festival. Photo: Ian Gavan/Getty Images
Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine performs at last year’s Glastonbury festival. Photo: Ian Gavan/Getty Images

She runs the festival alongside her father Michael on Worthy Farm in Somerset.

She said: "What's also really important and special to me is the number of women working in really key roles in our festival, from all the creative areas right through to the offices. We're a proper women's army down here!"

Glastonbury Festival - the festival season is upon us.
Glastonbury Festival - the festival season is upon us.

Radio 1 DJ Jo Whiley also commented in a piece she wrote for the magazine on Adele.

She wrote: "The fact is, older male rock bands have always been more bankable... But Beyonce and Adele will also sell tickets forever and a day and it's great that Emily Eavis had the vision to see that."

:: Read the full interviews in this week's Radio Times.

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