SINGER-SONGWRITER KERSHEY TALKS WOMEN IN MUSIC
Unsigned Female Artists has caught up with Kershey, a singer-songwriter from Brooklyn, NY. She was previously featured on our site under the moniker “Kershey Blair.”
Who are some artists that made it possible for women to shine throughout the years in hip hop?From a “90s baby” point of view, I’d say Lil Kim and Missy Elliot are two of the key female artists that broke barriers for other women in hip hop. I also think that Trina has been very supportive to other female artists, even early in their careers. I respect that.What are some challenges that women face today in the music industry?There are a lot of issues that women face. I feel like we still don’t have enough women getting shine in some genres like hip hop. We still don’t have enough women managers like Debra Atney. I think it’s really important to have female mentors. To me, the reason for all the obstacles women face is sexism. Until we start challenging the idea that women are “accessories” for men that run things in the industry, then we won’t be properly represented.When do you think that women will get the same if not more recognition as the male artists?In every other genre but hip hop, I feel like women do get more or less the same recognition. The question is, are we getting the right kind. I don’t always think so, because women’s bodies continue to be the focus. I think one of the reasons why some women can’t shine in rap/hip hop is because their music is not always “sexy” like Lil Kim and Nicki Minaj’s. We see really talented women being overlooked because they’re not selling a “male fantasy” and I don’t think that’s fair. I hope that more women can get the same recognition as men when the focus is more on their lyrical talent rather than looks and fashion.Where do you think women can start coming together in the hip hop industry instead of trying to compete with each other?That’s a really good question. I’m really disappointed that more women in the industry don’t collaborate. And even those that do, aren’t always consistent with the support. Sometimes when they collab, it seems more like business than genuine love. So, I think it starts with breaking down the idea that there can only be one or two at the top or that there even needs to be a conversation about who’s better than who. It’s going to take some people to humble themselves and others to stop giving support without getting it back.Why do you think women feel as though they need to compete with each other just to be recognized in the music industry?I will say, I’ve personally heard managers tell female artists to get at other artists because it’s gonna get them hits on social media. And to certain extent, it’s true that “beef” has helped people launch careers. Male rappers do it too. But, I also feel like there are other ways to get the same, if not more, recognition. Good music is enough.How would you say that you are different from other artists?As an artist, I’m just always trying to listen to my gut and I don’t really look at what other people are doing. I have a unique background and story like everyone else. I feel like as long as I keep telling that through my songwriting and the way I carry myself, I’ll stay in my own lane. I’m also representing the educated and entrepreneurs, which is unique.At what age did you start pursuing your music career?I started singing very young and writing songs since I was 9. But the first time I got in the studio and recorded a song, I was 16. That’s around the time I started building my local and online buzz.What are you currently working on?Right now, I’m getting a lot of opportunities to write for other artists and for TV/film opportunities. I’m really excited about that. I am getting ready to officially release “Broken Promises,” which you can listen to at soundcloud.com/kersheymusicI’m working on a couple other singles with a very different sound. As always, you’ll be one of the first to know!