In celebration of International Women's Day 2020, we spent the day chatting with several musicians about their careers, influences and experiences as female-identifying and gender non-binary artists. Listen below!
A singer, songwriter and violinist, Amanda Shires has a strong solo career and has gained more international acclaim as the founder and a core member of country supergroup The Highwomen. Here's her interview with Bryan Truta:
Khrystal. is a singer, a songwriter, a rapper and an actress who hails from Kansas City. She joined Truta to talk about her classical background, her theater work, her audio engineering studies, and influences like Beyoncé, Sheryl Crow and SZA.
"More women just need to see [other women represented in music] and know that they can also do it. Sometimes it's just being able to see a representation of it. If you can see it, then you can see yourself in it, and then you can do it."
Julia Haile is one of Kansas City's most esteemed singers. In addition to premiering a brand-new track from her group Hi-Lux, she chats with Misti Mundae about her musical upbringing, experience in the local music scene with bands like The Good Foot and The Buhs, growing into her position as a frontwoman, and the impact of Erykah Badu's "Baduizm."
"Work hard to establish yourself as someone who can speak with authority and has the talent to back it up. We need women to stand up and say, 'I know what I'm doing and I'd like you to consider me as a peer with a mind, and not just a singer in this band.'"
Jade Green is half of hip-hop/dark-pop sci-fi-centric duo The Black Creatures, and a member of the innovative Afro-Latinx-futurist collective Arquesta Del SolSoul. Sarah Bradshaw interviews Jade about the storied beginnings of The Black Creatures, gender inclusivity and decolonization, "Magic: The Gathering," and attending Erykah Badu's birthday party.
"I think about the ways in which listening to those powerful women sing, rap, talk, storytell about what it means to be resilient, what it means to have U-N-I-T-Y... it's really influenced the way that I make music."
I [make music] because I think the art of storytelling is important, and if we don't uplift, elevate and evolve that art, one day someone might say it never happened."
A gifted edgy-pop songwriter and musician, Jocelyn Nixon is the woman behind The Creepy Jingles. A KC native who once fronted the Abracadabras, Jocelyn moved to Austin, Texas for a number of years. Upon returning home, she transitioned and began a renewed musical career with her current psych-pop band. She chatted with Sarah about her involvement with Bandwaggn Kansas City, creating platforms for women, her experience as a transgender woman, choosing song titles and a forthcoming Creepy Jingles album.
"It's long over due that women have a platform and a voice to really be heard.
Just a year ago, I was seeing things about Women's Day to other women. As a trans woman, I felt like I wasn't accepted, so it's a great honor to me and it feels like I'm included and heard within that conversation... amongst the other fantastic, powerful women in the Kansas City music scene."