My absolute favorite album of all time is Stevie Wonder’s Songs in the Key of Life. There’s something otherworldly about this double album that ruins every other album in the world for me. The arrangements, the genre selection on every single track (across, need I remind you, two albums), composition, lyricism, storytelling to the gods! It’s one of those moments in music history that many have attempted to emulate, yet none have been able to even come close to the hem of its garment.
Needless to say, besides my family, music is absolutely the single most important thing to me. It carries me away when I feel I’m cemented to the floor. It’s my healing in moments when I’m tormented by so many hardships and internal battles. When, as singer-songwriter Gallant says, I’m pulling my weight in gold and can’t lift this heaviness on my own. It’s fitting, then, that March is our Music issue. Because how could it be anything else? With SXSW a looming supernova on the horizon for all of the music world, and Austin’s universally acknowledged “Live Music Capital of the World” moniker, it’s only right that we at Austin Woman pay homage to the women who have lifted the industry on its shoulders, nurtured, watered and sculpted it into the greatness it is.
Our cover…? What a time to be alive. Count this as another indelible moment in music history. Thirteen women, ranging in genre, industry, ethnicity, sexual identity, age and wisdom. This was a celebration of musical legacy, a fellowship of women across generations. In the aftermath of a freeze that left people without electricity for over a week and left many trees felled and scattered in the streets and on roadsides, these women convened to share space, breath, energy. They stood together, shoulder to shoulder, smiles and hugs and words of love. It always comes back to love.
This issue is filled with it. The love of music and women in the industry pushed KUTX to carve out enormous spaces for woman-identified DJs and music aficionados. The love of a mother, for her daughter who’s “rockin’ an extra chromosome,” pushed her to create opportunities for others just like her child to continue their higher education. The love of her city allowed a musician born to immigrant parents to come out of her shell and pursue her dreams. All of these women and more bless the pages of this issue. And I, the fiend for music that I am, simply bask in the brilliance of it all.
There are so many women who make this industry flourish. Women from various genres and industries who weren’t featured, but are absolutely not forgotten. Though they might not be in this issue physically, this is far from the last time we’ll put women in music at the forefront. You are recognized, you are loved and you are as much a part of this moment as anyone in this issue.
As Elder Stevie said, “Music is a world within itself, with a language we all understand.” In reverence to him and to every woman in this industry, I say thank you.