Kacey Musgraves, Bebe Rexha and Hayley Kiyoko are partnering with Bumble to mentor female musicians and give them a platform in a male-dominated industry.
By Alexis Green, Photos courtesy of Bumble Bizz
Never once did Skyler Day think that a scroll through Kacey Musgraves’ Instagram would lead to working with the six-time Grammy-winning artist, but thanks to Bumble Bizz she is doing just that. As part of an ‘Empowered by Bumble Bizz’ contest, Day and two other women were selected to be mentored by successful female artists and perform at music festivals.
In partnership with C3 Presents, Superfly and Another Planet Entertainment, Bumble is working to end the gender disparity in the music industry. According to a University of Southern California study on inclusion in the recording studio, “82.9 percent of artists on year-end charts were men” in 2018. In the same year, women only represented 21.7 percent of artists, 12.3 percent of songwriters and 2.1 percent of producers.
“Some of it is a pipeline challenge, and some of it is there’s no access to this opportunity,” says Chelsea Maclin, Bumble’s VP of marketing. “We wanted to correct that imbalance as much as possible.”
To give more women a platform for their music, Bumble launched a competition this summer, inviting users to submit music through the app for a chance of breaking into an industry that often leaves women behind. Winners would receive a chance to play at a major music festival and be mentored by Musgraves, Bebe Rexha or Hayley Kiyoko.
“[We wanted to] empower female musicians and connect them to a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It gives women the opportunity to make the first move,” Maclin says.
As one of the winners of the competition, Day is paired with Musgraves and will have an opportunity to perform at Austin City Limits Music Festival in 2020.
“I am losing my mind,” Day says. “I can’t wait to talk to her about music, specifically songwriting.”
Day has been writing music since she was 10 years old. She describes music like “talking to a good friend” and an outlet for self-expression.
“Music has never failed me,” Day says. “It’s always been there for me.”
The artist also views songwriting as a way of connecting with people. One of her favorite parts of performing is when audience members approach her after a show and share that they relate to her.
“It’s just this crazy connection that you have with this complete stranger,” Day says. “I’ve never been able to find that in anything besides music. It helps us see that we’re all going through the same things and we’re all on this crazy ride together.”
Day will be able to share her music with thousands of people on the stage next year. Festivals like ACL provide a perfect opportunity for musicians to reach people and find the support they need to launch a career.
“There are shockingly less women artists in lineups on festival lineups,” Maclin says. “The exposure that the women will get to consumers is incredible. More expose for them means we can help end inequity in the music industry.”
Besides finding support with fans, Day feels it is incredible that the experience unites female musicians by allowing successful artists to uplift upcoming ones.
“There’s such a crazy stereotype about women always being in competition with each other,” Day says. “The more we see women supporting each other, the more will realize that there’s room for everyone and women’s voices need to be heard.”