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Nina Nesbitt on sexism in the music industry: 'There’s always something happening, more women need to speak out'


Scottish singer-songwriter Nina Nesbitt spoke recently with Far Out about the difficulties that face women in the music industry including the sexism she has been on the receiving end of first hand.

We spoke to Nina at Parklife Festival which was headlined this year by The XX and Liam Gallagher, to read our review of the festival click here. In the week preceding our chat, Lily Allen revealed that she had been sexually abused by somebody powerful within the music industry and had become frustrated due to the lack of action after she had reported the incident.

The Smile singer’s revelations didn’t surprise Nina in the slightest when our conversation meandered onto that subject, she told Far Out: “Oh yeah, pretty much every music industry event you go to there’s something happening. I’ve definitely experienced loads of inappropriate things but I think it’s good that people are speaking out and, hopefully, men will stop doing inappropriate things for the right reasons.”

She continued: “But I kinda wonder if people are more worried about their reputation being damaged than actually not doing it. Either way, now people are getting outed hopefully it will stop.”

Unlike in Hollywood where the likes of Harvey Weinstein and Louis C.K. have faced a deserved public backlash for abusing their power, the same can’t be said for the music industry. That said, Nesbitt revealed to us that people are aware of who the perpetrators are: “I think it has in the industry but I guess people don’t know who they are publicly,” she said before adding “there’s always a lot going on behind closed doors.”

As our conversation continued and Nesbitt became more impassioned about the subject, we began discussing the lack of equality on festival line-ups. Only recently a backlash at Wireless Festival forced organisers to re-arrange their billing to include an ‘all-female’ stage after initially including just three females. Nesbitt, clearly disappointed, said: “I just think in general (in the music industry) there’s been a lack of females. I remember pitching-up a couple of years ago at festivals and being like the only girl backstage.

She added: “Although Parklife has done pretty well, there’s a lot of girls on today and The XX headlined last night as well as Lorde, Chvrches, Raye so there’s been loads of girls on here. There are just loads of girls doing good music as well so there isn’t really an excuse for not at least having a mixed line-up.”

The 23-year-old is set to her 2014 debut Peroxide later this year, which has seen her shift from making acoustic led music into and show a more poppy side to her. She said this on the change in sound: “I think I’ve just grown up. I was 17/18 when I wrote the first one and I was 22 when I wrote this one so I think it’s like a natural progression. I spent a long time writing with other artists like Jessie Ware, The Shires and a girl called Olivia Holt who’s an American pop artist and experimenting with a lot of different sounds with other artists taught me what I like doing myself.

“I love writing for other artists, I get as much joy seeing someone else sing my song as I do singing it by myself.”

Nesbitt will be touring UK and Europe extensively later this year as well as dates at festivals like Tramlines and TRNSMT before she heads back on the road next year once her new album is ready.

Nina Nesbitt UK and Europe Tour Dates

Thursday 05 July 2018 – Monday 09 July 2018
Barn on the Farm 2018 – Over Farm Market, Gloucester, UK
Sunday 08 July 2018
TRNSMT Festival 2018 – Glasgow Green, Glasgow, UK
Friday 13 July 2018 – Sunday 15 July 2018
Cornbury Festival 2018 – Charlbury, UK
Friday 20 July 2018 – Sunday 22 July 2018
Tramlines 2018 – Hillsborough Park, Sheffield, UK
Thursday 26 July 2018 – Sunday 29 July 2018
Standon Calling 2018 – Standon Lordship, Standon, UK
Friday 17 August 2018 – Saturday 18 August 2018
Rize Festival 2018 – Hylands Park, Chelmsford, UK
Friday 24 August 2018
St Philips Gate, Bristol, UK
Saturday 25 August 2018
Digbeth Arena, Birmingham, UK
Tuesday 30 October 2018 with Lewis Capaldi
O2 Academy Bournemouth, Bournemouth, UK
Wednesday 31 October 2018 with Lewis Capaldi
Concorde 2, Brighton, UK
Friday 02 November 2018 with Lewis Capaldi
The Junction, Cambridge, UK
Saturday 03 November 2018 with Lewis Capaldi
O2 Institute Birmingham, Digbeth, UK
Sunday 04 November 2018 with Lewis Capaldi
SWX, Bristol, UK
Tuesday 06 November 2018 with Lewis Capaldi
Albert Hall, Manchester, UK
Wednesday 07 November 2018 with Lewis Capaldi
O2 Academy Leeds, Leeds, UK
Friday 09 November 2018 with Lewis Capaldi
Newcastle University Students Union, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK
Sunday 11 November 2018 with Lewis Capaldi
Barrowland Ballroom, Glasgow, UK
Tuesday 13 November 2018 with Lewis Capaldi
O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London, UK
Monday 19 November 2018
Botanique – Orangerie, Brussels, Belgium
Tuesday 20 November 2018 with Lewis Capaldi
Gibson Club, Frankfurt, Germany
Friday 23 November 2018 with Lewis Capaldi
Bürgerhaus Stollwerck, Cologne, Germany
Sunday 25 November 2018 with Lewis Capaldi
Parkteatret, Oslo, Norway
Monday 26 November 2018 with Lewis Capaldi
Debaser Strand, Stockholm, Sweden
Tuesday 27 November 2018 with Lewis Capaldi
Vega Musikkens Hus – Lille Vega (Small Hall), Copenhagen, Denmark
Thursday 29 November 2018 with Lewis Capaldi
Den Atelier, Luxembourg, Luxembourg
Friday 30 November 2018 with Lewis Capaldi
Technikum, Munich, Germany
Sunday 02 December 2018 with Lewis Capaldi
Plaza, Zürich, Switzerland
Monday 03 December 2018 with Lewis Capaldi
Paradiso Noord, Tolhuistuin, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Tuesday 04 December 2018 with Lewis Capaldi
Point Ephémère, Paris, France
Thursday 06 December 2018 with Lewis Capaldi
Limelight 1, Belfast, UK
Friday 07 December 2018 with Lewis Capaldi
Helix, Dublin, Ireland
Saturday 08 December 2018 with Lewis Capaldi
Ironworks, Inverness, UK