Variety Studio at Cannes
Brittany Howard, the lead vocalist and guitarist in the rock band Alabama Shakes, spoke to Variety‘s Shirley Halperin about finding success in the music industry as a woman of color. “Right…
Brittany Howard, the lead vocalist and guitarist in the rock band Alabama Shakes, spoke to Variety‘s Shirley Halperin about finding success in the music industry as a woman of color.
“Right from the get-go I had a really hard time because I was a woman and wanted to play guitar and front the band and nobody wanted nothin’ to do with it,” Howard said. “They said I looked strange, I was too tall, wrong color skin to be playing rock n’ roll music so no one wanted anything to do with me because they’re like this is never gonna get off the ground.”
“Well four Grammy’s later…” the musician joked.
Howard also noted how she remained resilient despite these obstacles. “I did it my way and I was never gonna give up and I was never gonna listen to what anyone else had to say about what I wanted to do,” she said.
Howard’s experience is one of the main reasons Jennifer Breithaupt, the global consumer CMO at Citi helped launch the #SeeHerHearHer campaign, which in collaboration with the Association of National Advertisers works to increase awareness around gender parity in advertising and the representation of women in the music industry.
“At Citi, music has been a big part of our DNA for years and we took a step back this past year and we thought, ‘Well why can’t we help [launch] #SeeHerHearHer? Why can’t we be that brand that helps push that out the door? And so we said, we can and we should do that.”