The new sound of feminism: How does sex sound in today’s music?

My favorite gadget of life was and remains a walkman. The moments when I would shut myself in a room, turn on the music and turn off my thoughts, the peace I felt I didn’t exist for the next hour would mark that day. If I could describe the state of mind then, it was a meditation I didn’t even know existed.

I towed the hapless Sony walkman wherever I went, at least to a nearby store. Music lived with me and I lived music without excessive interest in ever trying my hand at it. When the CDs accumulated, some were bought, some were illegally burned, of course, I bought the case in which I could only store about twenty of them. Before trips or longer trips with my mother, I would carefully stand in front of the shelf in the room and think about what music I will need, what I want to listen to, what emotions I think I will feel…Gorski Kotar was a point where I could imagine an imaginary life scene that I wanted to transform into, but there was always one album missing.

One of the imaginary female characters that marked my elementary school days, but also the direction of the interest movement, was Payton Sawyer. Not necessarily because she managed to somehow get involved with her music idol (Pete Wentz) but because she was talented at listening, not singing.

Music is a special sphere that we consume and spit out as needed – from listening to trendy hits on the radio to watching influencers and influencers where we are more interested in what they ate and wore than the quality of the music they produce.

I would be lying if I said that some new trends do not tire me. For example, the pompous announcements of every song in which the emphasis is on everything but the song – make-up, photos, location, designers, hairstyle… From the moment of announcement to the release of the song I’m tired of musicians, and fake hype and aesthetics to the point that I am no longer interested in the song at all. The moment the audience loses that surprise factor, the writer failed because they will listen to that same song or album over, not to mention what…

It is clear to me that the new generation of creatives, to which I belong, must respect the sponsors and the team that finances the entire project and interests the audience and listeners because social networks have become a free marketing tool.

On the other hand, I remember when without an announcement Beyoncé released a visual album of the same name and all the videos that celebrate eroticism, sex, music, her new sound, love, and female strength. The world was left in shock. For days, videos of aesthetics, lyrics, music, and absolutely every fragment of every second of published videos have been dissected. I could write a series of columns about Partition.

The surprise formula for Beyoncé, who stressed in several interviews that she wanted to return to her old habits of releasing entire albums, has been proving successful for several years.

Still, not everyone can be Queen B. and have her uncompromising business budget that has shown that risk always pays off.

Music is a medium of social identification

The magic formula of the surprise factor is used by all artists and creatives whose emphasis is on creativity, everything else is an accompanying show. Still, that sideshow should never be bigger than the art itself, which should last more than five minutes.

Yesterday afternoon I wanted to switch off like in the good old days when we didn’t get a dozen notifications per minute.

At a time when privacy is worth even less than four years ago, I remembered Lemonade and the impact that album had on my mindset. About that once.

Despite all this time that has passed since the release of the famous album and a few interviews, the audience is still not entirely sure if Jay-Z’s scam happened at all or if it is all a carefully crafted media scandal that is still talked about here and there!?

Music is created, like any art, to connect people, values, and emotions and to bring together the community with which they will identify. Digging through my own discographic past, I remember being on a #Xtina team in the lower grades, later I got acquainted with alternative and rock, out of friendly solidarity I could have fun with tea parties after three in the morning, Željko Joksimović’s music reminds me of my dad… Every beat, the melody that went through my life somehow marked him.

It marks all of us, whether we want to admit it or not. According to Sari Ahmed, the language of emotions is deeply social and depends on the eternal movement of the objects of emotions. Words are never completely separated from the body, which musicians have successfully achieved for centuries.

What (or with whom) we identify with affects our perception of ourselves, but also how the environment perceives us. I experienced a sympathetic anecdote this summer in a late-night ride in which to enchant me, subtly let go of Slash and Beautiful Dangerous. I’d say we’ve known each other for ten years, but according to the soundtrack’s choice, I wouldn’t agree with my own opinion because whoever knows me superficially will try to buy me a proven Guns song that I’ll roll my eyes at. The one who tries to figure me out will play the G-Eazy card, and the one who shows me what inspires him – we can already talk about that… Women, no matter how much they convince themselves of this myth, do not want their thoughts to be read. They want someone with whom to discover new worlds, a new self.

Redefining female sexuality through music

I see these changes in the last few months mostly in music with a new sound that is constantly being created. Although it doesn’t seem like it at first, the song Blurred Lines 2013 redefined how modern music is rethought. It was this creative work that closed the circle of explicitness in the lyrics and the video that forced society to reconsider its views and start a debate on misogyny in pop music.

Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke are not the only ones to put an end to -i. Generally, all musicians starting with Jason Derul, Bruno Mars, and Weeknd have caught up in recent years to objectify women through their songs. Of course, so appealing that we collectively and completely of our own free will entered this whole story.

The music of female authors, producers, and screenwriters has always been a place to talk about politics, social roles, love intrigues, gender, and identity, and the moment a musician clearly stood behind her political views, society would roll her eyes.

Absolutely every time Beyoncé gets politically active or any musician goes out to protest.

Women and popular culture are trivialized because of their connection to emotions, and only through emotions and harder verses can they convey the message of which struggles we encounter on a daily basis.

However, in 2020, that (finally!) Is changing as well.

In August, rappers Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B released WAP, the modern anthem of emancipated women and the LGBTQ community. The world was horrified.

When I was nine or ten, Dirrty Christine Aguilera was blaring from my speakers, and the world didn’t even blink. He didn’t have the extra time, frustration, and social media to try to cure them as this hit is ruining the future of a ten-year-old.

From the moaning of Robert Plant to the boom of pornography in the 1970s, sex has slowly but surely entered the musical realm. Madonna, Michael Jackson, Prince, and further female rap of the nineties and two thousand made an overture to the music we have today.

In Croatia, there is a completely different story and a different ‘chaste’ (pop) culture. The last time the term sex was mentioned was in Severina’s “heel”. Somehow, Croats prefer light notes that don’t say much but don’t say anything constructive.

Songwriter Justin Tranter, who hits Britney Spears, Selene Gomez, Maroon 5, Gwen Stefani, and many others sang, spoke about what happens when men take over the female narrative and try to write songs for young, unaffirmed musicians. Every musician should take the initiative over their creativity, including songs, due to the way they are presented, the message conveyed, and the financial viability.

This year, from a music perspective, brought the upbringing of the mighty Disney stars and women who until yesterday were presented as the girls of Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift, Due Lipe, and Ariane Grande. Selena Gomez is still strategically living on the old glory of a failed relationship, but I believe that will change soon.

Women in music take control of their lyrics and their image by successfully separating their past from the present, as Cardi B does in school with his completed striptease career.

As a child I walked around with a walkman I didn’t expect an album, in today’s case Ariane Grande’s positions could be credited with the whole flow of thought one foggy Sunday afternoon.

I believe that the world would be a little better place if we went back to the old habits of listening training, primarily those contents that we consume, and then the people and phenomena around us.

I want pop music to become a place of dialogue, reflection, and feeling again. A little less of an accompanying instant show. To embrace all voices and respect all emotions. I want the audience to be strong enough and not give up on their demands – that the artwork is not superficial and that we are not satisfied.

The new sound of feminism is here, we just need to turn it up a little bit.

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