'The industry has a long way to go': WIM Awards Music Champion Annie Mac on the fight for greater diversity in the biz

'The industry has a long way to go': WIM Awards Music Champion Annie Mac on the fight for greater diversity in the biz

In the new edition of Music Week, we speak to the one and only Annie Mac – winner of the Music Champion honour at the Women In Music Awards 2019.

For 15 years, Mac’s been bringing her impeccable taste to the airwaves with her legendary BBC Radio 1 show. But there are many more reasons why she has been given the Music Champion award. She also runs two festivals – Lost & Found in Malta and AMP London – and can be seen playing at the biggest music festivals and hottest clubs around the world and in June she launched her very own podcast: Finding Annie.

In the feature, Mac opens up about her life and times in the industry, from the rewards and pressures of being a DJ, to how she’s learned to use her voice for change.

At one point in the interview, Mac was asked for her thoughts on what music needs championing right now.

“Women in general,” said Mac. “It's pretty obvious but it's still very ongoing that we don't have enough female headliners, we don't have enough female fronted bands, or female bands, we don't have enough female headline DJs. We need to keep on pushing females forward in terms of representation in music, and it's something I do naturally because I relate to female lyrics and art, and my producer’s also the same. So we’re very careful about that, it's about getting to the point where it's totally normalised that we could play eight women in a row.”

Mac went on to identify the change she wants to see in the music industry – one that extends beyond gender equality.  

“It’s not just gender equality, I think the music industry has a lot to change with regard to the gatekeepers all being a certain demographic and class of people – in terms of true diversity that has a long way to go,” stressed Mac. “It's happening, but it's happening a bit slower than anyone would like. But it's a direct reflection of everywhere else in the world It's the world as we know it, and the music industry is catching up. I feel like it could catch up quicker, and I think it will: it will take a couple of women at the top – at the top-top – to show everyone else around them that it is possible for both genders. I'm just waiting for those people. There already are a few women running labels, which is bloody brilliant.”

Subscribers can read the full Annie Mac interview here.

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