Female Fronted is not a Genre: Bad Bad Hats

Tuesday, October 1, 2019 - 12:33pm


It's no secret that most music genres are dominated by cis-men, whether it be within the metal, punk or alternative music scene: men are the majority. Thus, the labeling of "female fronted," or when a band makes the explicit note that the person is a non male, and advertises as such, was born.

For episode three of season four, the Arts, Interrupted team continues with their discussion about the “genre” female fronted. In this mini-series we talk about the reasons for this labeling and the intricacies of this new genre: is it problematic to reduce a band down to a gender? How are the bands themselves reacting to this label?

The team talks with Kerry Alexander of Bad Bad Hats, an indie-pop band from Minneapolis, Minnesota for the second installment of this mini series. Alexander explains to Arts, Interrupted the details of her own journey into music and how the band as a whole deals with the label of female fronted. The team delves deep into how the label is used for marketing, and how some promoters are able to use this label to put out bills that are “diverse”. Although this may unequivocally appear bad on the surface, there are two sides to this story: bands are able to use this label to market themselves so that they can be financially stable, thus female fronted appears to be a necessary evil for many bands.

Essentially, the day to day of a female artist is still a hostile space and Alexander helps Arts, Interrupted break down the dynamics of gender and music. So, join the team for a discussion on the realities a “female fronted” band and Bad Bad Hats’ development and use of the label. 

Songs included in this episode in order of appearance:

  1. It Hurts —  Bad Bad Hats

  2. All the Small Things — Blink 182

  3. Edward 40 Hands — Mom Jeans

  4. Midway — Bad Bad Hats

  5. All-Nigher — Bad Bad Hats

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