Jessie Reyez Calls Out Industry Sexism in "Gatekeeper" Video
The Toronto singer shows us the uncomfortable and awful demands women sometimes face to make it in music.
Sexism and misogyny toward women in the music industry is a tired reality. So often we dole out frustrated proclamations of being better and that because some progress has occurred—or is occurring—we should get it by now. But we don't and it's still something women deal with on a near daily basis. Toronto's Jessie Reyez, who dropped her new Kiddo EP last week, tackles the subject in a direct way on the track "Gatekeeper."
In the video, Reyez begins by speaking about the dreams of other women, some very normalized and traditional, while she had always dreamt of being a singer and performer. The frame switches to a home video of the singer as a child singing this gruesomely real track about sexual harassment and sexism in the industry. It's jarring and effective. From there we're taken on a journey through a typical night out, hanging out in a studio, at a party, with lyrics playing over top like, "we are gatekeepers/spread your legs, open up/you could be famous/you know we're holding the dreams that you're chasing." As insidious as these lyrics seem, these are real conversations men in power have with creative women who want to share their art.
Watch the harrowing "Gatekeeper" video below:
Sarah MacDonald is an Assistant Editor at Noisey Canada. Follow her on Twitter.