FIVE BIG THEMES - FEMALE EMPOWERMENT
Updated: Jan 23
Empowerment songs need to have a central message of being confident and motivated to be you, make your contribution, be true to yourself. Often these are focused solely on female empowerment, but these songs are empowerment for everyone.
Why are they needed? For lots of different societal reasons – the historic patriarchal social structures of many civilisations; the subsequent pervading views of this on what opportunities and life journeys should be open to women; the practicalities and physical and emotional impacts of child bearing and mothering can mean that women are often not encouraged as often as men to take the paths of leadership or autonomy or of forging your own destiny or path to their own design. The experience of having a family and being the main carer can often lead to feelings of loss of identity, lack of confidence and low self esteem in the outside world especially the world of work.
Female empowerment songs need to tap into this perspective and encourage and drive women to feel better about themselves, value their own self-worth and to feel like they can take on the world. Of course these messages are motivational and good for lots of people no matter what gender but in sync terms many products aimed at the female population want to be associated with the idea that the product can really help the female customer live their dream, feel empowered to take control of their lives and dictate their own destiny.
For this reason the sync songs of this nature are usually sung by females and will be either anthemic and celebratory or motivational and reflective, and have a chorus written from either the perspective of “I can/will” or “we can/will” . Songs of this nature avoid telling people what to do ie “you should” as this can seem too preachy and doesn’t usually land well with the audience.
"Empowering Women through song can be a hard thing to tackle properly in a song. In my opinion: the safest way to do so would be to compliment their intelligence, or their inner beauty, and tell them how impactful it is on the people around them. To state that you are inspired by their strength, or by the decisions that they have made, is a great way to validate our worth in this world."
Joey Clarkson - Singer Songwriter
"For me, female empowerment in music (and in general) is to support other women where possible, and be kind even when you don’t agree. In this digital age, there is so much negativity and nastiness, I think we can empower both men and women by supporting their talents, even if it’s just with kind words. In lyrics, it could be encouraging people who might feel inferior to keep going and believe in themselves."
Justine Perry - Lyricist and writer
"Female empowerment in a song is pretty similar to female empowerment in real life. It's about women building women up, not tearing people down (and that includes men). Looking at my 'miss independent' playlist for songs that celebrate girl power, I've noticed that all of the songs on my playlist are upbeat, they're sassy, they're catchy, they're fun. Empowerment is a triumph, it's a celebration, it's powerful - that's not a downbeat kind of song. That's a “scream it from the rooftops” kind of song."
Sammie - Three Chords Blog
"Female empowerment songs should celebrate how we feel, which doesn’t necessarily just mean writing ‘I’m-a-badass’ songs but songs that portray a range of actual emotions. Sharing personal songs for anyone to listen to is a really strong and powerful thing to do and it’s a shame that female songwriters can feel discouraged about releasing emotional songs when that in itself is empowering! I think female empowerment songs should be about being badass/angry/in the middle of a break-up/feeling good/being lonely (maybe all in one song?!) and should own all of those emotions rather than avoid them!"
Zoe Newton - Singer Songwriter
"Independence has often been a focus of female empowerment songs and this has a place. There are times in our lives when recognising we can do things for ourselves or alone is so important. Research shows that women don't always have the confidence or self belief they need to go it alone in work and life. And, many of us don't realise just how independent we already are until we are forced to find out. Songs about recovering from heartache, providing for ourselves or making our own way in the world draw attention to this and create a sense that 'we've got this'."
Joanne - Singer Songwriter
"For me, empowerment in a song needs to be delivered through a journey. After all, being empowered is exactly that. If we look back through history, women have had to overcome so much. The struggle is part of life, and needs to be part of the song, use the verses to tell the story, and the music behind the lyrics also has to tell the story too. I love it when the verses are mostly minor chords, and you can throw in something fancy like a 7th, or maybe if you’re feeling really dangerous, throw in something dark, maybe a diminished chord. As you progress to that BIG, STADIUM chorus, keep the chords simple and bright, and give the song, the story, and the listener the lift they need. I want to feel something, I want to feel that shift in emotion through your lyrics, the chords. Major chords work a treat, but if you want an empowerment anthem, throw in a power chord, they are named such for a reason."
Nicki Kelly - Singer Songwriter
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