Women need to be the catalyst for a dialogue that works toward changing not just the industry’s perception, but the perception women have of themselves and the roles they play, thus setting the stage for men and women to work together on an equal note.
 
To quote Napoleon Bonaparte, ‘Music is the voice that tells us that the human race is greater than it knows.’ This is true of music and certainly true of 'women in music' today! Being asked to address the legacy and importance of women in the Indian music industry, I realise we are actually under-utilised, underexposed, and sidelined.
 
LONG ROAD TO EDEN
Music in India has always been more about which star can promote a song rather than how good the song is in itself. Though this holds true for both genders, the ‘itemisation’ of an actress on screen, takes away more from an otherwise beautifully sung song.

There have been music movements, events, and genres related to women, women's issues, and feminism in the Indian Music Industry that go largely unnoticed because of the skin-show they DON'T perpetuate! Social media plays a huge role in this blatant promotion of compartmentalisation of genders in the Indian music industry, and so do we as individuals, who promote the display of female-skin-show over talent. Sadly, it holds more true for women themselves! While worldwide there is still a long way to go, in India, there’s just so much more road to cover. There just isn’t enough importance given toward supporting and energising the female musician, singer, song writer, disc jockey, sound engineer, music producer, director, etc., to continue to create and work and innovate, as our industry continues to evolve.

GIRL ON FIRE
Women in music are talented, beautiful, and confident. We embody and celebrate what it means to be feminine in the Indian music industry. We are path breakers and in the music industry and that makes us game changers. As a woman in this industry, often my measure of success has been looked down upon, as most people equate ‘fame’ with success. I am an artiste, who composes and produces and sings her own songs, loves to sing covers and loves to rock the stage to the best of my ability, every time. The simple fact that I can perform music I love, be it mine or another's, time and time again, through the last decade and into a new one, is success for me! Being a single mother, home-maker, single child, traveller, foodie, horse-rider, diver, and always on the lookout for the next adventure or feather in my cap, as it were, are all milestones in my path to success as an artiste.

There is also this conception that women who do not play on their looks are not as financially successful as those who do. To be brutally straightforward, I don't know of any female musician who hasn't used the way she looks to some advantage. And why not?! I love using my looks and dolling up. I love the stage. I love presenting my song with all the pizzazz I can muster. Whatever makes me connect more, whatever makes me feel the persona I want to be at that particular moment in time, works well for me. It is a given that the product I'm performing must be fabulous. At the end of the day, your looks can only get you so far; it's the talent in you that will take you further!

WARRIOR INSIDE
There is some measure of struggle we go through in so many aspects of our profession just because of our gender but it is also up to us to break the stereotype that women are less likely to hold a position of say, a sound engineer, a music director, or even the conductor of an orchestra. Women have to excel and stop hiding behind using ‘being a woman’ as a handicap! Women need to respect and appreciate women more and work toward setting the stage for men and women in the industry to work together and not in either's shadow!

There is a Van Heusen campaign with this telling statement  – ‘It’s often said that there’s an invisible glass ceiling above which no woman can rise. Sure is invisible to me.’ We limit ourselves. Time now to fly free and without boundaries or conventions!

Manasi Scott is a force to be reckoned with. Singer, emcee, performer, actress, disc jockey, fashionista, sportsperson…the caps keep on being donned. Her zest for life is contagious and you can expect happy people around her always. A ‘grab the world by the lapels’ kind of woman, she has created a fan base, a niche, and an energy all her own in this universe.


Box Item
Firsts
- Being on the cover of The Week

- Winning the Femina POWERLIST 2015 Award for Entertainment

- In the song Khatti Meethi in Acid Factory, I was the first ever composer, singer, and co-lyricist to perform the song on the silver screen as an ‘item’ number!



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