Nita Strauss Says She Was A Victim Of The Music Industry’s Perception Of Female Guitarists
Nita Strauss recently spoke to iHeart Radio and reflected on the pressure young female guitarists face in the music industry. She also gave some advice to the younger players based on her own experiences over the years.
The musician has a busy schedule as she released her latest track, ‘Dead Inside,’ featuring Disturbed’s David Draiman in October 2021. It also marked the first new piece of music since her 2018 debut album, ‘Controlled Chaos.’ Her debut album included 11 instrumental tracks and was praised for its complex and layered sounds. Strauss has been working on her second solo album nowadays.
In an industry highly dominated by male artists, Nita Strauss is a huge source of inspiration for the younger generation of female guitar players. The pressure experienced by female artists in the music industry is a long-debated topic. Still, the guitarist has been proving that sexism, especially in rock music, is pointless with her music career. Moreover, Strauss reflected on her own experiences by giving some advice to the young female guitarists during a recent interview.
She stated that young female guitar players should just be themselves, which would be the best advice she could give them. The guitarist explained that female artists face pressure both from the industry and the fans. They are constantly told what to do or how to dress on stage, so female guitarists need to find their way to explain themselves without being affected by external reactions.
Nita Strauss revealed that she was also a victim of that for a very long time, and she thought that she needed to conform to certain attitudes to stand out in the industry. Then, she tried to free herself from all these expectations and started to act in her way because she wanted to stand out only as a guitar player rather than as a female. Thus, she thinks that finding this balance and trying to be themselves is a precious piece of advice she can give to the younger female guitar players.
Nita Strauss speaking on the pressure experienced by female artists in the industry:
“The best piece of advice that I can ever give and always give, especially to young females in this industry, is just to be yourself. And it sounds like a bit of a played-out piece of advice. But I think, as a woman in the music industry, it goes a bit deeper than for most people because you’re always being pushed and pulled in one direction or another.
And there are these pressures from all different sides of our industry and from fans saying you should act this way, you should dress this way, you should dress sexier, you should dress less sexy, you should sing you should act, you should model you should this, you should that, play here, don’t play there, perform like this, don’t perform like that, you whip your hair around on stage too much, you don’t move enough on stage. There’s no right way or wrong way to create our art and do what we do.”
“So the most important thing is just to do it how you do it. Express yourself in your own individual way and shut all of that out. Because I was a victim of that very, for a very, very long time of trying to conform to some idea of what I was supposed to be as a female guitar player. You have to dress sexy, you have to show off what you got, and that’s how you get attention. Then you start getting that kind of attention and you realize, ‘Oh, that’s not what I want at all.’
And I’d do it the opposite way, and I would wear like, you know, a men’s t-shirt and baggy cargo shorts on stage and no makeup. I’m just only gonna be taken seriously as a guitar player. And I don’t want to be even looked at as a female. And that wasn’t me either. So just finding that balance, finding who you are, finding what you are about as an artist, and bringing that to the world is the most valuable thing that you can do as a female in music. And as anybody in music.”
You can watch the rest of the conversation below.