Laura Mvula claims music industry is sexist and racist

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Laura Mvula

Laura Mvula

Laura Mvula has called out the music industry for being "sexist" and "racist" and claims her "chocolate skin" has not helped her career.

Laura Mvula has labelled the music industry "sexist" because of the lack of female headliners at festivals.

The 'Green Garden' singer has expressed her frustration that there aren't many women topping the bill at music events, which she's "sad and "surprised" by.

And she also says the sexism is apparent by the amount of men that work behind the scenes in the music business.

Discussing the fact that Florence Welch's headline performance at Glastonbury as a last minute replacement for the Foo Fighters last year, the 30-year-old star told Radio Times magazine: "I think that's sad and surprising and it highlights we have so far to go, so much to do. The music industry is sexist, it is racist, it is a lot of 'ists'. Take your pick."

Musing on the gender problems she perceives to be prevalent in the business, she added: "I'm not confident to say I'm a feminist. It makes me nervous but when I know what my experience has been as a woman in this industry ... (It's like) I mostly work with males, whether in the boardroom, in the studio to produce an album, or in the stage production - it seems to be the way it is. Sometimes I feel isolated and misunderstood: being a woman in this industry, if you say anything with assertiveness or authority, you are often quickly labelled a diva."

Laura - who is releasing her album, 'The Dreaming Room', this week - also thinks there are still elements of racism in the business, but it is hidden.

She said: "It's like the Loch Ness Monster, man. Everyone's like, 'Is it there? It's there, but it is, like, so subliminal and so hidden, there is a lot of prejudice and it doesn't come down to one thing. It all moulds together to create one ugly monster that just says, 'Nah, not interested.'

"When I lost the BRIT Award for Best Female to Ellie Goulding in 2014 and the Mercury Prize to James Blake, the Mercury Prize hurt the most. What is difficult is there is no cause and effect, it isn't that black and white, but there are all kinds of issues and prejudices. I don't think my chocolate skin colour helps in this context."

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