Shattering stereotypes in music:
All-black female rock band proud to shake up how industry views women
By Kimeko McCoy
It’s raining, band rehearsal is about to start and Gabriella Logan is filing her nails.
Her green rain boots match her green dreadlocks and green guitar.
She files her nails loud enough that it blends in with her bandmates tuning their bass guitar strings, drum cymbals and the keyboard.
Monique Williams’ light drumming turns into Alicia Keys’ recognizable “If I Ain’t Got You.”
Logan, having satisfied her nails, starts singing as the two are joined by keyboardist Dara Carter and bassist Oya Watson.
They easily shift into Erykah Badu’s “On and On,” but rehearsal begins with a cover of Civil Twilight’s “Letters From the Sky,” launching the group to their home genre: rock.
And with that, The Txlips Band (pronounced tulips), an all-black, female rock band, is smashing the idea of the stereotypical black girl simply by existing.
“The music industry is very good at placing us in a box and telling us that we can’t do anything outside of rap, hip-hop and hypersexualization,” Logan said. “We’re here to break through those barriers and say black women exist. We do all of the above and probably better than you.”
In a city like Atlanta, known as home of trap music and putting out rap stars such as T.I., Gucci Mane and Outkast, it can be hard to find your voice. It can also be hard to find a unique female voice in a black music world dominated by the likes of Cardi B, Nicki Minaj, Beyoncé and even SZA, who shine in traditional black-oriented musical genres such as rap, pop and R&B.
While Logan says Atlanta’s music community has mostly been accepting of the all-female band, sexism has provided a flip side. Like when they arrive at a gig and are mistaken for sound engineers, the help or groupies.