What it means to be heard

The sounds and stories of women and non-binary creators shape the music we all love, but aren’t always heard.

This month, we took to Instagram to ask them the question, “What does it mean to be heard?” Below, we highlight just a few of the countless thoughtful responses we received from the likes of Chelsea Cutler, Karra, mxmtoon, Kate Wild, and others. Read on for highlights, and check out our Instagram for the full breadth of responses.

Chelsea Cutler

“I think for me, what it means to be heard in the music industry on a tangible level is to be listened to—to be heard in meetings and sessions with male counterparts and have my opinions and my visions valued. On a more intangible level, it means for listeners to hear music that I’ve written and produced, and for them to know that a lane exists for women to be successful songwriters, and successful producers especially.”


“It means to feel powerful beyond measure in a world that sees me as nothing more than a gender. It means to be empowered, be impactful, and have my life mean something and not just be a statistic. It means to be given a chance to be anything I want to be in life. It means to be given an opportunity to compete for the best seat at the table.”


“To me, being heard means independence, trailblazing new paths, and charting new territories. When you do that, you can’t help but be not only heard but also seen, respected, and valued.”


“Being heard means being able to create art and have a platform for it be heard, seen, and recognized. For me, releasing music and continuously working as a musician are the way to let people know women who make music are just the same as any of your favorite male producers.”


“Being heard means empathy—truly putting yourself in the other’s shoes. It’s so much easier said than done, but in my limited time on this earth, I’ve realized it’s where real learning and mutual respect begins.”

Tayla Parx

“I would say being heard means that we can have a conversation about it. Whether you agree or disagree, at least I know you heard me if we can have a conversation, you know, which is a lot of what my album We Need to Talk is about. It’s literally being like, ‘Let’s just have a conversation.’ You can’t have it if you’re only listening to what you’re saying.”


“Being heard means that you can ask for help, you can ask for support, you have access to resources, space is being made for you, and that you just generally feel understood—and that your audience has an open mind.”

Naomi McPherson (of MUNA)

“Being heard, to me, means to be understood. Listening is passive—to be heard is to connect, directly and transcendently, to someone’s heart.”

Teddy Geiger

“To be heard is to exist.”

Kate Wild

Last but not least, Kate Wild took things to the next level and expressed what being heard means to her via a song—check it out here.

What does being heard mean to you? Let us know in the comments below, and check out more responses from many other musicians on our Instagram.

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March 31, 2021