Grimes has said she has been pestered for sex by male producers. The Canadian artist, whose real name is Claire Boucher, was asked by Rolling Stone for her opinions on Kesha’s lawsuit against her producer/label boss, Dr Luke, whom she has accused of rape, and responded by saying male producers commonly expect sex.
“I don’t know enough about the specifics of that situation, because it seems very complicated,” Grimes said. “But I will say that I’ve been in numerous situations where male producers would literally be like, ‘We won’t finish the song unless you come back to my hotel room.’ If I was younger or in a more financially desperate situation, maybe I would have done that. I don’t think there are few female producers because women aren’t interested. It’s difficult for women to get in. It’s a pretty hostile environment.”
Grimes has spoken before about the sexism of the production side of the music industry. Last year she told the Fader she was angered by the failure of many music business people to recognise that she was in charge in the studio, rather than only being a performer. “The thing that I hate about the music industry is all of a sudden it’s like, ‘Grimes is a female musician’ and, ‘Grimes has a girly voice.’ It’s like, yeah, but I’m a producer and I spend all day looking at fucking graphs and EQs and doing really technical work,” she said.
In October, speaking to the Guardian, she called out the London collective PC Music. “It’s really fucked up to call yourself Sophie and pretend you’re a girl when you’re a male producer there are so few female producers,” she said.
She has also said that female artists find credit for their work is taken away when they work with men in the studio. “If I use an engineer, then people start being like, ‘Oh! That guy just did it all,’” she told the New Yorker. “It’s a mostly male perspective – you’re mostly hearing male voices run through female performers. I think some really good art comes of it, but half the population is not really being heard.”