As a prolific singer, songwriter, and creative mastermind behind the indie-pop band Bleachers, Jack Antonoff has his hands full, but that doesn’t stop him from pursuing his real passion–empowering female musicians from behind the scenes.
In the past month, Antonoff has been making headlines. Antonoff produced alternative-pop icon Lana Del Rey’s Norman Fucking Rockwell! and Grammy award winning superstar Taylor Swift’s seventh studio album Lover. Antonoff has an extensive history of collaborating (almost exclusively) with female artists, including Lorde and St. Vincent.
When asked about his work with female artists, Antonoff stated, “I feel very male. But when I’m writing I don’t think about Lou Reed or Bowie. I think about Kate Bush, Björk, Fiona Apple.” Over the years, Antonoff has consistently been vocal about his deep respect for women in the music industry. “I’ve always been extremely drawn to female artists who are being brutally honest,” Antonoff said. “That is so much more attractive to me than a lot of the weird paths certain male songwriters lead you down, that hide and mask emotions.”
According to the International Women’s Development Agency, a collective of feminist academics and acivists decidcated to women’s liberation globally, allyship is more than just idenfitying as a feminist. Being a feminist ally is hard work; it means uplifting women instead of stealing their thunder, and most importantly, it means, “stepping out of the spotlight again and again… constantly conscious of our own privilege.”
Stepping out of the spotlight is exactly what Antonoff does best. While most successful male producers such as Max Martin overshadow the voices of the female artists they work with, Antonoff prefers to take a back seat.
From Lana Del Rey’s melancholic lullabies to Taylor Swift’s pop anthems, Antonoff gives the artists he works with space to pursue their own creative vision, making him the kind of feminist male ally the music industry needs.