Shania Twain is speaking up in support of her fellow female artists. In a recent Q&A session, the iconic country singer opened up about everything from “bro-country” to Taylor Swift, praising women in music as “risk-takers” full of courage.
Twain sat down with Canadian magazine Maclean’s on earlier this month for a candid interview about her latest (and last!) tour kicking off in June and her decades-long career. During the interview, Twain also dished on her reputation as a trailblazer for other female artists and praises the women in music who are taking risks and fighting against the critics just like she’s always done.
“Balance is important,” says Twain when asked to weigh in on the current state of country radio, which seems to be overwhelmed by that bro-country sound and songs that still refer to women as “girls” in the lyrics.
“Whenever it goes too far in one direction, it just gets boring. It's very dominated by men right now … We don't have enough women,” she says. “Maybe it's more romance that country is missing right now. Women have a lot to say but it takes a lot of courage to say it. Women are the greater risk-takers. When they step out of what's expected in this genre, they are really stepping in the line of fire.”
And for her part, Twain is certainly no stranger to the “line of fire.” Because the singer knew who she was and what kind of sound she had from the very beginning, she says she certainly faced more than her fair share of critics.
“When I was first coming out with songs, it could have gone either way. It was never going to be anywhere in the middle. There were definitely people criticizing what I was doing.”
But the country superstar certainly doesn’t regret the choices she made or the criticism she took for being a powerful woman and speaking her mind through her music. It’s helped her be able to identify with all of the women who have come after her to chart their own course in country music like Taylor Swift.
“Anybody who makes it to the top knows what it's like,” Twain reveals when asked if she sees many similarities between her and Swift’s musical journeys. “I sometimes relive it when I see it again. I feel for that person, I really do. [Thinking that] ‘I hope they are being strong right now and they have good support.’ I hope they aren't taking it too personally. I have compassion for them.”
At the end of the day, Twain says the most important thing for her or for any female artist is to have a strong sense of self and to be confident in who you are. Even vulnerability has its place within strong female country singers.
“Its not about being tough or writing lyrics about being strong or sassy,” she insists. “It is deeper than that. I think it's about true self-awareness and having a real vision of where you belong in society. It's not about conveying a superficial, ultra-beautiful, boss-warrior. We can go deeper than that.”