Artist News Releases

David Byrne apologises for “ridiculous” failure to work with any women on his new album

By | Published on Tuesday 6 March 2018

David Byrne

David Byrne has said that he regrets not working with any women on his new solo album, ‘American Utopia’. Out this Friday, the record is his first solo LP for fourteen years.

Last week, Byrne shared an image on Instagram showing his collaborators for the new album. Included are artists such as Brian Eno, Sampha, Dev Hynes, Jaakko Eino Kalevi and Jack Penate. The collection of 25 musicians is notably lacking any women, something that had seemingly not occurred to Byrne until people began responding to his post.

“The image in the post clearly reveals this problem in a way that mere words do not”, he says in a new post on Instagram. “This lack of representation is something that is problematic and widespread in our industry. I regret not hiring and collaborating with women for this album – it’s ridiculous, it’s not who I am and it certainly doesn’t match how I’ve worked in the past. It doesn’t represent my current live show, which has a slew of diverse creators and collaborators, making this even more negligent on my part”.

Byrne has worked with many female musicians in the past, and in 2012 released an album with St Vincent, ‘Love This Giant’, which gave them equal billing. This makes the omission of any women from ‘American Utopia’ all the more stark for him, especially as he adds that he’s actively tried to ensure greater inclusion in his past work.

“I am happy that we live in a time that this conversation is happening”, he continues. “It’s hard to realise that no matter how much effort you spend nudging the world in what you hope is the right direction, sometimes you are part of the problem. I never thought of myself as being ‘one of those guys’, but I guess to some extent I am. Your responses serve as corrective. Thank you”.

Last month, Byrne released the second single from ‘American Utopia’, ‘This Is That’, which was co-written with Daniel Lopatin, aka Oneohtrix Point Never.