SINGER-songwriter Kate Nash injected a massive dose of girl power when she visited a school on a mission to boost the profile of female musicians and songwriters.
The 23-year-old international star chose City of Portsmouth Girls’ among just five schools nationwide to launch her after-school music club scheme.
Dressed in a dog-tooth jacket, black skirt and with painted black hearts on her face, Kate stood before a hall filled with admiring girls and spoke about redressing the gender imbalance in the music industry.
She said: ‘A lot of the time images of women portrayed in the media make girls feel insecure and inadequate – that has to change.’
Kate, who has just recruited an all-girl band, quoted statistics that show only 14 per cent of the 75,000 members of the Performing Rights Society, which collects royalties in Britain, are female.
She said: ‘I want to change the statistic and do something positive about it instead of moaning all the time.
‘Today the girls have told me they love music but don’t feel confident enough about their looks to pursue it further.
‘That makes me so sad because there are so many amazing female musicians out there that are probably just giving up.’
Analysing the root of the problem, she added: ‘Sex and pop music have always gone together, but it’s been taken too far.’
Over the coming months, Kate will launch her club at City Girls, where she and her colleagues will carry out workshops and help acquire free instruments.
Student Rose-Anne Kendall, 15, said: ‘Kate has made me realise there aren’t many women in the music industry which makes me want to pursue a career in music even more.
‘Confidence has held me back in the past. I don’t look like the girls in the magazines, but now I feel I can succeed.’
Bea Tookey, 16, said: ‘It’s great that someone as influential as Kate is reaching out to girls like us to give us hope. She’s an inspiration.’
Adelaide Robinson, 15, added: ‘Kate Nash is my idol. Like her I find the statistics disgusting. I wish more high-profile women were taking a positive stance like she is.’
Before she left the school to head to Wedgewood Rooms for a gig, Kate gave the girls a stunning performance of I Hate Seagulls on her guitar.
For the first time the room fell silent as girls listened on.