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“It’s Like A Silent Existence”: How The Music Industry Is Failing Black Women Artists In The North West

“I’ve got an extensive career behind me and I still haven’t got my solo record out – why is that the case?”

Cleopatra Higgins is a singer-songwriter best known to most listeners as frontwoman of 90s girl band Cleopatra, the sibling-bandmate trio who achieved international success with hits like 1993’s ‘Comin’ Atcha’. As lead singer, Cleo was barely out of school when she and her sisters rose to fame, touring internationally alongside artists like En Vogue. Now 38, the Birmingham-born, Manchester-bred artist still maintains a deep love for music, songwriting and performing. But even as someone who’s reached the heights of success in her field, she shares frustrations in feeling locked outside of the music industry. This is not by way of talent, but rather by location.

“Working as an artist from Manchester has been difficult for me because I feel like we’re always overlooked, even with the status we have,” she says.