This awesome documentary about women in the electronic music industry is kind of two documentaries in one. On one hand, Underplayed is informative, statistical, and historical, demonstrating how women have been effectively silenced in the origins and histories of electronic music, artistry, engineering, and production. This approach naturally leads to a strong call for change and specifically getting more girls and women into the industry, and by extension, any and all industries that continue to unfairly treat, involve, and represent women, people of color, and LGBTQ+ groups and individuals. For example, the 2019 Billboard Dance 100 Artists list featured only 5 women. Women make up only 3% of production and technical roles in the music industry, and women of color make up only 0.3%.
On the other hand, the film is also a showcase featuring positive, strong, brilliant, and inspiring examples of successful, struggling, breaking, and underground women artists who have and currently are breaking down barriers. These profiles and behind-the-scenes looks at the creative processes behind artists like Rezz, Alison Wonderland, and Tokimonsta are affirming, necessary, and help break down unfair practices, positions, and behavior toward women. Further, this kind of showcase fights against the sexist misconception about women in the music industry that assumes that women never make, write, compose, produce, engineer, or perform their own music, that they simply cannot be the brilliant geniuses behind the music. Underplayed, however, decides to play these women to provide intimate looks at their dedication, passion, skill, and genius. This demonstrates without a doubt that such limited representation in these kinds of industries (that have such gender and power disparities) also limits the sheer amount of art, beauty, and creativity put out into the world.