Putting the Spotlight on Diverse Female Musicians Our Editors Are Loving Right Now
In honor of Women's History Month, Amazon shared (via a press release) the top 10 most streamed female artists on Amazon Music over the past year. And, well, I'll just say it: The list was extremely white:
- Meghan Trainor
- Taylor Swift
- Carrie Underwood
- Ariana Grande
- Katy Perry
- Elle King
- Ellie Goulding
- Norah Jones
Now, I love emoting to Adele's "Hello" in my car as much as most do. And I can't get enough of Sia's music — ever. And sure, I'll jam to Taylor Swift here and there when it's on the radio (just kidding, she's my guilty pleasure, and I don't care if anyone knows that I obsessed over "22" when it came out ages ago). But this is so not representative of the current diversity in the music space — both in terms of race and genre. Where's the indie-pop? Where's the hip-hop and spoken word? And, hello, where the fuck is Beyoncé?
Instead of me listing out a bunch of women you already know exist and kick ass in the music space (the aforementioned Yoncé, Solange, Janelle Monáe, FKA Twigs, Camila Cabello, Missy Elliott and M.I.A., for example), let's take it a step further. Some of these women you probably already know, some you might be hearing for the first time — but they're all worthy of your time.
Tank and the Bangas
The New Orleans-based seven-piece band recently won NPR's Tiny Desk Contest — and rightfully so. You'll quickly pick up on this within the first minute of watching their performance above, but Tank and the Bangas smoothly and seamlessly combines R&B with hip-hop, spoken word, jazz and blues.
Rocker Tayeb really kick-started her career when she won Israeli Idol. And since then, she's become one of the most famous entertainers in Israel — adding model and actress to her long list of accomplishments. She just released her fifth album Paper Parachute and performed on NPR's Tiny Desk.
You've heard her name before, I'm sure of it. But if you haven't actually listened to Santigold's music since she arrived on the scene around 2008, then you've been missing out. Santigold can't and won't be tied down to one genre: Her fusion of indie rock, electro, reggae and more is untouchable.
Remember that one DJ Snake song you heard on the radio a couple years ago that went a little something like this? Yeah, that wasn't a DJ Snake song; that was AlunaGeorge's song that he happened to remix. The original came out in 2013, and I have to say, it's even better. AlunaGeorge has been on the scene for about five years now (her debut album released in 2011), and her music ranges from R&B to electronic pop. Give it a listen.
Anyone remember Doomtree? That one hip-hop group that came out with that catchy AF song "Drumsticks" in 2008, and they rapped while riding bikes in the music video, and that one badass woman rapped the chorus? (Full disclosure: I had a major moment listening to that song again. Ah, college...) That woman is Dessa, and she's back. OK, she's been back for a few years, but it's her track on The Hamilton Mixtape that caught our attention.
Spotify describes her as an indie Missy Elliott. They're not wrong. Mix in some Bruno Mars funk and you've got her most recent album Coconut Oil. It's so much fun to listen to.
Lianne La Havas
Try not to fall in love with Lianne La Havas' voice. Hailing from London, this alternative funk and soul singer has been around since 2012, when she released her album Is Your Love Big Enough?.
Malaysian artist Yuna Zarai signed onto Fader Label in 2011 and has been steadily releasing music since. If you need an album with a pretty steady, chill vibe, then her latest album Chapters is it. Her voice is just so soothing and beautiful.
Rituals of Mine
Hailing from Sacramento, synth-pop duo Rituals of Mine has that sound you crave when you just need a moment to relax; case in point, their single "Ride or Die." Terra Lopez and Dani Fernandez, the women who make up Rituals of Mine, not only have quite the touring record, including opening up for the Deftones, but they're also outspoken feminists. Lopez even has an exhibit in Sacramento called "This Is What It Feels Like," a powerful installation that brings attention to and educates men on harassment.
K-pop rapper Lee Chae-rin, better known as CL, is already huge in Asia — and she's taking on the States with her immense talent. I mean, are you watching this video that has almost 22 million views? Are you watching her dance and rap? Are you?!
Any names you want to add to the list? Let us know in the comments below so we can add to our Spotify playlists ASAP.
Before you go, check out our slideshow below.