The Future Is Female: Emerging Artists You Need To Hear
Female artists have always been part of the music soundscape, but recent progress has seen them breaking into male-dominated genres (hip hop, indie rock, electronic). Streaming services have been an integral part of the equality music movement, empowering female musicians to grow their organic following and build their brand online, while also making music that they want to. This means writing brutally honest lyrics that tend to stray from the teeny bopper pop formula and playing music that’s typically reserved for the boys. Meet the Next Generation of Female Stars who prove that the future is female is already here.
The best artist moniker since Horse Meat Disco goes to this Nashville-based Sophie Allison. After making a name for herself on Bandcamp, while still a student at NYU, the low-fi, indie rocker’s debut, Clean, has already earned 2018 buzz list status. Like Liz Phair before her, Soccer Mommy’s bedroom pop vibe embraces her emotional authenticity and raw artistry rather than glossing it up and/or dressing it down. Now, if we can only get a band called “Dad Bod” to open up for her.
The 16-year-old wunderkind’s star trajectory has been on the same path as Space X’s Starman after the former Los Angeles Choir girl’s debut single “Ocean Eyes” went viral on Soundcloud. The teen prodigy, who has been compared to a Lorde, may look like a walking Teen Vogue cover girl with her pouty looks, Anime-hair, and H&M attire, but she does have the vocal chops, earning high-praise from Beats 1 tastemaker Zane Lowe, who dubbed Eilish an “amazing new talent.”
Lucy Dacus’ brand of disarmingly catchy garage-rock tinged with a pinch of alt-country twang caught the ear of music insiders on her breakout debut album, No Burden. Now, the would-be voice of a generation is ready to break big with her follow-up, Historian. The 22-year-old’’s album is an open book full of warm, witty, confessionals that seem ripped out of her Moleskine. You can catch the Richmond, VA singer/songwriter at a music festival near you as she’s already scheduled to appear at Pitchfork and Firefly this summer.
Princess Nokia sounds like a character in Black Panther 2. The NYC rapper (real name Destiny Frasqueri) played the part of a real-life superhero when she confronted a man yelling racial slurs on the L-Train in since-gone viral video. The fiery MC is used to battling it out, making a name for herself in Brooklyn’s fierce hip hop underground scene where she serves up hot-button lyrics that represent the often overlooked Latin, queer, and feminist rap fans on tracks like “Tomboy” and “Brujas”.
Lauren Ruth Ward
Although her debut Well, Hell will grab your attention, to really appreciate the “Blue Collar Sex Kitten” you have to see Lauren Ruth Ward perform live to fully get what she’s all about. The Los Angeles-by-way-of Baltimore singer/songwriter purrs and prowls her way around the stage with a fearless swagger that proves that rock is far from dead — it’s just now ruled by women.
Nilüfer Yanya’s grounded voice and racially ambiguous looks bring to mind a young Sade, while her guitar-driven soul music shares more in common with fellow London breakout star King Krule. The Turkish, Irish and Bajan upstart is hard to put a finger on, which makes her breezy songs filled with light synths, plucky guitars and island rhythms all that more intriguing.
Dance music’s leading lady comes from Russia with beats and a too good to be true backstory that reads like a Bond girl villain. The Siberian dentist turned DJ and record label owner is known for her hypnotic techno sets and outspoken bravado on topics such as EDM equality and achieving success by never “playing the female card.” Kraviz is currently on a world tour that will drop down in the states in Spring of 2018.