Women are rising up all over the world. Women are protesting, speaking out, standing up for their rights, for their bodies and for each other. Women’s issues are coming to the forefront of the mainstream media, with “#MeToo” and the “Times Up” movements. The rise is evident in music too, female artists are standing loud and proud, winning awards, topping charts, making history and still being the type of girls you’d want to be friends with. Here’s the female artists we think are leading the charge…
Dua Lipa has truly been a whirlwind in the past year, she was the most nominated female of all time at the Brit Awards – nominated for five awards and winning two; Best Female and Best British Breakthrough. At just 22 years old, she beat artists such as Laura Marling, Paloma Faith and Kate Tempest. After thanking “every single female that’s been on this stage before me” she ended her speech with; “Here’s to more women on these stages, more women winning awards, and more women taking over the world.”
In 2007 Kate Nash released Made of Bricks, her debut album that bagged her a rightful place in the hearts of the nation. The record features some of her biggest hits, ‘Mouthwash’, ‘Pumpkin Soup’, and of course, ‘Foundations’. Her wit, blunt charm and storytelling style makes Nash one of the best lyricists of her time. She’s not afraid to tackle the hard stuff; feminism, anti-homophobia and mental illness all sit comfortably in her chatty lyrics about everyday situations. After crowdfunding her last album Girl Talk (2013), Kate Nash is back with a new single and headline spot on the Festival Republic stage at Reading and Leeds Festival. With girl power at a high, Kate Nash is exactly what we need in 2018.
Grammy nominated Uchis hasn’t even gotten started in her career yet. She’s largely known for some amazing features with Tyler, the Creator and Daniel Caesar. Caesar himself praised Uchis crediting her for bringing a feminine touch to many R&B songs. In a male dominated industry she has received praise from anyone she works with. She has a soothing voice and a seemingly high musical IQ. She hasn’t yet released an album, but she likely will this year so keep your eyes peeled.
Rebecca McIntyre (Marmozets)
Bono once infamously said that music has “gotten very girly” claiming that “rage is at the heart of rock and roll” as if women and anger can’t exist together, and Rebecca McIntyre proves him completely wrong; she performs ferociously, completely doesn’t give a shit and oozes rage. Women are a rarity in the British rock scene, which is dominated by male bands who too often aren’t doing anything different – it’s refreshing to see McIntyre and co tearing up venues, and hopefully we will see more females taking the baton and shaking up the genre.
It’s hard to believe that SZA didn’t win a Grammy this year, and that’s one of the problems we’re trying to outline. She dominated 2017, her album ctrl was one of the very best albums of the year. She has incredible vocals and an outstanding musical brain. She cites Stevie Nicks, Ella Fitzgerald and Lauryn Hill as her musical influences, and it’s very likely that in 15 years time there will be a new wave of female R&B citing SZA as an influence.
Ellie Rowsell (Wolf Alice)
Someone once tweeted, “Ellie from Wolf Alice is one of the most important things to happen to rock n roll.” and I couldn’t say it better myself. Of course, she is a masterful lyricist and musician, but it’s the things alongside that make her so influential. Wolf Alice are incredibly politically active – even performing at a Tories Out march back in July last year, Ellie herself made a video with the Labour party urging people to register to vote for the General Election. The band played an exclusive show for WarChild, raising awareness for children who’s lives have been affected by war. Ellie designed a t shirt for the Yellow Bird Project by Trekstock, a charity which supports young adults living with cancer. On their last tour, Ellie invited girls on stage to play guitar for her. I could go on, but you get the idea. Ellie Rowsell is one of the most inspiring females in music, hands down.
Releasing Royals at just 17 years old saw Ella Yelich-O’Connor, known professionally as Lorde, became the youngest artist to achieve a number one single on the US Billboard Hot 100 since 1987. Lorde released debut album Pure Heroine in 2013 and reached number one in a number of countries, including her home New Zealand, and peaked at number 4 in the UK Official Chart. Following this, she curated the soundtrack of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, she also provided the lead single Yellow Flicker Beat which saw her nominated for a Golden Globe. She famously performed the track at the AMA’s and smudged her lipstick right at the end. Last year she released Melodrama, the album again saw her top charts worldwide with themes of solitude and heartache. Lorde has achieved so much and at only 21 years old, she’s one of the most exciting artists out there, another outstanding female.
The most recent winner of the BRITS Critics Choice award here. At 20 years old, Smith has excelled in the music game well beyond her years. She’s one of Britain’s very best, she’s already charted high and featured with some of raps biggest names as well as her inclusion on this years Black Panther Soundtrack. She has undoubtedly one of the best voices in music and her stock will only rise this year with the likelihood of her debut solo album being released.
The coolest sisters around: Alana, Danielle and Este Haim. Beginning at an early age, older sisters Este and Danielle performed with their parents in cover band Rockinhaim. After years of dabbling in different projects, HAIM went full time in 2012 and released debut album Days Are Gone in 2013. To me, HAIM are a breath of fresh air, they make music you can boogie too and they don’t take themselves too seriously – their music videos are always super fun and if Este’s recent comedy at the Brit Awards is anything to go by, they’re the type of gals you want to be best friends with.
Who is Noname? Well to answer that quickly, she’s the best female rapper around. Her debut mixtape Telefone was one of the best projects of 2016, with her debut album coming later in the year. She’s set to inspire thousands of people through her soothing rap tunes. She talks about real things and has deeper meaning to her funky yet serious tracks. She’s loved by many including Chance the Rapper, which in rap is a major nod.
Cardi B does what she wants, when she wants, that’s what’s so cool about her. She’s faced criticism for her tunes, but at the end of the day she’s a female rapper who’s dominating the charts, that’s rare. She’s inspiring people to be themselves, which is so important to everyone here at Viberant. To deny her a place on this list because of how we view her songs would be wrong, she’s a massive name in the industry and she’s inspiring millions, that’s all you need here.
To celebrate International Women’s Day and all of the women above, we’ve put together a playlist of all these women that you can see below!