As the world champions and recognises women’s contributions to society, it’s only right that we celebrate the women in music who have consistently brought forward waves that continue to reach new heights. This International Women's Day, we decided to do something special! We hosted a 3-hour radio show on No Signal, in partnership with Soul Surge to bring you an all-female track-list curated and hand picked by us. Alongside the show, we curated a 15-track playlist to set the right vibes for #IWD2022, and we’re continuing the celebration in writing by spotlighting 10 women currently killing it in the music world today!
1. LITTLE SIMZ
Starting with one of our Soul Surge Takeover spotlights, Little Simz is a Nigerian-British born rapper that has been in a league of her own for a while. The world can’t help but watch her in admiration. The BRITS award-winning artist from North London possesses the power to paint pictures with her words. Her artistry goes beyond the musical stage with acting as she’s appeared in TV shows on CBBC’s ‘Spirit Warriors’, E4’s ‘Youngers’, and Netflix’s Hit ‘Top Boy’ (returning on the 18th of March).
Stream the beautifully crafted, ‘Sometimes I Might Be Introvert’ today.
2. JAZMINE SULLIVAN
Next up, we have powerhouse vocalist, Jazmine Sullivan. The Philadelphia born artist is a gospel choir native and holds impeccable stage presence; but it was the stroke of her pen that introduced many of us to Sullivan's talent. Being responsible for Christina Milian’s R&B hit, 'Say I', the singer-songwriter soon came through with modern-day classic ‘Need U Bad’. Her ‘Fearless’ album alone brought forward 7 Grammy nominations, including Best New Artist. Over the years, her artistry continues to strengthen. Sullivan is responsible for writing songs for Monica, Bryson Tiller, Mary J. Blige, and PJ Morton.
Her relatable lyrics and unique vocal tones captivate everyone that comes across her music. The latest release of her deluxe album “Heaux Tales” brings forward a 3D dimension to Black Women’s sexuality, sharing antidotes of experience from various women who still share the same story. Her talent knows no bounds.
Up next is Sipprell, the talented multi-instrumentalist and a songwriter who also happens to know how to produce a tune or two. During her early years, Sipprell mastered the piano, violin, and guitar; sealing her musical fate from the get-go. But her many talents don't stop there. Her gifts have gone further to be the stardust of other global musical talents like providing vocal arrangements for NAO's latest album, 'And Then Life Was Beautiful'. It would come to us as no surprise if Sipprell is one of the artists coming up that will shape the sound of future musicians to come.
Marian Mereba, or Mereba, is a Los Angeles artist with a soul-folk sound she’s currently dominating. Growing up between North Carolina and Philadelphia, her Southern upbringing is an essential element of the country sound that influences her artistry today. Known to merge R&B, Hip Hop, and of course country music, Mereba often writes music mirroring her external and internal worlds. Her latest EP, ‘AZEB’, explores Blackness; defining personal womanhood and the richness of love. Choosing peace while the rest of the world chooses war, Mereba elegantly shows why the former prospers every time as she hums melodies of hope we all yearn for.
Stream her EP ‘AZEB’ this International Women’s Day.
5. SASHA KEABLE
A South London starlight and BRITs alumnus with nostalgic vocal cords to match, Sasha Keable’s musical journey is flourishing; and we expect it to become an everlasting flame. With her instant classic, ‘Under My Skin’ and the recent release of ‘Killing Me’ featuring Jorja Smith, it will be no surprise if Keable becomes one of the leading contributors in the UK R&B scene. Performing from the young age of 7, Keable always gravitated towards the stage. At 14, her ease when writing songs from personal experiences gave Keable the superpower of empathy. Providing listeners with soundtracks that reflect deep waves of (their) emotions, when in a room with Keable on stage, one can’t help but feel she always knows the right thing to sing.
Yebba is a Grammy-winning singer-songwriter with soothing vocals enriched with deep shades of passion. Her emergence was made back in 2016, after her powerful Sofar Sounds ‘My Mind’ performance. Harnessing a blend of alternative R&B, Neo Jazz, and Soul with tear-jerking lyrics and a voice so rich; Yebba’s formula is captivating. Her use of storytelling will hold you in place - you will wear her emotions as if they are your own. Yebba is a spiritual moment that can often leave you breathless yet present at the same time.
Stream her latest project, 'Dawn', and experience the true power of vulnerability in its purest form.
Next, we have the French-Senegalese artist who can touch on identity, grief, and healing in multiple tongues. Anaiis musically captures two worlds into one through the physical body and essence of the Divine Feminine. Anaiis’ music tells tales of transparency and vulnerability, enhancing her personal growth.
“... expressing my vulnerability through art helps me to reach a place of acceptance with myself,” she told Notion Magazine. One thing Anaiis does well is her use of imagery. There are true intentions with her lyrics, as listeners see specks into her world with each visual she releases. We believe her visuals will be a foundation to the outstanding career ahead of her that will be celebrated for decades to come.
Demae is a London-born singer-songwriter and producer. With a mixed heritage from Jamaica and Nigeria, she’s an artist that doesn’t colour within the lines. Known to generate songs that are grounding and fuelled with empowerment, Demae has developed a nurturing sound that will leave your head bobbing. Growing up to Igbo sounds within the household and having a father who mastered his beats, it’s no wonder Demae’s sound holds maturity. Music soon became the obvious path after joining the Hawk House collective, after which she then embarked on a solo career; producing melodies that reflect on personal life lessons while authentically being herself. Find yourself with her ‘Life Works Out… Usually’ project.
9. EGO ELLA MAY
Ego Ella May, another impeccable talent from South London. Recognised for her smooth, soulfully-rich melodies, Ego Ella May’s ability to confront themes of mental health, vulnerability, pain, and redemption can leave many compelled. Her sultry voice and poetic lyricism have created a well-deserved buzz within London’s Neo-Jazz scene. Her rise to stardom is both inspiring and admiring, as humility surfaces within her artistry. Catch Ego Ella May performing in London on March 10th.
10. ADRIA KAIN
Finally, we have Adria Kain, the Toronto-based R&B singer-songwriter. Her artistry mission is simple: to connect with the world through her lived experiences. Her debut album ‘When Flowers Bloom’ is an exploration of discovering love after a period of self-loss.
"It depicts the struggle of a young, masculine-presenting woman, who, after embarking on a journey of self-discovery, attempts to heal her wounds that developed through romantic relationships and the false perceptions that were taught throughout her upbringing," says Adria Kain. "Accountability & vulnerability are the key emotions in this story."
Enchanting vocals echoing melodies of rediscovery, Kain’s voice is slick and soft. It's the perfect addition to any laid-back, lazy Sunday playlist. There are so many women we could celebrate from art to music and so on; the list is endless! Who are you giving your flowers to this International Women’s Day? If you need some inspiration, check out our latest playlist IWD: WOMEN IN MUSIC.