The Women In Music You Need To Be Listening To

Friday, 22 March 2019

You don't need me or anyone to tell you that most industries are predominately male, and music is certainly no stranger to that. Don't get me wrong, you all know I love The 1975 and could probably write a full blown biography on Craig David, but I wanted to share a handful of equally talented women in music that definitely deserve to be on your Spotify playlists if they're not already.

While most Disney stars struggle to shake off their child persona, Ariana Grande is one of the few that have done it with such grace, as she's now pretty much unrecognisable from Cat in Victorious. Since the release of her debut album 'Yours Truly' in 2013, Ariana has had a string of number 1's, and broke records left right and centre, including knocking herself off the top spot earlier this year when she released break up with your girlfriend, i'm bored. She has just kicked off her 'Sweetener / thank, u next' world tour which sees her play a massive 30 tracks to arenas around the world. I doubt she needs any introduction to anyone, but if you aren't sure where to start, some of my favourites are Into You (above), imagineDangerous Woman, fake smile, breathin, Side To Side and Leave Me Lonely.

At just 17 years old, Billie Eilish already has already hit success most of us won't ever see in our whole lifetime. The Californian singer started writing music at just 11 years old, and after her debut single Ocean Eyes went viral in 2016, Billie has consistently gone from strength to strength. Gearing up to release her debut album this month (March 29th), she has previewed tracks Bury A Friend, Wish You Were Gay and You Should See Me In A Crown which have blown up just about everywhere. She also notably covered Michael Jackson's Bad last year which really showcases her insane vocal range. I told you all to watch out for this one after the release of her 'Don't Smile At Me' EP in 2017, and after selling out 3 consecutive nights at London's Shepherds Bush Empire and a second to headline slot at Reading Festival this year, it's safe to say I told you so.

Those of you who are a fan of The 1975 and Dirty Hit's roster will undoubtably be into The Japanese House, and those of you that aren't definitely need to check her out. 23 year old Amber Bain delivers beautiful "soft dream pop" good enough for anyones ears. After releasing 4 EP's, Amber has just released her debut album 'Good At Falling' which is an honest and open record that features name dropping her ex (Marika Hackman) and the vocals of Matty Healy  on f a r a w a y, which is (obviously) a personal fave. Amber made the brave decision to ask Marika to appear in the video for the stunning Lilo (above), which is a fine example of what you can expect on the full album. 

Do you ever find yourself stumbling across a song you've never heard, and within 2 minutes you're following the artist on every social media platform and aggressively searching See Tickets for live dates? That was me when I first discovered Alma. I was hooked from the get-go with the 22 year olds beautiful voice and catchy beats. Label mates with Jessie J and best mates with Charli XCX, Alma's career dates back to 2013 when she came fifth on Finnish talent contest Idols. Since then, she's gone on be seen on tracks with the likes of Tove Lo and Sub Focus, and released the 'Heavy Rules' Mixtape that was my highest played release of 2018, according to Spotify. Alma released When I Die last month, the first single from her upcoming debut album 'Have You Seen Her?' (released April 5th), and then followed this up with Summer, an apologetic song to her girlfriend about being a better human in the summertime.

Another Dirty Hit addition and another equally worthy entry, Pale Waves is home to front-woman Heather Baron Gracie, who steals the hearts of most red blooded humans with her grungy style mixed with pop beats. The debut album 'My Mind Makes Noises' hit the UK album charts at number 8, while being the best selling cassette tape of the week. The record features huge radio favourites like Television Romance, There's A Honey and Eighteen, but my favourite My Obsession can be found on their EP 'All The Things I Never Said' (not to be mistaken with TaTu's iconic "lesbian" anthem All The Things She Said).

London singer Dua Lipa (yes, that's her real name, which means 'Love' in Albanian) started off as a model (duh, look at her) and was discovered similarly to ol' Bieber after posting cover videos on YouTube. Signed to Warner, her debut album charted at an impressive number 5, however New Rules secured the top spot in the UK and charted in over 50 countries. Since then, she has reached huge success on collaborative tracks One Kiss and Electricity (above), has taken home a handful of Brit Awards, and has now pretty much become a household name.

Halsey blew up so quickly that I sometimes have to remind myself she’s not the girl with the cute EP about that band guy I like, and is now a worldwide phenomenon collaborating with Justin Bieber and selling out Madison Square Garden. Recently taking home iHeartRadio's Fangirl Award (x), Halsey - real name Ashley Frangipane - truly has come full circle. Her debut album 'Badlands' (featuring Roman Holiday, Hold Me Down and Colors) is probably one of my favourite records of all time, but it's her recent release Without Me that's really put the 24 year old on the map in every corner of the world.

While Paramore may have shied away from the spotlight recently, that doesn't erase Hayley Williams' huge stamp on the rock music industry. I know I wasn’t alone when I died my hair orange and danced around with a carrot as a microphone as a teen, and that was all down to Paramore’s Hayley. Without a doubt the front-woman of my time, Hayley is a tiny little human with lungs of steel. I doubt you need an introduction to the Tennessee formed band, so instead just enjoy my favourites with me; Still Into You (above), Decode, CrushCrushCrush, The Only Exception and Tell Me How.

With over 30 million views on YouTube, I don't doubt you've seen the Touch video (above) as part of a viral sensation, but behind the music is 27 year old Londoner Shura. Growing up in Manchester, Shura - real name Alexandra Denton - began playing guitar when she was just 13 years old, and released her debut album 'Nothing's Real' in 2016. After a quiet couple of years, Shura made her comeback this year with BKLYNLDN, alongside a show announcement at London's iconic Roundhouse, and even a slot and the even more iconic Glastonbury Festival.

Writing any kind of intro for Lady Gaga seems like a serious waste of time given her stature, but a post about women in music just wouldn't be right without Mother Monster herself. For the last 10 years Gaga has graced our ears with pop perfection, and recently has become Queen of just about everything since the release of A Star Is Born. The 32 year old has taken home a string of awards for her music and acting contribution to the movie. She's currently hosting a residency in Las Vegas, and has recently announced an upcoming album release. Join me in celebrating some of her biggest bangers over the years; Bad Romance, JudasTelephone, Marry The NightAlways Remember Us This Way, You And I, Alejandro and Love Game.

And last but certainly not least, probably my favourite of all, Lynn Gunn. Fronting rock band PVRIS, the band have gone from the tiny Camden Barfly to selling out Brixton Academy in what seems like a matter of days. The Massachusetts formed trio have stormed the rock music scene and got their first ever top 5 with their last album 'All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hell'. If you haven't got on board with this band yet i'm severely judging you, but here's a few tracks to start with; Anyone Else, St. Patrick, Heaven, and You And I. You can thank me later.

Some other honourable mentions go to Hayley Kiyoko, Ellie Rowsell, Christina Aguilera, Anne-Marie, Kate Nash, Beyonce, beabadoobee, Katy Perry, Kailee Morgue, Stevie Nicks, Little Mix, Nao, Avril Lavigne, Kehlani, Fletcher,  Rihanna, HAIM, Kesha, Amy Lee, Tove Lo, Jessie J, MUNA, Selena Gomez, Tash Sultana, Madonna, Jess Glynne, Blondie, Charli XCX, Lizzo, Adele, Zara Larsson, Hailee Steinfield, SZA, Nicki Minaj, Gwen Stefani, Miley Cyrus and obviously, The Spice Girls.

© Image Source: Billie Eilish via Study Breaks

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