Happy International Women’s Day!
Let’s get real for a second.
It’s hard to deny rampant sexism in an industry where women can be faced with all-male festival headliners (we’re looking at you, TRNSMT!), woefully unequal pay for equal work, and a perceived shelf-life based on age.
According to Women In Music (WIM), the gender divide in the music industry across all regions is roughly 70% male to 30% female, 6% of recognised producers are women in the US and Canada, and 50% of freelance women in the UK earn less than £10,000 annually – and those stats are just scratching the surface.
So what can you do? Listen. Listen to female artists, their music and what they have to say.
Today, we’ve made that a bit easier for you.
To celebrate International Women’s Day, we’ve rounded up just a few of the female-identifying artists who are making waves within the industry.
From SASAMI to Emily Burns, here are ten breakthrough female artists you need to know.
Okay, maybe it’s not apt to call Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter SASAMI “breakthrough” when she’s spent almost a decade making her mark on the music scene, from playing the French horn in orchestras, working as a music teacher, to touring with Cherry Glazerr. She’s making this list regardless.
Today, SASAMI cuts her teeth on the indie music scene by dropping her debut self-titled album. Check out ‘Jealousy’ above.
Dublin-born Orla Gartland rose to popularity posting cover songs to YouTube.
Now, her songbird vocals, confessional lyrics, and captivating melodies are dominating the mainstream.
Currently on tour with Dodi in Europe, she’s kicking off her own headline dates in April, gearing up to release a new EP this spring. Keep your eyes peeled for some banging singles leading up to it.
Emily Burns has nailed threading her frank takes on relationships, spite, love, and revenge into dance anthems with infectious pop hooks.
The 24-year-old’s most recent single, ‘Too Cool’, will have you hitting repeat and singing “I need you to scream and then hang up on me / Call up all your friends go telling everybody” for weeks.
Burns kicks off a UK tour next week – get your tickets here.
A modern R&B twist, soaring vocals, and lyrics imbued with a refreshingly sophisticated outlook: 22-year-old Olivia Nelson’s has already pulled together a unique brand for herself.
Here at Music Crowns, we’ve been buzzing about Olivia for a while. We were thrilled when she joined us in London earlier this year to perform for M.C. Sessions. Check it out above.
Indie-pop trio Peaness bring the sunshine with bright melodies tinged with pop-punk goodness.
Oh, and we can bet it’s one of the best names you’ve heard in a while.
Having spent most of 2017 and 2018 working on new material and some fairly extensive touring, this Chester-based trio are certainly one to keep your eye on.
A crystalline voice, an uplifting Afrobeat twist and tinge of melancholy: it’s all just part of the distinctive sound that South Londoner Aadae is delivering.
Following a busy year of festival performances (Green Man, Latitude, and All Points East to name a few), it looks like Aadae is ready to make strides into the rest of 2019. Listen to her single ‘Just Found Out’ above.
South London’s Laura Misch marries her talents as a saxophonist, producer, and singer-songwriter to create a truly unique soundscape.
Her distinctive mix of jazz textures, experimental production, and earnest lyricism is absolutely addictive. Check it out above on her single ‘Hibernate’.
Jasmine Thompson is a name you might have heard before.
She began making her mark at just 12-years-old, sharing her stunning vocals with subscribers of her YouTube channel going on to sign a record deal at just 14.
Cue a year away from music working in a pie and mash shop, Thompson is back in full force. Produced by Eg White, her new EP is set to drop on the 29th March.
2018 was big for singer-songwriter Rachel Chinouriri.
The 19-year-old released a string of demos, each one taking strides into a refreshingly individual, well-honed sound.
It’s put her into good stead for what already looks to be an even bigger year: a headline spot on BBC Introducing at The Lexington, playing Field Day and a much-anticipated debut EP released by Marathon Artists – it looks like Chinouriri is set to dominate the rest of 2019.
Drawing her name from the historic cotton industry of her native Oldham, singer-songwriter and producer LUME weaves together a diverse range of ideas, of sounds, and places.
Following the release of her debut EP Tip of Your Thumb in 2018, it’s been an upward trajectory for the Brighton-based artist – listen to her latest track ‘Edge of My Seat’ above.
Check out her all of these tracks and more on our International Women’s Day playlist Making Waves.