In celebration of International Women’s Day, we’ve chosen some of our favourite female artists who inspire us through their musical creativity, social conscience and activism. World, take note.
Viscerally exploring the world of newfound love through dense, intricate soundscapes, Björk admirably upholds her tradition of crafting a fresh sound-world with each musical offering, this time in the form of her latest album ‘Utopia’.
Aside from her musical output, she is devoted to bringing her own form of musical education to a number of schools across Iceland, with further plans to extend it across Scandinavia. The Biophilia Educational Project is designed to push the creative boundaries of children between aged 10 and 12, while redefining old methods to explore creativity in music and science through new technologies.
2. War On Women
The entire existence of punk rock is based on the ideology of standing up to authority. War On Women entwine this belief with their no-nonsense brand of feminism. The product is a relevant and politically charged musical match made in heaven.
With a new album due in April, their unwavering attitude for equality also permeates through their activism: from promoting safer spaces for women during shows, to calling out many of President Trump’s views, this is pure punk attitude with newfound vigour.
3. Laura Mvula
Laura Mvula crafts soulful, nuanced art-pop with a modern twist. Her most recent album The Dreaming Room draws influences from jazz, disco and electronic music, and features guitar legend Nile Rogers.
A classically trained singer-songwriter, she recently performed with the London Symphony Orchestra and a few years ago re-recorded her critically acclaimed debut album ‘Sing To The Moon’ with leading orchestra Metropole Orkest at Abbey Road Studios for Bowers & Wilkins Society of Sound.
4. St. Vincent
With 2017’s Masseduction – a sharp, sophisticated and eminently twisted portrayal of society, wrapped up in immaculate production with a fuzzy bow on top – it feels like St. Vincent has finally infiltrated the mainstream, and about time too.
Transcending music, her talents also lie in writing and directing films (she co-wrote and directed horror short The Birthday Party last year), not to mention designing her custom made St. Vincent signature guitar series. This is an artist whose creative flair and originality holds no limits.
5. Natalia Lafourcade
We assume most people outside of South America haven’t heard of Mexican singer-songwriter Natalia Lafourcade – and we want this to change.
In a career spanning an impressive 15 years and counting, the 34-year-old soprano has bridged the gap from Mexican pop heard in her early days to a stunningly original sound embraced in her last three albums.
The latter two releases, Musa Vol. 1 and 2, pay a humble homage to Mexican and Latin American music, delivered in a rich, expressive and eminently pleasant vocal style with a spicy accompaniment, sonically transporting the listener to the heart of the Americas.
6. Dorit Chrysler
A master of the theremin, an instrument which is seemingly played using thin air, Austrian born Dorit Chrysler is a sound-pioneer in her own right. Her passion towards this avant-garde instrument has steered the way for the existence of the New York Theremin Society, a gathering of musicians who showcase the eerily beautiful timbre of the instrument in concerts across the city.
Her performance on the Bowers & Wilkins stage at WOMAD Festival 2017 demonstrated her inspiring and assiduous devotion to tame one of the hardest instruments out there.
7. Tash Sultana
Multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter Tash Sultana is a rising star. Only 22 years of age, she recently sold out her 2017 world tour without an album to her name, the latter release is expected in April this year.
A loop-pedal aficionado, her music infuses reggae and sun-drenched guitar solos with electronic beats and an infectiously distinctive vocal style. If you’re after a mind-blowing live show, the Australian-born Sultana should be at the top of your list.