21 May 7 Indie Women of Color Musicians You Should Know (& a Playlist!)
What’s a better way to start the new month than with a freshly curated playlist featuring powerful and confident women? The collection of songs below remind us of the importance of self-love and independence. These ladies might be new in the game but that certainly won’t stop their rise. If you need a power boost of encouragement, give these jams a listen! Tip: Press play before reading…
If Only – Raveena – @raveena_aurora
Indian-American indie/r&b artist, Raveena Aurora, will transport you to a journey of self-love and self-healing through her recently released EP, Shanti. In her music, she also seeks to create a community and safe space for women of color as seen through her self-produced visual for “Sweet Time”. Her soulful yet airy voice channels Ella Fitzgerald, Sade, and Corinne Bailey Rae, leaving listeners in a daydream. She’s exactly the type of artists the world needs to hear a lot more of.
Ashes – Grace Carter – @gracecartermusic
Her name is Grace Carter and she’s not afraid to show off her vulnerability and sensitivity and this is evident in her emotionally explosive single, “Ashes”. Growing up half Jamaican in Britain, Grace turned to Nina Simone and Lauryn Hill as her main influences in her music. Her songs will definitely help you get in touch with your emotions and make you feel things. At just age 20, Grace is set to debut her first and upcoming EP (set to release late spring). Give her a listen!
Good Morning – Joyce Wrice – @joycewrice
As an Aaliyah superfan, I was totally blown away after hearing “Good Morning”. Japanese-African-American and LA-based artist, Joyce Wrice, is the epitome of a remastered and modern 90s r&b songstress. She learned from the likes of Tamia, Mariah Carey, and Brandy and all her songs take us back. No shame in having this song on repeat for an hour. I’m totally crushing, just a little.
My Soul I – Anna Leone – @annaleone
Hailing from Sweden, 23 year old Guadalupean-French, Anna Leone has already made her mark by releasing her first EP entitled Wandered Away. At the crossroads of folk and soft pop, Anna Leone’s “My Soul I” is a gut wrenching and poetic song about a doomed love. This song is heavy with melancholy and yet entirely beautiful. Although she counts Sufjan Stevens, Lana Del Rey, and Matt Corby as her biggest influences, Leone carves her own path for her music.
Power – Joy Crookes – @joycrookesmusic
Think of Amy Winehouse meshed with Nancy Sinatra. Sounds like a perfect theatrical Bond music right? At just 18, Bangladesh-Irish, Joy Crookes, has already grabbed the attention of music insiders with her sultry and nostalgic for the 90s sound. Her song “Power” is an ode to all the important women in her life and an anthem of strength and confidence. Be sure to watch the music video to get the full experience (it celebrates Crookes’ grandmother and mother). The chorus is a mantra that all women should remember, “You can’t take my power, You got nothin’ on me.”
Why Don’t You – Cleo Sol – @gyallikeclee
R&B and jazz inspired songstress, Cleo Sol, recently released her Winter Songs EP that features her raw and silvery vocals. Inspired by her Serbian/Spanish-Jamaican parents who met in a jazz band, Cleo hit the ground running by becoming a professional singer at just 16. “Why Don’t You” heavily consists of violins and warm harmonies that sets an ethereal mood. Cleo sings “Sometimes we fall in love…” during the bridge, and she’s completely right. You’ll fall in love with this track.
No Reply – Mahalia – @mahalia
Mahalia channels Lauryn Hill and Erykah Badu (some of her influences) in her recently released track, “No Reply”. Growing up with Carribean-British parents who were musicians, Mahalia started writing songs at just 11. At age 13, Mahalia signed with Asylum/Atlantic Records (yes, the same record who signed Ed Sheeran!). Fast-forward to now at age 19 with a couple of recently released singles, an upcoming EP, and a Europe summer tour, there’s nothing slowing her down! This goddess needs to be on your radar right now.