Author: Madeline Thomas
All photos taken from the artists’ respective Facebook pages
Spotify’s logarithm for suggesting new music doesn’t factor in variation of the artists’ identities. Apple music recommends the most popular, best-selling music, and Tidal—I’m honestly not sure how Tidal works, only that I won’t pay the money to find out. If you’re a Soundcloud user, I commend you. Finding good music on Soundcloud is almost as difficult as finding a good match on Tinder. To help you sift through the monotony of white dudes and bad rap that is all too often featured on Discovery Weekly playlists and the like, here’s a list of female artists of color producing music both your sjw heart and your ears will feel good about listening to.
P.S. Put your money where your mouth is! If you’re going to gain social capitol by parading around Cap Hill as a #wokehottie with a Black Lives Matter pin, you ought to be doing more than just talking about your politics. Buy merch from these artists, repost their playlists, tell your friends about them—support creatives when you can afford to do so.
Rina Sawayama (London)
Inspired by pop stars encountered while growing up in Japan, Rina Sawayama endeavors to emulate the outspoken style of her childhood idols. Tangerine colored hair makes her hard to forget; the sweetness of her voice ensures you won’t. Her sound is akin to the cheesy, bubblegum pop ballads we memorized lyrics to while driving in cars, or at home fiddling with the radio to find *that* station.
A.k.a Eva Moolchan, Sneaks makes music meant to take up space, an impressive feat given her roots in the male-dominated D.C. hardcore scene. Following a tour alongside Seattle locals Chastity Belt, Sneaks released It’s a Myth, a post-punk album featuring spoken word vocals and driving bass.
Cory Feder is a one-woman art collective. Tattoo artist, harpist, self-taught guitarist, animator, sculptor and published comic writer—she truly can do it all, and do it well. Feder produces music under the monicker Yesol. Check out her multimedia inclusive portfolio when you need some motivation.
Experimental pop artist, L’Rain, born, raised, and still based in Brooklyn, brings life via sound to the experiences and emotions she encounters. Her self-titled album, released last September, is a lush symphony of evolving sounds; this music will engulf you.
Charlotte Dos Santos (Berlin)
Drawing from the music of her parents, a Brazilian father with a penchant for bossanova and samba, and a Norwegian mother who played flamenco tunes, Charlotte Dos Santos’ own music fuses the sounds of her upbringing with modern pop influences.
Raveena (New York)
She still works full-time to fund her dream of being a musician. Raveena Aurora is 24, ships her own merch, and day-dreams about Cher’s 70’s wardrobe in her free time. Her track “Sweet Time” is the spring anthem you need to make it through the last stretch of winter weather.
Odd Mojo (Maryland/ DC)
Mojo is a female rapper/mc obsessed with 90’s hip hop. There aren’t enough female rappers out there right now, and she knows it. Her album Channel Yo Mojo, released in January is a motivating, jazzy listen; it’s easy to pick up to the old-school influences she talks about in interviews.
MADELINE THOMAS | if you don’t follow me on Spotify…. wyd | KXSU Music Reporter