As Women's History Month draws to a close, it's important to take a moment to celebrate the contributions and achievements of women in various fields. One industry where women have made an indelible mark is the music industry. From singer-songwriters to instrumentalists, producers to executives, women have played vital roles in shaping the music we know and love today. However, despite their talent and hard work, women in music have often been overlooked and undervalued. That's why it's crucial to highlight the importance of representation for women in music and acknowledge some of our favorite female artists and industry professionals who have broken barriers and paved the way for future generations of women in music. So let's take a moment to honor these incredible women and recognize their significant contributions to the industry.
DJ Kemistry, whose real name was Kemistry (Valerie Olukemi Amiss), was a pioneering drum and bass DJ and a member of the influential DJ duo Kemistry & Storm. She was born in London in 1967 and grew up in Birmingham, England. Kemistry began her career as a DJ in the late 1980s, playing at house parties and local clubs in the Midlands.
In the early 1990s, Kemistry moved to London and became part of the burgeoning jungle and drum and bass scene. She quickly established herself as one of the genre's most skilled and innovative DJs, known for her seamless mixing and her ability to blend different styles of music. Along with her DJ partner Storm, Kemistry was a regular fixture on the London club scene, playing at clubs such as Metalheadz, Blue Note, and Speed.
Kemistry was also a co-founder of the influential record label and club night Metalheadz, which played a major role in shaping the sound of drum and bass in the 1990s. She worked closely with fellow DJs Goldie and Fabio to develop the label's distinctive style and aesthetic.
Tragically, Kemistry's life was cut short in 1999 when she was killed in a car accident on the M3 motorway in Hampshire, England. She was just 35 years old. Her death was a devastating loss to the drum and bass community, and she is still remembered as a pioneering and influential figure in the genre.
Amy Taylor is an Australian rock singer and songwriter, best known as the lead vocalist of the punk rock band Amyl and The Sniffers. Taylor was born in the city of Melbourne in Australia, and started performing at an early age. She was involved in theater and played in several bands before forming Amyl and The Sniffers in 2016.
Taylor's vocal style is often described as raw, powerful, and aggressive, with comparisons drawn to the likes of Iggy Pop and Wendy O. Williams. Her lyrics often touch on themes of social commentary, self-reflection, and the experiences of working-class Australians.
Amyl and The Sniffers quickly gained a reputation for their energetic live performances, and in 2019 they released their self-titled debut album to critical acclaim. The album was described as a throwback to classic punk rock, with Taylor's dynamic vocals and the band's frenetic energy drawing comparisons to the likes of The Stooges and The Ramones.
Taylor's onstage presence and unapologetic approach to punk rock have made her a popular figure in the contemporary music scene. She has been praised for her fearless and uncompromising attitude towards music, and her commitment to creating a space for women and LGBTQ+ individuals in punk rock.
Nia Archives is a British singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist known for her blend of R&B, soul, drum' n' bass and jazz. She was born and raised in London, and began playing music at a young age.
Archives' music is characterized by her powerful vocals and intricate instrumentation, with influences ranging from Lauryn Hill to Erykah Badu. Her lyrics often touch on themes of self-discovery, break-ups, love and empowerement.
In 2020, Archives released her debut EP, titled "Headz Gone West". The EP features a mix of soulful ballads and upbeat tracks, showcasing her versatility as a songwriter and performer. It received critical acclaim for its unique sound and heartfelt lyrics, with The Line of Best Fit describing it as "an impressive and intimate introduction to an artist on the rise."
Since then, Archives has continued to make a name for herself in the UK music scene, performing at festivals such as The Great Escape and earning praise from industry veterans like Gilles Peterson. In 2021, she was featured on the track "Wicked Ways" by London-based drum and bass producer Break, which was released on his album "Another Way". In the same year she released the groundbreaking track 18 & Over which was consecutively included in her 2022 critically acclaimed EP "Forbidden Feelingz".
Her willingness to experiment and collaborate across genres underscores her status as a rising star in the UK music scene, and suggests that she has much more to offer in the years to come.
Brody Dalle is an Australian-born singer, songwriter, and guitarist, best known as the lead vocalist of the punk rock band The Distillers. She was born in Melbourne, Australia in 1979, and began playing music at a young age.
Dalle's music is characterized by her raw, powerful vocals and her aggressive guitar playing, with influences ranging from punk rock to grunge. Her lyrics often touch on themes of rebellion, self-discovery, and empowerment, and she has been praised for her uncompromising approach to music.
In addition to her work with The Distillers, Dalle has also released music as a solo artist and with her side project Spinnerette. Her solo album "Diploid Love" was released in 2014, and was praised for its diverse range of sounds and emotional depth.
Throughout her career, Dalle has been a vocal advocate for women and LGBTQ+ individuals in the music industry. She has spoken out against sexism, racism, and discrimination in the industry, and has worked to create a more inclusive and welcoming space for marginalized communities.
Dalle's music and activism have earned her a devoted fanbase and a reputation as one of the most influential and inspiring figures in punk rock.
Smerz is a Norwegian electronic music duo consisting of Catharina Stoltenberg and Henriette Motzfeldt. The duo formed in 2016 in Oslo, Norway, and has since gained recognition for their unique blend of experimental pop, techno, and ambient music.
Smerz's music is characterized by their intricate and atmospheric soundscapes, with haunting vocals layered over driving beats and pulsing synths. Their lyrics often touch on themes of isolation, vulnerability, and self-discovery, and they are known for their deeply personal and introspective approach to songwriting.
In addition to their music, Smerz is also known for their striking visual aesthetic, which often incorporates bold colors and abstract shapes. They have worked with a variety of artists and designers to create music videos and live visuals that complement their music and enhance the overall sensory experience of their performances.
Smerz has released a number of critically acclaimed EPs, including "Okey" and "Have Fun". They have also performed at a variety of festivals and venues across Europe and North America, earning a reputation as one of the most exciting and innovative electronic acts of the past decade.
Amaarae is a Ghanaian-American singer, songwriter, and producer who has gained recognition in recent years for her unique blend of R&B, pop, and electronic music. Born in New York City in 1994, Amaarae spent much of her childhood in Accra, Ghana, before moving back to the United States to attend college.
Amaarae began her music career as a teenager, collaborating with artists in the underground music scene in Ghana. She released her debut EP, "Passionfruit Summers," in 2017, which garnered critical acclaim and established her as a rising star in the music world. She followed up with the release of her second EP, "Spend Some Time," in 2018.
Amaarae's music is characterized by her sultry vocals, introspective lyrics, and genre-bending sound, which incorporates elements of R&B, pop, hip-hop, and electronic music. She has cited a variety of influences, including Erykah Badu, Bjork, and Missy Elliott.
In 2020 she released the album "THE ANGEL YOU DON'T KNOW" which includes the famous track "SAD GIRLZ LUV MONEY", a song that I'm sure at one point, has been played non-stop by many of us. The album also included another one of her groundbreaking songs named "LEAVE ME ALONE" which even appears in the tv show "Top Boy".
In addition to her work as a musician, Amaarae is also known for her activism and advocacy work. She has spoken out about issues affecting women and LGBTQ+ individuals in Africa and beyond, and has worked to promote greater visibility and representation for marginalized communities in the music industry.
Amaarae has collaborated with a variety of artists and producers throughout her career, including Nigerian singer Wande Coal, Ghanaian rapper Sarkodie, and British electronic duo Disclosure. She has also performed at a number of festivals and venues around the world, including SXSW, Boiler Room, and the Glastonbury Festival.
Crypta is a death metal band formed in 2019, with members from Brazil and The Netherlands. The band includes former members of the Brazilian thrash metal band Nervosa, which disbanded in 2020.
The lineup of Crypta consists of vocalist and bassist Fernanda Lira, guitarist Sonia Anubis, drummer Tainá Bergamaschi, and guitarist/vocalist Luana Dametto. The band is known for their fast-paced, aggressive, and heavy sound, with influences from classic death metal bands such as Death, Morbid Angel, and Obituary.
Crypta released their debut album, "Echoes of the Soul," in 2021, which was met with critical acclaim and established them as a rising force in the death metal scene. The album features themes of spirituality, personal growth, and empowerment, with lyrics that reflect the members' personal experiences and perspectives.
In 2021 the band released their debut album "Echoes Of The Soul", an incredible work that includes successful tracks such as "From The Ashes" and "Starvation" which made them gain a well deserved place and respect in the metal music scene.
In addition to their music, Crypta is also known for their strong presence on social media and their commitment to engaging with their fans. They have been praised for their dedication to promoting women in metal and for their efforts to create a more inclusive and diverse metal community.
Crypta has already performed at a number of festivals and venues around the world, including the Wacken Open Air festival and the 70000 Tons of Metal cruise. With their blend of classic death metal influences and modern sensibilities, they have quickly become one of the most exciting and promising new bands in the metal scene.
Shygirl is a British singer, rapper, and songwriter known for her experimental approach to pop music, incorporating elements of electronic music, hip-hop, and R&B. Born in London in 1993, Shygirl began her music career as a member of the collective NUXXE, which also includes fellow artists Sega Bodega and Coucou Chloe.
Shygirl first gained attention with the release of her debut EP, "Cruel Practice," in 2018. The EP featured her signature blend of aggressive, confrontational lyrics and hypnotic, danceable beats. She followed up with the release of her second EP, "ALIAS," in 2019, which featured collaborations with artists such as Arca and SOPHIE.
Shygirl is known for her unique visual aesthetic, which incorporates bold, neon colors and striking, avant-garde fashion choices. Her music often explores themes of sexuality, power, and self-acceptance, with lyrics that are both playful and provocative.
In addition to her work as a musician, Shygirl has also gained recognition for her collaborations with other artists, including the British electronic duo Disclosure, Slowthai and Björk. She has performed at a variety of festivals and venues around the world, including the Primavera Sound festival and the Boiler Room.
Shygirl's music and persona have been praised for their subversive and boundary-pushing nature, as well as their commitment to empowering women and queer individuals. She is widely considered to be one of the most exciting and innovative voices in contemporary pop music.
Tirzah is a British singer and songwriter known for her soulful and intimate approach to pop music. Born in London in 1986, Tirzah began making music in her early 20s, drawing inspiration from a range of genres, including R&B, hip-hop, and electronic music.
Tirzah first gained attention with the release of her debut EP, "I'm Not Dancing," in 2013. The EP featured her distinctive blend of minimalistic beats, hushed vocals, and evocative lyrics. She followed up with the release of her debut album, "Devotion," in 2018, which was widely acclaimed by critics and established her as a rising star in the music world.
Tirzah's music is characterized by its raw emotional intensity and its willingness to explore complex and often uncomfortable feelings. Her lyrics often deal with themes of love, loss, and the struggles of everyday life, while her music is marked by its understated beauty and simplicity.
In addition to her work as a musician, Tirzah has also gained recognition for her collaborations with other artists, including the British electronic musician Mica Levi. She has performed at a variety of festivals and venues around the world, including the Primavera Sound festival and the Roundhouse in London.
Tirzah is widely regarded as one of the most exciting and innovative voices in contemporary pop music, with a unique style that blends elements of soul, R&B, and electronic music into a sound that is uniquely her own.
Ravyn Lenae is an American singer and songwriter known for her unique blend of R&B, soul, and experimental pop music. Born in Chicago in 1999, Ravyn began her music career at a young age, performing at local open mic nights and talent shows.
Ravyn first gained attention with the release of her debut EP, "Moon Shoes," in 2015, which was produced by the Chicago-based musician Monte Booker. The EP featured her distinctive, dreamy vocals and intricate, jazz-influenced arrangements, and received widespread critical acclaim.
She followed up with the release of her second EP, "Midnight Moonlight," in 2017, which featured collaborations with artists such as Steve Lacy and Smino. The EP showcased Ravyn's continued evolution as an artist, with a more mature and confident sound that blended elements of soul, R&B, and funk.
Ravyn has also gained recognition for her dynamic live performances, which have taken her to venues and festivals around the world, including the Pitchfork Music Festival and the Essence Festival.
In addition to her music, Ravyn is also known for her activism and her commitment to social justice issues. She has used her platform to speak out about police brutality, racial inequality, and other issues affecting marginalized communities, and has collaborated with a number of organizations to raise awareness and funds for these causes.
Ravyn Lenae is widely regarded as one of the most exciting and innovative voices in contemporary R&B, with a unique style and approach that sets her apart from her peers.
Greentea Peng, born Aria Wells, is a British singer and songwriter known for her unique blend of soul, hip-hop, and electronic music. Born and raised in South London, Greentea Peng began her music career performing at open mic nights and collaborating with local musicians.
In 2018, Greentea Peng released her debut EP, "Sensi," which showcased her distinctive, soulful voice and introspective, socially conscious lyrics. The EP was praised for its unique blend of genres, drawing from influences such as reggae, jazz, and electronic music.
Following the success of "Sensi," Greentea Peng released a series of acclaimed singles, including "Downers" and "Mr. Sun (Miss Da Sun)," which further solidified her reputation as one of the most exciting and innovative voices in contemporary music.
Greentea Peng's music is characterized by its honesty and vulnerability, with lyrics that touch on a range of personal and social issues. She has spoken candidly about her struggles with mental health and addiction, and has used her platform to raise awareness and challenge stigma around these issues.
In addition to her music, Greentea Peng is also known for her distinctive visual style, incorporating bold, colorful prints and vintage fashion into her aesthetic. She has collaborated with a number of fashion brands, including Nike and MCM, and has been featured in a number of fashion publications.
Greentea Peng's music and persona have been praised for their authenticity and their commitment to social justice issues.
With her unique blend of soulful vocals, socially conscious lyrics, and eclectic musical influences, Greentea Peng has established herself as a rising star in the music world, and a powerful voice for change and empowerment.
Laura Lee is the bass player for the American band Khruangbin. Born in 1985, Lee grew up in Texas and initially pursued a career as a social worker before deciding to focus on music full-time.
Lee's distinctive bass playing style has been a defining feature of Khruangbin's music. Her playing is often characterized by its simplicity and groove, with a focus on creating a strong foundation for the band's atmospheric and psychedelic soundscapes. Lee has cited a wide range of influences on her playing, including funk, R&B, and world music.
In addition to her work with Khruangbin, Lee has also collaborated with a variety of other artists, including Leon Bridges, David Byrne, and Mark Ronson. She has been praised for her versatility as a bass player and her ability to adapt her playing to a wide range of musical styles and contexts. Laura Lee of Khruangbin learned how to play bass in a somewhat unconventional way. She did not start playing music until she was in college, when she picked up a bass guitar for the first time. Initially, she was self-taught, learning by playing along with records and experimenting with different techniques.
Later on, she started taking lessons and studying music theory, which helped to deepen her understanding of the instrument and expand her playing abilities. However, she has stated in interviews that she still relies heavily on her own intuition and creativity when it comes to writing and performing music.
One of the defining aspects of Lee's playing style is her focus on simplicity and groove, which she has described as being influenced by funk and R&B music. She has also cited a wide range of other bass players as influences, including James Jamerson, Paul McCartney, and Carol Kaye.
Beyond her music, Lee is known for her distinctive style and her advocacy for body positivity and self-love. She has been open about her struggles with body image and has used her platform to promote messages of acceptance and self-care.
Laura Lee's journey as a bass player is a testament to the power of experimentation and self-discovery in music. By following her own intuition and drawing on a range of influences, she has developed a distinctive and highly effective approach to playing bass that has helped to define the sound of Khruangbin.