To expand our listening universe, I believe it’s crucial to hear everything(try to) available. So to that end, I realized I’ve mostly and mainly spoke about male artists in my blog’s short time – That needs fixing – Considering the course of 2017, I found it all the more appropriate to change that in 2018. This is multi-part feature presents 30 artists whom are pushing music in their own unique way.
Although, they themselves can be seen as students of their craft, they’re teachers as well. So enjoy this list of female, femme, and non-binary artists to follow in 2018. Which I’ve titled, Maestras of Music.
You may find the second and third part of this editorial as well. Every artist mentioned will be a part of Better Rhymes’ playlists on both Spotify and Soundcloud. You’ll find said playlists towards the very end of each article. Enjoy the music and if you enjoy what you hear, please follow them and let them know you like their music.
1. Yani Mo
Yani Mo is an artist from Georgia. Her latest project is a collection of her thoughts on life and earnest feelings. A talented MC, poet, social analyst, and more. I’m certain her musical career is more expansive than what I’m imagining. A free flowing lyricist that can easily weave a story. Truth or Dare, from The Moment, is both innocent and revealing. She speaks smoothly of thoughts of love, lust, and more for the object of her desire. Her music is years of mastery and realness.
Most people probably associate music with happy warm fuzzy feelings. Mei is an artist that’s more so on the opposite end of the spectrum. What makes her diverse as an artist is that she embraces those somber tones. She doesn’t just focus on darker subject matter. She’s been able to make it a part of her collective body of work. In her track Burial bby, she sings of themes most people shy away from. She sings “I don’t need my heart” a stark reminder of life at large. Mei holds back no punches. Dark? I would say honest would be the word.
From the Bay area, Rittybo comes through with a mean love sick jam, Push Me Away. She sings of all those thoughts of a seemingly failed relationship. Lyrically she pours her heart out as she is being pushed away. Honestly, the song is very catchy and real as all hell. Rittybo invokes some very serious and sad imagery. 2018 will be the year where I think she’ll show us just she’s capable of. I’m not sure what other ballads are coming but our feelings are in danger.
3. Sofi Mari
Career singer, Sopheye is stationed over the pond. Her musical influences were inspired from living in South Florida and abroad. Also a talented producer, she regularly performs smooth tunes and creates solid compositions. This diverse artist doesn’t just sing but also can rap. I’m also fairly certain she’s constantly writing new songs. Makes sense as she’s a constant live performer. Her messages are often positive and uplifting as her high notes. She can sing the lowest of lows and the highest of for her songs and projects.
4. Olivia Nelson
I think, all the artist mentioned in this feature are in room to blow up. None more so than Ms. Olivia Nelson. After her first song, Cleopatra popped up, she’s been making waves. Appearing and working in Red Bull selects studio, this singer is a force to reckoned with. Hideaway is an airy song of moving on. She creates a beautiful song filled with emotions of longing and moving on. She takes us on a lyrical journey of acceptance. Fair warning, her music will really get you into your feelings. I can’t think of a better reason to follow her musical career.
Vagabon is a multifaceted-artist from the talent hot bed that is New York. Vagabon’s art has double meanings and multiple topics regular matters of discourse. She sings with a passion of reality. Or perhaps a perceived reality? Her story with the embers (from Infinite Worlds) sounds like a smoldering flame. The world as she sees it is coming together, like a slow burn. It’s a poetic inventory of the world. As she sings embers, she’s attempting to make sense of these feelings that may make no sense. There’s an emotional honesty being built with listeners. It’s innocent and to the point.
Duendita is a producer, director, singer, and etc. From what I know, she has been creating music for years. Everything from her vocals to song composition is all her. In her song pray she is singing as if she’s energizing a church congregation. True and intimately grand. She reminds us how we pray everyday, for everything important us. Life can make no sense when you’re young(or at any age) and those feelings are difficult to navigate. I don’t think we’re emotionally ready for what she has planned for 2018.
7. Riian Raquel
As I listen to Riian’s work, I would like to call her versatile. She’s sung and rapped to nearly every production imaginable. Her ability to adapt stylistically allows her to make any song hers. Like More Sun, she’s able to take the lo fidelity vibes and create a warm song. Lyrically, she is crafting a song of intimacy and longing. She’s creates a picturesque tale of how she’s the sun someone needs. However it becomes melancholy as it turns out they took the sun for granted.
I found Lanie’s music randomly on soundcloud. I’m glad I did because her approach to music is interesting. Like her track beautiful stranger, she isn’t shy to explore narratives. Whether they are personal or purely inspired I’m not sure. I think that’s what’s most appealing about her music. She has this ability to give listeners a story. We all tend to find ourselves with a “beautiful stranger”. The displacement of a relationship and the feelings to come. I freely admit, I have a tendency to shed a few tears from songs. Lanie will move you, so be cautious and enjoy.
Last year, Maushea’s song titled Black Girl Magic came across the timeline. It is everything the song’s title invokes to the mind. I really believe Maushea’s song is empowering and her lyrical execution is on target to say the least. Joined with Brittney Carter & 8:33, the song verse by verse is a statement. The energies that artists possess and radiate can be heard from start to finish. It’s no surprise she’s from Chicago. The chi city breeds all kinds of talent. Like the song reinforces, stand back and let her shine.
10. DJ Haram
DJ Haram is a career producer, DJ, and sound engineer from Philly. What I can say about her approach to music is that it’s on her own terms -of structure and execution- Being an active, often traveling DJ, I can only assume she creates songs with energizing crowds in mind. Of course, I could be completely wrong. She’s also very active in collectives that highlight female/femme artists within music. Yes her mixes and songs are must plays. More importantly, her music is a reflection of her thoughts as she shares them to the world. With more music to come, I can only hope to see her live on day.
The more I dedicate time to listening to music, the more I realize there’s so much to discover. When I have conversations about music, people lean on a dependence of “being told”.
So I choose to create my blog to share lesser known, indie artists. Also to find progressive movements within respective genres without much influence. Well, onwards to part 2 of the feature. You can find part three if you want. Playlists below.
Maestras of Music Volume 1 via Spotify (Note: All featured artists have music on Spotify)
Maestras of Music Volume 1 via Soundcloud