Listen To Her: 5 Female Stars You Should Keep An Ear On

by Theerada Moonsiri (she/her)

Every year, 8 March marks International Women’s Day, where the world unites to celebrate all kinds of women’s achievements. Without a doubt, powerful women dominate the music industry, from legendary icons like Diana Ross and Tina Turner to today’s biggest names like Taylor Swift and Adele, just to name a few. Yet, and yes, there’s always room for more, for everyone, for new faces to make waves in music. Let me introduce you to my top five female artists whose, I guarantee, tracks warrant their place on your playlist.

GRIFF

This half-Jamaican and half-Chinese singer-songwriter is nothing but a phenomenon, a wunderkind. Sarah Faith Griffiths, known by her stage name Griff, entered the room with her debut single Mirror Talk, an instantaneous hit in 2019 that, as Griff told the BBC, talks about “having melodramatic breakdowns by yourself, and your relationship with yourself, rather than other people.”

In 2021, Griff released her first-ever mixtape One Foot in Front of the Other that one of the tracks titled Black Hole climbed and ranked #18 in the UK Singles Chart, and later got performed live at the BRIT Awards 2021, where Griff brought the BRITs Rising Star back home at the age of 20. Apart from her collabs with Honne and Zedd, Griff recently joined hands with Sigrid on their latest release dubbed Head on Fire, giving us such anthemic, head-over-heels vibes–definitely ‘that song’ you sing along at the top of your lungs, either in the shower or at the gig.

Catch Griff live in Glasgow: We, in Glasgow, are definitely in for a treat this year since Griff will be playing her own show at Galvanizers, SWG3 this 23 March, supporting Dua Lipa on the Future Nostalgia EU Tour on 24 April, and headlining TRNSMT Festival on 9 July. Take your pick.

MAGGIE ROGERS

Who doesn’t love a perfect, poignant electro-folk sound in Alaska? Thanks to Pharrell Williams and his discovery of Maggie Rogers during his masterclass at NYU, our ears are graced with Rogers’ powerful yet airy voice, the kind that soothes the soul from the very first note. The 2019 Grammy Award for Best New Artist nomination is known for her application of nature sounds and samples in her music. From rattlesnakes, bird chirps and whistles to trees falling, they collectively represent her love of folk music as Rogers told Office Magazine that it “feels rough or homemade or organic.”

After she got her big break from Alaska, Rogers never ceases to amaze me, us, with her creativity in making music; her first studio album, Heard It in a Past Life (2019), includes absolute bops like Give A Little, Light On, and Fallingwater. Plus, Rogers and Phoebe Bridgers’ cover of Goo Goo Doll’s Iris soared to #1 on the US Digital Song Sales chart. The wait for Rogers’ new music is almost over as her Instagram post from just two weeks ago reads, “album is done.” With quite a solid fanbase in the UK, Rogers may make her way back here sooner than we think.

BEKA

I discovered BEKA through Honne’s Crying Over You, and of course, her absolutely stunning, soulful voice got me hooked for good. This Nottingham-based singer-songwriter made her debut with a hope-filled, empowering pop track called I’ll Be There that echoes her husband’s love and support when she was combating mental health issues; BEKA told Wonderland Magazine that this song “is the message you send to a friend when you don’t know what to say.”

Just a couple of weeks ago, BEKA shared with us her latest single, Don’t Call Me A Friend, a fun, upbeat bop that best represents women who possess the “call it what it is” vibes. Although her full studio album is yet to come, it’s only onward and upward for BEKA from here.
Catch BEKA live in Glasgow: BEKA is supporting Honne on the UK & IE leg of their world tour; they will play the TV Studio, SWG3 on 25 April. Tickets start from £19.80.

HAIM

Need I say more? The HAIM sisters, Este, Danielle, and Alana, give us a perfect, playful blend of pop-rock melodies, somewhat skittish, percussion-oriented arrangements, and catchy lyrics that effortlessly seep into our brain; think Summer Girl, Want You Back, and Little of Your Love. While their influences include Prince, Destiny’s Child, and Spice Girls, critics often compared them to Fleetwood Mac; their live shows are also known to gravitate towards rock-based acts rather than pop-rock sound on their studio works.

After their incredible success in 2020 in releasing the third album, Women in Music, Pt. III, the trio has just recently released their latest song titled Lost Track. We have high hopes of seeing it live during HAIM’s rescheduled tour in the UK very soon.
Catch HAIM live in Glasgow: Rescheduled from the original date in June last year, HAIM is playing OVO Hydro this 14 July 2022 for their One More Haim tour. Tickets are still up for grabs; prices start from £39.75. (http://haimtheband.com/live/)

LÉON

Hailing from Sweden, Lotta Lindgren, known by her stage name LÉON, shows us how painfully beautiful melancholic music can actually achieve through her fierce and fiery track titled Tired of Talking, which became an international music sensation since Katy Perry tweeted that “she’s one to watch.” There used to be a joke between my ex-partner and I as we refer to LÉON ’a girl who has problems with boys’ since her music perfectly captures the familiar pang of heartache, give a listen to her Liar, Hope is A Heartache, and In a Stranger’s Arms to see what we mean.

Following her debut album LÉON and the second album Apart, last Friday (4 March), LÉON has just dropped her third studio album dubbed Circles which Atwood Magazine described as “a more complicated story than her previous records while also exploring an evolved sound.” LÉON in Circles is giving us growth, showing us perseverance, and proving us her talent has again surpassed what we thought her best; do your ears a favour by listening to her ‘Dancer’, ‘Wistful Thinking’, Fade Into A Dream, and the title track Circles now, yes, now.