• Paula J Leon

6 Artists You Should be Listening to Right Now

Revamp your playlist with the songs of these six talented women

Finding good music is always such a beautiful experience because it's like you both find yourself and lose yourself in a song if it speaks to you. When you’re living in your own music video it's always such a tender sensation, a song that awakens the star inside us, that's a good song. This list is made up of some of the artists I’ve come across and have loved for the past year and that will love to.

1. Beth Million

NYC-and-Atlanta-based R&B artist Beth Million is someone you need on your radar. Her music is made up of stacked harmonies, her gorgeous soulful vocals, and energetic trap-leaning production create a warm, glowing invitation into her world. Million’s life has been so enriched with multiple cultures being of Ethiopian descent and having spent a significant part of her life in Geneva, Switzerland allowing her to develop a loyal following in both Europe and the U.S. I had the opportunity to chat with her in an interview for Muchacha Charla releasing soon, and she discussed how moving from Switzerland to NYC really unleashed a sense of creative freedom that allowed her to explore her music. Some of my favourite tunes include “Layers” and “Dirty Little Secret.” Million’s latest release, “Coastin,” came out near the end of 2020, and while last year sucked, at least we got some great singles from her.

2. Kanwulia

There are so many reasons you should be watching Kanwulia’s music videos, not just because I’m low key in one of them for a few seconds, but because they are pieces of art. Despite dealing with the unrest happening in her home country Nigeria and the global pandemic, Kanwulia and her team successfully managed to film and produce “AMERIKANA.” “AMERIKANA” is the first visual album created by a Nigerian artist that explores identity within the African Diaspora. As her project description mentions, the Lagos-born-and-raised artist “plays with aesthetics through a Western lens supported by a Nigerian frame.” Her music is a blend of power, creativity, and is culturally rooted at home on two continents. If you feel like shaking your booty I highly suggest pressing play on her latest visual EP “Juru.”

3. Abby T

My obsession with Abby T began my freshman year of college when we both performed at New York University’s Ultra Violet Live preliminaries–the same talent show that Lady Gaga won third place back in her college years. Abby T performed her song “Stereotype” and I remember walking over to her and asking if there was anywhere I could listen to it and at the time, she said it was only on apple music. So I spent that $1.45 to show my support because I really wanted to hear more of her music, even though I’m an avid Spotify user. Now, whenever I want to listen to “Stereotype,” it's one of the only songs in my Apple Music library and I think that's cute. A couple of months ago, Abby T released a music video for her song “High” and… Oh. My. God. The vocals are so smooth, and the music video shows Abby T feeling the stardom she rightfully deserves. Make sure to keep up with her on her Instagram at @Abbyttt

4. Serena Isioma

Images from The Line of Best Fit

Want a chill song that makes you travel through vibes? Press play on Serena Isioma’s “Meadows.” The Chicago-based musician is also a first generation Nigerian-American whose sound is immersed in today's R&B scene seamlessly combining hip hop, indie tunes and modern lo-fi pop. Wouldn't be surprised if Marvel reaches out to Isioma about maybe having one of her songs on soundtrack for the next chapter in Miles Morales’ story *wink wink.* In 2020, Isioma released her career-changing EP “Sensitive” which throughout the year has received high praise.

5. Lady Bri

Brianne Bryant, most commonly known as Lady Bri, grew up in Cleveland, Ohio singing along to Whitney Houston karaoke, whose music inspired her to find comfort in standing alone. Lady Bri has both the tunes I cry to as well as the tunes I dance to, she hits feel good music from all sorts of angles. Whenever I want to feel like a boss b*tch, I listen to her song “Makin a Move”–it’s so fun and motivational that when you press play you're transported to a good time. For when your haters are trying to bring you down, play “Just Watch Me Now.”

6. Denyah

If you’ve seen season 3 of “Dear White People” you might recognise this one. Her song “Easy Baby”–which I might play an embarrassing number of times a week–was on the soundtrack of the show. This pastel R&B artist creates tunes that make you feel like you’re lying on the grass on a sunny warm afternoon. Her music invites you to get wrapped up in a warm blanket, looking out of the window of the passenger seat. She recently released her official music video for Come Back a month ago, so make sure to give it some love.

If you enjoyed my recommendations, feel free to listen to this taster playlist I made since I was listening to all these artists on repeat.

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