My Top 5 Female Artists (Part 1)

In celebration of Women’s History Month, I wanted to talk about a few of my favorite female artists. I originally planned to talk about ten artists, but I decided to break this piece into two parts so I could write a bit more about each artist. Some of the women on this list are artists I’m sure many people have heard of, but some of them are a bit more on the “obscure” side. Regardless, each woman on this list is talented in her own right and I believe they deserve recognition for their contributions in the music industry. Without further ado, let’s get started.

  1. 1. SZA

    One of my favorite R&B artists, SZA is one of the most creative artists of the current generation. I discovered her through the Black Panther soundtrack, where she collaborated with rapper Kendrick Lamar on “All the Stars.” What I love most about SZA is her breathy vocals and intimate lyrics, which often revolve around themes such as sexuality, nostalgia and abandonment. It’s refreshing to see an artist openly talk about such topics without fear of what others would think. 

    If you’re someone who wants to get lost in their emotions, I’d definitely recommend SZA. Some of my favorite songs from her are “Good Days,” “Drew Barrymore” and “Go Gina.”

  2. 2. Janelle Monae

    A jack of all trades, Janelle Monae is a force to be reckoned with. A Grammy-nominated singer and songwriter and acclaimed actress, there seems to be nothing that Janelle Monae can’t do. I found out about her after being recommended the music for her song “Electric Lady” on YouTube, and I’m glad I decided to give her a listen! Janelle Monae’s creativity is out of this world, and I love how each album in her discography is carefully constructed to tell its own story. 

    If you’re someone who loves concept albums and seeing artists create stories through their music, I’d definitely recommend Janelle Monae. Some of my favorite songs from her are “I Like That,” “Tightrope” and “Electric Lady.”

  3. 3. f(x)

    Most people outside of the K-Pop sphere have probably never heard of f(x), and while I would absolutely love to fill you in on everything they have to offer, I’ll keep it short for now. Originally a quintet, f(x) is a South Korean girl group who are known for their quirky, out of the box lyrics and electro-pop sound. Named the best idol group alive by Billboard, f(x) are the proud title holders of what is referred to by fans as the “holy trinity” of K-Pop albums – Pink Tape (2013), Red Light (2014) and 4 Walls (2015). What I love about f(x) is their unique sound and style, and even though the group hasn’t been active since 2016, they still hold a special place in my heart. 

    If you’re someone looking for more “camp” and artsy musicians, I would definitely recommend f(x). Some of my favorite songs from them are “Signal,” “Dracula” and “Love.”

  4. 4. Tinashe

    A Lexington native, Tinashe (in my opinion) is one of the most underappreciated pop and R&B artists. I’ve been following Tinashe since the release of her debut studio album “Aquarius” (2014) and seeing her music appear to go unnoticed by many frustrated me. Fortunately, after parting ways with RCA Records in February 2019 and independently releasing her fourth studio album, “Songs For You,” things are looking up for Tinashe. “Songs For You” earned her tons of praise and put her on the music radar, with new listeners eagerly awaiting her upcoming projects. What I love about Tinashe is her soft, airy vocals and the variety of topics she sings about in her writing.

    If you’re looking for someone who doesn’t box themselves into one category, Tinashe is the artist for you. Some of my favorite songs from her are “Save Room for Us,” “2 On” and “All Hands on Deck.”

  5. 5. Marina

    Last but not least, I cannot forget Marina. If you’re a fan of indie-pop artists, you may know who she is (or even be a fan yourself)! Formerly known as Marina and the Diamonds, Marina is an interesting artist. Her mezzo-soprano vocal abilities are absolutely amazing, and her lyrics which often critique society and human behavior are simply fascinating and thought provoking. She’s simply one of a kind and I’m always blown away by the topics she freely speaks about in her music. No matter what, Marina will always speak her mind, and it is one of the things I love about her. 

    If you’re looking for an artist that is in tune with society and speaks through music, Marina is the artist for you. Some of my favorite songs from her are “Radioactive,” “Handmade Heaven” and “Solitaire.”

That’s all I have for Part 1! I hope you'll check out some of the women listed and become a fan! They're fantastic artists. Stay tuned next week for Part 2, where I will introduce you to five more female artists!