Whether it’s hip hop, neo soul, pop or French song, young female artists inspired by myriad sources are quietly taking over our streaming platforms. And we couldn’t be happier about it. Here are 5 singers you just have to listen to.
1 – Arlo Parks
January 21st saw the release of Arlo Parks’ incredible debut album, Collapsed in Sunbeams, after two EPs and some amazing singles. The 20 year old Londoner of Nigerian, Chad and French origin sings or recites (she’s a poet too) words tinged with sweet jazzy neo soul. She was raised on The Roots, Gainsbourg and Piaf, brought to public attention by Lily Allen and has come a long way since. You can’t ignore her post-adolescent world that explores self-awareness, anxiety and disappointments in relationships with sun-kissed melodies.
2 – Iliona
Our Belgian friends have no shortage of talent. We discovered Iliona a few months ago on a piano track called Moins Joli where her tinkling voice sings words with unsettling sensitivity, fragility and pain that we can all understand. The 20 year old musician has just released her EP Tristesse that you need to hear yesterday. Entre Reste, the melancholic auto-tuned title track, the experimental electro Marguerite or heady Rattrape moi: we’re under Iliona’s spell.
3 – Elia
20 year old Elia is another one to watch. Her mature lyrics are sprinkled with uncompromising empowerment. Her exciting flow, hypnotic vocals and super-sleek production saw her open for Mabel in 2019 and get spotted by Booba with Si tu savais, who’s asked her to appear on his next album (coming soon) ULTRA. She also guests on his track Grain de sable. 2019’s eponymous EP is a must-listen for a snapshot of her colourful universe.
4 – November Ultra
French-Hispanic November Ultra only has two singles under her belt but we’re head over heels for her clear honey-drenched voice. The incredibly talented pop/folk singer-songwriter is a topliner for artists such as Jaden Smith, Claire Laffut and Kungs. Soft & Tender and Miel are the first tracks from her much-anticipated upcoming album, almost entirely made in her bedroom. Quirky, confident, innocent and carefree are what come to mind when we think of November Ultra. Like a good Wes Anderson film.
5 – Nenny
Nenny is the 18 year old afrobeat queen of Portuguese and Cape Verde origin. Her fast and furious flow won us over on her Aura EP in 2019. She’s set the stage alight at the Colors show with her banging tracks Tequila and R’n’B Wave. Her full and powerful vocals also appear on Trap 21. As you can see, Nenny has a few tricks up her sleeve.