In 2018, women climbed the charts in various industries, with the music industry being no different. The rise of female recording-artists like Ariana Grande, the seemingly anonymous H.E.R. and Kali Uchis paved the way for more women to emerge into the spotlight. The emergence doesn’t stop at the Pop charts, rather spreading across all genres including R&B, Alternative Pop and Rap. As more women pop-up on our feeds, the charts foreshadow some of the talent that 2019 will flaunt.
Only 28 days into the new year and Summer Walker is overpowering the Apple Music R&B/Soul top album charts, occupying three of the top five placements. The explicit version of her latest, CLEAR-EP sits at the number one spot, with the clean version of the project only falling behind Ella Mai’s self titled album, and her debut album, Last Day of Summer holding its own at spot number four. The Atlanta, Georgia musician caught light with “Girls Need Love” gaining enough traction to drop two soulful projects just four months apart. Walker’s mellow, organic energy keeps the twenty two year old high on our list of female musicians to watch in 2019.
Track to listen to: CLEAR-EP
Men I Trust
Men I Trust is a band from Quebec, Canada fronted by Emma Proulx. Since releasing the electronic-heavy album Headroom in 2016, the band has pivoted to an indie pop sound. The band has released many singles and EP’s in the last two years, including “Tailwhip,” “Seven” and “Show Me How,” all of which showcase the band’s versatility and ear for catchy pop-influenced hooks. After playing at Tyler the Creators’ Camp Flog Gnaw this fall, the group will continue touring the U.S. and Canada this spring, with a spot on Coachella’s lineup in April. Men I Trust’s well-crafted pop music is perfect for a drive with friends, and their fans are looking forward to a full album of warm, bouncy tracks.
Track to listen to: “Show Me How”
Rico Nasty is a 21-year-old up and coming rapper from the Baltimore area, and her 2018 debut album Nasty skyrocketed the rapper into critical acclaim and the public eye. Known for her rage-y girl anthems like “Smack a B*tch” and “Poppin” the rapper has been slowly gaining traction since her mixtapes and singles released throughout 2016-17. The rapper is also known for her colorful looks and ability to switch up into a variety of styles with ease and an inimitable coolness, which has earned her spreads and features in FADER, I-D and other major music and culture magazines. An authentic and captivating rapper and performer, Rico Nasty will play Coachella and Primavera Sound, bringing her infamous high-energy, girl-filled shows to festival stages.
Track to listen to: “Countin’ Up”
Japanese-born and London-raised Rina Sawayama’s debut EP, RINA came out at then end of 2017. A fresh pop record that combined a throwback 2000’s sound with futuristic sensibilities, Sawayama’s debut EP made many year-end best lists. The pop singer’s lyrics explore isolation and loneliness in the digital age, and she has gained buzz for providing lone concertgoers with special wrist-bands to normalize the experience. Sawayama continued to please fans and critics alike releasing several one-off singles in 2018, including “Cherry” which received praise for its themes of acceptance and bisexuality. She already has 2019 festival dates booked, and is expected to continue releasing new material in the meantime.
Track to listen to: “Cherry”
Awful-records affiliated Tommy Genesis released her self-titled album under Downtown Records in November 2018. Her first full-length project since 2015’s buzzworthy World Vision, Tommy Genesis features this year’s earlier collaboration with Charli XCX and another with other up-and-coming pop act, Empress Of. She released a film online to accompany several songs from the album called “God is Wild,” and is set to embark on a solo tour of the U.S. and Europe this spring.
Track to listen to: “Lucky”
Minneapolis-based songwriter Dizzy Fae has been a musician from a young age, and her 2018 Free Form Mixtape showcases many different types of R&B and electronic-infused jams. After releasing “Her/Indica,” about her first romantic fling with another woman, and later dropping “Lifestyle,” in collaboration with Urban Outfitters’ in-house music label, which Dizzy herself called “a banger” via Instagram stories. This year she is supporting Toro y Moi on his Outer Peace tour, and we hope to hear more music from her soon.
Track to listen to: “Her/Indica”
Hannah Diamond is a PC Music-affiliated pop singer, songwriter and photographer, and is based out of London. After collaborating with Charli XCX and SOPHIE on 2016’s “Paradise” and being featured on Charli XCX’s legendary Pop 2 tour, Hannah Diamond released her EP “Soon I Won’t See You At All” in November 2017. After teasing many projects online, with some even leaking prematurely, Hannah Diamond finally released a new single, “True” accompanied with a self-directed visual. Her fans are eagerly waiting more music and collaborations with the PC Music crew, including SOPHIE, Charli XCX and A.G. Cook, hopefully to be included on her forthcoming album sometime this year.
Track to listen to: “True”
Shayla Cunico is the culture and music editor for the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at email@example.com or on Twitter @ShaylaCunico.
Sophia Sambrano is a freelance reporter with the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.