Fresh Finds by Female Artists
Written by Parnia Razi on April 12, 2019
Spring is in full bloom and some of our favorite ladies in music are back at it with some incredible new tracks! Check out this month’s Fresh Finds by Female Artists to find your new favorite song or artist and to support and elevate the voices of diverse women in music.
Nadia Tehran, “Jet”
Iranian-Swedish artist Nadia Tehran has found her way into the international spotlight recently for her unique identity; how she brings that identity forth in her music, and how she ties together pop, electronic, and punk sounds. Playing at SXSW this year, I discovered her by seeing her live set before I had even heard her music. I was astounded at her energy, her strong message, and how powerful her set was. In an interview with Fader last year, Tehran discusses the political themes of her art and how she finds her identity despite growing up in dual cultures. Her Iranian parents moved to Sweden, which is where Tehran grew up and found her love for punk and rap music. However, also spending summers in Iran and hearing her father’s stories of fighting in the Iran-Iraq war, Tehran ties her Iranian identity into her progressive, political, punk influences perfectly. Feeling like she lives in “two different worlds,” Tehran’s music definitely expresses this tension, especially in her album Life Is Cheap, Death Is Free. Tehran has attempted to relocate to the U.S. to continue pursuing music, but unfortunately Trump’s ‘Muslim Ban’ has prevented her from doing so. Regardless, determined to not let racist regimes get the better of her, Nadia continues to express herself politically and musically. Her latest singles, “Jet” and “Down” are hopefully a tease for another album from Tehran soon.
Snoh Aalegra, “You”
You may have heard of the Swedish-Iranian singer Snoh Aalegra after her album FEELS was released in 2017. With features from Vic Mensa, Logic, and Vince Staples, Aalegra tunes her sound to the rhythm of R&B with her own flair. Without a doubt, Aalegra has one of the most prominent rising voices in the genre and holds a unique space in music today. Knowing she wanted to pursue music from an early age, Aalegra signed to Sony Music in Sweden at the age of 13. Being involved in music for so long, it is no surprise Aalegra seems effortless in her art and music. Aalegra brings the simplicity of her Swedish culture with some of the glam of her Iranian culture, too. Naming The Weeknd, Lana Del Rey, and Frank Ocean as some of her influences, Aalegra also is inspired by this 90’s-vibe and going back to the roots of R&B music. Her latest single, “You,” slows down and really allows Aalegra’s powerful voice to shine through while combining these ‘retro’ elements with modern production. Speaking of ‘retro’, the late Prince mentored Aalegra. He encouraged her to leave her to leave a major label and be an individual artist. Dedicated to “resisting the mainstream” and staying true to herself, Aalegra brings important and authentic representation for women in music and in the R&B genre. Check out the single and more of Aalegra’s music on Soundcloud below.
Kari Faux, “Leave Me Alone”
Kari Faux is a hip-hop/rap artist originally from Little Rock, Arkansas but who’s now based in Los Angeles. Faux’s talent captured the attention of Donald Glover when he remixed her hit “No Small Talk” a few years ago. Bringing the girl boss energy and celebrating black culture, Faux brings this important intersection of her womanhood and race into her music. With this message in mind, Faux still remains carefree and appealing to larger audiences, a difficult duality to manage that she does so perfectly. Her latest EP Cry 4 Help, with “Leave Me Alone” as the lead single, show a more mature and darker side of Faux. Dealing with themes of mental health and healing, this EP opens her up on a deeper level and definitely develops this strong identity and message Faux has had all along. Singing about drinking your troubles away, picking bad friends, and wanting to be alone, the themes are incredibly relatable across the human experience. With a growing name in hip-hop and largely positive response to this intimate EP, you won’t want to sleep on Kari Faux.
Tash Sultana, “Can’t Buy Happiness”
With a massively successful debut album and world tour in the past year, Tash Sultana has made her way into the hearts of fans around the world with her energetic alternative rock. Influenced by reggae and growing up around music, Sultana’s talent emerged at an early age. Her career started off with her playing on the streets at small local venues in Melbourne, Australia. Now, she plays 15 instruments and is described as a “one person band.” Her live shows have been recognized for her high energy and impressive ability to sustain a vivid, emotional, and all-around brilliant show just by herself. Her album Flow State received an incredible response, and rightfully so, as it is one of the most compelling and beautiful albums in her genre today. One of the fastest growing artists of 2018, this year is bound to be even more exciting for Sultana. Her latest single “You Can’t Buy Happiness“ gives us another dose of her stunning voice with her simple yet incredible acoustic guitar. Even with the limited discography she currently has, it’s hard to imagine her music getting any better because it’s already so developed and excellent despite her little experience in professional music. You can check out Sultana’s music on Soundcloud below, her song “Free Mind“ is my personal favorite.
Alison Wonderland, “Peace”
DJ and producer Alison Wonderland has been taking over electronic music in the last year as she ascends to one of the biggest and most recognized names in the industry. Wonderland’s album Awake (along with remixes of the album) released last year was successful across the globe. The Australian artist has gained herself spots on some of the biggest festival lineups of the year. Her unique, eccentric style and her skill for both mixing a diverse range of music and producing her own songs have captured the attention of thousands of fans. In addition to DJing and producing, Wonderland has even incorporated singing live and playing the electric cello in her live shows, giving her a special touch you won’t find at a typical DJ set. Being a woman in the male-dominated genre Wonderland also serves as an important voice for women in music, and always elevates other female artists across all genres. After her recent tour and collaboration with Dillon Francis, Wonderland took a short break from the road to work on new music. With collaborations with Elohim and RL Grime in the works, there’s no doubt her next album will be even bigger and better. To hold us off until then, Wonderland recently released her new single “Peace,” the perfect upbeat hit just in time for festival season. Dialing into her personal life and feelings, the song is vulnerable and beautiful but something you can dance to at the same time, which is what makes her music so incredible. You can check out the music video for “Peace” below, and check out her podcast Radio Wonderland on iTunes.