It seems like there’s never a week where I don’t see a public figure accused of cultural appropriation. I won’t name any names, but there is definitely a few that can easily come to mind.
As a minority myself, this is really frustrating to see. But instead of wasting my energy over this, I really wanna spread the word on female artists of color that stay true to themselves and their fans.
Tazi is a Moroccan-American artist from Queens, New York. Starting as an Instagram model and then becoming a singer, she is incredibly open about both of these industries, mostly on her social media.
She is heavily involved in promoting body positivity and is an active protester. She addresses serious issues, yet in a casual and youthful way that really appealed to me.
Tazi really tells her story in her music in an alternative R&B genre in her newest album “The Avant-Garden.”
First listen recommendation: “Avant Garden”
Princess Nokia (Destiny Frasqueri)
Frasqueri the afro Latina, queer, artist who doesn’t take anyone’s crap. After facing a rough life in the foster system, she is standing up and showing her support for intersectional feminism and fighting against racism.
Frasqueri really makes her music her own. She isn’t afraid to dive into pop, rock, hip hop, etc., because she has a story that she knows that works for each song and story she tells.
First listen recommendation: “Versace Hottie”
Kali Uchis (Karly-Marina Loaiza)
This Columbian-American singer is hard not to love. When I first saw a Kali Uchis music video, I was hooked! The aesthetics, the looks, her hypnotic voice, the meaning behind her song: I knew I had to follow her everywhere I could.
It’s difficult to put Loaiza into one genre, although some say she has a more contemporary R&B and pop feel. All I know is that her music sounds like silk feels.
Currently, Loaiza has a foundation to help disadvantaged Colombian families and encourages fans to give a helping hand. Not only does she preach strong messages in her music, she really puts in the work to make a difference.
First listen recommendation: “After the Storm” ft. Tyler, The Creator and Bootsy Collins
Honestly, I thought I had Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” playing when, in reality, it was Indian American singer Raveena Aurora. I’m not really into soul music, as I tend to associate it with my grandparents, but I’m actually addicted to Aurora.
Finally, we see influences of Indian culture with an Indian artist, and it all goes so well with her genre. Her dreamy songs mixed with her cultural jewelry and outfits to make such beautiful videos.
Compared to all of the artists I’m recommending, Aurora has a much smaller following. She states in some of her social media post that she’s limited in budget for music videos and I’m quite impressed to say the least. Her creative mind shines through a lot of her content and I’m really living for it.
2019 is the year I’m keeping a close eye on Aurora to see what things she has in store.
Yaeji (Kathy Yaeji Lee)
Look, the next time I go to a party, I want to hear anything by Yaeji or else I’m not staying. I can’t help but feel like a cool kid whenever I have this Korean-American DJ, singer and music producer playing on my playlist.
Describing herself as shy about her vocals, Lee still doesn’t fail to deliver. Her style of techno music mixed with her smooth vocals makes a unique combination. While playing with both Korean and English in her songs and remixing familiar songs such as “Passion Fruit” by Drake, there’s always something exciting with each song she puts out.
First listen recommendation: “Drink I’m Sipping On”
Hyuna (Hyun-ah Kim)
In the western world, we have really big celebrities that we would faint at the sight of. Meanwhile, in Korea, I would say one of those artist is Hyuna. With Kim contributing so much to her old company and to the K-pop industry, she’s hard to ignore.
Kim is known mostly for her dances with a sexy flair. She recognizes this and she owns it, and she hopes that her confidence will spread to her fans as well.
I’m looking forward to see how Kim will continue her career.
First listen recommendation: “How’s This”
Music is certainly filled with diverse people, but it’s time we give the right people the right attention. I heavily recommend anyone to venture out of their playlist, or check out a friends, because there are so many hidden gems in the industry waiting to be seen.