Our generation has become infamously known as the “Internet Generation.” Although we tend to get a negative reputation for our tech-savvy ways, a lot of good has come out of it too. One example is that of the platform the Internet has given to musicians of underrepresented, marginalized communities. Although still not accessible to many, the worldwide web has been able to connect thousands, if not millions, of musicians and music bloggers of various identities to one another, allowing them to freely express themselves and share their thoughts and ideas with one another in an arguably safe space. Here are four very talented young female musicians of color who are taking charge of the Internet in amazing ways:
A second-generation Ethiopian immigrant, Kelela Mizanekristos’s music is a taste of the future. Pitchfork’s interview with her showed how Kelela felt both inside and outside of her own culture, an in-betweenness that has great effect in her own music—a combination of R&B and future-thinking electronics. Kelela was raised in Rockville, Maryland, by parents who emigrated to the U.S. from Ethiopia in the 1970s. She told Pitchfork, “I’ve grown up feeling very American but being constantly othered by people—there’s internalized racism and feeling weird about being second-gen.” Kelela recently released her debut mixtape “Cut 4 Me” and was featured in Solange’s compilation album, “Saint Heron.”
FKA Twigs, currently based in London, was born in Gloucestershire to a part-Spanish mother and a Jamaican father. Between her hauntingly beautiful music and ethereal music videos (which she mainly directs herself), it is impossible to not feel enamored by this multifaceted artist. Fader wrote an article entitled “How FKA Twigs is Pushing Female Sexuality Beyond Miley Cyrus and Sinead,” appreciating Twigs for “blowing her own sexualized female body up widescreen, mess[ing] with its proportions, reveal[ing] unexpected contradictions within it.” With her mix of soul, trip-hop, R&B, dreamy pop tunes and impressive baby hairs, FKA Twigs should be every weird brown girl’s new inspiration.
Fatima Al Qadiri is a New York-based Kuwaiti musician and visual artist who was born and brought up in Senegal. Performing and exhibiting at places like the MoMA PS1, Tate Modern, and Art Dubai, Al Qadiri has taken the modern art world by storm. Interview Magazine comments on the visuals Fatima created for her EP “Genre-Specific Xperience” as influenced by social issues of religion, technology, and the isolation the Internet creates. Her diverse upbringing does not fail to influence her music as she takes you on a tropical, futuristic, modernized trip through space with her sounds. Come and enjoy the ride.
Junglepussy hails from Brooklyn and just her tweets (@JUNGLEPUSSY) are enough to make you bow down to the greatness of this female rapper. When discussing the origins of her name with Milk Made, she stated, “There’s Pussy Riot, there’s The Pussycat Dolls, and then there are guys with names like Dick Cheney—I’m like, ‘So you can be called Dick, but I can’t be called Junglepussy?” She credits a great deal of her rising fame to the incredible power of social media—even Erykah Badu has posted one of her videos on Facebook, and she’s also had the chance to share the stage with rapper Lil’ Kim. Only 22 years old, Junglepussy has a whole lot more to show this once white man’s world.