Success in the field of female pop singers is a tough nut to crack. The ladies not only have to sound good and look good but they have to do it while literally dancing backwards in high heels. It's a mean feat that can lead to sore feet and broken dreams for the many, but for the few who do succeed it's a rewarding dream come true. What follows is my list of the ladies with voices that will knock your socks off and with great songs to boot. So let the list begin.
Banks has been on the scene since 2011 and always appears to be always on the verge of major commercial success. She's signed to Harvest Records, a division of the Capitol Music Group, and has toured internationally as an opening act for the band The Weekend. Born in Orange County, CA, Banks began writing songs when she was a teenager as a way to handle the break up of her parent's marriage. Now at 28 she's released a pair of EPs and a pair of LPs. Her most recent album was "The Altar" with the advance singles, "Better", and "F*ck With Myself". She is best known for her ability to sing about heartbreak and make it sound seductive. Last month the song "Crowded Places" was featured in the HBO TV series "Girls".
Nikyee Heaton broke into the music scene around the same time as Banks. Her Youtube channel went viral and with the success of its popularity she dropped "Bad Intentions", her first debut EP in 2014. By 2016, and still while only 21 years old, Heaton was signed to Capitol Records and put out an album titled "The Bedroom Tour Playlist" which was compiled in the form of a mixtape. Her style crosses over from alternative R&B to contemporary pop-rock with strong hip-hop influences on the backing arrangements. She self describes her sound as being "two worlds colliding, like folk, rhythm, and Shakespearean sonnets mixed with Kanye West trap beats."
British vocalist Anne-Marie began making waves in 2015 with "Do It Right" on Rocket Records. Frequent remixes of that song by popular club DJs around the world only helped her gain global recognition. She followed this up with "Alarm" in 2016 and then with "Rockabye" featuring artist and producer Sean Paul. Anne-Marie entered the entertainment industry as a child acting in various West End theatre productions in London. Don't mess with this Miss; she has been a student of the shotokan division of karate since she was nine years old and has earned several Shotokan Karate Association World Championship awards. She credits her karate training with teaching her the focus and discipline required for surviving in the music business.
Mina Alali was born in Connecticut but raised in California and is currently a student at the Berklee College of Music in Massachusetts. Picked up by an indie label called Kick-A-Beat Records at age 19 she's released several EPs and singles. The first EP, "22 Cents Less", with a track of the same name about the treatment of women working in the American labor force and garnered a lot of attention and praise as it was released during the contentious American presidential election battle between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. The timing could not have been better planned. Before the year was over a Christmas song, "What I Want", was in heavy rotation at radio stations in The US programming holiday music. In 2017 Kick-A-Beat released her "Something About Her" album. The title track entered the top ten of the Billboard singles charts during May of that year.
From New Zealand the sibling duo Broods came out in 2014 with "Bridges". Brother and sister, Caleb and Georgia Notts signed with Capitol and Polydor Records. Georgia provided the vocals for Caleb's multi-instrumental performances. Their next record, "Evergreen" opened the door to touring engagements with Sam Smith and the legendary Ellie Goulding. By 2016 their album "Conscious" hit the charts with the single "Heartlines". New Zealand actress Rose McIver from the "iZombie" TV show appeared in the music video for the song. They're about to begin a European tour that will run through the end of this summer. Ms. Notts spectacular range and power has received well earned critical praise for the group and won the ears and hearts of loyal fans on several continents.
Full disclosure; besides writing music reviews I also sing professionally. As another woman in the music biz I know how hard we have to work in what's pretty much a boy's club. It is nothing less than an honor for me to be able to spotlight great female talent early on and I wish all the above the best in their careers. With that said I'd like to add that the more we can support each other the easier the road gets for us. It's 2017 and we sisters are doing it for ourselves!