The 8th March has been marked as International Women’s Day as a global celebration of women, since 1913, a day to triumph the dope achievements of women all over the globe. Even though we understand that celebrating the awesomeness of women shouldn’t be reduce to one day, we at L Ø S T C U L T U R E are proud to be celebrating International Womens Day 2016 and what better way to celebrate then looking at the future female stars of the UK scene. With every genre from R&B to rap and grime to soul creating new stars on a daily basis, this was no easy list to create. But these eight women have impressed us and it’s only right to share their talents to the masses.
Newcomer Jorja Smith is certainly someone to watch for this year. At just 18 years old, the Walsall songstress is a classically trained vocalist but is inspired by the likes of Lauryn Hill, Curtis Mayfield, Damien Marley and this range of inspirations is reflected in her work. Her debut single, ‘Blue Lights‘ combines her outstanding singing over Jorja’s harmonic instrumental and samples Dizzee Rascal‘s ‘Sirens‘. With vocals delivered in a similarly despondent tone to Alessia Cara’s ‘Here‘, where it differs to that track is that Cara made her introduction all about herself. ‘Blue Lights‘ is concerned with everyone but Smith, who plays the part of the restless, internally bruised onlooker to perfection. If the track is any indication, there will be a lot more music and many fewer macchiatos in her near future. She currently writes music in-between shifts at Starbucks, where she currently works.
Ray BLK is a singer & songwriter from Catford, South London. She has been singing since the age of 14 and finally in 2015 dropped her first solo project Haversham. The concept EP was filled with emotion, edge and a mix of sounds from slow neo-soul sounds to grimey up tempo tracks. Ray cites her inspirations as Lauryn Hill, Amy Winehouse, and Biggie Smalls. She infuses soulful sounds with a hip hop edge and asserts that her primary focus are lyrics. Ray hopes to bring something new to the R&B scene that the UK can call their own. Her subsequent releases, ‘Talk To Me‘ and ‘50/50‘ showcased her versatility in talent and Ray showed that she has got the vocal style of any seasoned R&B crooner and the kind of effortless flow that’s sure to drop the jaws of many music industry head. ‘50/50‘, produced by Aston Rudi tackles issues of relationships and commitment and blends bouncy melodies, wailing guitars and rhythmic breakdowns to create a truly hypnotic number.
Nadia Rose has forever looked to remain individual and that can be seen through the music she puts out. Her freestyle ‘Station’showcased her flow and verstiltility on the microphone while her remix of Yungen & Sneakbo’s ‘Ain’t On Nuttin’ profiled her love for lyrics and wordplay. All of these tracks simply served as teasers to the release of the official video for ‘D.F.W.T’, which sees Nadia go over the instrumental of Mila J‘s ‘My Main’ [a DJ Mustard production] and drop an impressive track, full of punchlines, plus a variation of speeds and flows. Alongside tracks ‘BOOM‘ and ‘Retail Therapy‘, Nadia Rose has shown she has the abilty to reach a larger audience and has seen Nadia been featured on a number of media outlets. Nadia Rose is carving her own lane in the game, as she displays her creative lyrics and mixes a variety of flows and styles.
21-year-old east London based singer/songwriter Rachel Foxx could easily be described as something of a soul diva in training. There’s a taste of Jill Scott with a dash of Sade and a sprinkling of Erykah Badu. She’s no carbon copy however; it’s just not difficult to hear those influences. Her self-titled debut EP in 2014 served as a stellar introduction to the London lady’s unique brand of emotive soul, and throwback vocal. In comparison to some of her musical counterparts, Rachel Foxx‘s debut feels distinctively old school and slightly out of place for her time; it’s easy to forget that she’s just 21 and to her benefit, it helps her stand out from her crowd of other young female singer/songwriters. Foxx returned in late 2015 with ‘Pink and Green‘, tantalizing us with hypnotic vocals that express pure R&B bliss in it’s clearest form as she coos of a relationship with her lover gone sour.
XL Recordings‘ latest signee Lapsleyaka 19-year-old Holly Fletcher released debut EP Understudy in January last year and a full-length album is due out imminently. Drawing from the same pools of artfully languorous melancholia as James Blake or Majical Cloudz, Lapsley appears set to win the hearts and minds of true believers everywhere, with nary a soft-psych jangle to be found. The young artist has already found fans among the music press and at Radio 1, who’ve rather taken to the haunting sparsity of her singles including latest release ‘Love Is Blind‘. They were songs that revealed an artist who was sonically adventurous, but also gifted with an exceptional voice — rich, soulful, but also capable of a stunning falsetto. Lapsley truly shines as an artist with incredible talent for writing, producing and composing music.
Paigey Cakeyis a Hackney born MC specialising in just about everything. Under the name Paige Meade, she starred in Joe Cornish‘s film Attack The Block in 2011 and was a regular star on BBC‘s Waterloo Road in 2012. From humble beginnings on YouTube, Paigey Cakey demonstrated an all rapping, all dancing performance style that was sharp, witty and full of wordplay. Fast foward four years and the female rapper has worked with the likes of Karmah Cruz [‘Bassline‘], Geko [‘Nana‘], Big Tobz [‘Exchange‘], Sneakbo [‘What’s Up‘] and MoStack [‘No Buddy Remix‘] and is regarded as one of the most exciting UK rappers for the next 12 months. Paigey is in possession of one of the most exciting voices in the genre, spitting confident rhymes and providing a witty narrative about the world around her. Her energy on the microphone makes her pressence felt on every single track she makes and fans and critics eagerly anticipate the follow up to her 2014 mixtape The Right Paige.
Nao is a 24 year old singer, songwriter & producer from East London. Since leaving Guildhall School of Music + Drama, Nao has been working full time as a musician [including jobs singing with Jarvis Cocker, Pulp & Kwabs] but is now stepping out as a solo artist. After writing hundreds of songs that nobody heard, Nao finally found a sound she was happy with after jamming with producer [& close friend] John Calvert in late night sessions at her Hackney home. As fans of SBTRKT, Burial and Björk they wanted to make electronic music but, as experienced session musicians, play everything live without sequencers. The 1st track from that session is ‘Back Porch‘ and it opened the floodgates to a series of songs that will made up her debut EP, So Good. The natural progression was to deliver an album and Nao is currently in the process of working on a project due out later this year. The first track to be heard was ‘Bad Blood‘ and is a little slice of bliss, with Nao’s malleable voice stretching and pulling itself to pieces as a sultry, synthesized melody envelopes her whole.
Essex born, former West End musical child star Anne-Marie has progressed to pop’s waiting list thanks to two years of touring the world with dance collective Rudimental [she also appears on their forthcoming second album, We the Generation]. In fact, Anne-Marie’s got form when it comes to collaborations with dance producers, having previously worked with Magnetic Man, Gorgon City and Raized By Wolves. A shot at a solo career in 2013 was curtailed in order to give her time to develop, despite the breezy demo ‘Summer Girl’ garnering a fan in Ed Sheeran. Now she is back with a new found enthusiasm and is impressing critics with ‘Boy‘, ‘Do It Right‘ and an infectious “refix” of ‘In2‘, earning her a spot on MTV‘s Brand New for 2016 list. Anne-Marie’s raspy vocals with her fierce delivery create a charming combination that are hard to ignore.