Women of Colour or (WOC), have been underrepresented in the music industry since the beginning. This list for me, is to share some of my favourite WOC artists with you all. So, here we go!
1. Zee Avi (Miri, Malaysia)
Zee Avi is an Malaysian singer-songwriter, guitarist, and ukulele player. Her soft, lullaby-like voice was my coffee shop go-to throughout my time in University. All of her songs are amazing, so you’re sure to find one that resonates with you.
2. Priscilla Ahn (Pennsylvania, US)
Priscilla Ahn’s amazing voice has held a prime spot on my playlist ever since I was 13. Her voice draws many parallels to Ingrid Michaelson and Nora Jones. You might recognize her from her contribution to the “My Sister’s Keeper soundtrack.” Her mother is Korean, so Priscilla has even produced a few songs in Korean: (“從一片落葉開始).
3. Angel Taylor (Los Angeles, US)
I discovered this lovely lady when I was about 13 years old. Angel makes beautiful music, which you can find on Tumblr. Her covers of Rihanna’s hit, “Stay” and Ed Sheeran’s “Lego House” are gorgeous. Even 13 years after I first discovered her, Angel is still one of my favourite artists.
4. Hope (New York, US)
I discovered this soulful singer around the same time as I found Angel Taylor. Listening to Hope brings me back to those young, fearless days when I would write as if my heart were on fire.With hints of Gospel in her style, she is a timeless artist.
5. Natasha Khan (London, UK)
Natasha Khan, from Bat for Lashes, is one of my newest (but most favourite) discoveries. The daughter of a well-known Pakistani Squash player, Rhamat Khan, her music is intriguing. It’s shares a resemblance to Fiona Apple’s and Laura Marling’s soulful, sultry music.
6. Susie Suh (Los Angeles, US)
I have to thank “One Tree Hill” for introducing me to this lovely lady’s voice (best soundtrack of any TV show just plugging that right here). Susie Suh is an American-Korean artist, and she is wonderful!
7. Kimya Dawson (New York, US)
Kimya is an American Anti-Folk artist. Best known for her contribution to the “Juno” soundtrack, she is a badass activist I love listening to her passionate lyrics.
8. Corinne Bailey Rae (Leeds, UK)
OK, how can I write an article full of POC singers and not include Corrine Bailey Rae and her fantastic voice? Her famous “Put Your Records On,” instantly made me feel beautiful and free. She’s absolutely beautiful and a no-brainer to put on your playlist.
9. Yuna (Kangar, Malaysia)
Yuna is a Malaysian talent. She’s so phenomenal that I had to include her on this list. Her cover of Nirvana’s “Come As You Are” is so different and slow; it’s magical. So, I attached it to bless your ears. Her music is truly like no other.
10. Lianne La Havas (London, UK)
Last, but certainly not least, is Lianne La Havas. She is a British singer/songwriter with Jamaican roots, and she soothes my soul. She is a bit newer to the music scene (she rose to fame in 2012), but I love her just the same. You may recognize her from the “Loving Vincent” soundtrack.
There you have it: 10 fabulous WOC Indie artists. I hope some of these artists find their way on to your playlists… you won’t regret it.
Which POC artists do you love? Comment below!
Featured Photo via Corinne Bailey Rae