Contrary to what those who know me best might say, I am actually not a stingy person. To show just how generous I really am I decided to compile a list of some of my favorite underrated artists that I feel deserve more praise. Now I could gush for eons about how beautiful, talented, and persistent all of these women are, but for now I’ll just stick to the music. Whether your preferred genre is traditional R&B, pop, rap, country, Afrobeats, underground UK, soul, or music that transcends genre, these women have everything you need. This list is in no way exhaustive so jump in and name your favorite melanated musicians in the comments as well!
- Sevyn Streeter – I’ve been following Sevyn’s career since she was Ambee/Amber in TG4 and Richgirl so no one was happier than me when she finally released her debut solo album Girl Disrupted last summer and yes it was well worth the wait.
- Priscilla Renea – Priscilla was everyone’s favorite singing YouTuber back in the day, but she’s all grown up now and giving the world all of her new country gold with “Gentle Hands” and “Heavenly”. Her debut Jukebox still bangs to this day too!
- Amber Riley – I’ve never watched a single episode of Glee, but the clips of Slayber stay in rotation because she saaaangs! Amber’s really busy being bomb in musicals and living her best life, but I’m still waiting for a full length album from this natural beauty.
- Dreezy – Dreezy is versatile enough to go from crooning mushy love lyrics to spitting hot fire Dylan style in the next breath without missing a beat.
- Tink – Tink gave me “Treat Me Like Somebody” so she can do no wrong and her lastest mixtape has solidified her spot in my heart.
- Justine Skye – Justine is the pop princess we’ve all been waiting for. She’s growing into herself right before our eyes and we’re lucky to get to watch her career unfold.
- Ray BLK – The raw lyrics to Ray’s “Patience” is what drew me to her, but the track wasn’t a fluke and she definitely brings the same authenticity to other songs.
- Nadia Rose – I’m probably responsible for most of the views on Nadia’s “Skwod” video because I still can’t believe she did all of that awesomeness in one take!
- Tiwa Savage – I’ve heard Tiwa called The Nigerian Beyonce several times and while I don’t like comparing artists, the comparison is just here because she works very hard and always has a breakout song to dance to.
- Amara La Negra – Admittedly, I am a bandwagon music fan for Amara because for years I just knew her as the pretty girl with the big fro. However, her latest two singles have put her on my radar and I’m really excited for her new project.
- Shingai Shoniwa – Shingai is the face and heart of the Noisettes and I’ve been feening for more of the band’s soulful and nostalgic music, but in the meantime listen to the tried and true classics.
- Jazmine Sullivan – Jazmine’s complex vocals are as beautiful as she is, but don’t be fooled by the smile because she will bust the windows out of your car!
- Azealia Banks – Last but certainly not least, Ms. Banks has proved to be a polarizing figure on social media, but love or hate her no one can deny how phenomenal her bars and flows are.
*Honorable mention to Normani Kordei of Fifth Harmony who is what I imagine the hybrid baby of Serena Williams and Beyonce would be. She’s proving to be quite the solo entertainer and I’m still upset about her getting robbed of her Dancing With The Stars win, but I’m sure she has a long future of winning at life ahead of her.
If you want more music related #BlackGirlMagic in your life, don’t forget to check out my novel The Soundtrack: #musictomyears starring the vulnerable but unstoppable force that is Jauri Tutuola.
“…I didn’t like what I had become. I was vain but still insecure. Materialistic but empty inside. Surrounded by people but still lonely. Something had to give.” -Jauri Tutuola