Music is much more than something that we just listen to; It’s something we regularly allow ourselves to get lost in and vibe with because it aligns with who we are and how we’re feeling.
Our listening experience can also be very affirming for our identities as black women. When we listen to other black women sing and rap about experiences with relationships, careers, spirituality, and self-love within genres where misogyny, sexism, and a push to fit into certain beauty ideals reign supreme, we feel a sense of appreciation instead of alienation.
Washington D.C native and first lady of J Cole’s label Dreamville Records, Ari Lennox is one of the leading voices in R&B bringing the millennial perspective on the plentiful ups and downs that come with love, life, and growing into a more self-assured version of womanhood. Instead of promoting an image of perfection, Lennox chooses to be relatable; showing that gracefully moving through the sour parts of life will eventually lead you to something sweet.
First Listen: “New Apartment” off her Shea Butter Baby album. An ode to the peace and freedom that comes with living alone and not having to follow any rules or expectations other than the ones you’ve set for yourself.
Aptly named after the goddess of fertility and love, independent Hip Hop/Soul duo Oshun uses potent lyricism to encourage young black women to embrace their natural selves in the most divinely empowering way. By reconnecting with their spiritual roots, Oshun uses the essence of their ancestors to deliver messages of love and light through their music.
First Listen: “Blessings On Blessings” off their debut album Bittersweet Vol.1. From surviving being a premature baby to growing into being spiritually in-tune with a higher source, this track is a testament to just how truly blessed they’ve been throughout life despite any hardship.
Ethiopian-American singer, songwriter, and producer Mereba makes storytelling feel like an intimate, soul-searching conversation with a friend. She takes you through the thought process of a first-generation kid, unsure lover, and metaphorical phoenix in a way that makes you feel like you’ve lived through what she has. While she is completely relatable and familiar, her music style is one that is unique and completely exclusive to her.
First Listen: “Stay Tru” off her latest album The Jungle Is The Only Way Out. This track is about being wise enough not to fall for a bad love situation once again, and encouraging her love interest to be real about their intentions.
Koffee is a Jamican born and Spanish Town raised 19 year old who is determined to preserve Jamaican roots and culture through her music.
She is known for her calm and humble demeanor and was brought up alone by her hard working mother, her father having left for New York when Koffee was an infant. “Mummy struggled so I didn’t have to,” remembers Koffee.
“With a lot of my music, it’s about entertaining people while highlighting problems in order to try and find a solution. I genuinely want to make the world a better place.”
First Listen: “Toast” which is a feel good song reminding us to express gratitutde in life for all that we have and are experiencing right now.
Who are you listening to right now? comment below!