Jorja Smith, Image via Wikimedia Common
By Erica Garcia
From folk to rock and roll, there is an abundance of female musicians that don't get the airplay they deserve, but with music streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music, the undiscovered realm of the music world is now easier to access than ever. Whether you love listening to artists with electric voices or favor lyrical poetry in music, there's a musician on this list for anyone looking for a hopeful, uplifting message.
Check out these 10 inspiring female musicians that you should have on your radar.
1. Cat Pierce
Los Angeles–based singer-songwriter Cat Pierce has been using her voice to bring a touch of honesty and mystery to pop-rock. After gaining widespread attention from her work with her sister Alison in their former band The Pierces, Cat Pierce has now moved into bringing her unique songwriting to her solo music. Pierce’s voice is one that evokes thrilling storytelling in dark yet exciting music.
Listen if you like: Christina Aguilera, Demi Lovato
2. Kim Taylor
Florida native Kim Taylor is an independent singer-songwriter who has been publishing her songs since 2002. Inspired by roots music and soft-folk songs, Taylor's beautiful way of crafting stories through lyrics are best seen on her album, I Feel Like A Fading Light. No stranger to the music industry, Taylor's songs have been featured in numerous TV shows and films.
Listen if you like: Maren Morris, The Highwomen
3. Jorja Smith
In November of 2016, English artist Jorja Smith became a huge success with her debut EP Project 11. While working with Drake and touring with Bruno Mars, Smith's talent was showcased to the world. Her flawless voice and her songs' melodic musicality has put R&B back on the map on the UK charts.
Listen if you like: Beyoncé, Kehlani
4. Julia Michaels
Julia Michaels is just now coming up as a solo artist, but she’s been writing songs and navigating the music industry since she was sixteen. Penning pop hits for Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez, Michaels' own songs don't shy away from topics like anxiety or heartbreak. The truth in her lyrics proves that nobody's ever alone.
Listen if you like: Selena Gomez, Carly Rae Jepsen
H.E.R. is hardworking female artist who has been performing since she was a child. After winning the Grammy for Best R&B Album in 2019, her debut EP, H.E.R. Volume 1, has quickly become a favorite among R&B listeners. With a voice as stunning as Beyoncé’s, H.E.R. performs with electric guitars and confidence all her own. Her approach to making music by being her true self is one that's unparalleled and inspiring.
Listen if you like: Alicia Keys, Rihanna
6. Janelle Monáe
Janelle Monáe might be better recognized for her roles as an actress in movies like Hidden Figures, but her music is also just as personal and electrifying as her acting. As a rapper and songwriter, Monáe is another female artist who isn't new to the industry at all. After her third studio album Dirty Computer was nominated for a Grammy, she garnered praise from musicians from all genres. Her thrilling take on pop music is changing the whole game.
Listen if you like: Kim Petras, Solange
7. Clare Bowen
Best known for her role as Scarlett O'Connor on the ABC drama series Nashville, it might be safe to say that the role Bowen played on the show prepared her for navigating the music industry today. Bowen showcased her delicate and stunning voice on the show and released her first full-length album in the summer of 2019. From soulful ballads to beautiful lullabies, Bowen's music is the kind that will calm your soul.
Listen if you like: Faith Hill, Carrie Underwood
8. Grace Slick
As a musician, artist, and model, Grace Slick is a female musician who helped shaped rock and roll in the mid-1960s. Her music career is laced with music tied to bands she has sung with: the music of The Great Society, Jefferson Airplane, Jefferson Starship, and Starship have Slick's unique vocals and musical taste written all over it. For those who love acid rock or a rough, blues sound, Slick's voice is one that never fails to deliver.
Listen if you like: Heart, Joan Jet
9. Alice Merton
If you're not well-versed in electro-pop, Alice Merton's music would be a great place to start. The German-British songwriter gained mainstream success with her raw, alt-rock single, "No Roots," a song proving there's nothing wrong with having a wandering soul. Drawing from her life experiences and feeling lost, Merton's lyricism is one that fuses both heart and vulnerability.
Listen if you like: Debbie Harry, Elle King
Anne-Marie is a name that you're not going to forget. Her bubbly personality is laced into her pop- and R&B-infused music. From chart-topping summer songs to ballads that have turned into festival favorites, Anne-Marie is a UK-based artist who doesn't let anything hold her back from creating music that's meant to encourage her listeners to speak up and be themselves.
Listen if you like: Halsey, Alessia Cara
Read more: 17 Best Power Anthems For Working Women