ROUNDUP: Seven Black female artists you won’t want to miss out on
A roundup of Black female artists from different genres
Black female artists are often underrepresented in the music industry. From being ignored by various publications to not being recognized at award shows, “challenge” is an understatement for many Black female artists in music — especially those who are upcoming or underground.
Still, many Black female artists have pushed the limits of the music industry and made new strides in the field regardless. In honor of Black History Month, here are seven new and established Black women in music who have been making waves across all genres.
Born in Tampa, Florida, Jaylah Ji'mya Hickmon — professionally known as Doechii — started making music in 2015. Doechii got her big break and was signed by Top Dawg Entertainment in March 2022, and has been gaining recognition since, making feature appearances on songs and putting out her own music.
Doechii toured with SZA in 2021 and had a feature on Isaiah Rashad’s “The House Is Burning” — each achievement giving her more credibility in the hip hop community. Doechii released her own EP in 2022 titled “she / her / black bitch” which showcased her ability to rap at the highest level and demonstrated why she deserved a spot on the prestigious Top Dawg Entertainment roster, standing alongside heavy hitters in the industry such as Rico Nasty, Smino and Ab-Soul.
Deetranada, also known as Dee, is an emerging artist in the rap community.
Some may know Deetranada from her opening performance for IDK at the Student Union Board’s Subzero concert that took place in January. Hailing from Baltimore, Maryland, Deetranda makes aggressive, unapologetic music with base-heavy freestyles.
Deetranada got into music at a young age, and her brother taught her how to use social media to her advantage. The artist got her big break in season three of Lifetime’s “The Rap Game,” winning second place on the show, and has been going hard ever since.
Deetranada’s in-your-face style of music, such as “222BARS,” and “ATTITUDE” demonstrates the sheer emotion and energy she puts into her work.
Hailing from D.C., Courtney Shanade Salter — also known as Ari Lennox — has been working on music since she was a kid.
Lennox made multiple EPs on her way to becoming a top artist. When she got her big break at J. Cole’s Dreamville collective, her career took off and she earned the respect she deserved in the hip-hop and R&B communities. The artist was nominated for a Grammy in 2020 for her appearance on Dreamville’s collaboration album, “Revenge Of The Dreamers III,” and her most recent album “age/sex/location” discusses online dating, relationships and self-love that she won’t let you hear the end of.
WondaGurl is a producer from Ontario, Canada, who is notorious for creating some of hip-hop's most iconic beats. WondaGurl started producing when she was nine by practicing with drum pads. When she was 15, she entered the Battle of the Beat Makers competition, winning two two years in a row.
The producer is best known for producing Travis Scott’s “Antidote,” which went triple platinum. She most recently worked on Drake’s 2021 album, “Certified Lover Boy,” where she has several production credits.
Summer Walker got her beginnings in Atlanta, Georgia, where she grew up teaching herself guitar on YouTube.
Her debut album, “Over It,” debuted at number two on the Hot 200 Billboard chart and sold the most records for an R&B album by a female artist in 2019. Her most recent album is “Still Over It,” released in 2021, and has received critical acclaim since.
Solána Imani Rowe — known as SZA — was born in Missouri and started her music career after graduating from college, gaining traction while working odd jobs.
She got her big break when she signed to Top Dawg Entertainment and made a modern classic album, “Ctrl.” With her most recent album, “SOS,” SZA does a deep dive into her life and mental state.
For our underground artist pick, we have Alex Vaughn — a singer from Prince George’s County.
Vaughn makes R&B music and creates soulful, feel-good songs that anyone can vibe with.
The singer lays out all of her emotions on the track, stating that it “isn’t wrong to own your feelings, because it can be quite powerful.” Her most recent release is “The Hurtbook,” a project where Vaughn delves into all her trauma and heartbreak, making herself a very relatable narrator for many.
Intersectional communities in music are often underappreciated, but these seven artists are killing the game right now. The artists listed and so many more deserve a spot on your playlist.
This article was edited by Sara Winick, Kylie Bill and Nina Heller. Copy editing done by Isabelle Kravis, Sophia Rocha and Stella Guzik.