Over the years, women have been really underrepresented in the music industry. The gender gap has been massive and left women lagging behind men. However, some women have stood out in music and made great impact in so many lives. Here are 7 badass female musicians we should aspire to be like:
Born in Melbourne on the 15 June 1995, Tash Sultana is an Australian singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. She is often described as a ‘One-person band’, who began playing the guitar her grandfather gave her when she was three years old. Since then, she has moved on to play 20 instruments among which are bass, mandolin, vocals, pan flute, saxophone, percussion, guitar, drums, piano, and trumpet. This talented young lady became a drug addict as a teenager and developed drug-induced psychosis when she was 17. After undergoing therapy for several months, she became drug-free but could not find regular work. Sultana began her music career through busking on the streets of Melbourne. Sultana’s major break came in 2016 when she posted a video on social media that had 1 million views in just 5 days. Since then, the 23-year old has had several awards and nominations. Tash Sultana plays and sings with an energy that is as relentless as it is infectious. She also maintains a flow state of mind on stage and is known to perform barefooted.
Maya Arulpragasam, also called M.I.A., is one of the most thrilling and controversial female musicians of our time. Born in 1975, M.I.A. moved to London from Sri Lanka when she was eight years old. Politically, her music tends to support terrorism, although she vehemently denies being a terrorist. Most times, her comments are contradictory, leaving you with more questions than answers. Despite all the confusions and uncertainties about her, she has been known to quietly give extensively to some charities. M.I.A. designs and sells clothes; her designs are often made up of colors and prints that are as chaotic as her music, but have a unique end result. She really is all about the art and just wants her story to be told.
Angela Maria DiFranco was born on 23 September 1970 in Buffalo, New York, United States. At the age of nine, DiFranco started playing at local bars and busking with her guitar teacher. She started writing her own songs when she was 14 years old and played them at bars and coffee houses. She is a singer, poet, musician, songwriter, and activist with over 20 albums released on her own record label, Righteous Babe, which she started at age 19. She enjoys so much creative freedom and plays folk rock, alternative rock, punk rock, and indie folk. Having been active on the music scene since 1989, she plays the guitar, tenor guitar, vocals, bass, percussion, and piano. As an activist, she speaks at rallies and performs benefit concerts at social and political movements that she supports. Throughout her career, DiFranco has released books of poetry and performed many spoken-word pieces.
Melissa Lou Etheridge was born on 29 May 1961 in Leavenworth, Kansas, United States. She is a singer-songwriter, a guitarist, and an activist. She began playing the guitar when she was 8 years old and played in all-men country music groups as a teenager. Her major genres include heartland rock, roots rock, folk rock, blues rock, and country rock. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in October 2004, and underwent survey and chemotherapy. She knows her work and is an inspiration to lots of women all over the world.
This 50-year old woman was born in Portland, Oregon, U.S. and is a musician, feminist activist, and writer. She is the pioneer of the riot grrrl movement, which is a feminist punk. Instruments she plays include vocals, bass, sampler, guitar, drums, and drum machine. Her musical genre is made up of punk rock, rior grrrl, indie rock, and electroclash. She has been musically active since 1990 although she battled with Lyme disease for some years. Hanna uses fashion, art, spoken word poetry, essays, and music to address issues relating to sexuality and violence against women. She is the spokeswoman for the Bikini Kill Zine and believes women should be able to express themselves in any way they please.
Born in Reykjavik, Iceland on 21 November 1965, Björk Guðmundsdóttir began her music career when she was 11 years old. This singer, composer, songwriter, actress, DJ, and record producer has been musically active since 1975. She plays vocals, piano, keyboards, flute, harp, bass, and guitar. Since she does not always categorize her musical genre, her music has been subjected to scrutiny. This has led to her being known as a “restlessly experimental creative force”. She sings with a soprano vocal range which spans from E3 to D6 and says she is influenced by everything.
Nina Simone, who goes by the birth name Eunice Kathleen Waymon, was born in the U.S. on 21 February 1933. Nina started playing the piano at the age of 3 and had her concert debut at 12. She was musically active from 1954 – 2003 as a singer, pianist, songwriter, activist, and composer. She explored different musical styles including R&B, jazz, blues, folk, soul, classical, and gospel. As a preacher’s daughter, she had to change her name to “Nina Simone” when she had to play the piano at a nightclub in Atlantic City in order to make a living. Between 1958 and 1974, she recorded over 40 albums. She was actively involved in the civil rights movement and had a bad temper accompanied with frequent outbursts. She suffered from breast cancer for many years and died in her sleep on 21 April 2003 at the age of 70 in France.
Simon Dupree has discovered he has a passion for music from a very young age. Ever since then, music has been an essential part of his life. When he is not practicing, he`s probably behind the keyboard writing for Music Groupies.