Top 10 Rising Female Pop Stars of 2013
Someone I follow on Twitter called David Ames just shared this illustration above from a Vogue feature called "Dirrty Pop - Women of Pop Music". The illustration showcases 10 musical fat cats of the pop music industry. I was about to write a confused blog post about how the 10 women in it don't represent the music scene today (aka Why is Cher there and not Nicki Minaj or Robyn?) when somebody informed me that it's actually a fake Vogue feature, made by digital artist Merlito Pabatao.
So instead, I embarked upon my own MUCH MORE INTERESTING AND HARDER TO RESEARCH feature, and compiled this Top 10 list for you of young females in the margins of pop music right now but who are currently on the rise:
1. Sky Ferreira
Born in 1992, absolutely beautiful and half-raised by Michael Jackson's household staff. Sky landed on the pop map as a teenager briefly and then disappeared again. Her song 'Everything Is Embarrasing' came out at the end of last year and is superb. Produced by Ariel Rechtshaid and Blood Orange's Dev Hynes, it's a great sound and the video is also incredible, directed by Grant Singer. Sky is going to be the face of YSL later this year.
2. Charli XCX
Also born in 1992, English singer Charli first cropped up on the scene in 2008. Her debut album finally comes out next month. There was a cool feature about her in 1883 magazine which you can see here.
3. D E N A
Try researching a pop star whose name is four spaced-apart capital letters. Part of the Kitsune scene in France, D E N A is a cool post-M.I.A. contemporary of Kreayshawn and her stuff is catchy, such as this song 'Cash, Diamond Rings, Swimming Pools'.
Making her name as a featured vocalist on Gotye's overly-successful hit 'Somebody I Used to Know', the striking and leggy New Zealander known as Kimbra has been performing from the age of 10. Her hit 'Cameo Lover' went largely unnoticed last year but is a fantastic piece of pop music that sounds like the centrepiece of a Broadway smash.
5. Martina Sorbara
Better known as Dragonette, Canadian singer-songwriter Martina has had a large electro following for years now. Her first solo album came out in 1998, she's worked with Jian Ghomeshi, and she sang on Basement Jaxx's 2006 hit 'Take Me Back To Your House'. I love Dragonette's alternative Christmas single 'Merry Xmas (Says Your Text Message)'. See her at her best on this track 'Pick Up The Phone'. Hopefully Dragonette's long overdue mainstream recognition will come any day now.
6. Koda Kumi
Following Gangham Style mania, the music press has started giving Asian pop music more attention. The K-Pop scene has several stars to offer but one massive star in J-Pop who has a good chance of tipping the Gangham apple cart this year is Koda Kumi. Her vicious brand of electro pop is reminiscent of Fedde Le Grand, Benny Benassi and the early-noughties electro scene which is coming back into fashion again (I'm looking at you 'Scream And Shout'). The first few seconds of the video below are silent by the way. Try listening to this song without standing up, tossing your hair and kicking something over.
7. Yolandi Visser
One half of South African duo Die Antwoorld, Yolandi caused a pop stir last year when she turned up the lucrative offer of supporting Lady Gaga on a world tour, snubbing Gaga's music as "complete shit". The singer is also a critically-acclaimed artist, political activist in South Africa and she has a daughter called Sixteen.
Ooh, a controversially corporate choice. Beyonce's little sister Solange is becoming impossible to ignore. After her Diana Ross sounding tune 'I Decided' it was unclear where Solange's career would go, having to tread on eggshells in the shadow of her impossibly successful big sister. Then she released this totally sexy and refreshing single 'Losing You', a gospel-funk infusion that somehow manages to sound like Madonna's 'Like A Prayer' and Underworld on a good day, and with this incredible video...
9. Elizabeth Harper
The lead singer of band Class Actress, a popular New York synthpop act who only formed about four years ago. 'Keep You' was the lead single of their 2011 album Rapprocher and the video featured archive footage of the 1960s film Anna. Hopefully Elizabeth will be singing some new material for us very soon. A very heavy, very welcome, 80s sound.
10. Z Berg
She's the singer of indie super group JJamz, which includes James from Maroon 5 and Alex from Phantom Planet. Their song 'Heartbeat' found itself a mass audience last autumn when MySpace used it for their comeback promo teaser video. And Z Berg is the last girl on my list!
Who else should have been on this list? Let me know on Twitter @jackcullenuk.
Or leave a comment below, as if anyone does things like that these days.
Previous blog post: 100 Photos of G-A-Y Late