Pop queen Charli XCX's recent mixtape Pop 2 introduced the world to many brilliant artists including PAPER favorites Kim Petras and Tommy Cash. While in London, she posted to Instagram and outlined some of the female artists she admires. The list is full of gems from industry mainstay Taylor Swift to rising artists like Yaeji.
Check out all the artists she mentioned, below:
Norweigan alt-pop singer Sigrid has been making music since she was in 8th grade. Now only 21, her music is both wise beyond its years and deliriously catchy. Her debut EP Don't Kill My Vibe came out last year. Her video for newer single "Strangers" finds her dancing through a number of leafy, colorful sets and fully committing to Lorde-esque slightly-awkward-but-endearing dancing. It's a song you won't be able to get out of your head all day.
Swedish singer-songwriter Zara Larsson rose to prominence in 2008 when she won the Swedish show Talang Swerige. Since then, she's gone on to collaborate with Tinie Tempah, David Guetta, Clean Bandit, and Ty Dolla $ign. Her music pairs thumping bass with slick, crooned vocals. Her album So Good came out early last year. Charli mentions that they have been working together, and we are waiting with bated breath.
Bibi Bourelly was born into a family of artists — her father is a musician and her mother was an art director. She penned "Higher," one of the most vulnerable and relatable tracks on Rihanna'sAnti, as well as unrelenting pop banger "Bitch Better Have My Money" while still a teenager. She has also released her own music, including last year's EP Boy, which features her searing R&B vocals and characteristic raw, self-aware lyricism about mental health, loneliness, and love.
Canadian rapper Tommy Genesis has described her music as "fetish rap" to Highsnobiety, saying she her work explores, "Oral fixation. Sexual deviance. Saying things to get a reaction or coveting sexual experiences. I didn't know how else to say, 'You think I'm rapping but I just sex talk.'" The M.I.A. protégé has soundtracked Miu Miu Resort's runway show, and was a Calvin Klein model. She intentionally defies genre and classification, declining to state her age and saying her music is a melting pot of sounds. Her debut album Genesis is forthcoming, and she is currently on tour with Dua Lipa.
At the end of last year, British-Japanese singer-songwriter Rina Sawayama came out with the mini-album RINA, one of the best pop albums of the year. She meshes shimmery early-2000s nostalgia fit for a Princess Diaries soundtrack with commentary on loneliness surrounding contemporary digital culture. Her video for "Cyber Stockholm Syndrome" is a whirlwind of girl-group dance movies, moody lighting, and killer outfits. She told The Fader that she's working on a song with A.K. Paul and that she has a full length album in the works.
Twenty four-year-old producer and singer Yaeji's electronic-rap fusion is an exciting innovation in contemporary house music. She sings in both English and Korean, linguistically representing her trans-cultural identity; she was born in New York and moved to South Korea as a child, eventually coming back to the U.S. for college. Her songs are often trancelike and soothing, bolstered by a bubbly instrumental backdrop that keeps them from sounding repetitive. She released two EPs last year, Yaeji and EP 2, both of which received widespread critical acclaim.
Brooklyn-raised LA-based indie singer-songwriter King Princess just released her debut single "1950," which Charli XCX mentioned in her post. King Princess says the song is a poignant indie-pop ode to queer love, saying, "Queer love was only able to exist privately for a long time, expressed in society through coded art forms. I wrote this song as a story of unrequited love in my own life, doing my best to acknowledge and pay homage to that part of history." The video, like her name, also plays with gender, depicting King Princess with a drawn on mustache as she croons, "I hate it when dudes try to chase me/ But I love it when you try to save me/ 'Cause I'm just a lady."
Charli XCX mentions that she saw 16-year-old electro-pop singer Billie Eilish performing live in LA recently and was blown away. It's hardly surprising — her lyrics and winding vocals pack an emotional punch. Her breakout single, "Ocean Eyes," captures the gripping exhilaration and anxiety that accompanies tumbling into a new relationship. In the accompanying video, the sparse background works- it doesn't need anything more than her haunting and vulnerable gaze. Since debuting "Ocean Eyes," Billie Eilish has released a number of singles, including a collaboration with Vince Staples, and an EP called don't smile at me. She is currently on tour.
Boston-based indie-pop artist Clairo unexpectedly went viral after uploading a video for her song "Pretty Girl" to YouTube. The video perfectly matches the relaxed, bedroom-pop vibe of her music. She dances, sips on Starbucks, and sings into her laptop's camera in her room as she sings about the sacrifices you have to make to be considered a pretty girl. Her unassuming music is seemingly nonchalant, but underneath the surface, it carries a deep understanding of the angst that so often accompanies teen girlhood.
The 20-year-old Spanish star got her break with a Catalan cover of Rihanna's "Work." The autotuned track revels in hedonism, weed, and money. Her more recent tracks similarly feature auto tune, reggaeton beats, and lush production. The song flits between languages and feels like it would soundtrack the kind of party where you might Charli XCX dancing on a Saturday night. Bad Gyal released her album Worldwide Angel earlier this month.
British-Albanian singer Dua Lipa released her first demos in 2012 and broke into the US pop scene with her 2016 track "Blow Your Mind." Her self-titled debut album came out last June, and break up anthem "New Rules," quickly became one of the catchiest songs of the summer. Dua Lipa's deep, mysterious voice sounds resolute and wise here, like a best friend giving you advice you need to hear. Her fashion sense also shines in the video which shifts seamlessly through a series of amazing outfits.
Camila Cabello rose to fame as a member of girl group Fifth Harmony. Together, they gave us unforgettable hits like "Work From Home" and "Bo$." Since then, she has left the group — which released an album without her but recently announced they are splitting up — to pursue a solo career. Her debut solo debut album, Camila, came out last year, led by steamy single "Havana." Charli XCX and Cabello are touring together with Taylor Swift this summer.
A blurb telling you who Taylor Swift is isn't gonna do as much for you as lighting some candles, closing your eyes, putting on pop masterpiece "All Too Well," and reflecting on the searing turmoil and longing that accompanies being a young woman in love is. Here you go.
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