We’ve seen female dominance across the pond including the Knowles sisters achieving #1 albums to the recognition of the super-talented Teyana Taylor but it seems like the UK has still yet to shine a light on their own homegrown talent. Don’t get me wrong, it has been a breakthrough year for Grime and a great year for British male rappers in general from veterans, Skepta and Kano to Giggs and the long awaited return of Wretch 32 – all who have released some of the best albums of 2016 but don’t you think it’s time to give our British females a chance to reign?
I believe so and I think I’ve found some worthy contenders who are prepared to shake up your airwaves in 2017…
I first heard of Ms Banks on Uno My Style remix but it was her Fire in the Booth that blew me away. Everything from her confidence to her quick, witty wordplay establishes her as, personally, one of the hottest females in the game right now. This year has seen the South London beauty capitalise on her newfound recognition after the release of New Chapter, available on her Soundcloud page (link below) as well as headlining shows across Europe and opening up for US rap group, Migos.
For any lovers of R&B/Soul who enjoy the sound of Nao would truly enjoy Jorja Smith.
If you haven’t heard the effortlessly Dizzee Rascal sampled track Blue Lights at some point this year then you’re missing out on a musical gem. After completing her studies, she moved to London and has since been touring the UK and focusing on her music full-time. Her latest release is only the beginning to the bright future to what the young 19 years old can achieve – the combination of her introspective songwriting matched with her soft soulful vocals is like a fresh breath of air. Take a listen to her EP, Project 11 yourself – the proof is in the pudding.
Other recommended tracks: Imperfect Circle, Where Did I Go?
Another star I discovered via Soundcloud is South-London born singer, Ray BLK. Her soft vocals on Talk To Me is exactly what has been missing in the R&B scene for the past decade but the talent doesn’t stop there. Her candid storytelling has garnered attention from BBC Radio and MTV as well as the likes of Stormzy and Jools Holland, even receiving recognition by the MOBO panel who nominated her for Best Newcomer…
all of this and she is only 22 years old.
Her EP, Durt is a solid piece of work which highlights on the harsh realities and experiences that occur in today’s society from teenage pregnancy to relationships. With the continued support from media platforms and radio stations and the more appearances similar to the one below, Ray may be giving Emeli Sandé a run for her money next year.
Other recommended tracks: Durt, Chill Out (feat. SG Lewis), Talk to Me
Instagram | Twitter | Youtube | Soundcloud
Stephanie Allen aka Stefflon Don has only been in the game for a hot minute and has made some serious noise this year but she’s more than just a pretty face. Without releasing any original content, her fire skills on notable remixes including Section Boyz’s single, Lock Arff and Big Tobz’s Uno My Style has already led her to be offered features by US singer Jeremih, Sneakbo and online retailer, Boohoo.
As of Friday (16th December), she released her first full-length ‘mixtape’ under her publishing deal with Sony. The mixtape, Real Ting which features all original content has since received rave reviews from fans and blogs who have complimented her ability to switch up flows in-between verses and capitalise on her bilingual status (Steff can also speak Dutch) as well as showcasing her musical versatility displayed on tracks, Gangsta and Forever.
Stefflon Don is definitely ‘Hot Prop’ right now and I’m excited as to what she will bring to the table next year. You can watch her latest single and if you like, follow the links below to her social media and mixtape.
Other recommended tracks: 16 Shots, Tight Nookie (feat Jeremih), Nacros, Hop On (with Angel)
That’s it from me. Those are my top females who I guarantee are going to make some serious noise next year, fingers crossed they can get some chart success under their belts too. I wish them all the best in their careers – I will for sure be keeping up 🙂
Peace and love xo