Being a musician in the middle of a nationwide lockdown is hard enough.
Musicians have been robbed of the things that generate them the most revenue: touring, live shows and merchandising.
Instead, their main source of income has become streaming services and album sales, which look lucrative on first glance but are actually not giving artists the income they need to survive.
To put this into perspective, U2 made $54.4 million in 2017, according to Billboard‘s annual Money Makers report. It is estimated that 95% of that income came from live shows, whilst less than 4% came from streaming services.
With the opportunity to utilise this vital income source snatched away, artists are having a tough time making ends meet.
But being an up-and-coming female artist in the middle of a national lockdown comes with its own set of issues. There are less opportunities, less press coverage and overall just less female artists in the game at the moment.
If your lockdown playlist is lacking a bit of girl power, we’ve complied a list of the nation’s up-and-coming female artists to make your listening that little bit more diverse.
This 23-year-old from London has been on the come-up for some time now. She performed her first headline show in 2018 to a sold-out Servant Jazz Quarters and has since performed at Reading Festival.
Nelson, who had released two EPS, describes her sound as ‘smooth, contemporary and urban’. You can listen to her music on Spotify.
Georgia Lowe is a 21-year-old singer/songwriter from London who makes music that draws on her own personal experiences in a ‘world from my eyes’ anthology. She sang in alto choirs as a child and has now been picked up by Wonderland Magazine, the BBC and even Netflix, who have cast her in season 2 of ‘The Alienist’.
The singer, who goes by the stage name ‘Glowe’, released her debut EP ‘Daughter’ this year, after her first single ‘Realise’ received over 300,000 listens on Spotify.
Signed to independent label Hot Spring Music, 303 are a girl group with a timeless, charismatic sound. The trio are based in London and bring a delightfully feminine vibe to R&B with beautiful harmonies and 90s-esque music videos.
The trio scream female empowerment and are everything a girl needs to inspire independence, fierceness and buying that fluffy pink handbag you’ve had in your saved items for months.
A voice beyond her years, Ama Lou is a 20-year-old singer/songwriter from London, whose sound is an incredible blend of soul and R&B.
Ama Lou is a hidden gem in the music industry, having had her lyrics quoted by Drake on Instagram and making her mark whilst on tour with Jorja Smith, but her talent is still completely her own.
At just 16, Ama Lou released her debut single TBC, which was inspired by the #BlackLivesMatter movement and the police murder of Eric Garner.
This 25-year-old from Rugby has already been picked up by some famous industry names; James Arthur and Gabrielle Aplin both had her as a supporting act on their tours. Before the Corona-Virus outbreak, Emily was set to head out on her own tour in April. But the dates have now been postponed to October instead.
Emily has cultivated her own genre of ‘switched-on pop’ that can connect to absolutely anyone. From the summery, uplifting beats of ‘Test Drive’, to the mellow, chilled groove of ‘Vanilla Sundae’ (which features the aforementioned Olivia Nelson), Emily’s variety is unmatched and she’s set to do big things with her career.
Potentially the line-up’s most effortlessly cool is Mae Muller, whose relatable lyrics and soulful voice make for only the highest quality of female empowerment anthems.
A personal favourite of mine is Muller’s Anticlimax, which describes exactly the type of man I’m sure we’ve all dealt with in the past, ladies.
Muller herself has drawn attention to the lack of opportunities for women in the music industry, making her the perfect artist to round off the list. For more from Muller, Glowe and all the other incredible women on the list, listen to UNLOCKED’s undiscovered playlist.