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5 poppin’ women singer-songwriters poised to take over 2018

As January comes dwindling to an end, we are all anxiously awaiting the Grammy Awards coming up in a few days so that we can celebrate the winners that made the strongest impact on our culture this year.

2018 is bringing a few seriously talented baddies to the table. Between the annual rush of rising pop and R&B singers, a few remain exceptional in their journeys and musical accomplishments.


When Tinashe was 8, her family packed up and moved to Los Angeles in hopes of fulfilling her inevitable career as a singer.

Her career in entertainment began when she was just a toddler, advancing onto music in her teenage years, in a four-year stint with all-girl band The Stunners.

The other day at @mtv @trl premiering my new music video #nodrama

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In 2014, Tinashe debuted her first solo album Aquarius after working on “a steady stream of promising, if unpolished, mixtapes recorded in her home studio,” according to Pitchfork, tapes “filled with dusky ballads for spooning a laptop and sounding quite at home among the glut of zoned-out, ‘alternative’ R&B artists.”

By this point, she was being labeled “the next Beyoncé,” a label that Tinashe thinks has roots in sexism. She told The Guardian,

“There are hundreds of [male] rappers that all look the same, that sound the same, but if you’re a black woman, you’re either Beyoncé or Rihanna. It’s very, very strange.”

In 2015, Tinashe was back with more hits, this time making sure that everyone knew that she was here as her own woman, whether they had been accepting of her sound or not.

“Motherfuckers, I can’t be ignored,” she stated in her teaser trailer for the upcoming album Joyride.

Five days ago, she dropped her new single “No Drama” ft. Offset. Her sweetheart voice is a shadow cast on an image oozing a fierce bout of sex appeal.

I got way too many people all my niggas equal (hey)
If my life was like a movie I’d need 50 sequels (movie)
I need 60 bad bitches actin’ like they single (smash)
Yellin’ you can’t sit with us, throwin’ up middle fingers

With over 2 million views already, Tinashe has proven once and for all that she has traded her image as a “cute-girl” for a more accurate representation of the bad bitch that she’s been all along, making her way to the top of the charts on her own style.

Jorja Smith

Jorja Smith emerged from England in early 2016, and has remained in the spotlight ever since.

Long evolved from the days where she was associated with Drake’s Instagram shoutouts, Jorja has released her own music, developed a rock-solid fanbase, and collaborated with artists across the entire slate.

Jorja’s most endearing quality is, of course, her voice. Accompanied with her natural beauty, Jorja’s vocals can take on any beat, distinct and almost celestial in it’s nature.

She is considered one of the hottest stars out there right now, winning the 2018 Brit Choice Award.

But the climb to the top is still filled with unnecessary trials. She talks about the problems she faced in an interview with Noisey,

“As someone who’s a complete sucker for vocals I mark her down mentally as one of the few musicians out right now whose fluttering falsetto can push a ripple down my spine, before she twists and rolls into the throaty depths of what’s technically known as her chest voice.”

If you’re one of the many craving to see this talent hit the stage, you now have a chance to. At the end of last year, Jorja announced her 2018 tour, which includes several major cities in the U.S.

Kali Uchis

Kali Uchis gives her listeners the best of both worlds.

Raised in both America and her native Colombia, she flexes on different types of music, often jumping from bubblegum pop, to mystical soul, to wavy funk.

stop crying lilbitch ❤️ stay blessed instead

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Kali has no problem roping her listeners in for a diverse tour of different genres anytime she releases a new song.

Her new single, “After the Storm” ft. Tyler, the Creator and Bootsy Collins encapsulates a funky feel, just a tease for her major label springtime debut album.

In 2018, she’s nominated for best Record of the Year in the Latin Grammy Awards, as well as a Grammy for “Get U” with Daniel Cesar.


Kelela is notable for writing R&B hits, but she is not a typical R&B singer.

Somewhere between R&B and Electronic, Kelela’s artistry integrates her own style and videography.

It took Kelela a moment to put herself out there. For a while, she was dealing with the lack of acceptance as a queer Black woman in music. She discusses this with Dazed,

“I had to learn how oppression works in the music industry, specific to my experience as a queer Black woman. The default setting is created for white men, and perhaps in this day and age, black men, to succeed.”

Kelela has also opened up to The Fader about the injustice of the system.

“There’s a way that white men were still able to hold all the power through the industry’s transformations. They still sit in those chairs. So when it comes to creating the ‘thing’ and promoting yourself in a mainstream way, you need to garner their support.”

But this isn’t stopping her. Her recent debut album Take Me Apart was released a few years after her successful second mixtape Hallucinogen and explores every aspect of Kelela’s muse; her two previous relationships.

In 2018, she’s is on her own world-wide tour, shortly after supporting Solange in her Cosmic Journey tour last year. Hopefully we’ll be seeing more music drop soon.

Dua Lipa

Dua Lipa’s vocals are one of a kind. Deep, throaty, and full of bass, she has always had a knack for music.

The 22-year-old has known she’s wanted to be a singer since she was 11.

By the time she was 15, she was recording and posting YouTube videos online to help get discovered. At 15, she’d also moved to London to pursue her dreams of being an artist.

One of the biggest issues she faces is being scrutinized simply for her gender. She shared her feelings with The Fader,

“There’s lots of artists who don’t write their songs, and that’s fine too, but I feel like if you’re not out there with an instrument, and you’re a pop artist, the misconception is that it might be manufactured in a way. People don’t really think that about men. But there are a lot of female artists that work their asses off. I know there are a lot of male artists that don’t write, but when you’re a male artist, people just assume that you write your own songs. When you’re female, that’s taken away from you.”

Dua uses her own experiences as leverage for new songs.

Last year, she blessed us with “New Rules,” which has over 5 million likes on YouTube. She then went on to make Brit Awards history as the first female to ever receive five nominations in one year.

This year, she’ll be going on a Worldwide tour.

Stay on the lookout for these show-stoppers, because with their imaginative minds, new projects could be ready to drop any second now.