Friday Music: Ladies’ Night

Time for another musical interlude. Today I’ve been thinking about some of the amazingly talented ladies I’ve been listening to lately. Some of whom I’ve just recently discovered, others I’ve been a fan of for years. Here are some of my favorite female musicians. Enjoy!

Let’s start with one who is new to me. I admit that I hadn’t heard of her until recently when Youtube recommended one of her songs. I liked what I heard. This is Iyeoka Okoawo, a lovely and talented Nigerian-American who was a practicing pharmacist before launching into her musical career. Smart, beautiful and talented, which is a recurring theme among the ladies on this list. Here’s a very catchy song from her that will stick in your head:

Next up a lovely UK based chanteuse who goes by the name of Skye, which is apparently an acronym of her names, Shirley Klaris Yonavieve Edwards. She was the voice of Morcheeba, a very successful British band. This song is very relaxing.

Here’s another Youtube recommendation who is fairly new to me. Noora Noor is a Somali-Norwegian (I love how small our world is becoming!) who has one of the most soulful voices I’ve heard in a long time.

Switching genres a bit now. I love the band Carolina Chocolate Drops, and Rhiannon Giddens is by far the main reason for that. I love that they have made old timey Southern music cool again, reclaiming the banjo to its African-American roots.

Sticking with the South, here’s another favorite, the Alabama Shakes. Brittany Howard sounds a little like what I imagine you would get if you tossed Janis Joplin and Mick Jagger in a blender and hit puree. Lady sings the blues, indeed.

I’m throwing this one in just for fun. It’s probably no surprise to anyone who knows me that all the ladies I have included are women of color. I’m not sure if this blue alien is technically female, but I think she might be. This is from a strange 1997 movie that I liked probably more than I should have, called The Fifth Element, with Bruce Willis and Milla Jovovich. This was actually sung by an Albanian opera singer named Inva Mula. It’s hauntingly beautiful and probably the best part of the movie.

I’ve saved the best for last. Janelle Monae leaves me speechless. To say I’m smitten would be a horrible understatement. I can’t say enough about her. Gorgeous, with the most incredible voice I’ve ever heard. Plus she’s from Kansas City, which ain’t too far from home. Here she shows off her range with a Charlie Chaplin classic, “Smile.” So beautiful it brings tears to my eyes.

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