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LISTEN TO YOUR GXRLS: Women in Music 2016

This could possibly be one of the best years for powerful, female vocals to take over the radio.

Illustration by Calita Hin

I’m beyond excited for 2016’s selection of female-fronted bands, vocals, and girl groups talking about big issues, fierce love, and empowerment.

Listen to your girls below!

Jessie J:

I swear I’m the leader of the Christmas music hate club, but Jessie J’s song, “Man With The Bag”, completely won me over with her gorgeous jazzy vocals. Jessie’s voice is so full of power and emotion, no matter what she does somehow ends up sounding incredible. With some new songs hitting the market in the next couple months, I am completely gunning for more belty vocals, jazzy riffs, and just the full-on experience she brings out.


After recently releasing their new album, Pagans in Vegas, Emily Haines and Metric aren’t taking a moment's break, already planning tours coming up in 2016 and figuring out what their next single off the album will be. One of the many things I love about Metric is how outrageously dramatic Emily is in her music and stage presence. With this synth-pop masterpiece, I don’t doubt this band will be taking over the stage and radios this year.


When isn’t Rihanna absolutely killing it? If you weren’t already in love with her, 2015 was definitely the year to fall for this empowering singer with arguably the best music video of the year for “Bitch Better Have My Money” and gorgeous track “FourFiveSeconds” with Kanye West and Paul Mccartney. Though the release date for her LP, Anti, is still under wraps, I’ve been waiting at the edge of my seat for the follow up to Unapologetic since BBHMM came out. I say with 100% confidence that Rihanna will be completely changing the game in 2016.


I just recently saw this band live and my God are they impressive. There are so many things to be completely for with Phases but what I really admire is Z Berg’s careless stage presence. Her voice also is incredible to hear live (long story short: those giant belts she does are definitely not altered by autotune) and this indie 80s style dance band is only getting more popular. Berg’s pop vocals, alongside signature basslines and deep keys, make them perfect to listen basically anywhere. I’d recommend seeing them on tour this year based on the set I experienced a couple of weeks ago.

Ariana Grande:

I was slightly worried about Ariana due to the immense vocal damage she’s suffered the past few years but the radio’s favourite whistle tone singer is back with the incredibly catchy track of “Focus” (warning: you’ll never get this out of your head) and I can easily say this song could be the most relatable of 2015. Talk of the tour and a full-length LP dropping is already surfacing and I have to admit, I’m excited to hear Ariana Grande on the radio this year.


I’m still amazed at Banks’ quick come back in 2015 after having just released her first album in 2014. I feel super #blessed to have singles such as “Better” already being released for this next LP due to be out in 2016. “Better is insane, just absolutely gorgeous and breathtaking with emotional riffs, deep, almost sob like, notes and a powerful yet simple backdrop of percussion. I have no concerns about this next LP not living up to the beauty of her last one, Goddess, after coming off to that great start. Any year with new Banks music is a good year.


I think this one is pretty obvious. After the release of her game-changing single, “Hello”, Adele only went further to have a legendary response towards her latest album, 25, and with this only being the beginning, I’m almost certain to say we’ll be hearing more from her this year. I listened to her LP in full just today and even though the speakers of my laptop, it was absolutely booming, resonant, and brilliant. Adele is easily one of the best singers around right now I’m not even complaining that “Hello” is all you can possibly hear on any of the New York City stations at the moment.

Little Mix:

This all-girl, British, pop band is one of the greatest groups I’ve seen in all of 2015. With their own creative and vibrant personalities and voices, each lady in Little Mix will easily steal your heart (fun fact: Perrie Edwards was my first true love in 7th grade) and their lyrics about being independent and loving yourself are incredible. Their new album, Get Weird, is also one of the most all-around fun things I’ve heard this year (no joke my significant other and I were completely jamming out to it).

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