Anno 2020, there’s still a big difference in the representation between men and women in the music industry, awards nominations and festival line ups are still heavily biased towards men. Although numbers are slightly better than last year, we still have a long way to go if we want to achieve equality - not only in the number of musicians, but also concerning the recognition they receive.
Of course we all know the big names like Taylor Swift, Rihanna, Katy Perry and Ariana Grande, but there is a lot more #girlpower going on in the music scene! Being International Women’s Day, we’d like to put a few of them in the spotlight. Some already at the top of their game, others on their way right to it - but all touring this year! Who’s your favourite?
Move over chocolates, waffles, fries and beer - Belgium is now most famous for producing techno goddess Amelie Lens! In just a few years, Amelie has risen to the top of the international techno scene - and she’s just getting started. Putting together her amazing crowd engagement, composure behind the decks, strong work ethic and virtuosity in the studio, her success is nothing but a surprise.
Her debut release on Italian imprint Lyase received an enormous amount of attention, and not long after that Amelie delivered her first release on Pan-Pot’s label Second State. At the same time she started her own event EXHALE, where she performs all night sets herself and also invites the biggest names of the techno industry. Now she’s headlining the most prestigious festivals and performing all over the globe.
Charlotte de Witte
Adding to the list of Belgium’s finest: Charlotte de Witte is another Belgian techno DJ who’s absolutely killing it. In 2011, she won a DJ competition on the day after her 18th birthday. The prize: opening the mainstage at Tomorrowland. If that’s not a kickstart of a career in electronic music, we don’t know what is! Throughout the years, Charlotte started to focus more on techno and performing under the alias “Raving George”, to prevent organisers from booking her just because she’s a woman and to be judged solely on her skills. In 2015 she decided to perform under her own name, because she no longer felt the need to hide her gender - we can be nothing but supportive of this decision; no woman should ever feel the need to hide herself in order to be taken seriously.
With performances across the continents, high-ranking positions in the charts, her own record label KNTXT and 1,2 million followers on Instagram, techno princess Charlotte is here to stay.
If there is one word that describes Honey Dijon, ‘unique’ would be the one we’d go for. Her style blends a wide repertoire of musical styles from old school Chicago House, disco, tech house, tribal, funk, soul, and R&B. Born and raised in Chicago and later relocating to New York, the musical influence of both cities are ingrained in her sound. She has brought her talents to many of the best venues around the world - from Space in Ibiza to Panorama Bar in Berlin and Smart Bar in Chicago.
Next to DJing, Honey has also been very active at the intersection of fashion and music, compiling and curating the music for the men’s shows of Louis Vuitton. Being a black trans woman DJ in dance music, she’s also a vocal advocate for trans rights and awareness and an in-demand speaker and contributor on issues surrounding gender in club culture.
King Princess has been called “a genderqueer pop icon for the next generation of queer youth”, and honestly there isn’t a better way to describe this sensational singer. She’s all about authenticity and changing the game in pop culture. Her debut EP Make My Bed had the honor of being the first release on Mark Ronson’s new label Zelig in 2018, containing the hit single “1950”. Late 2019 she released her first studio album Cheap Queen and she will be the special guest for Harry Styles’ Love On Tour 2020.
Fun fact: she was offered a record deal at the age of 11, but turned it down because she wanted to develop her own style first. King Princess is without a doubt a talent to keep an eye on this year; one of our favourites already!
Last but definitely not least on this list of power women: IAMDDB, British rapper, singer and al lovechild of trap and jazz. Diana Debrito (hence IAMDDB), has been writing songs since she was 7. After a bad breakup a few years ago, she went to Angola (where her dad’s originally from), and became heavily involved in the local jazz scene there. Next to this, she also takes inspiration from her Portuguese roots from her mom’s side of the family, and cites a range of influences including Bob Marley, John Legend and Nat King Cole.
In 2019 she released her latest mixtape Swervvvvv.5, and in late 2020 she’ll take the stage for her European tour, plus her debut album will be released. We can’t wait to hear more of her signature sound urban jazz - it’s honestly one of a kind.