Poly Styrene made a huge impression in the UK’s early punk scene and pushed the boundaries in what we thought was possible in the realm of the music business. The question remains “what is punk?” and musicians like Poly have been right here showing us the answer: do it yourself.
Maki Asakawa did not have a sensational story with a sweet or bitter end. She was consistent and deliberate in her music career which can many times be a rarity in this business. Her influence carries forward as Japanese Jazz hasn’t slowed its interest since her beginnings.
Buffy Sainte-Marie used her platform to bring attention to environmental exploitation, Indigenous realities, and greed to audiences worldwide. Here we take a look at her unwavering 50+ year legacy.
Donna Summers’ was given the title “ The Queen of Disco” in the mid-1970s as she began to rise in the height of the disco era. Using her formal training as a basis, Donna, differentiated herself from her peers through her tireless stage performance, musicality, and international appeal to grow the development of disco and pop.
In this Herstory, we focus on Susan Rogers, a Prince fan who became the sound engineer for some of his most influential works throughout the 1980s.
Odetta Holmes, a singer, guitarist, writer, actor, lyricist, and a civil and human rights activist became cemented as the “Voice of The Civil Rights Movement” and sparked the folk revival of the 1950s.
Predating the Bhangra nights of today, desi youth — often too young to attend night-time events — would attend afternoon club events that to hear new blends of South Asian folks and Western pop. This served as a vehicle to navigate desi identity in the UK. For Herstory 24, we explore the deep history of Daytime Raves in the UK.
Minnie Riperton stands as one of the most underrated vocalists in music’s history. The short list of singers that are trained to exercise the whistle register often cites Riperton as their main influence. While we don’t know how high her career would have reached, we do see how far that influence carries forward today.
Patrice Rushen was a classically-trained jazz pianist with aspirations to branch out into a solo R&B career. Not only did she succeed at a solo career, but went on to become a producer, musical director, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist in the process.
It will always remain an unlikely story that a middle-aged, white schoolteacher would have such an influence on the musical landscape of Southern Soul.
With the release of her Believe album in 1998, she went from rock star to pop star. This moment is important for another reason - Cher popularized the new pitch-altering software, auto-tune.
Elza Soares is not a name that you hear very often outside of South America, but is one that you should know moving forward. She has become not only one of the most revered names in Samba, but one that has displayed strength and resilience since the 1950s. Surrounded by continually younger musicians and an ever-changing musical landscape, the iconic Brazilian singer, has remained a constant power in our midst. This is her story.