These women don’t see the glass ceiling because they shot right through it. Here are six female artistes we’re rooting for this year.

ARUNAJA

A vocal powerhouse in every sense of the word, Arunaja is capable of bringing the house down with her incredible vocal range. She started off with gaining full control of her voice by learning Carnatic music at a very young age, and like almost every teenager, had her attention and interests shift towards western music. She gained an interest in English music, especially R&B, and soon appeared and made a mark on The Stage. She went on to release her lead single, Broken, which currently holds over a million views on YouTube.

If you had to make somebody your fan, which of your songs would you play for them?

I have a song that’s named Merry Go Round. It would have to be that.

Name three contemporary musicians you would want to jam with.

Ditty, she is one hell of an artist. Sid Sriram. I know he is not my contemporary, but still. His music is the most different out of everything that exists at present. Thirdly, Mali. She is amazing. I fell in love with her after listening to Mango Showers.

 Apart from entertainment, what do you think is the role of music in today’s world?

Expression of any thought in the form of art adds power and value to it. Music has created revolutions, ended wars, created trends, the opportunities are endless. And we are living in a time when music is needed the most.

CARTEL MADRAS



Bringing a lot of swagger to the list are Eboshi (Bhagya Ramesh) and Contra (Priya Ramesh) who happen to be sisters and also the rap duo, Cartel Madras. The duo is based out of Canada, but make sure you don’t forget their Tamil roots. One thing is for certain, they’re not here to play around. These girls mean business. Expect confidence, ferocity and a lot of Thumpa-Thumpa with any Cartel Madras song.

 If you had to make somebody your fan, which one of your songs would you play for them?

Dawood Ibrahim (Woof Woof) off of our debut EP, Age Of The Goonda. It’s a fun mix of cheeky, heavy, and referential. Name three contemporary musicians you would want to jam with. Freddie Gibbs, who is our favourite rapper. Soudiere because he is one of the best producers and Erykah Badu, because, duh.

Apart from entertainment, what do you think is the role of music in today’s world?

Music changes minds and shapes culture. Through music we can be introduced to alternative forms of art, lifestyle, beauty, and ways of thinking. Artists have such an immensely powerful role to play in challenging norms and pushing the envelope.

ANISHA



Anisha isn’t your usual pop artiste. She is one of those artistes whose bank of music ranges from songs that tug at your heartstrings to those that get you dancing to rad beats. Her most popular hit still remains Stand there with you, which starts off with a beautiful piano, followed with rhythmic drum breaks and strong vocals. We highly recommend giving it a listen.

If you had to make somebody your fan, which one of your songs would you play for them?

I would play Baby Steps and You Don’t Know for them because those were the first songs I wrote. In some ways, I also consider them my purest songs. When I wrote them, I had no prior experience. I created something by instinct and they, to this day, transport me. These two songs also determined my style of songwriting, which is to write to express myself and share real emotions and experiences.

Name three contemporary musicians you would want to jam with.

I would love to collaborate with Daughter because she is a very poetic songwriter. Secondly, George Ogilvie. His music speaks straight to my soul, and finally, Cinematic Orchestra. I love cinematic music and the mood they create is so visual and inspiring.

Apart from entertainment, what do you think is the role of music in today’s world?

Music is fun, but that’s not what makes it beautiful. I do music because music is a language that has a lot more words and a lot more emotions than just words in the verbal sense. So, more than entertainment, music is essentially therapeutic. It nourishes the soul.

MEBA OFILIA

Badass when she wants to be, soft when she needs to be, Meba Ofilia is a shining example of the kind of musical talents hidden in the Northeastern hills of India. Ofilia is a rapper, singer and songwriter from Shillong with music that promises flows to get you head bobbing and words that force you to think. Her music catalogue includes a bunch of originals as well as covers with frequent collaborator, Khasi Bloodz. Her shiniest career highlight remains her win for the Best India Act at the 2018 MTV Europe Music Video Awards.

 If you had to make somebody your fan, which one of your songs would you play for them?

I would love to play one of my favourite songs from the album Jaded. It’s not something everyone can relate to but it reaches out straight to the soul. You’ll hear it soon.

 Name three contemporary musicians you would want to jam with.

Alicia Keys, John Legend and Joy Crookes.

Apart from entertainment, what do you think is the role of music in today’s world?

I think music has a universal language, it’s a stress reliever, as well as a kind of refuge after a long day. In general, music can also serve as a platform to highlight issues related to the society.

MALI

Mumbai-based Maalavika Manoj aka Mali is a young artiste who is constantly practising her skills of perfectly penning deep words and placing them all onto beautiful melodies. Her latest body of work, Mango Showers, helped attract new listeners to her music and introduce them to her acoustic talent. With the rate at which she’s going forward, there’s no stopping Mali from becoming the next big thing in the Indian music scene.

If you had to make somebody your fan, which one of your songs would you play for them?

I think I would show them either Play or Mango showers. Play is a good representation of who I am and what kind of stuff I like to write about. But Mango Showers is a better indicator of the direction my music is moving in.

Name three contemporary musicians you would want to jam with.

Maggie Rogers, Weyes Blood and The 1975.

Apart from entertainment, what do you think is the role of music in today’s world?

To provide escape from the bleak times we’re living in. It’s also a great way to initiate conversation about certain social issues

NONI-MOUSE

If Flume and FKA Twigs had a child, Noni-mouse would be the result. Noni aka Radhapriya Gupta returned from music school in Vancouver after learning production and then went on to sharpen her skills as a live sound engineer. In the meantime, she started writing, producing and performing her own compositions and eventually established herself in the scene. Noni-Mouse’s music is best experienced live, where her heavy synths and mesmerising vocal can teleport you to a place you’ve never been before.

If you had to make somebody your fan, which one of your songs would you play for them?

It would be Oh Uh.

Name three contemporary musicians you would want to jam with.

Pardafash, Moebius and Dotdat.

Apart from entertainment, what do you think is the role of music in today’s world?

A way to unify people.