The Women Who Will Revolutionise Music In 2017

Written By the interns on 03/08/2017

There are so many women that we post about daily on The Interns who continue to inspire, energise and drive us, not because they're women, but because they're exceptional creative minds. In the music industry, however, females are a minority and International Women's Day is a really good chance to spotlight every women who inspires us and show exactly why they shouldn't be a minority.

We're taking the opportunity today to highlight 10 women who we feel are going to change the face of music in 2017, for a number of varying reasons. These are artists, radio hosts and songwriters who we write about frequently but feel deserve to be raved about not just today, but every day.

Lorde

When it comes to how Lorde is going to revolutionise music in 2017, we have to start with her most recent single Green Light. The lead single off her forthcoming second album Melodrama is one of the most exciting pop moments in while. It's big, unpredictable, unconventional and honest, revealing a musician who's not content with playing it safe. She's grown into herself and she's not afraid to say things how they are now, leaving metaphors in favour of lyrics that are far more direct.

We also have to remember that Lorde is only 20 years-old. It puts her in a really good position to alter the thinking surrounding popstars of the new generation and she's doing a spectacular job of it. In 2013, after a record exec referred to her potential by saying "lots of zeroes," she hit out saying, "I’m not a spreadsheet with hair," and she destroyed Diplo after he suggested someone start a Kickstarter to get Taylor Swift a booty, saying someone should do something about his, "tiny penis." Lorde doesn't miss a beat and you should expect there to be many headlines featuring the young Kiwi this year calling out bullshit in the industry. 

Julia Michaels

When Adele stood on the Grammys stage to collect her Album Of The Year award for 25, it was painfully clear how skewed the industry is towards male producers and writers. This was the biggest album of the year and yet, apart from Adele, there was not one female standing on-stage. Julia Michaels is a writer who is competing in the upper-echelons of the pop world, bucking the trend of male writers and producers.

She wrote Justin Bieber's Sorry, Nick Jonas' Close, Britney Spears' Slumber Party and, more recently, Ed Sheeran's Dive. She's also dropped her own solo single Issues which is one of the most interesting songs on the radio right now. She's going to be a huge voice both as a popstar in her own right and behind-the-scenes in the next year.

Solange

Solange's A Seat At The Table was one of the most powerful records of last year. It was an honest, raw portrayal of her experiences as a black woman and most who have connected to it have remarked that they were either deeply moved by it or that they learnt from it. She gave strength to so many with that record and she's continuing to spread that with artistic and considered performances that are all about strength.

While her music is revolutionary, as a business woman in music, Solange is also revolutionary. She owns her own label and collective Saint Heron and over the last few months has been putting on events in New Orleans centred around arts and music. She will also curate a whole stage at Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago. On top of that she's a vocal activist, recently backing Australian activist Yassmin Abdel-Magied after her faith was challenged on Q&A and challenging the Grammys on their decision not to give Album Of The Year to Beyoncé.

Lady Gaga

This year Lady Gaga has performed at the Super Bowl, the Grammys and she's about to headline Coachella. That's after she won a Golden Globe, performed at the Oscars and released a number one album last year. You could say she's having a pretty good run and she's going to be a really powerful figure in the music industry this year.

Gaga was revolutionary in the beginning because she made pop so exciting. She made it weird, brave and extraordinary but now she's pulled back the theatrics ever so slightly, her voice is louder than ever and she's really cutting through. In a world of squads and beefs, Gaga is promoting friendships and support. On Hey Girl with Florence Welch off her most recent record Joanne she sings, "We can make it easy if we lift each other," and that may just be her greatest message right now. She's promoting positivity while speaking out about those who threaten to take rights away from those less powerful and that's exactly what we need right now.

Janelle Monae

If you've seen Moonlight or Hidden Figures, you'll know how powerful a force Janelle Monae is on screen but she's just as powerful in music. While she hasn't released anything in a while, her film work has thrust her back into the spotlight and she's using that attention to lift up those around her. In the past few weeks, she's given a powerful speech rightfully magnifying black women's contributions to society, shut down period shamers and tweeted out, "Never forget girls & women birthed the human race and hold the power to unbirth it."

As a musician, she's a revolutionary. She manages to relate to those on earth while creating this other world full of weird and wonderful sounds. She's teasing new music in 2017 after putting her third album on hold for acting but she's also releasing the music of others through her own label Wondaland. Just last month she put out the debut album by Jidenna The Chief.

Ash London

Radio in this country sometimes leaves us a little dismayed. Unlike in other countries, radio can too often be about the personality than the music. Australian audiences tune in for the Kyle & Jackie's of the world rather than people like Zane Lowe or Annie Mac who put the music first and get really excited about it. Listening to Ash London on radio right now on Ash London Live makes us feel confident that it can change in Australia.

Every song she plays, she's genuinely excited about and she's putting an emphasis on breaking young acts and making audiences excited about music again. She's also hosting her own radio show in an industry that so often feels that women need to have a male side-kick on air. London is giving commercial radio the shake-up it needs and we're so thankful to have someone doing that right now.

Julie Adenuga

So many talk about Julie Adenuga's brothers Skepta and JME but it's Julie who is becoming one of the most powerful voices in music. The Beats 1 radio host is a passionate music fan first and foremost and that's what makes her daily program so engaging and exciting. She got her radio start on Rinse FM moving up the ranks before being chosen to be one of the key anchors on Beats 1 alongside Zane Lowe and Ebro Darden.

So many are given credit for spreading grime internationally, but Adenuga has been such a force in spreading British music to the globe. She's rooted in the London scene and she brings that to the world every day, playing diverse music but always repping for the UK. She wrote and presented an Apple doco on Skepta last year and told The Fader, "I probably am a good person to tell this story."

"Let me see what I can do to make sure that other people don't get it misconstrued."

She's a perfect person to tell the stories because she takes so much care with them.

Last year, she launched a program One True Calling to prepare 16 - 24 year-olds for a career in media. This year, she's going to start a bi-monthly dinner event for creative women to come together, chat and, "positive energy out into the world."

Paige IV

Paige IV is probably a name that you'll recognise most for her guest spots on LDRU's Keeping Score and PON CHO's Frozen but she's about to make some serious waves overseas as a writer. Sia got her break overseas writing for names like Christina Aguilera, Beyoncé and Rihanna before she blew up as a popstar herself, and while Paige IV may not have popstar ambitions just yet, she looks set to become the next Aussie to blow-up behind-the-scenes.

Her first major international co-write is on Zedd and Alessia Cara's Stay, which has one of the best top lines of the year so far, if we may say so ourselves, and we have a feeling it won't be her last big co-write. Pop music is so often a taboo topic in Australia but Sia has done a good job at destroying that somewhat. Paige IV will be the one to trash that.

Charli XCX

Charli is our favourite popstar right now, hands down. Not only is she challenging the pop aesthetic with some of the most forward-thinking songs around right now, she's got a kickass personality and is not about to take anyone's shit. As a woman who started in the industry when she was very young, she could've easily and tragically had her personality trod on by industry figures and producers who felt they needed more of a say in her career than Charli herself.

Instead, she celebrates every facet of her womanhood and decided firmly that she's going to be her own boss. She also lifts up the women around her and has built this wonderful, creative community of forward-thinking music makers. You only have to look at her latest mixtape features to see that - MØ, RAYE, CupkKake and Starrah are all on it.

"I make my own decisions, good and bad, and to me, that's what feminism is all about," Charli said in her own BBC doco The F Word And Me and that's just one of a million reasons why we love her so much.

Nina Las Vegas

Nina Las Vegas is somebody that we've looked up to since we started this website. As young people passionate about celebrating new and different music in this country we found that Nina's work on radio and her 'NLV Presents' shows proved to us that there's still positivity and passion for finding new music.

Things have changed a little for Nina since The Interns started. She left triple j and has dedicated herself to her own music and her own label NLV Records which just captures the very essence of what she's all about - promoting different, daring club music. And from her own releases to drops by Swick, Lewis Cancut, Strict Face and more, she's fulfilled that aim.

She's a really strong advocate for women in music and calls out sexism when she sees it but she's always been a hard worker first and foremost. We've always written about Nina, not because she's a woman, but because she is, in our opinion, the most positive and exciting advocate for electronic music in this country.