Featured Image: Phoebe Fox
When it comes to giving vocalists recognition within the music industry, it appears that some fly slightly more under the radar than others. There are many artists with talents that should quite rightly lead to universal acclaim, and their impending stardom should no longer be delayed. From British rocker Cassyette to the Welsh soul singer Nia Wyn – each of these women have risen to prominence over the years, yet we feel they are still deserving of more credit. We’re excited to see what the future holds for each of these vocalists, as their loyal fanbases only continue to grow.
Growing up in a small mining village in Doncaster, Anastasia Walker is the frontwoman of alt-indie band, Bang Bang Romeo. Her vocals are of a compelling and formidable nature, giving her a range that can tame any song. Walker’s voice is a seasoned one, making her an indisputably strong vocalist within the indie genre. Not knowing anyone who was openly gay while she was young, Walker has stated there was no one ‘in terms of a big, queer woman who was totally empowered and unapologetically herself’, to look up to. Having no role models as a young girl was formative for Walker. She has since become a role model herself for LGBTQ+ youth, empowering others at the helm of Bang Bang Romeo. Fronting the band since 2010, Walker identifies as a lesbian and has been an inspiration for many young girls. Using her platform, Walker has spread messages of body positivity and self-love, reminding anyone who may be struggling, to always remember that they are ‘fucking ace’.
Gigging relentlessly to get to where they are today, Bang Bang Romeo have supported pop veteran P!nk on her Beautiful Trauma Tour, and have also opened the main stage at the Isle of Wight Festival, for its 50th anniversary. Recently, they have released their debut album A Heartbreaker’s Guide to the Galaxy and a cover of the 90s classic, ‘What’s Up?’. Furthermore, they have just been announced as the headliner for the fifth edition of LOUD WOMEN Fest, at 229 The Venue, London on March 20, 2021. They make a commendable choice, as Walker has successfully aided others by paving the way for women who excel in the industry, while refusing to give any time to the frivolous opinions of others.
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When it comes to ferocious voices, British singer Cassyette has one of the best. She successfully combines her fierce vocals and luminous aesthetics with playful lyrics, as heard in her Suck It EP, which was one of the liveliest EPs of last year. However, Cassyette also proves that she has a voice that can be delicate, with her track ‘Diamond’ demonstrating a more gentle side to the vocalist. After many requests from fans, Cassyette also did a surprise cover of Dolly Parton’s ‘Jolene’ during lockdown. Not one to blend in, she puts her spin on the classic, with those unmistakable vocals and slower pacing of the song creating an entirely different atmosphere and tone to Parton’s original.
Originally a DJ for 10 years, she settled on writing and making rock music, after discovering that was her preferred genre. Cassyette has spoken before about how her music, which initially sounds purely glamorous, also tackles serious issues, such as mental health. Some of Cassyette’s heaviest influences are 80s glam rock bands, KISS and of course, Mötley Crüe. She has also supported rock band You Me At Six in Bristol and has performed on BBC Introducing. Cassyette has also toured with the female-fronted rock band YONAKA. While supporting the latter at the Deaf Institute in Manchester, the crowd are said to have sung along to her music before it was even released. Her style is highly distinctive, partly due to being inspired by other female rockers, such as Joan Jett and The Runaways. Described as the offspring of Vince Neil (Mötley Crüe) and country star Dolly Parton, Cassyette is the embodiment of her idols and influences, as well as something uniquely her own.
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There are not many vocalists who specialise in being as haunting and reflective as Grace Carter. Carter has a sincere voice, which is often complemented by a heartfelt trembling that vibrates through her nostalgic songs. Emotion flows through Carter’s crisp vocals, only adding to the poignant meaning behind each of her songs. The London-based artist is slowly but surely gaining the recognition her talents deserve. As a young girl, Carter moved away from the highly multicultural London to Brighton with her mother. Moving to a predominantly white area led to an identity crisis for Carter, who was asked if she was adopted after another girl at school saw her mum picking her up. For Carter, who was also having to deal with an absent father, ‘this was the fire starting’. Carter has said before, that most of her songs are actually about her biological father, with writing music becoming an escape for the artist. Carter’s stepfather is the singer-songwriter, Paul Philips, who encouraged her pursuit of music. She learnt to play the piano by watching tutorials on YouTube before even starting music college.
Carter has gone on to support Dua Lipa’s Self-Titled Tour in 2017, despite only having one song released at the time. She has also supported the likes of Rag’n’Bone Man, Haim and Mabel. Furthermore, she has headlined tours in 2018 and 2019 around the UK and Europe, after the release of her Why Her Not Me EP in 2018. Carter has just released her single, ‘Blame’, featuring British singer, Jacob Banks.
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Inspired by Amy Winehouse, Welsh singer Nia Wyn has a mighty voice that will resonate with many a soul fan. Her expressive vocals make her a prominent figure in both the soul and jazz music scene of 2020- like many others, we hope that she will lead the genre back into the mainstream, as Winehouse herself once did. Wyn is a defiant vocalist, boasting a refreshing sound which merges numerous genres, while still having a contemporary feel. Wyn discovered old soul and hip-hop records in the junk shops of the seaside town, where she grew up in Llandudno, North Wales. Her single ‘Turnstiles’ was produced by Paul Weller, lead singer of The Jam, in his Surrey Studio. She has supported both Weller and Paloma Faith and was tipped as ‘one to watch’ by BBC Introducing’s Huw Stevens after doing so. Wyn’s debut EP Love I Can’t Ruin dropped earlier this year, and she has had plays on both BBC Introducing and BBC Radio 2’s Blues Playlist. Wyn has also had a profile feature on Fred Perry Subculture and Earmilk.
The singer released the tracks ‘Atlantis’ and ‘Ghosted’ in June, showcasing her natural storytelling and world depicting capabilities. Candour radiates from Wyn’s lyrics, with her honesty about her weariness of the world echoing through ‘Atlantis’ in particular, with lyrics such as “In Atlantis there’d be no forms to fill out, no queues to wait for”. A big gamer, Wyn was even inspired by ‘Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’ when writing the track, a song that appears to revolve around escapism and longing for a more magical place. Wyn has also uploaded a lockdown style version of the track on her social media for fans to enjoy.
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Some artists have voices that only come along once in an era. This is surely the case for the folk singer-songwriter Laura Marling. Emanating elegance, Marling’s vocals somehow feel both graceful, yet sharp all at once. It seems as though singing is a craft which Marling has perfectly honed, with charm and allure filling every inch of her songs. Despite refining her voice over time, it has always been one of purity, with Marling able to make even explicit topics sound tranquil. Marling has been on the music scene since she was just 16 years old. She was one of the original members of the indie band, Noah and the Whale, and after leaving the group, she worked with numerous members of Mumford & Sons. Since the release of her debut album Alas I Cannot Swim in 2008, Marling has been nominated for Best British Female Solo Artist, five times at the Brits, winning once in 2011. Her first, second and fourth albums were all also nominated for the Mercury Music Prize, with her sixth album even being Grammy-nominated.
Despite her modest success, Marling left her record label after the release of her sixth album, working instead with theatre director Robert Icke, who is known for writing original music for Peaky Blinders. Marling also formed a duo, Lump, with Mike Lindsay from the band, Tunng. Lump released their self-titled album in 2018. Marling’s new album Song For Our Daughter was released early to entertain people during lockdown. Marling has said that she feels her innocence was taken prematurely from her, due to how young she was when she entered the music industry. Her new album, therefore, comes with the aim to ‘arm the next generation’.
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