These days, music truly lives online, with an infinite number of websites dedicated to hosting tunes for the laptop-wielding masses. However, the web’s bottomless pit of blogs isn’t the only place to troll for mp3 treasures-some of the newest and most exciting (Internet-friendly) artists can be sought out via Soundcloud, the online stage that allows musicians to promote and distribute their music to fans and friends across the globe. In this weekly column, expert Internet sleuth Alex Chapman goes into the depths of the music-sharing site, in hopes of shedding light on emerging acts, as well as sharing some digital diamonds in the rough.
Although some may argue otherwise, in this columnist’s opinion there’s no better sound than that of a female pop vocalist. In 2014, we saw a great deal of proof for this statement, whether it was PC Music’s Hannah Diamond, global diva Lafawndah, or more mainstream stars like Banks, Tinashe, and good old T-Swift. But with a new year comes new blood, and below are three cuts from three talented women that are sure to make big waves in the coming months
Gia: “Only A Girl”
Who: Having recently exploded on the scene with visuals for her opus to girl on girl action, (aptly titled “Only A Girl”), 18 year-old Gia is a perfect amalgamation of all things currently cool. With a sultry, soulful voice that blends perfectly atop power pop beats, Gia embodies a certain engaging eccentricity that is sure to take her far.
The Song: Featuring dark pop production by Pablo Dylan, “Only A Girl” steams with the sexiness of young discovery, with Gia cooing lyrics like “Only a girl can make me feel this way.” It’s a new kind of straightforwardness that has yet to exist (and be accepted) in pop music (think Katy Perry’s “I kissed a girl and I liked it” if it was called “I kissed a girl and I liked girls”), but if anyone can carry the torch, it’s Gia.
Current Project: Gia’s only just begun–keep up with her on Facebook.
Keiya: “Wait 4 U”
Who: Chicago’s Keiya has quickly joined the ranks of the city’s burgeoning music scene, recently working with the likes of Khallee of JODY and producer Kyle Woods on the top-down, 80s-inclined track “Runaway.” Like Khallee, Keiya’s vocals are wonderfully distinct, adding special inflection to her dreamy R&B tracks.
The Song: Making Keiya even more of a talent are her striking production skills, as can be heard on her track “Wait 4 U.” Groovy synths and a subtle percussion give the track a smoky vibe, with Keiya’s longing vocals effortlessly soaring all the while.
Current Project: “Wait 4 U” is off Keiya’s Work EP, expected for release this month. For more on Keiya visit her website.
Sevdaliza: “That Other Girl”
Who: Another self-producing songstress, Dutch talent Sevdaliza’s vocal is delicate yet sharp, her use of trap-inclined beats (see the beautiful banger “Sirens of the Caspian“) amplifying the drama. Recently signed by Warp–where she joins artists like Aphex Twin, Flying Lotus, and Hudson–Sevdaliza pushes the envelope of what R&B, soul, and pop mean sonically, if you can even categorize her within those genres at all.
The Song: This time handing off the task of production to Rotterdam producer Mucky, “That Other Girl” takes a subdued approach, oozing in sensuality with a booming middle section akin to Kanye and Jay-Z’s dubstep-inspired “Who Gon Stop Me.” Sevdaliza’s Soundcloud profile reads “I’m everything you want me to be,” and with this track (among a handful of other work approaching perfection), we’d have to agree.