Leading Ladies: Female Artists Supporting Each Other Is A Great Thing


Janelle Monáe performs with a hologram M.I.A. for a live on-stage collab. (I might have cried just a bit.)

I am a big fan of seeing women uplift and support each other, especially within the music industry. Beyoncé featured Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and sampled her “We should all be feminists” lecture on the anthemic track “***Flawless”. Janelle Monáe’s last album, “The Electric Lady”, was a dream come true especially with her collabs with Erykah Badu, Solange, and Esperanza Spalding. M.I.A. consistently works with female artists as well, even mentors them as she did with rapper Rye Rye. Then, last month, M.I.A. and Janelle Monáe did an on-stage collab that involved holograms and spanned two coasts, M.I.A. in New York and Monáe in L.A. The concert was set up by Audi for their A3 launch but the point is, these two female musicians worked together to create and perform something innovative and highly entertaining as well.

It is so important for women to help each other and cheer each other on especially in an industry that seeks to divide women and to make a certain image of women exceptional. That’s why, it’s important to support female artists across every genre of music from country to hip hop to hardcore punk and ever genre and sub-genre in between. Anyway, without further ado, here’s a small sample of the great female collabs out there today.

1. Estelle – “Do My Thing feat. Janelle Monáe”

If you couldn’t already tell, I love Janelle Monáe and I especially love it when does collabs with other female artists. Estelle, best known in the U.S. for her hit song “American Boy”, is a successful singer and producer from London. She has released three studio albums since 2004 and has won and been nominated for numerous awards. “Do My Thing” is off her 2012 album “All of Me”, the last song on the 15-track album. It’s a song about ignoring the haters and keeping your individuality regardless of outside opinions. It’s upbeat and cheeky; Estelle and Monáe’s voice perfectly compliment each other and the instrumentals are fun and moving.

2. Roses Gabor – “For You…feat. Shola Ama”

Previously featured on WVAU, London-based singer Roses Gabor is slowly preparing the world for her full debut. For now, she has released a few tracks like “Stars” and “Night Sky” which are blends of cosmic pop that will take you to another galaxy. “For You…” is her latest track, released just about a month ago, and features fellow British R&B artist, Shola Ama. The opening is reminiscent of Destiny’s Child “Cater 2 U” and adds to the celestial sensuality of the song. It’s a smooth track dedicated to intimate settings and close encounters.

3. FM Laeti – “Coco feat. Fatoumata Diawara”

Born in Guadeloupe and raised in a musical family, French singer FM Laeti has always been surrounded by music and draws inspiration across genres. Drawing influences from Nina Simone, Bob Marley, and Etta James, her vocals are relaxed and easy like a gentle summer breeze. “Coco” is from her 2011 debut album “It Will All Come Around” and features Malian singer Fatoumata Diawara. The song simmers with warmth aided by soft hand drums and welcoming acoustic guitar. Diawara and Laeti mix languages and sing with carefree affection.

4. Niña Dioz – “Indestructible feat. Ximena Sariñana”

Mexican rapper Niña Dioz and Mexican singer Ximena Sariñana team up on this track for Dioz’s latest album of the same name. Dioz has been involved in the Mexican hip-hop scene for nearly a decade and Sariñana is well established in the Mexican pop music world. Dioz’s flow is contemplative while Sariñana’s sung hook is laid-back. Together, “Indestructible” is a rap/pop song – performed entirely in Spanish – that is more of a chill groove than a pump-up headbanger.

5. Santigold – “Go! feat. Karen O”

Futuristic Santigold paired with Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Karen O? Need I say more?

Honorable Mentions:

  • Janelle Monáe – “Q.U.E.E.N. feat. Erykah Badu” (Really, REALLY important)
  • Nicki Minaj – “I’m Legit feat. Ciara”
  • TOKiMONSTA – “Go With It feat. MNDR”

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