13 Breakthrough Female Artists to Watch in 2017

While this was a huge year for big names like Beyoncé, Frank Ocean, Sia, but let us not forget all the new names bubbling up. There are way too many incredible female and GNC artists bursting on the scene from all corners of the globe. Here’s thirteen artists that you should know in 2017:


13. Kacy Hill

For fans of: James Blake, Bon Iver, Léon

Kacy Hill is a Yeezus Tour dancer turned G.O.O.D. Music artist in a matter of months, and her debut Bloo EP made it clear why they acted quick. Her tune “Foreign Fields” explores James Blake-indebted ambient pop but her vocals entrance you in the story behind the song.


13. Amber Coffman

For fans of: Angel Olsen, Dirty Projectors, Francis and the Lights

Amber Coffman received a lot of attention this year for accusing music publicist Heathcliff Berru of sexual assault and inspiring many of his other victims to come forward. In 2017, the spotlight will shift to Coffman’s immense musical ability. After three albums with Dirty Projectors (and multiple collabs with talents as diverse as John CaleMajor Lazer and J. Cole), Coffman is set to deliver City of No Reply, her debut solo album, sometime in 2017 on Columbia Records.


11. Cloves

For fans of: Elle Varner, Adele, RY X, Hozier

Nineteen year old, born Kaity Dunstan, took her stage name “Cloves” after making a trip to Bali, where that herb serves as the national symbol. I sat here for about five minutes trying to think of any appropriate adjective to describe her, but I’ve got nothin’. The truth is: Australian songstress “Cloves” is hard to pin down, but her melodies hold a graceful ache and vulnerable tone that simply can’t be taught.

Her song “Don’t Forget About Me” highlighted the soundtrack for Me Before You, setting the bar high for that debut.


10. Lauren Sanderson

For fans of: Post Malone, Justin Beiber, G-Eazy

The queen of good vibes, Lauren Sanderson, has cultivated a loyal following upwards of 200,000 through Twitter and Instagram. A Fort Wayne, Indiana-native, Lauren puts new meaning to Midwest nice. At first, I fell in love with her attitude — her utter curiosity and desire to connect with as many people authentically as possible — something that is so often trained out of us when we are children. Lauren’s energy is contagious.

Beyond being a skilled connector, Lauren has pioneered her own sound, blending pop and rap in each of her records. Her busy 2016 included managing and running her clothing company, a tour, the release of her EP Center of Expression and seven other single tracks.

Her latest tweets point to a very busy 2017, including a tour, and many collaborations with up-and-coming photographer Muriel Knudson from Minneapolis. Enjoy her latest tune, “Alotta Me”, which she dropped by surprise on December 16, 2016.


9. Bishop Briggs

For fans of: Marian Hill, Halsey, ZZ Ward

Bishop Briggs, born Sarah Grace McLaughlin, is a British musician, currently based in LA. Briggs was born in London to Scottish parents from Bishopbriggs, Scotland, which inspired her professional name. She started writing her own songs at age seven, which she would perform for her family. She moved to Hong Kong at age 10, where she lived until she was 18. After graduating from Hong Kong International School she moved to Los Angeles, California, and attended college at Musician’s Institute.

Perhaps you caught one of her catchy singles, heavy with 808s and swinging beats. In January 2016, Briggs released the single “River” and changed her recording name to Bishop Briggs to avoid confusion with a heavy metal band of the same name. The song was a commercial success. Shortly after its release, the song quickly made it to number 1 on Hype Machine‘s Popular charts and reached number 1 on Spotify‘s US Viral 50 and #2 on the Global Viral 50. It also received an Honorable Mention on Shazam’s predicted Songs of the Summer 2016, which was featured in Billboard. As of May 2016, “River” was steadily climbing the Shazam Future Hits charts.


8. Moxie Raia

For fans of: Aaliyah, Rihanna, Vic Mensa

Singer-songwriter Moxie Raia signed to Capital Records after covering Big Sean’s “Beware”. Her first mixtape 931 was released in March and featured artists including Wyclef Jean and Pusha T, a project she told Rolling Stone it is, “the stuff I’ve always written, and haven’t been able to release.’ In 2016, she supported Justin Bieber on the North American leg of his “Purpose World Tour” this year as his first opener.

Though you may not yet know Moxie’s name, her journey to playing stadiums started long ago. A competitive dancer by the age of six, she was writing her own songs by 10 and applied to a performing arts school (without her parent’s knowledge) by the age of 1. Moxie attended, but did not complete her degree, at Columbia University, because she accepted a record deal and moved to California. She is currently working on a project now, which she calls “socially conscious”.



7. Bibi Bourelly

For fans of: Andra Day, Gallant, Kehlani

Badriia Ines Bourelly, professionally known as Bibi Bourelly (which is also her stage name), is a German singer and songwriter signed to Def Jam Recordings and based in Los Angeles. Bourelly was born to a Moroccan and Haitian background in Berlin, and spent time living in DC. She rebelled at school, insisting that her future was on the stage, not in the classroom.

Bibi has been grinding in the music industry for years. She was featured on tracks by Lil Wayne and Usher. But Bibi’s big break through came when she was still living in the DMV area, and began working with producer, Paperboy Fabe. Months later, he arranged for her to have a session with Kanye West, which ultimately lead to the creation of Rihanna’s “Higher,” which Bourelly wrote in about 30 minutes. Around the same time, Rihanna heard another of Bourelly’s written songs, “Bitch Better Have My Money,” and decided to make it the lead single off her 2016 album, Anti. Luck often looks a lot like a shit ton of hard work.

More to come from Bibi Bourelly, who just put out her lyric video for her single “Guitar”:



6. Kari Faux

For fans of: Goldlink, M.I.A., Mick Jenkins

I’ve had my eye on Kari Faux, an American rapper/singer based out of Little Rock, Arkansas, for awhile now. Many refer to her tunes as “internet rap”, with repetitive hooks, and she is best known for her flamboyant dress, and conversational style of rap.

In 2016, she released her full-length debut album Lost En Los Angeles (as well as popped up on Childish Gambino’s Awaken, My Love!), and has steadily redefined herself while maintaining what first caught our attention about her in the first place. A feminist anthem:


5. Liz Cooper & The Stampede

For fans of: Houndmouth, Shakey Graves, Dr. Dog

The first time I stumbled upon Liz Cooper was by finding her Audiotree Live Session. They have so many with well known artists, I was intrigued not to know her name. I was even more pleasantly surprised to see her jump up on stage at Little Harpeth Brewing’s New Year Eve party in Nashville, Tennessee. Forlorn Strangers “& Friends” were slated on the bill, and included guest appearances from Nashville-friends Devon Gilfillian, Leah Blevins, and Liz Cooper. When Liz popped up on the stage, she gave a few hugs to everyone, calmly strapped her guitar around her, and without saying a word…one…two…

And on three, the entire group of eleven musicians began leading a peacefully tipsy crowd through a cover of “Don’t Let Me Down” by the Beatles, all attentively led by Liz on electric guitar. The was confident and warm, and I immediately understood what the buzz was about. It is often rare that you share a moment like that with a crowd full of people in 2016, but I can’t say I saw too many people focused on their cell phones. That’s a GREAT way to start the New Year.

Liz’s website mentions talk of a full-length album, and here’s to hoping 2017 could hold that!

Watch the entire Liz Cooper & The Stampede’s full Autiotree Live session here to see if you love Liz too:


4. Maggie Rogers

For fans of: James Vincent McMorrow, Banks, 

Ohhh, the power of  virality. AND THANK GOD FOR IT. A few weeks ago, this video of Pharrell Williams being stunned into tears by this girl’s music at a sit-in at NYU Clive Davis Intitute of Recorded Music went viral, and thank God it did. The internet has finally brought Maggie Rogers to our attention. See for yourself below (starts at 18:15).

This interaction ultimately landed Maggie with a deal with Capitol Records, which issued a beguiling follow-up single, “Dog Years.” Both songs will be featured on a hotly anticipated release, arriving in February 2017.

Stream the mastered version of “Alaska” – Maggie Rogers’ breakthrough record of 2016 – here:


3. Anne-Marie

For fans of: Jessie J, Sia, Zara Larsson

Essex, United Kingdom-native, Anne-Marie is one of 2016’s most exciting UK exports. Oddly enough, Anne-Marie appeared in two West End productions as a child—Les Misérables when she was six, and Whistle Down the Wind alongside a young Jessie J when she was 12. More recently, you probably heard her name from…Sean Paul? Yep, you read that right. Anne-Marie’s collaboration with Clean Bandit and Seal Paul “Rockabye” — and three other singles by Anne-Marie — reached the UK Singles Chart.

When you strip away all the production that you hear on the radio mixes of her tunes, you might miss how incredibly effortless Anne-Marie’s vocals are. A stripped down version of her tune, Alarm, really showcases how insane her vocal storytelling abilities are live. Keep your eye on her.


2. The Internet

For fans of: J. Cole, Anderson .Paak, KAYTRANADA

The Internet is a Grammy-nominated neo-soul band, formed in early 2011 by Odd Future members Syd Tha Kyd and Matt Martians, along with touring members Patrick Paige, Christopher Smith, and Tay Walker. Sydney “Syd” Bennett grew up in a musical family; her mother once aspired to be a DJ and her uncle is a reggae producer out of Jamaica. As she explained, “I began wishing I could take credit for some of my favorite songs. That was when I started to make my own – I only began singing on my own songs when I really started writing.” When Bennett was 14, she built a small music studio in her home and worked on sound engineering before getting into production.

Look at her now. The Internet is a Nominee for Best Urban Contemporary Album (Ego Death) at the 2016 Grammy Awards.


1. Zara Larsson

For fans of: Sia, Ariana Grande, Bebe Rexha

Zara Larsson is a new name in the United States, but she’s been Sweden’s sweetheart since 2013. She first gained national fame in Sweden for winning the 2008 season of the talent show Talang, the Swedish version of Got Talent, at the age of 10.

Larsson caught national attention in the United States from her feature in the official song of UEFA Euro 2016, David Guetta‘s “This One’s for You“. Larsson released a single titled “Ain’t My Fault“, which will be part of her upcoming album due out this January 2017.

In 2016, Larsson was named one of Time Magazine’s “30 Most Influential Teens of 2016”, so we can’t imagine what 2017 will hold for this megastar. An astute feminist, some of Larsson’s remarks and opinions towards men have drawn attention in both the public and media, a few of which have garnered criticism. Some followers have even taken to calling her a “man-hater”, to which Larsson said, “it doesn’t really hurt men if I hate them.” Unapologetic. We love it.

Oh… And really worth the follow on twitter. *Kanye shrug*

Wishing all these bad-ass artists a killer 2017!

Who do you think the best female artist of 2016 was? Tweet us @GirlGangMusic.

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