Donna Arendse, founder of Lekker Collective and A&R Manager at Majestic Casual curates a monthly playlist of soulful tracks by – or featuring – female artists.
The first installment of my soulful, women-led playlist for 2021 is a celebration of women of colour for Black History Month.
Listen to the full playlist here: bit.ly/womenandsoul
Makenna Lyric – Can We Stop Time
Despite the fact it has become increasingly harder to discover amazing new artists on SoundCloud, the stubborn among us persevere. While doing a rare trawl, I’m glad to have discovered the first 2 tracks which are featured in this playlist.
With not much about her online, and only three tracks to her name (one of those a feature), Montana-based Makenna Lyric has piqued my interest with her ethereal layered vocals, RnB runs, and resonant production which blends seamlessly with plucked guitar in “Can We Stop Time”. She says she uses music to explore “ the Black consciousness and womanhood in an unnurturing and predominantly white environment”.
Lo Knowles – The One Where They Run
There’s something truly special about Lo Knowles sound in her debut single “The One Where They Run”. The self-produced, spacious yet raw track is simply awe inspiring, reminding me of Raury’s early releases. Based in New York, she is working on a debut EP which I am waiting with bated breath for.
K.ZIA – Mon Mood
Born in Brussels and raised in the US, singer and songwriter K.ZIA kicked 2021 off with a R&B and UK Garage mash-up track. In “Mon Mood”, K.ZIA interplays English verses with French choruses, bringing her bilingual identity to the forefront as she grapples with outside opinions, having to “fit the frame” and finally coming to a place of peace and self-love.
Pairing her sonic presence with ever more evolving visuals, K.ZIA is a star on the rise in the Berlin music scene.
Annahstasia – X51
Nigerian-American model, visual artist and soul musician Annahstasia is a triple threat. Her sound is earthy and raw, causing you to metaphorically crane your neck in order to not miss a note. Opening with brazen guitar sequence, “X51” is evocative of a distinctly tribal energy – it feels isolated, eerie, and as she describes it, akin to a “nomadic, spiritual journey through the desert”. The wailing throughout the track, paired with her husky, perfectly paced vocal paints a love story where danger and vulnerability play equal roles.
Amaria – Twilight
Amaria appeared on the scene early last year with her self-produced debut single “Morning”. The 20-year old from Tampa, Florida then proceeded to blow everyone out of the water with “Twilight”, a track which effortlessly marries head-bopping beats, a tasteful bass groove, and Amaria’s hazy RnB vocal. Produced by K, Le Maestro, “Twilight” is just the right blend of lo-fi RnB and buoyant youthfulness, further exemplified by the accompanying DIY music video.
Jazmine Sullivan – Our Story to Tell
An added extra: lockdown has me watching more live music online than ever before (like everyone else haha). Time and again I’ve come back to the genius that is Jazmine Sullivan. A goddess at work – equal measures of grace and sass.