March 8th marks an ever important date in the calendar as we celebrate International Women’s Day 2017. While the issues discussed and the events planned should never be confined to one 24 hour period a year, it is a recognised day across the world and here at Nation of Billions, we’re getting involved. We celebrated last year with an empowering playlist with picks from the likes of Ray BLK, Jamz Supernova, Ms Banks, Jorja Smith and Wolfie and this year, we’ve changed it up!
The theme for #IWD2017 is #BeBoldFor Change so what better time to look forward in the UK scene and highlight some of dopest ladies changing things up for the better. With so much talent already shining bright in 2017, this was never going to be an easy one but we have pulled together six of the best and asked them one question; “Whats the one piece of advise you would give your younger self?”
So get involved, be inspired and check out the answers …
“Time is the most precious thing ever, it’s more valuable than money, and it’s irreplaceable, please do not waste it on people/ things that don’t matter”.
Rachel Foxx cites Erykah Badu, Sade, Maxwell and Jill Scott as influences, and these come through potently on much of the vocalist’s material which tends to steer towards ’90s and early-00s R&B, helping to set her apart from many of her contemporaries. Her music is honest, sometimes brutally honest, but that is what makes it so relatable. Her 2016 project, the Blue Moon EP saw Rachel Foxx offer up something more contemporary, with tracks such as ‘Make You Say’, whilst still keeping what has become her signature throwback sound intact on standout song ‘To You’, which showcases the east Londoner at her divine best.
“First of all, I’d tell my younger self to never doubt herself, to always believe she is capable of achieving greatness, with hard work. I would tell her she’s beautiful and that she doesn’t need to change for anyone. I would tell her to stand up for what she believes in always and never compromise. I would tell her that she can be anything she wants to be and just because she’s not always represented in the media that one day she could be a representation for other girls. I’d tell her to always be humble and kind and forgiving to others including herself. And most importantly never give up on anything you want ever.”
Yiigaa (real name Yiga which means good luck) is a 19-year-old singer and songwriter from Brixton. Being the daughter of Ivorian musician Henri Gaobi, she was raised on a diet of reggae, traditional african, folk & R&B influencing her warm & soulful songs in what she describes as “neo soul infused with a little hi-fi to create old school vibes with a modern twist”. Her debut EP Breathe was released independently in late 2016 and has gained over 15,000 listens with no push or coverage from any major platforms. Her latest track, ‘Eternal’ talks on personal development and growing as an individual. With new project ‘Mist’ around the corner, it will be interesting to follow her journey.
“Haters will say it’s Photoshop. Forget what your mum, your dad, your best friends’ cousin’s sister thinks and follow what you know inherently is calling you. Make as many mistakes as possible because there are no failures, only futures. There is no prayer that can win the lottery if you don’t buy a ticket”.
Lola Coca describes her music as “frank, fun and colourful”, which sums it up quite well: 2015’s release ‘Bad Girlfriend’ is kooky, honest and funny, with cheeky lyrics that hark back to early Lily Allen crossed with M.I.A. Blending elements of hip-hop, pop and R&B, Lola is truly looking to create a very unique sound. Influenced by ’90s hip-hop and her dad’s ska collection, her background blending genre is somewhat reminiscent of The Streets, Gorillaz and Basement Jaxx, only this time presented as a stand alone “one-(wo)man-band”. Not looking to slow down anytime soon, she is priming new music as we speak and it will be great to see what she delivers next.
“When I reflect on the person I was a few years back one thing I wish I knew then that I know now is that the key to most of the answers I was searching for, start to reveal themselves the more you love yourself. The key to becoming better is SELF LOVE; truly enhancing and highlighting your core values, embracing what makes you unique, finding yourself through experiences and applying new knowledge learnt from past mistakes. It’s okay to not have it figured out all the time, it’s okay to fail, it’s okay to cry, it’s okay to not be okay and it’s okay to be yourself. Embrace it all. Flow with it all; and along the way collect little bits of “realness” that contribute to you becoming the woman you are. There isn’t a play by play book on the advice you should take and advice you should leave alone (besides obvious self destructive advice) so I wish when I was younger I knew that my life was for me to write as I go along and to have faith in what is already written in the fate of my universe. The more I tend to define my focus, but flow with co-existing energies and beings around me that make me MORE myself or a better version, the more life starts to make sense.”
Being the daughter of famed reggae musicians Toyin Adekale and Klearview Harmonix, it is clear that music runs through the family as Tottenham’s own Taliwhoah has embarked on a music career. Coming from a unique soundscape blending trap-infused R&B with classic melodies, Taliwhoah is bound to make big moves in 2017 when her upcoming EP, ‘New Wave Order’ is unveiled. Particularly given that her most recent tracks are her best yet, with ‘Fast FWD’ being a prime example. Showing a talent for collaboration in bringing through rising stars Levelle London and SNE on essentially a prime RnB cut, Taliwhoah manages to effortlessly sync a mix that’s proven notoriously difficult.
“My advice to my younger self would only really be me assuring myself, that I’m as icey as I think I am. I’d tell myself to stunt harder and listen to my mother more because more time she’s right. Smoking cigarettes isn’t that cool and waiting up until 12 to get a text back from that guy in school isn’t really worth it. And that’s probably it because I’ve had shit on lock for a minute now”.
JGrrey hails from South London, and brought up in this atmosphere, she quickly learned to sift through these differences, to bring together opposites. Carving out a name for herself in London’s streetwear scene, she soon turned her head to the music scene and has worked with the likes of Bonkaz, Ash Catch Em and Louis Rei. Her vibe is soulful indie, very chilled yet seductive. The beauty sings with her distinctive London accent which makes her sound even more personable and true. New EP, ‘I can’t die, lie, or end time’ fuses timeless soul with future-forward production, a defiantly British document that utilises a grime attitude in its song writing.
“Life is full of challenges and a few but at no point should you cower away from the storm. Avoid idle talk & behaviour, never get complacent and continue to be the you that you have always been. Say & do it with your chest”.
Lily Kiing is certainly one to watch. Being featured on a number of predominant platforms within her first few years, she uses her art to fearlessly explore themes such as love, relationships and raw emotions. With a raw vulnerability, Lily Kiing’s “music is food for the soul”. At an early age, her parents enrolled her in a Stage School where she learned the skills of performing arts and realised that this is what she wanted to do. She describes herself “a female not afraid to indulge in her feminine sensuality and sexuality”, and with her music, she looks to go against the norm to express her own creativity & direction for music.
Celebrate International Womens Day today and share your advise with us on Twitter using the hashtag #IWD2017