At Made Woman, we’re always on the lookout for artists that make us sit up and take notice. Great music is made only by those of equally great stature and initiative. As the calendar turns over another year, our eyes and ears are refreshed. We eagerly anticipate those who will define the musical landscape of 2014. We’re betting these five ladies below will be making this year their own. These are the Top 5 Female Artists to look out for in 2014:
Why she’s Made: Yuna is a Los Angeles-based artist with Malaysian roots bringing a sultry and emotive quality to today’s pop music. Her sound fits into the music annals alongside others like Sia and Corinne Bailey Rae. She can sometimes be as sweet as sunshine, and at others, pull at your heart with the sweet aching nature of her crystalline voice. Yuna began her career with the help of MySpace in 2006, catching the ear of US music labels. Undeterred by the lack of instant mainstream success, Yuna has continued to push forward in the music scene the last nine years, both releasing LPs and EPs and working with music mavens like Pharrell, along the way. She spent the later half of 2013 finally making waves with the release of her latest Nocturnal album, so look for Yuna to take over the music scene in 2014.
Why she’s Made: You might not know her by name, but chances are you (and 54MM other people) have heard her cover of Bon Iver’s “Skinny Love”. Birdy, also known as Jasmine van den Bogaerde, can make you feel bad about yourself without even really trying. At just 17 years old this Brit made a splash with her beautifully epic record of covers, and this year she is back to enchant with an entirely original album including a track from The Hunger Games soundtrack. She was recently featured on the star-turning Morning Becomes Eclectic program on Los Angeles’ taste-making KCRW radio station.
Why she’s Made: Angel Haze is the benefactor of so many musical talents you’d be inclined to think she had multiple personalities. She has innate abilities as a hard-driving rapper and lyricist and is an equally pure vocalist. It is a duality which makes me, of course, think of another phenom: the talented Ms. Lauryn Hill. At 22, Detroit-native Haze looks no more than 15 because -- you guessed it -- she has the face of an angel. An embattled childhood, an independent mind and an unflinching desire for the world to hear her music are what fuel Angel Haze. She recently leaked her own studio debut Dirty Gold ahead of its release. You’ll be thanking her that she did.
Why she’s Made: Another “Angel” tops our list for 2014. Though she, too, often uses music to exorcise some of life’s most tormenting demons, this Angel finds her home in the singer-songwriter genre. There is no pretense about Chicago-based singer-songwriter Angel Olsen. Her style moves counter to the trends of today’s soundscape -- raw, stripped-down and beautifully underproduced. I had the pleasure of seeing her live last year, and Olsen’s performance was beautifully understated belying her grand voice. A voice that is both staggering and unique; and untrained in the best way possible. It sits somewhere comfortably between an operatic belt and the country call of a yodel. Witnessing her natural display, the range and fluidity of her swoons and croons, is spiritual. Her presence will be in no shortage this year as her sophomore LP Burn Your Fire For No Witness is out February 18th.
Why she’s Made: The second Brit on our list occupies the space between AlunaGeorge and Amy Winehouse. Her cadence is playful and her sound is jazzy ala Winehouse on her freshman effort Frank; but Ingram additionally introduces buoyant elements of early 90’s R&B. Last year after covering Kendrick Lamar’s “Poetic Justice” and releasing a take-notice EP, Sober, Ingram signed to Island Records (also home to the late, great Ms. Winehouse). In 2014 the sky's the limit for this import.
After the festivities of Christmas and New Year have come and gone, you might be looking for another reason to celebrate. The good news is, there are plenty of fabulous festivals taking place around the world in spring. By conducting an online holiday comparison, you should be able to find the ideal trip for you. For example, from February 14th until March 4th, Nice in southern France will come alive to the sights and sounds of the Nice Carnival. Centered on the Place Masséna, this spectacle presents a procession of huge floats while musicians and street artists strut their stuff before excited crowds. This is one of the largest carnivals in the world and it takes place day and night.
On the other hand, if it’s unbridled sun and sand you’re after, perhaps a vacation to the Caribbean would suit. While the cost of trips to this part of the world tend to soar over the winter period, they start to fall again in springtime. Barbados is a great option. This island has something to offer everyone regardless of their budget. On its west coast, Barbados features luxurious resorts that are the perfect place to enjoy some pampering. Alternatively, its east coast offers wild waves that make superb surfing conditions. Its lush interior, meanwhile, features impressive plantation homes complete with museums that document the island’s fascinating and complex history.
In the Indian Ocean, the Maldives provides excellent holiday conditions year-round, and can be especially appealing during the spring. These coral isles boast beautiful beaches, clear waters and plenty of sunshine. It’s no wonder then that they have become something of a mecca for holidaymakers who are keen to relax and unwind. This is the perfect spot to enjoy some diving and to top up your tan.
Costa Rica is also well worth considering. Its tourist high season runs from December to April. While in the country, you can get close to nature, spotting howler monkeys, tropical birds and iguanas, among other species. You can also surf, hike and snorkel, meaning you won’t run out of activities to keep you busy. Given the natural beauty of this Central American land, it is no wonder it attracts 1.5 million visitors each year.
North African nations can also make fabulous holiday destinations in spring and Morocco is no exception. This country boasts myriad landscapes, ranging from arid deserts to the snowy peaks of the Atlas mountains. No vacation to this part of the world is complete without a trip to the ancient medinas that can be found in its towns and cities. These bustling centers, complete with their souks, are truly mesmerizing.
There are so many destinations to choose from if you fancy a springtime holiday. With a little imagination, you should be able to find something that fulfills all of your vacation needs.