Girl Gang Tunes: 10 Progressive Musicians Changing the Game Lyric by Lyric

By being politically active and speaking on important matters, the artists mentioned in this playlist are some of the most progressive and talented musicians out right now. These individuals continue to speak out on the injustices that are currently taking place, remaining very vocal regarding their desire for a safer, cleaner, and more comfortable world for people of all colors, genders, sexualities, and religions.

Amandla Stenberg
Amandla is one of the most progressive members of our youth today. As a nonbinary teenager, they are very outspoken on matters such as race, cultural appropriation, representation, inclusivity, and rights for the LGBTQ+ community. Amandla just released their single, "Let My Baby Stay," which was produced by Mac DeMarco. The song features crooning, relaxed lyrics.

Listen to: “Let My Baby Stay”

Dounia is everything. As a songstress, model, and activist, she is aware of the issues that plus sized individuals, people of color, and those that may not fit the "norm" face. Dounia has been vocal about being a high school dropout, continuing to pursue success and happiness regardless. Her songs "East Coast Hiding" and "Shyne" are just a taste of her amazing talent. The future is looking up with many more opportunities for both Dounia’s music and modeling careers.
Listen to: “Shyne”
Skinny Girl Diet
Skinny Girl Diet is an all-girl band hailing from London, England. The group consists of sisters Ursula and Delilah Holliday and their cousin, Amelia Cutler. Skinny Girl Diet is currently taking the DIY scene by storm! Getting their name from the literal hashtag "skinny girl diet," the band’s origin is a call to the image society expects of us. They're very aware of the issues many of us face regarding a "perfect look." As women of color in a music scene dominated by white men, the girls know what it's like to be misinterpreted and dismissed. They believe in standing up through activism. Their most recent album, Heavy Flow, is filled with punk rock, alternative, and indie vibes and a lyrical tone in which the band’s passion is apparent. The album art even depicts the girls with blood on their dresses and skirts!

Listen to: “Comedown Intro”
Jay Som
Known by her stage name, Jay Som is a queer Asian American making waves in the indie pop genre. Her music is very soft, upbeat, and vivacious. Seeing as she knows what it's like to not fit the "norm," Jay is very outspoken about the need for more LGBTQ+ members, women, and people of color in the industry. She even once supported Mitski (another amazing Asian American indie artist) on tour! Som's most recent release, Everybody Works, has all of the rock, indie pop, and alternative gems anyone could ask for.
Listen to: “For Light”

Adult Mom
Stephanie Knipe, known by their stage name of Adult Mom, is a genderqueer musician known for their indie, dreamy, pop-like tunes. Steph is very outspoken about their views of the world, whether it be regarding feminism, sexism, or what it means being a member of the LGBTQ+ community. Steph's experiences translate over to their music, which talks about being in love, gender identity, and life in general. Soft Spots, Adult Mom's newly released album, is filled with relaxed tunes that'll make you simultaneously ponder life and feel at ease.

Listen to: “Same”

Bethany Cosentino
As the lead singer of Best Coast, Bethany is known for her breezy pop tunes. However, she's also a strong activist at heart. Not afraid to speak her mind, Bethany has expressed her passions on many issues including misogyny, rape culture, and current events. Bethany has publicly called out sexism in the music industry as well.
Listen to: “Wasted Time”

Sky Ferreira
Known for her dark, soft grunge tunes, Sky is an outspoken activist who dedicates her time to speaking out for those whose voices aren’t always heard. With Brazilian and Portuguese roots, Sky proudly  acknowledges her background in her activism and work. Sky has spoken out about being sexually harassed as a child and has remained determined not to let that overshadow her as a person. She is firmly is against the DAPL (Dakota Access Pipeline), even once playing a benefit in support of its opposition. In addition, Sky Ferreira continues to take a stand on many important issues such as Black Lives Matter, human rights, and climate change.
Listen to: “Night Time, My Time”
Alexandra Denton, known by the stage name of Shura, is a songwriter that has reimagined pop and electronic music like never before. Unapologetic about her sexuality and experiences, she has successfully created a fascinating musical cocktail in her music.. Her 2016 album, Nothing's Real, is filled with electropop tunes and sounds that are reminiscent of the 80’s.

Listen to: “2Shy”

Princess Nokia
Destiny Frasqueri, known as Princess Nokia, is a proud Afro-Nuyorican with a heavy stance against sexual harassment. Fighting the system with a killer spitting game, Princess Nokia is one to watch out for. Her lyrics relate heavily to her lifestyle, whether it be through feminism, reproductive rights, religion’s effects, or the hardships of her own childhood. Acknowledging her roots in her video and song "Brujas," Princess Nokia takes on the daunting task of detailing some of the struggles and harassment black and brown women face daily. In “Mine,” she makes a powerful request: "Please do not ask me or any black or brown women if our hair is real or not; if it's a wig, a weave, extensions, braids, don't f*cking ask. It's very rude, it's extremely personal to be put on the spot like that; how we choose to wear our hair is our personal choice, okay? We bought it. It's ours, so have some manners and keep your curiosity to yourself." While Princess Nokia first released her debut album, Metallic Butterfly, in 2014, her sophomore record, 1992, has a tone resemblant of the 90’s.

Listen to: “Show Me the Body”

Christine and the Queens
Héloïse Letissier, a.k.a. Christine and the Queens, is a songstress originating all the way from the city of Nantes in France. Identifying as pansexual, Héloïse has been outspoken about not wanting to be bothered by stereotypes or labels. She has spoken on a variety of issues such as not feeling like herself in her body, having severe anxiety, and being queer. Héloïse has successfully combined the nuances of life and sexuality into musical masterpieces, as evidenced in her 2016 self-titled album.

Listen to: “Jonathan (ft. Perfume Genius)”

Text by Jada Moore
Visual by Laura Oyuela


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