Six singers: A collection of female artists from around the world

This is a compiled collection of six up-and-coming female musicians, one from each continent (excluding Antarctica). I chose artists that I had not previously heard about, and I wanted to include a range of artists who have all had unique journeys in their music careers. Read a brief summary of each artist’s interests and what inspires them. When you are done, go explore their music more!

South America: Zoe Gotusso
Zoe Gotusso is an Argentinian pop singer and songwriter. She was born in Córdoba, Argentina in 1997. Gotusso’s career began with Santi Celli when the pair formed a musical duo, Salvapantallas. Gotusso and Celli worked together for about four years before pursuing solo careers. Gotusso released her debut solo album “Mi Primer Día Triste” in December of 2020. The album was released alongside a short film capturing the writing process and journey. Gotusso has a mellow pop sound that accompanies her lyrics, which are mainly written about love and heartbreak. Mi Primer Día Triste won Best Pop Album at the Gardel Awards in 2021, opening up an abundance of new opportunities for Gotusso. Unfortunately, like many artists, Gotusso was unable to meet, tour and interact with her fans over the past few years while her music was gaining traction due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, she has spent the majority of 2022 touring the world promoting her album. Gotusso even opened for Coldplay ten nights in a row at River Plate Stadium in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

North America: Wallice
Wallice, also known as Wallice Hana Watanabe, is an indie rock singer and songwriter. She was named after Wallis Simpson, the woman King Edward abdicated the throne for. Watanabe was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, and cites Weezer as her biggest musical inspiration. She majored in Jazz Performance and Voice at The New School in New York City, but she dropped out to focus on building her career. Watanabe writes about heartbreak, isolation, as well as her heritage. Her most recent song “Japan” talks about reconnecting with her father’s side of her family, and feeling closer to her Japanese roots. Watanabe rose to fame during the COVID-19 pandemic. “I credit the pandemic to be[ing] able to find an audience because I think a lot of people had time to listen to music and find new artists,” Watanabe said in an interview with the New York Times. She has been featured on major playlists curated by Spotify, and her following has only grown from there. In 2021, Watanabe signed with Dirty Hit, the same record label that the 1975 are signed to. This past year, Watanabe toured with Still Woozy and sold out her own mini-tour.

Australia: JessB
Jess Bourke is a Kiwi rapper who goes by the stage name JessB. She is a former netball player from Auckland, New Zealand. At the end of 2016, Bourke was dropped from the professional team she was playing for and had no intention of becoming a musician until the opportunity presented itself. She said she had always used music as an outlet. In an interview with i-D, after having to end her netball career, she said, “a few things aligned and I was able to begin to pursue music as a career and I’ve never looked back or second guessed since.” Bourke’s sound is house and club inspired, and she maintains a lighthearted tone in most of her music. Bourke is also part of a club night known as FILTH in Auckland. She created this with DJ Half Queen to create a safe space for expression. In the same conversation with i-D, Bourke said, “we wanted to fill a gap that we could see in the nightlife scene here musically, as well as for QPOC [Queer People of Color] in the city.” In 2019, Bourke was invited to perform at Spotify’s A1 Hip Hop Live, an event held in Australia. This allowed her to expand her audience beyond New Zealand, as well as meet other hip hop artists from around the world.

Europe: Alina Pash
Alina Pash is an electro-pop singer and rapper. She was born in Bushtyno, a village in the Carpathian Mountains in western Ukraine. Pash has been singing since the age of eight and beginning at 13, she would perform in vocal festivals around her home. In 2012, she was featured in two popular Ukrainian bands’ songs, and she even created her own band, Delicious Ladies. In 2015, Pash placed third in season 6 of X-Factor Ukraine; Pash was mentored by Nino Katamadze, a Georgian jazz singer. In the past few years, Pash has collaborated with Ukrainian fashion designers, expanding her art and interests. Working with fashion designers has also given her the opportunity to support local artists. She writes about Ukrainian history and ancestry, along with reflections about her own life. She won a Music Moves Europe award, where she delivered a speech about her love for Ukraine and the fear her friends and family felt just a few months before the war began.

Asia: Closet Yi
Closet Yi, with birth name JaeYoung Lee, is a DJ and producer from South Korea. Lee mixes techno and house music, and she is a well-known and respected presence in Seoul’s club scene. Lee said watching her sister play computer games growing up drew her into video game soundtracks and the aesthetic of electronic music. She was a resident of DJ Hyundai Card Music Library, which inspired her to expand her discography beyond dance music. Now, Lee mixes Korean old beats, city pops and world music to create her unique sound. Through her range of genres, Lee has been able to attract a wide range of listeners. In 2019, she had a big break when she was featured on her record label’s compilation album. Honey Badger records, her label, later helped her to produce a five song EP. That year, she also released an EP with a London-based label. In 2022, Lee created an hour-long mix for Apple Musics’ New Year’s Eve Mix.

Africa: Zuchu
Zuhura Othman Soud is a 29-year-old singer and songwriter that goes by the stage name Zuchu. Soud was born in Zanzibar, Tanzania to a musical Swahili Zanzibari family. Her mother is a famous Zanzibar Taarab musician, Khadija Kopa. Soud is the first Eastern African female artist to reach 100,000 subscribers on YouTube within a week, and she is the first Eastern African female artist to reach 1 million subscribers on the app. In 2020, she won the Emerging Artist Award at the African Muzik Magazine Awards. Soud received this award after producing her debut EP, “I am Zuchu.” This EP consisted of seven tracks, one of which her mother was featured on. Her songs are a mix of bongo flava, afro-pop, and RnB. Bongo flava is a nickname for Tanzanian music that mixes American hip hop with traditional Tanzanian styles. In 2022, Soud released “Kwikwi” with a music video that was trending number one on YouTube in Tanzania for three weeks, and the video now has over nine million views. Soud plans to continue touring in 2023.