VV Brown VV Brown

Music Abroad: 5 International Vixens You Should Know

There is nothing new about talented Vixens coming from abroad and shining on American soil. Landing heavy rotation on radio stations and stealing the hearts of American fans, British singer Adele is the latest example of this, and Rihanna, hailing from the island of Barbados, has become one of music's biggest acts. Also, Sade Adu, of Nigerian and British descent, is known as a soul legend. Of course, there are more brilliant artists in the world who haven't quite cracked the American music mainstream. For those looking to upgrade their playlists with some audible treats, here is a list of five international songbirds worth your attention from now on. - Natelege Whaley

 

1. V V Brown
Reppin': England, Jamaica, and Puerto Rico
Signature Style: Pinned back bang, masks, costumes.

V V Brown's style of pop is in no way cookie cutter with its swing and explosiveness. She stepped on the scene with her debut album Travelling Like The Light in July 2009. The album made an appearance on the US Billboard charts peaking at 179. Her single "Shark in the Water," about a stint with a disloyal beau, charted at 67 in America. Although Brown hasn't blown-up per say, she has made her buzz in the industry performing at SXSW and also being invited by one of her musical influences, rapper Q-Tip, to perform at the Jack Daniel event in Los Angeles in June 2010. In September 2011, V V Brown released her single "Children" featuring Chiddy from Chiddy Bang. The song will be on her upcoming album Lollipops & Politics to be released in February.

Songs to Know: "L.O.V.E.," "Shark in the Water," "Children."


2. Shingai Shoniwa of The Noisettes
Reppin': England and Zimbabwe
Signature Style: Up-dos, gold and shimmer, color blocking.

With her voluminous hair always pinned up to show off her cocoa brown features that can compete with any top model, Shingai is definitely a style magnet. As leading lady of The Noisettes, she has released two albums since 2007 with the band including What's the Time Mr. Wolf and Wild Young Hearts (2009). Their catchy tunes meet somewhere between rock and pop, with Shingai's soulful chops bringing the songs alive. Born in South London, England, Shingai's childhood was not so fortunate, as her father died when she was 11, leaving her to be raised by a single mother. Music then became her escape from reality. This child-like reverie and excitement is always present in her live shows and music videos. So far, The Noisettes have performed at Coachella in 2007 and SXSW in 2006 amongst countless other shows. They are currently working on a new album.

Songs You Need To Know: "Don't Upset The Rhythm," "Never Forget You," "Every Now and Then."

3. Asa (Pronounced Asha)
Reppin': France and Nigeria
Signature Style: Quirky specs, buns.

The happy go-lucky singer Asa has made a name for herself in her birthplace of France and home country Nigeria. Inspired by her father's collection of Marvin Gaye, Bob Marley and Fela Kuti records, Asa decided to pursue a music career. Her self-titled debut released in 2007 and peaked at number 15 in France. Her sophomore album Beautiful Imperfection (2011), reached number 3 on the US Billboard World Music chart. Asa possesses a serene control on her 1960s inspired "Be My Man," and her song "Why Can't We" brings out more of her fun laid-back vibe. In 2011, Asa was nominated for Best Female Act in 2011 at the Victoires de la Musique (French Music Awards). She has also opened for Beyoncé, Snoop Dogg, Akon and John Legend, and has toured internationally.

Songs To Know: "The Way I Feel," "Why Can't We," "Be My Man."

4. Nneka
Reppin': Nigeria and Germany
Signature Style: Curly 'fro, natural, street-culture inspired.

Nneka, does not want to be your next pop superstar. Her hip-hop and reggae inspired tunes have given her a platform to record emotionally-charged responsive lyrics about unrest in her native Nigeria and in the world. This has brought her comparisons to Bob Marley and Lauryn Hill. Nneka began her musical career after moving from Nigeria to Germany. In April 2005, she opened for Sean Paul in Hamburg Stadtpark, Germany, and received great feedback, leading her to begin recording her first album Victim of Truth, released later that year. She followed up with No Longer at Ease (2008), and Soul Is Heavy in 2011. In 2010, Nneka, received an opportunity to be a more familiar face to America, coming aboard as the opening act for Nas and Damian Marley's Distant Relatives tour.

Songs To Know: "Heartbeat," "African," "Uncomfortable Truth."

5. Rebecca Ferguson
Reppin': England
Signature Style: Classic, retro chic.

Already being compared to Aretha Franklin and Macy Gray, with her stern and rich vocals, Rebecca Ferguson is another British singer to be reckoned with. Before becoming a contestant on the The X Factor UK, Rebecca was rejected from Britain's Got Talent and P. Diddy's Starmaker. Although distraught at first, she continued on with her dream. She wanted to win The X Factor, and being runner-up allowed her to have more creative freedom over her album. Her debut Heaven released December 2010, and the songbird's first single "Nothing's Real But Love" reached top ten on the UK Singles charts. Her second single "Too Good To Lose" will release March 4.

Songs To Know: "Nothing's Real But Love," "Glitter and Gold."

From the Web

More on Vibe

SZA Calls For Peace While Receiving 'Rule Breaker' Award At Billboard Women In Music

SZA called for peace and understanding at Billboard's Women In Music event Thursday (Dec. 6).

During her speech for the Rule Breaker award, singer-songwriter recalled today's climate, asking her peers and those watching at home for a little bit of peace.

"I'm sorry for the state of the world honestly, for everybody in this room and I pray that all of us just get through it a little bit easier and just try not to lash out at each other," she said.

The recurring theme of unity among women was also heard on the carpet from artists like Tierra Whack. In addition to her message of love, the "Broken Clocks" singer also thanked her TDE family for rocking with her creative process.

"I'm just so thankful for everybody having patience with me, " she said. Shouting out the key members of her family in attendance, the TDE affiliate gave praise to her mother, father, and grandma. In this brief speech centered around the artist's growth Solána Imani Rowe, known more commonly as her stage name, Rowe everyone for their trust in her.

"I'm grateful for everybody taking the time to have the patience to watch someone grow, it is painful and sometimes exciting but mostly boring. And I am thankful for Top (Top Dawg Entertainment's Anthony Tiffith) for not dropping me from that label. For Peter, who I change my ideas every day and he be like okay I like this," she continued.

Thanking the likes of musical powerhouses like Alicia Keys and Whack, "The Weekend" singer offered her appreciation and condolences to Ariana Grande.

Watch SZA accept the Rule Breaker award above.

READ MORE: Anderson .Paak, Tierra Whack And More Praise Female Artists At 2018 Billboard Women In Music

Continue Reading

Beyoncé, Rihanna, And J. Lo Make Forbes’ Highest-Paid Women In Music List

As November comes to a close, many publications will be crafting their year-end lists for all things pop culture. Forbes released a ranking of the world's highest-paid women in music on Monday (Nov. 19), with Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, and Rihanna holding it down for women of color.

Beyoncé comes in at No. 3 on the list with an earning of $60 million as she made most of her money through her historical Coachella performance, the joint album with husband JAY-Z, Everything is Love, and the Carters' On The Run II Tour in support of its release.

Jennifer Lopez made No. 6 for earnings tallying of over $47 million thanks to her lucrative Las Vegas residency, endorsements, and shows including World of Dance where she serves as a judge.

Rihanna follows behind the "Love Don't Cost A Thing" diva at No. 7 with earnings of over $37.5 million. Although she hasn't toured since 2016—thanks to her cosmetics and lingerie lines, Fenty Beauty and Savage Lingerie—the Bajan pop star has been keeping herself busy.

Forbes' annual list (which factors in pretax earnings from June 1, 2017, through June 1, 2018) has placed Katy Perry at the top with over $83 million in profits due to her gig as an American Idol judge and her 80-date Witness: The Tour that brought in an estimated $1 million per night.

Scroll down to see Forbes' full list below.

Katy Perry ($83 million) Taylor Swift ($80 million) Beyoncé ($60 million) P!nk ($52 million) Lady Gaga ($50 million) Jennifer Lopez ($47 million) Rihanna ($37.5 million) Helene Fischer ($32 million) Celine Dion ($31 million) Britney Spears ($30 million)

 

READ MORE: Nas Makes Forbes’ List Of ‘Hip-Hop Cash Kings’ For The First Time

Continue Reading

Kelly Rowland Hops In Her Bag With New Single "Kelly"

Kelly Rowland has it all and isn't afraid to brag about it on her new single, "Kelly."

Released Thursday (Nov. 22), the singer goes the clubby, confident route while rightfully dropping her attributes like her relationship with God, smoldering looks (a.k.a the drip) among other things. With "Kelly" being the first single since her 2013's Talk a Good Game, the singer comes out swinging, reminding everyone of her power in the game.

The mother of one has promised that her new tunes will be edgier and most honest than her past work that included vulnerable tracks like "Dirty Laundry" and massive hits like "Motivation" and "Commander." Speaking with Vogue over the summer, Ms. Kelly disclosed a few details behind the album.

“It’s about love, loss, and gain and whether it’s professional or with family or whatever, it’s just honest," she said. "I had no choice but to be honest and authentic with this record: it’s about friendship and marriage.”

She also explained a drop in confidence caused her hiatus. “I was thinking about pulling back from recording, but I couldn’t help myself: I still wanted to record. I still felt like I was missing something. The third year just came and left so fast. The fourth year I said: ‘I have to get to work’ and now I’m ready to release some music! I felt like I wasted so much time, and it was my husband who actually called me out on it. He said: ‘Babe, as great as those records were, I think you were nervous, you got gun-shy’, and when he said that it was like boom, a gong went off.”

Glad to have you back, Ms. Kelly. Listen to the eponymous record up top.

READ MORE: Kelly Rowland Debuts Smoke x Mirrors Eyewear Collection At Barneys New York

Continue Reading

Top Stories