Disrupting the indie music scene with their unique and impressionable flavors of music, we’ve handpicked some of our favorite Black Women and Non-Binary indie music artists that you need to add to your hot lists. While we’ve featured these up-and-comers numerous times, in honor of Black History Month we wanted to shine more light on them as they are indeed making music history. Press play on these indie artists on the rise, and catch them live in city near you.
Editorial feature produced by Sandra Burciaga Olinger, written by Steven Ward.
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LUCI Hypes You Up To Confront Personal Demons
Explosive and viciously introspective, New York artist LUCI dropped her debut EP Juvenilia last year. An eight-song collection that effectively enshrined her as both ferociously cheeky and unfalteringly honest. LUCI’s bravado-laden lyricism is made all the more potent thanks to the kind of electronic detonations and thrillingly kinetic beats that make up her ecstatic soundscapes. The whole EP is filled with rapt bangers and combustive hype tracks, from opener “Ash & Dust” to the hazy self-reflector “Trippin, Trippin, Trippin.” Right now LUCI has only one date planned for 2023 with a set at Treefort Music Festival on March 22-26 in Boise, ID. Stay tuned for more.
Visit LUCI on Instagram and listen to them on Spotify.
2. JUNE MCDOOM
Gorgeously Arranged Ballads are June McDoom’s Specialty
June McDoom creates resoundingly lush ballads for her drifting lulls and coos to occupy. Its music is characterized by crystalline instrumentals, soaring crescendos, and breathless emotionality. After releasing her first single in the form of “The City,” she then followed it up with a gorgeous self-titled debut EP. Enmeshed within an atmosphere of sonorous folk, June McDoom’s creations owe their spellbinding nature as much to their lulling strings and meandering rhythms as they do to her fluttering vocals.
Visit June McDoom on their Bandcamp and listen to them on Spotify.
Dive Into the Sharp Bars of Leikeli47
With three killer albums out and a self-titled EP rapper Leikeli47 needs to be on your radar. Last year saw the release of Shape Up, the finale in a trilogy of albums (Wash & Set, Acrylic) that used the setting of beauty salons because of their significance as safe havens for the African American community. But Leikeli47 also used the “Beauty Series” to do some much-needed internal housekeeping and the latest album is as much a reintroduction as it is an artist’s blooming self-discovery. Leikeli47 has only one date planned for 2023 with a set at Treefort Music Festival on March 22-26 in Boise, ID.
Listen to Leikeli47 on Spotify.
4. DREAMER ISIOMA
Dreamer Isioma Creates Groovy, Lo-fi for the Soul
Dreamer Isioma exists at a sublime intersection of R&B/soul and lo-fi bedroom pop. Hailing from Chicago and the child of Nigerian immigrants, they started off with two EPs (Sensitive, The Leon Sun Sets) that had fans hooked to the riveting warmth of their vocals and dreamily galvanizing soundscapes. When their debut album Goodnight Dreamer arrived last year it further proved just how stunningly vivid their buoyant and groovy creations could be. The entire album is gushing with bops with electric tracks like “Really, Really” and “Sunset Drive” just two eternal jams on that record. And with Dreamer Isioma already teasing the imminence of another project titled Fuck Tha World more hits are on the way. Currently, they don’t have any planned tour dates but keep an ear to the ground for announcements!
Visit Dreamer Isioma on their website, Bandcamp and listen to them on Spotify.
5. SUNNY WAR
Sunny War Pens Folk-Blues with a Humanist Touch
Since the release of her first album Worthless in 2014, singer/songwriter Sunny War has spent her career penning folk-blues songs that reflect the tumults of the modern world around her. With subsequent albums finding the space and ingenuity to add more rock and pop influences to her already incisive storytelling and acoustic playing. Her latest album Simple Syrup is a worthwhile place to start as well. And with her new album due Anarchist Gospel due out next month, which boasts a rollicking folk-rock sound if singles “No Reasons” and “Baby Bitch” are to go by, more is on the way! Sunny War will be going on tour this February with a Los Angeles date at Resident for May 25, but her first stop will be Joe’s Pub in New York on Feb. 22 and ending at the Strawberry Music Festival on May 27 in Grass Valley, CA. View the full list of tour dates on her website!
Visit Sunny War on their website / Bandcamp and listen to them on Spotify.