More than half of the artists in the Music Moves Europe Artist Chart are using female vocals at the moment. You might be familiar with Keychange, an international initiative to transform the future of music to achieve a gender balance by 2022. This movement started out in 2017 as a European talent development program for emerging artists, led by the British PRS Foundation. If you look at this month’s Music Moves Europe Artist Chart, it seems like the initiative booked a success: 53 of the acts in the chart are using female vocals this month – up from 48 acts half a year ago. This figure includes male producers using female singers on their most successful tracks.
CHART ANALYSIS: The Artist Chart embraces the female future
No less than eight of the nine new entries this month are led by female voices. It has been quite a shake-up this month as no less than six artists out of last month’s top 20 fell out of the chart, because their first international release was more than three years ago – the eligible time period for inclusion in this emerging European artists chart. So it’s goodbye to British artists Tom Gregory, James Hype, Yungblud, Jade Bird, Grace Carter and Danish singer Hugo Helmig.
Highest newcomer at #71 is Swedish singer Winona Oak. Her collab Oxygen (Spinnin’) with dance-pop hit meister Robin Schulz gets loads of airplay in Germany and Eastern Europe, but on her own, she has an airplay hit as well in Switzerland with He Don’t Love Me (Warner). It’s London based singer Gracey who provides the flavour on Don’t Need Love (Universal) by British producer 220 KID, new in at #75, and doing well in Germany and Scandinavia. Aluna at #85 you might know as the female part of British dance duo AlunaGeorge. She has two tracks receive airplay in Ireland and several other countries: Body Pump and Warrior (both Because/Warner).
Even more new female voices. At #88, British African funk-inspired collective Kokoroko enters due to airplay in France and Greece for Carry Me Home (Brownswood). Swedish chill indie-pop act Becky & The Birds is in at #91 due to airplay in France and the UK for Paris (4AD). And mainly Germany and Sweden are the hot spots for British singer-songwriter Holly Humberstone with her self-released Falling Asleep At The Wheel.
Bulgarian singer Alma Dowdall, who enters at #96, must not be disguised with the Finnish singer and the French Eurovision song contest singer with the same first name. Several successes in neighbouring Rumania on the Thrace label mean we welcome the first Bulgarian artist ever in this chart. Although she only sings in her own language, Swedish singer Estraden enjoys airplay in the rest of Scandinavia with two songs: Dansar Med Mig Sjalv (meaning ‘Dancing With Myself’) and Bra För Dig (‘Good For You)’, the latter a duet with singer Victor Leksell (both Sony). British R’n’B collective Stay Flee Get Lizzy, entering at #99, is the only new entry with sole male voices this month. It’s a music collective and luxury clothing brand by rapper Sincere Lizzy. Their song 2 Cups (Universal) is a streaming success in Western Europe and Scandinavia.
Let’s finish this column by pointing towards a couple of sharp movers this month, who receive airplay all over Europe. British rapper S1mba races to #27 with Rover (Warner). And German pop singer Zoe Wees is another female force to be reckoned with. Her ballad Control (just signed to Caroline) climbs to #25.
Author: Menno Visser
Music journalist and radio professional from The Netherlands