With festival season upon us, there’s no better time to expand your music playlists with some fresh new artists. We did some of the legwork for you at Boston Calling over the weekend and are pleased to share some of our favorite female artists (along with some interviews).
From folk to hip-hop to alt-pop and to everything in between, here’s our list of female artists you are going to want to make sure to listen to this summer:
It’s hard to describe Leikeli47; she is an eclectic performer with a raw sound that makes you feel like your best self. She’s a total bad*ss, but when I met her in the press tent, she greeted me with compliments about my outfit and a compassionate hug. And that was followed by a few more hugs throughout our conversation.
Just one look at her decked in her camo jumpsuit and face wrapped in a bandana and you can tell Leikeli47 is fierce. But when you hug her, you realize she is such a kind angel and smells sweet like strawberries.
Of course, when you have a legend like Leikeli47 in front of you, you have to capitalize on the situation with an interview question. Roll the clip!
If you haven’t already heard of Maggie, where have you been? With a powerful catalog of music that is matched only by her powerful outfits and personality, Maggie has won me over.
Her performance was exhilarating — she performs songs that cut deep with such finesse and brilliance. I wouldn’t be surprised if we all keep seeing more and more of Maggie as she grows and grows in the alt-pop scene.
Every song with Maggie is truly unique. She manages to create such a different sound on each work of art while also including her colorful personality in each.
As you will find out, Lillie transcends most genres. When I caught up with her for an interview, Lillie talked about how she is simultaneously folk, bluegrass, and country — but also none of those genres, forging something completely unique. During her festival performance, you could feel the speakers vibrating as if the beat had just dropped in a hip-hop song, but instead of a dubstep beat, it was Lillie with her guitar. I’ve never bopped to folk music, but after hearing Lillie Mae, I might have to more.
Lillie is just as kind as she looks — maybe even kinder than that. She was laughing along with me as I switched from my Notes app to Voice Memos to record our quick interview. And she has quite the quick wit herself…
*Answers edited slightly for clarity*
So you just played one of our biggest festivals in the country, how are you feeling?
Lillie: *Jokingly pulling at her flesh and laughing* Um, let me feel… I feel okay. A little sunburned; my skin is a little tough. But I’m doing okay, yeah. I’m feeling pretty good.
What’s your favorite song to play live?
Lillie: I can’t wait to learn and figure it out.
What makes your album Forever and Then Some special to you?
Lillie: Well, all the people who made it happen. I got to record it with my old boss and I’m very grateful for that. It’s also very special because I got to play with a lot of my favorite musicians that I have played with for about 12-15 years. I got to play with some great musicians and wonderful people.
How did you get started in music?
Lillie: I’ve been in a full-time family band since I was 3 years old. *Jokingly* I’m not really here by choice.
What has been your most exciting experience with a fan here at Boston Calling?
Lillie: I’ve met a couple people who have enjoyed the show and that was exciting… I noticed a few people out there that were singing along to every word and I’m like “you know what, I’m not used to that, but that’s amazing.”
Noname is blunt. Her honesty is charismatic and she has the ability to brighten up an entire festival within seconds. She’s lively and the epitome of “good vibes only.”
The only thought running through my mind during her performance was “wow I would love to be her friend,” and as you learn more about her, I think you will be feeling the exact same way. As you will hopefully hear in the song below, Noname is perfectly modern and trendy — but also incredibly special and unique.
And can we talk about her stage name for a second? It’s effortlessly quirky and hilarious. For an artist unable to find a name, she sure does pack a lot of punch and certainty in her music and performance.
Affinity covered Boston Calling over the weekend on our Instagram story (which trust me you have to check out in our profile highlights). We will also soon be covering Gov Ball and Firefly, so now is the perfect time to follow us to stay up to date on summer festival season.
Photos in Cover Image Courtesy of Boston Calling/Loreen Kelley, Rebecca Taylor, Carly Boyle, Ty Johnson