In honor of International Women’s Day this week, we’ve added a few songs to our ongoing feminist playlist that feature women, trans, non-binary, and queer-identifying artists from around the world – folks who are rallying for social justice and radical political change.
Hurray for the Riff Raff, “Pa’lante”
But let’s start in the South. From New Orleans artist, Alynda Segarra: “To all who lost their pride, I say, Pa’lante! To all who had to survive, I say, Pa’lante! To my brothers, and my sisters, I say, Pa’lante!”
Wu-Force, “Piao (Floating)”
Appalachian folk musician and Chinese zither artist Wu Fei teamed up with instrumentalist Kai Welch to create Wu-Force, a melding of intricate and delicate musical styles to use diverse sounds to discuss (musically) the issues of the world that concern them.
Pussy Riot, “Police State”
Olya Borisova & Sasha Sofeev are safe and sound, but clearly their music is anything but.
This is Iranian-Dutch artist Sevdaliza’s first Persian language song, and it was written to protest last year’s executive order to keep refugees out of the United States.
Sampa the Great, “Rhymes to the East”
Born in Zambia, raised in Botswana, and currently based in Sydney, Australia, Sampa Tembo’s latest release features the social consciousness, abstract hip hop, and African influences she brings to all of her music.
Nilüfer Yanya, “Small Crimes”
A London-born artist with Turkish, Irish, and Bajan roots, Yanya is also an activist whose newest project Artist in Transit takes her and her sister to Greece to help out in refugee camps with everything from food distribution to art classes. This song is her attempt to push back against criminalizing the poor and stigmatizing those who’ve committed crimes.
xango/suave, “Sin Disfraz”
xango/suave is queer artist from Puerto Rico whose music deals beautifully and painfully with gender, identity, nationalism, and colonialism. This is from their 2017 EP Equis.
Stella Donnelly, “Boys Will Be Boys”
This very moving song and accompanying video by Australian artist Stella Donnelly challenges the betrayal and horror of blaming victims of sexual assault.
Suzi Wu, “Taken Care Of”
London singer-songwriter creates music that is about fierce independence.
Oumou Sangaré, “Yere Faga”
Malian Wassoulou musician Oumou Sangaré is a Grammy-award winning artist, a world-renowned women’s rights activist, and an outspoken critic of arranged marriages and polygamy. This song is from her latest album and deals with suicide.
The Spook School, “Body”
Glasgow-Scotland band The Spook School are queer-identifying musicians who explore gender and sexuality in their music. This song is from their latest album, Could It Be Different?
A Tribe Called Red and Lido Pimienta, “The Light”
Canadian First Nations hip hop/dubstep outfit A Tribe Called Red teamed up with Colombian-Canadian artist Lido Pimienta for this song. At a recent festival in Halifax, Lido Pimienta asked all of the white, abled people to go to the back of the concert hall and allow people of color and disabled folks to come to the front. While some accused her of “reverse racism,” Lido Pimienta has stuck to her guns, insisting that she will continue to create safe spaces for marginalized people who come to hear her music.
Otoboke Beaver, “anata watashi daita ato yome no meshi”
Japanese punk band Otoboke Beaver make fun, hard sounds and smash the patriarchy while their at it. This is their very latest.
Mashrou’ Leila, “Roman”
While this is a song by an all-dude band, Lebanese alt-rockers Mashrou’ Leila’s “Roman” has become a sensation and an anthem for women’s empowerment. This wasn’t necessarily the intention of the band, but, when director Jessy Moussalem took over the project of creating a music video for “Roman,” she crafted a story of a woman in rebellion.