6 Women That I Consider My Music Heroes

All of us music enthusiasts have our own personal music heroes (I know you do). And here I would like to just list my women music heroes (of course I have others :P), because I would just love to share them to you, especially for those who don’t know them yet.

Just a little disclaimer: A lot of video links ahead. 😉

6. Armi Millare

Known as the vocalist and keyboardist of the Filipino band Up Dharma Down, this super talented artist captured music fans with her unique voice quality and artistry. Some of their most famous songs are “Oo”,  “Tadhana” and “Luna”.  The band categorized their music as electronic, experimental and post rock. Check out some of their music below.

5. Kitchie Nadal

Formerly, she was the vocalist of the Filipino band, Mojofly. But it was her solo hit song, “Huwag na Huwag Mong Sasabihin”, which became the most played song in the Philippines last 2009, that really launched her music career. She also had other hits like “Bulong” and “Same Ground“. Then last 2013, she released her latest album “Malaya”. 

This first song has that pop ballad feel to me,

while this one is more like a folk, indie sound.

4. Francesca Battistelli

I first heard of Francesca when one of her music videos (“Beautiful, Beautiful”) was shown during one of our youth services in church. It didn’t strike me at first, though her powerful alto voice was truly undeniable. But it wasn’t until I listened to “Time Between” and “Hundred More Years” that I considered myself a fan.

Here’s her latest single, “He Knows My Name“.

3. Joy Williams

I know most of you probably don’t know her, so let me give a little intro. She started out as a contemporary Christian solo artist, but she is most known for being the other half of the duo The Civil Wars (they had a collab with Taylor Swift 2 years ago). After the group disbanded, she went back to do solo activities. To me, she’s quite underrated as a musician and singer-songwriter. She also have couple of songs used in Grey’s Anatomy. Just listen to her cover of Duran Duran’s “Ordinary World”!!

Here’s some of her original music (as a solo artist and as part of The Civil Wars)

2. Sara Bareilles

I don’t think this lady needs any further introduction in my blog. She got nominated for a Grammy, has mad songwriting and music skills, not to mention her amazing sense of humor. Aside from her music tours, she also had a brief stint as a judge in the season 3 of The Sing-Off.

I haven’t been to any of her concerts yet, (I hope she comes to Manila) but I will definitely go to her concert if given the chance. 🙂

Some of her most popular songs include: “Gravity”, “Love Song” (both from the album Little Voice), and one of her more recent singles, “Brave” (from The Blessed Unrest, and the song she co-wrote with Jack Antonoff, the lead guitarist of the band fun.). I have personal favorites in each of her albums and EPs, and she has songs that I think are better than some of which she released as singles. Here’s one of them, from her 3rd studio album Kaleidoscope Heart:

1. YUI

Sorry, but I’m gonna be carried away a little (or more probably a lot) by my emotions on this one. I provided some background info about her in this post.

YUI is a Japanese singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. She began her career as a solo artist when she auditioned for Sony Music Japan in 2004. But before that, during her high school days, she worked non-stop to pay her school fees and pursue music at the same time. However, this took a toll on her body and she ended up in the hospital where she felt, as she described it, “an overwhelming desire to pursue music”. As a result, she dropped out of high school believing that “School and music could not coexist” (talk about a huge risk-taker!). After joining a music cram school, her instructors encouraged her to go to the audition. Instead of singing 2 songs (which was the rule), she sang 3, but even so, she was given the highest score and was soon offered a record deal.

Since her first album in 2004, she had a lot of Number 1 singles, like “My Generation“, “Summer Song“, and “Never Say Die”.  In addition, all her studio and compilation albums reached platinum status in Japan.

Then in December 2012, she announced a hiatus from her solo activities, and soon after, she came back, but as the vocalist of the band Flower Flower. 

Personally, I liked her solo music more than her recent work. But I still love her, it just might take a little more time for me to get acquainted with her new music and new look. When I first saw her after her hiatus, I didn’t know how to react because I just loved her so much in her YUI days. The thing that I love most about this artist is that she genuinely loves music. I think all of you would agree when I say she’s not the best singer I’ve heard, or the best musician out there. But she’s one of the most passionate artists that I can think of and she’s doing music because she loves music.

Here are some videos from her YUI days. The first video is one her earlier singles. She just looked very simple and beautiful here and of course the music’s really good. If you can understand Japanese, you know that this song was really well-written and deeply meaningful.

This second one is a live performance of “Rolling Star”,  a song from her second album and was also featured as an opening theme in the anime Bleach. This song has that catchy pop rock sound.

And finally, this song is the first single of Flower Flower, where she is the lead vocalist. It’s called “Tsuki” (Moon).

So there you have it! I hope you give these songs I shared a listen. I promise you, they’re awesome! 😉

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