+ Producers, Composers: break out of repetitive loops, add emotionality and unpredictability, and excite your beats and rhythm patterns with Soundfly’s new course, Jlin: Rhythm, Variation, & Vulnerability.
Every year, we celebrate Women’s Month in March. Although technically every month is worth celebrating the contributions of women in the creative industries, there are just so many women dominating the electronic music space right now that we just couldn’t wait to put this list together.
We tried to highlight women from different all corners of electronic music — from the chillest ambient to the hardest hitting dance beats — as well as from different cultures, each voicing something truly unique within the music community, and doing it at a remarkably high level.
Whether or not you’re into electronic music, we hope you discover some new artists and deepen your love for the ones you’ve already been listening to.
Let’s start with someone very special to Soundfly…
Jlin has been called one of the most prominent producers of our generation — male or female — and there’s good reason for it. With material that is 100% original, Jlin has risen to fame quickly through an initial release on Planet Mu’s Bangs & Works Vol 2. compilation in 2011 with her tracks “Erotic Heat” and “Asylum.” The former track was used in a 2014 Rick Owens fashion show, which helped grow her influence amongst creators and fans alike.
What makes Jlin such a powerful and inspiring force is her unique ability to unify sound and motion through her music, often collaborating with dancers and choreographers, and leading the charge in the Chicago footwork scene as one of the rare women producers of the genre. Beyond her raw talent, what really sets her apart is her overall philosophy on music making and her commitment to helping others grow in their craft as well, that makes her a true icon.
We wanted to capture those philosophies and processes at work in our brand new online course with Jlin! If you’re a producer or beat maker looking for inspiration and invigoration in your sound, and the validation that you’re worthy and on the right path as an artist, check out Soundfly’s Jlin: Rhythm, Variation, & Vulnerability.
2. Yu Su
Yu Su is the multicultural electronic artist you need to know. Owning a special talent for blending cultures, bringing East and West together in organic and intriguing ways, Yu Su was born in central China’s Henan province but moved to Vancouver in her youth, which is where she discovered her passion for making electronic music. Bringing her own multicultural influence and creativity to audience, she’s inspiring a new generation of music makers following in those very same idendity-bending foot steps.
3. Pauline Anna Strom
Let’s hear it for Pauline Anna Strom, who although she made her debut in the 1980s had an extraordinary career later in her life, proving that even after a 30-year hiatus, you truly can chase your dreams at any age. Unfortunately Strom passed away in 2020, but her legacy goes on with new and archival releases coming out recently.
Strom is a noteworthy artist to put on this list, for not only her music, but the proof that you’re never too old to follow your dreams.
Already grabbing the attention of tastemaking media, Ulla’s most recent release, Limitless Frame, outlines what Pitchfork calls “reverberating guitar melodies with subtle electronic sound design and foggy atmospheres” for an ambient sound you can’t ignore. It’s subtle yet enveloping — and while it might sound cliché to say, her music has been said to feel alive; a sentiment that only becomes all the more clear once you listen in for yourself.
It is this that makes her such an important woman to take notice of — it is an almost obsessive attention to her craft to create entire worlds out of her music, while continually taking the listener on a journey of self-love — what is it, and more importantly, how do we achieve it?
Russian-born, Berlin-based artist Perila is another force in the world of ambient electronic music. What makes hers stand out, however, is the way she takes everyday sonic moments and turns them into soft, curious pieces of art, music that you can’t help but try to sneak into in order to understand (even though, as she says, it is meant to be as abstract as it is intimate).
It is that focus on intimacy that caught our attention. The way she takes the sounds of the every day and infuses them into her music to create music that makes you feel. She’s well aware that everyone hears music differently and feels inspired by different sounds, and she aims to deliver that inspiration and captivation no matter who you are.
6. Tammy Lakkis
Tammy Lakkis has already caught the attention of NPR for not only incredibly catchy tracks that are dance-floor ready, but a smart, playful approach to her music. A quick listen to her diverse catalog will have you planning poolside parties in the summer just for the opportunity to blast these songs,
Beyond just the catchy music, Lakkis, whose parents emigrated from Lebanon, has explained in the past that a source of inspiration for her is helping first generation immigrants forge their own path. She explains that because so many feel pressure to assimilate to American culture, they end up robbing themselves of establishing and creatively pursuing their own stories.
Known for her genre-bending music that draws deeply from Black cultural history, Anz, a UK-based artist, is as inspiring as she is innovative. (After all, with her EP, All Hours, each track corresponds with a different time of day, so you could listen depending on your mood. You’ve gotta admit, that’s pretty cool.)
When it comes to her latest album, she has said that this music is all about showcasing who she is as a producer, and what’s gone into creating the music she makes. Showcasing her own culture and history is just one way she does it.
Embracing her Iranian heritage and mixing folk field recordings into her music truly organically, Los Angeles based artist, Maral, is blazing a path with her recordings, unforgettable live shows, and the way she embraces her own culture through that inspiration and those captivating, curious field recordings.
9. Suzi Analogue
Whenever an artist who has reached some level of success uses that platform to help the artists who are still building their way to the top, you’ve got to take notice. Suzi Analogue does this with her label, Never Normal Records, to highlight upcoming artists on her blog. Not only that, she has worked as a cultural ambassador for the US via the Next Level Hip-Hop Diplomacy Program.
10. Anja Schneider
Anja Schneider has been building a name for herself for over a decade and now helps up-and-coming producers through her imprint, SoUs Music. She describes SoUs Music as a “creative project where anything is possible and everyone is invited,” and for any creative making their way in the industry, we all know how powerful it can be to have a mentor on your side.
Don’t stop here!
Keep learning about production and beat making, composing and arranging, theory and harmony, mixing, songwriting, and so much more, with Soundfly’s in-depth online courses. Subscribe for access to all, including our exciting new course with boundary-shattering artist, Jlin: Rhythm, Variation, & Vulnerability.