Five Women Artists You Should Know
March 08, 2018
To celebrate International Women's Day, we're offering a collection of woman artists you should know about, taken from the On the Verge sections of recent issues of Relix.
Nashville, Tenn.—Songs of Genuine Expression
Ruby Amanfu’s vision for her music has changed significantly over the past few years. The artist, born in Ghana and raised in Nashville, sees each musical effort as its own piece of work. Her last solo album, Standing Still, dropped in 2015 and Amanfu is now working on her next one. For the singer, it’s becoming more important to use music as a means of genuine expression. “I still like for there to be a singular and direct message in each song I write or sing but, lately, I’ve been most influenced by music that says what it has to say with a sharper edge to it,” she notes. “I’m in a season of speaking the truth—always in love—but I’m not really candy-coating things.” In the past, the musician has toured with Norah Jones and performed at the Voodoo Music + Arts Experience and AmericanaFest. She also collaborated with Jack White on the 2012 duet “Love Interruption,” served as a member of his all-female backup band The Peacocks and sang backing vocals on Beyoncé’s “Don’t Hurt Yourself” (which also featured White). This year, though, Amanfu will focus on creating music that expresses something beyond emotions. That sensibility is evident in a track she recently unveiled called “When They Go Low, We Go High,” which channels some of the discontent in America right now. “For me, art in general is in direct relation to its environment,” Amanfu says. “It’s innate in me and in many artists to express what is observed. Because of that fact alone, we have a social responsibility, and to deny it is to be disconnected from the universe, in my humble opinion,” she adds. “My most appreciated responses from ‘When They Go Low, We Go High’ have come from people who are on the same mission as me. Some heard the song before the recent Women’s March and told me that they had it playing in their headphones while they walked. I was told that it got played over the loud speakers in Utah at a rally. I’m honored by it, to say the least. It’s got a lot farther to go in reach, but this is just the beginning.”—Emily Zemler