Since the 1960s, reggae has often been associated with male vocalists, like the legendary artist Bob Marley. Reggae has since evolved, and it is not just a Rastaman’s industry anymore. From the big island of Hawaii to San Diego, Jamaica, and even Australia, women contribute to this “One Love” movement. However, several female reggae artists contribute, such as Rita Marley, Tanya Stephens. Here are four female reggae artists you might want to check out, groove with, and add to your playlist: Eli Mac, Sarah Lugo, Leilani Wolfgramm, Nattali Rize. These queens are respected for their “good vibes,” passion, strength, love, power, and beauty that continue to impact their fans beyond words. Their quest to unite the nations continues to impact and strengthen the musical world.
” The more we come together we
find our strength. ”
Eli Mac, aka Ciara-Camile “Camile” Roque Velasco, caught global attention in 2004 on American Idol, where she took 9th place. This Filipino American singer’s hit Roots Girl, which featured Nattali Rize and Paula Fuga, won her the 2020 Island Music Award for Music Video of the Year and Female Artist of the Year after the tune took over the charts. Eli-Mac unified her love of reggae, hip-hop, and R&B by creating beats that influence the masses. She is definitely fearless in her unique style, and she brings peace, happiness, and unity to her music. Eli-Mac encourages her fans and future artists to do what their hearts desire when making music or pursuing goals. Several other hits by Eli-Mac are Mr. Sensi, Dub Stop, Young Soul Rebel, and They Don’t Know.
Sara Lugo is one of the leading reggae singers from Europe. Her career began in 2003 when she was 15 years old. She credits her passion for singing and music to her family. Lugo’s reggae mixed music is powerfully soulful and contagious. She has collaborated with artists like Protoje, Jamaram, and Blanka. Really Like You, featuring Protoje, is a root-filled song with positive vibes at its best. Lugo has recently elevated her music, expanding her love for hip-hop, allowing her to experience new waters. However, reggae remains the feel and fuse, despite her new direction. Her lyrics and melodies give the listener a sense of freedom, peace of mind, and the message of love. Other Lugo songs to vibe with are High & Windy, Play With Fire, Flowaz, and Elevate.
Leilani Wolfgramm is a Tongan singer, songwriter, and guitarist from Orlando, Florida. She first started her career performing with her brothers in their reggae band, Hor!zen. Wolfgramm mixes the island sounds of reggae, dancehall, hip-hop, and pop music. Her powerful lyrics and voice bring her deeply connect fans to her pain, personal struggles, and life. Her words celebrate the good, the bad, and the ugly, and they capture her audience’s respect by telling them powerful stories of difficulty, empowering listeners with hope. Songs like Sinner, Live Wire, With Out Condition, Bipolar, and Rise reveal the intensity of her emotions. Wolfgramm has earned respect, and she has even shared the stage with bands like The Green, Common Kings, Ziggy Marley, Tribal Seeds, Landon Mcnamara, Dirty Heads, Fortunate Youth, and more.
Wolfgramm’s songs are perfect when going through some tough times by providing some great music with lyrics that have the transparent rawness of life. Although her songs can be intense, these melodies can bring peace and hope to listeners, empowering them through their pain.
Nattali Rize, originally born in Australia, is a Jamaican-based singer-musician who brings a deep reggae feel. While spitting thought-provoking lyrics that impact and influence her fans, Rize uses her voice to bring awareness to the realization of freedom, truth, and justice for this earth’s people. With the powerful force of her lyrics, they tear down the walls of fear and dread. Actually, Fear and Dread, one of her songs, will channel your thoughts to the importance of unity. Her music is a call-to-action against inequality, racism, mistreatment, and injustices, making her fans warriors for social justice. Standing for justice that liberates people and communities that need a voice is important to Rize. She gives a lot of credit to her single mother, raising her to rise like a warrior. She has collaborated with artists like Eli-Mac, Dre Island & Jah9, and more. Some of her hits are Evolutionary, One People, Rize Up, and Warriors.
Julian Bee at LVROOTS, a reggae promoter, shares his thoughts. He says, “Reggae is positive world music; you can often feel by just its rhythm. But reggae is about the message. It’s about loving yourself, empowering yourself, be good to yourself and others, and just vibe. These women are all very unique on their own, and it’s their unique style that identifies them.” Bee continues, “Nattali Rize is one of my favorite female solo artists. She is amazing; she has so much energy.
Whether you are a reggae fan or a visitor to its sound, the music has a powerful positive impact on its listeners. Reggae has come a long way since the sounds of the legendary Bob Marley. Still, these women are not just contributing to reggae’s sounds and movement. They are slaying the stages, empowering the nations, and spreading love, peace, and unity to the world right beside the industry’s men.