Our students are absolutely killing it in the Irish and international music industry right now. And just like we did back in 2018, we’ve compiled Dublin’s female artists and female-fronted acts to watch in 2021 (and what’s left of 2020).
These are the up-and-coming vocalists and performers blazing the trail and making their own mark on today – and tomorrow’s – music industry.
Dublin’s Female Artists to Watch in 2021
The pop and R’n’B vocalist has immersed herself in the highly competitive Irish music scene. She’s played a host of festivals including Electric Picnic, Stendhal, Vantastival, and was crowned the winner of Dublin’s Christie Hennessy Songwriting Prize in 2018.
Aside from this, she has been getting lots of love from national radio, such as BBC Introducing, BBC 6 Music, RTE Radio 1, and even spins across the pond on WPPM in Philadelphia. Her latest single, “Obsessed”, has been doing numbers on Spotify too. Check it out here.
More recently, she was part of Ireland Music Week’s Online Showcase 2020 and has done an amazing cover of Van Morrison’s “Sometimes We Cry” via Hot Press.
Also part of Ireland Music Week’s Online Showcase 2020, this self-described rowdy pop artist has really been going from strength to strength. She’s a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and producer who can act, and she even directed her own video.
Her popularity grew massively after being included on Spotify’s New Music Friday UK playlist, which has an astonishing 780,000 followers and more recently received radio play from RTE Radio 1 as well as Radio 1. Pretty cool, that.
Blending jazz, punk and spoken word, Vernon Jane are a Dublin-based wrecking ball. Fronted by Emily Jane, their debut album – a concept piece addressing themes around intimacy, shame, vulnerability and aggression – was placed in the best Irish albums so far by The Irish Times in June 2020. The debut album, The Ritual of Lovemaking, can be purchased on vinyl from their Bandcamp page.
This three-piece indie-folk band are making waves with their haunting harmonies and instrumentation. All three members are currently studying at BIMM Institute Dublin – and creating ambient atmospheres wherever they go.
They’ve supported fellow BIMM Institute Dublin artist Toshín and have played in iconic Dublin venues such as The Button Factory, The Sound House, Whelans, The Grand Social, The Róisín Dubh and The Workman’s Club. Most recently, the trio has played for the BIMM Summer Series Virtual Gig. Check out their beautiful, socially-distanced performance of their track “Numb” below:
BIMM Dublin’s Eunice Saraiva is part of the Dublin-based post-punk band Scattered Ashes, who have taken cues from the likes of Gang of Four, Bauhaus, Joy Division, and Sisters of Mercy. Their mission is to take “post-punk back to its murkier roots”.
The band recorded their most recent single, “Love Is Not An Option”, at Dublin’s Darklands studio with Dan Doherty (Fontaines D.C. and fellow BIMM Dublin alumni), and Pete Maher (U2, Echo & The Bunnymen).
Eunice is also part of the BIMM Dublin band nicetry, who have recently released their debut single, “Willows”. Eunice wrote the lyrics and basis of the song during her first summer in Dublin. The finished result is a soundscape that embraces Eunice’s intimate and warm vocals.
The band are recording their debut EP at the end of November 2020.
Ellie McMahon and Aoife McCann are the dynamic songwriting duo behind Æ Mak. They met while studying Vocals at BIMM Dublin and went on to create soulful electro-pop soundscapes that caught the attention of The Irish Times and the wider industry. The rest of the band is made up of BIMM Dublin graduates Sean Leonard, Colm Rogan, Des Garvey, and Dylan Povey.
While Ellie has since departed, Aoife welcomed her former backing-band and producer into the mix, and successfully recrafted a style that was already getting noticed. Æ Mak was the first artist chosen for Festival Republic’s ReBalance programme in the UK, which aims to enhance the careers of women in the music industry and give them a platform.
Æ Mak released three single projects of experimental art-pop that have received support and praise from the likes of BBC Radio 6, Radio X, Earmilk and The Line of Best Fit. Their latest EP, how to: make a kitsch pop song to show the world, is out now. Check out the single “hey driver (!)” from their EP above.
Recently listed No.42 in The Irish Times’ ‘The best 50 Irish music acts right now – in order’, (in-between U2 and Van Morrison), Maria Somerville is certainly making the domestic and international industry stand to attention. She draws on folk forms alongside post-punk, traditional Irish motifs, starry-eyed pop and hypnotic drones to make something wholly original.
Maria’s dreamy tunes relish in contorting pop, trad and electronica to form a sense of mystery. Or, as Totally Dublin put it: “ethereal excellence”. She has recently taken up a morning residency on NTS Radio. In 2019, she self-released her LP, All My People.
BIMM Institute Dublin’s Toshín are a vibrant, energy-soaked six-piece that began when female powerhouse and lead vocalist Tosin Bankole collaborated with Taran Plouzané-Brady – and decided that she wanted to start Toshín.
This is a band whose sound is influenced by early Motown, modern soul and RnB – and the accolades are coming in. They were in this year’s Ireland Music Week’s Online Showcase 2020 and were named as one of GoldenPlec’s Plec Picks for 2020.
This is a band who stand for confidence and empowerment, with the female experience and feminism running throughout Toshín’s lyrics. Their debut EP Get Your Life is out now. We highly recommend you give it a listen!
We’re proud of all our students at BIMM Institue. And we’re proud to have some of the industry’s most successful professionals among our alumni. Get inspired by more of our BIMM Institute Success Stories.