Tech & Media

Girl Power Playlist

Mar 8, 2017

Some might say that female role models in the music industry are hard to come by in this age of objectification and internet mayhem, but at the risk of sounding hyperbolic, I beg to differ! Although — in stellar contradictory fashion — I’m not opposed to the likes of a little TLC, Christina Aguilera, Katy Perry or Taylor Swift (no permission needed!). But let us go beyond just the mainstream pop! If you, too, are feeling like you could use some juicy, musical power to share with your daughter(s) and your sons as well, I present you with a little old school meets new school, genre-bending, anti-apocalypse mixtape.

Carry It On — Buffy Sainte-Marie

This legendary icon may be a veteran singer-songwriter, but she’s not slowing down anytime soon. Her songcraft has always been divine: powerful with political, cultural and social conviction. Every song on Power In The Blood moves me to my core. I picked this because it’s specifically made in honour of the next generation.

Just Like a Woman — Nina Simone

Need I say more?

Phenomenal Woman — Laura Mvula

Laura wants you to know that it don’t matter what people say. It was also really hard to pick just one of her songs (this seems to be a recurring theme here) because she is such a vibrant, true original. But this one was the obvious choice for today, with drool-worthy styling to match.

You'll Also Love: 10 Books For Kids To Celebrate International Women’s Day

I’ve Got It Bad — Digging Roots

Some reggae vibes by Digging Roots with the song, I’ve Got It Bad. "Last night, I was starry eyed, I was moonshined and tongue-tied…” Ah, famous last words for many young girls and women alike. (No, I’m not leaving out boys and men, but let’s stay within the theme!) This is a song about crushes and heartache and a young woman eventually finding the love she was looking for, within herself. If you’re looking for more edge, they do indeed have that too.

Video — India Arie

An oldie but a goodie, Video by India Arie who continually reps on the reality front. If you’re not familiar with her work, enjoy! I urge you to show this one to your girls. (And your boys, too. In fact, my son jams out to all of these songs and messages — equally as important.)

Run the World (Girls) — Beyoncé 

I couldn’t very well leave BEY out, what with such roots as Destiny’s Child and several anthems on Lemonade that some might (arguably) consider inappropriate for young girls. So I chose this one, because the future is female and I suppose, at times, I’m down with Bey’s brand of being a baaaaaaad feminist.

Done — Frazey Ford

From The Be Good Tanyas to branching out on her own, Ford brings it every which way. This song (and the video) satisfies. From the dancing, to the shiny vintage outfits and on-point onesies, to the magnificent curves and bared, natural bellies… I salute thee, Frazey. In a mainstream music world inundated with unrealistic body images, this, oh this, is refreshing, gorgeous and real.

You'll Also Love: How To Talk About Sexism With Your Son 

Not Ready To Make Nice — The Dixie Chicks

One of the best "not sorry" songs ever written. These ladies are a not guilty pleasure of mine. (But if you’re going to go for it, go full-force with The Dixie Chicks Essentials. Bet you find yourself turning it up!)

What’s Up — 4 Non Blondes

We can all sing along to this one, right? Now it’s time to teach our daughters the same.

Not a Pretty Girl — Ani DiFranco

I suppose y’all are gleaning just how much of a contradiction I am right about now, yes? Conversations on sexulaity, independence, music, art, women in power — all topics I love delving into.

Girl On Fire — Alicia Keys

Okay, so I really love Alicia Keys' new album. Every single track is stellar, and I would slide Girl Can’t Be Herself in this spot, or even More Than We Know, but alas, there’s no videos to enjoy along with those yet. We’ll have to suffer through this one, then. In short, I think we can all agree Alicia is a queen, and her anthems for women and girls are in no short supply.

Summer Day — Kinnie Starr

And lastly, because, spring and summer are just around the corner and it’s been one heck of a long, cold winter (seasonally and universally speaking) — I shall I leave you with some of Renaissance woman Kinnie Starr’s magic. She wrote, engineered, recorded, sang and performed every instrument on this song's album, From Far Away, in her signature style. 

This list was really hard to curate as a shorter version of my original Apple playlist, which I have now since moved over to Spotify in its entirety, for everyone’s listening ease/pleasure! Though please note that it includes some definite adult/explicit content.


Article Author Selena Mills
Selena Mills

Read more from Selena here

A multidisciplinary creative professional and artisan, Selena has over 10 years of experience writing and editing for acclaimed publications, B2B content creation, social management, brand building, design and VA services. Passionate about elevating Indigenous and FNMI stories, perspectives and voices in digital media, she strives to build bridges renegade style. When the chaos permits, Selena is an avid four-seasons permaculture gardener and a hobby “chef” who looks for other parents to revel (and or kvetch) in motherhood with. Clearly, she doesn’t like rules, most visionaries don’t.

Add New Comment

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Submission Policy

Note: The CBC does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that comments are moderated and published according to our submission guidelines.