Only very few Belgian artists manage to make their international breakthrough like Stromae did, and most don’t reach further than neighbouring country France. Above all, it is an industry crowded by singer songwriters and male rappers, both categories being predominantly white. The Belgian music industry is small, with independent artists not finding fame past their own province as the divide between Flanders and Walloons remains ever so clear, though one could argue the locality makes the scene that much more interesting.
Inspired by this post on Norwegian artists, I'm here to introduce you to some women of color in Belgium’s humble scene that you should definitely look out for!
Lous and The Yakuza
Lous is the daughter of a Congolese father and a Rwandan mother, and, funnily enough, has found more fame in France than in Belgium. Despite a tough upbringing, Lous has made her mark in the industry as one of the biggest up and coming creatives. Her album “Gore” is set to be released in fall 2020, so make sure to follow her on Spotify and keep an eye out!
Coely became quite the sensation in Belgium as the Antwerp rapper was only 18 when she hit the charts for the first time in 2013. She was dubbed the queen of the summer festivals as she fluttered from one festival to another, her schedule never letting up. Coely has also opened for artists such as Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West and De La Soul. Currently taking it easy after her successful debut album in 2017, ‘Different Waters’, fans are perched on their seats waiting for more.
As of now, RORI has only one official song under her belt as she has just recently left popular Belgian electropop group Beffroi. Nonetheless, as a new soloist she is probably one of the most anticipated artists entering the scene. Rap fans might know her as the vocals on Belgian rapper DVTCH NORRIS’ song “Save Us”.
Belgian rapper Boa Joo is surely on the rise to greatness as she has established to be an incredibly hard worker in the scene. When producer Deuxtroissept showed her an instrumental he was working on, she immediately demanded him to let her write over it. Boa Joo was met with underestimation, that his work was too big for her, but she stood her ground and told him to send her the track. The successful “Qu'il en pleuve” is the result of this.
The Moroccan Lina Lahbiri was only 17 when she made her first appearance on the Flemish version of The Voice, her blind auditions impressing the judges immediately. At the time Lyna was in cosmetology school, expressing having a lot of trouble with studying and that a singing career was her biggest dream. She is currently making that dream come true.