BLACK ROCKERS UNITED MEDIA

ARTICLES

by Nicole Kali (4/09/2021)

40 Black Rock-Hers Who Are Shaking It Up!

This list is dedicated to 40 rock-hers who are shaking things up worldwide across genres! The first page featured 10 incredible artists: Abra, Meredith Bell, Nandi Bushell and Kayla Dixon.

Page two featured Cammie Gilbert, Brittany Howard, Valerie June+! Welcome to page three: Mango Lindo, Julie Outrage, Jessica Pimentel and more!

   

   

Mango Lindo marches to her drum beat, strums her own melody. She is a prolific guitar player and composer-writer in L.A.

I consistently follow her chronicle, The Onyx Chord: "an online magazine honoring the contributions and legacies of black guitarists and bassists both past and present."

The Onyx Chord interviewed me in early 2020 and I realized that we rock-hers were waiting to find each other. Unity is real!

Mango has been cultivating space for rock-hers all along. She is a frequent panelist for music roundtables and symposiums. GuitarGabby recently interviewed her for Guitar Girl Magazine!

Mango's formative influences are Chaka Khan, Betty Davis, Eddie Hazel, Prince, Sade, and Lady Saw. Very solid list.

"Black history IS history. Far too often, the many achievements of Black people are overlooked and unappreciated." (Guitar Girl Magazine)

 

Black her-story can be told everyday, so this songstress makes that clear. We are grateful to Mango for indeed carrying the torch. What does her future hold?

"I'm working on a podcast and upcoming album!" May your dreams come true, Mango. Rock it!

      

She is the Haitian-American goth goddess in her own audial zone. Madame St. Beatrice Demisier lives and breathes creativity from Brooklyn.

 

She combines the best of personal musicology: extremely pretty vocality, melodic variety, decisive rhythm. No one can box her sound. Where did she begin?

Dust Angel was our introduction, anyway, to Madame St. Beatrice in 2013: a "rock duo that indulges in various styles and genres". She and Paul Bakija (Reagan Youth, Crotona) enlisted the fabulous bassist Tibbie Skye West (Reagan Youth) to round out sound.

They cranked out six sizzling songs in two days! Magical does not do their demo EP justice. Just listen to the headbanger 'Do What Thou Wilt'. Mosh to Lunar Mach V, the 2014 album here. It's "loosely based on the life of the guitar player's previous band's lead singer", punk history!

"Dust Angel ending up disbanding in 2015 but not before I got to sing on tour all over the United States.

In 2017 I decided to take on a different challenge and went on to record and perform as a solo artist with a backing band with new music." (Facebook)

"Deep South, Midwest, all over the East Coast, yeah, I got to see America. And boy, oh boy, it was a trip! You know, being a Black woman in a rock band and the reaction that you get from these people. There were shows I would perform and I would be the only Black girl there! But hey, I did it!

Every once in a while, someone would come up to me and say 'Why's there not more people like you around this town?' They don't just come out and say 'Why aren't there more Black people who listen to rock and metal?'" (Rock-Her Roundtable #2)

Beloved NYC rock-her Madame St. Beatrice now is a solo songwriter, vocalist, video producer. Her backing band includes familiar faces from Dust Angel (Paul Cripple, Tibbie Skye West)!

Madame St. Beatrice released 33 in 2019: a great tapestry of metal, post-punk, soul. Don't take our word for it. View her spell-binding video for 'Lost In Confusion' and see the creative darkness unfold.

Madame's newest track 'Ever Should She Speak' carries a similar energy!

Enjoy this shoegaze glory from "a songstress who is guiding her way to a blissful state of image, sound and spirituality". Tell it, Madame St. Beatrice!

   

Breaking news before our overdue introduction: Crotch Pop a Cop, their newest album, is out NOW! So who are The Muslims?

They are a North Carolina punk band—here to destroy supremacy through satirical, "sura sura" punk! The band formed in 2017 amidst an ideological war for human decency in Trump-administration U.S.A.

#BRU's featured rock-hers: QADR, a cool reference to Islam's Night of Power! 

Qadr is The Muslims' charming, kick-ass guitarist and lead vocalist. Muslim punks, AKA Munks! We have been Munks from day one.

And The Muslims' first eponymous album is magnificent if you have not been converted yet. 'Adhan' recited the ancient call over crunchy punk, and 'Jihadageddon' challenged Islamophobia's havoc on entire Muslim nations, mosques, culture when Trump was in office.

"I've dreamed about having a punk band for a very long time, and eventually the idea came that it should absolutely be a Muslim punk band." (Scalawag Magazine)

2019's Mayo Supreme (Don't Panic Records & Distro) eviscerated the racist notion that Muslim people, especially rock-hers, didn't exist or belong. How can that be when the first African-Americans were Muslim?

"With your gerrymander, gentrify, redline! You are out your mind!" QADR sang angrily in the titular track 'Mayo Supreme'. Why is Islam not synonymous with power? The Muslims are on our punk timeline for a reason.

"I write to get my feelings and my thoughts and my rage out, because I know I’m not the only one feeling it." (The Guardian)

"All of those things that have happened, all of the racial slurs, all of the very intentional laws put in place—what if we upped the ante and threw that shit right back at you?" (Indy Week)

The Muslims toured the U.S. East Coast for a year and rocked with Samurai Shotgun, Jooselord, etc. along their bad-ass way.

The Muslims were slated for Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 +2 soundtrack, but unfortunately the final version did not include The Muslims. One day we'll get it. #BRU crew salutes you.

 

Amy Love and Georgia South are Nova Twins: a dynamic duo from South East London and Essex, England. Both were mentored as professional jazz musicians'/music teachers' children.

Amy Love is lead vocalist, guitarist; Georgia South brings the bass. Learn how they are shaking up music! Nova Twins feels like a rollercoaster: awesome amalgamations of deep drum 'n bass, fuzzy guitar and often empowering lyricism.

"We were always hanging out. We wrote a song together one day just at home, it was called 'Bad Bitches'. It was HEAVY, it was ful of sass and all the elements just kind of came together straight away...

We just thought we need to make this official!" bassist/vocalist Georgia shared (The Music Buds) Those were the Braats days, 2014!

Georgia proudly stated "We were influenced by electronica, R&B, and even pop, to some extent. And they were all combined into our sound." (Premier Guitar)

These two have been killin' it! The five-song debut EP changed our life: 'Bassline Bitch', 'Hitlist'.

"We are females of colour playing heavy music. Sometimes we have to shout a little bit louder. We don’t want to be pigeonholed," Amy said about their start (The Guardian).

"Revenge is never gracious! Watch me throw it in your face, I don't play fair!" Nova Twins declare on their hit single!

Nova Twins' eye-catching 'Play Fair' video shows their daring escape from evil scientists. Quarantine be damned. Amy and Georgia have toured with Prophets of Rage,, performed at Decolonise Fest and Download Festival.

These incredible young women already secured their place in rock's hall of fame to us. Nova Twins won the Heavy Music Awards!

"People feel liberated and leave with a smile on their face. They’re like, ‘YES! What the fuck is this?!"

Amy Love and Georgia South conceptualized an artivist project, 'Voices of the Unheard' last June (2020). Their playlist became a physical reality! Now Nova Twins' exclusive Blood Records-Dr. Martens vinyl showcases under-represented Black artists.

Nova Twins: Voices of the Unheard doubles as a fundraiser for The Black Curriculum AND compilation album: Big Joanie, Nova Twins' 'Taxi', Oxymorrons (333 Wreckords), rockin' rapper Zhariah.

Here is their metalcore Bring Me The Horizon collaboration, '1x1' as well.

Nova Twins penned an open letter to the MOBO Awards about respecting innovators, and a Rock/Alternative category without whitewashing us out of the scene (Twitter).

"We grew up watching the MOBO Awards feeling grateful for its CEO and Founder Kanya King MBE, who pushed boundaries and helped pioneer Black music...

We all owe [Sister Rosetta Tharpe] her a huge debt and with the help of others, we want to continue the pioneering work that she started."

Who Are The Girls? is Nova Twins' full-length debut album. They take off through a 'Vortex', don't 'Play Fair', shred in a Kill Bill-inspired 'Taxi'. It's like everything a rock fan could ever want.

Find Nova Twins on 333 Wreckords Crew: Jason Aalon Butler (Fever 333)'s independent label! He approached them after an Afropunk show in 2018 to join "an organization where artists can benefit from their art and not have people try to take every piece of the pie" (Rock Sound).

Nova Twins unite as Black rock-hers to shake things up!

 

"One of my favorite things about music is the ability to express whatever you're going through."

Julie Outrage is a Burkinabe-American filmmaker, guitarist-percussionist who merged their diasporic experience into a distinct soundscape.

"Burkinabè, that's my citizenship and most of my extended family lives in Ouagadougou."

She was born in Dakar, Senegal before living mostly across the greater D.C. region. Julie's sound is painted as "blues, rock, R&B, hip-hop, jazz and experimental"!

Anyone can tell you: nowhere else has go-go, hardcore punk, indie jazz, soul in one spot like D.C.

"I’ve been influenced by Go-go music, punk rock and jazz living here. Such a variety– you don’t really get that everywhere."

Julie has a solid background in musical composition and jazz guitar. Bold brass sections, eloquent strings, punchy percussion, rock influence!

"The DMV is a very special place because of that." (DC Music Review) Art is constantly expanding, expressing ourselves to the best ability. "Only the real can relate."

Julie Outrage attended the New School in New York City, and lived in Brooklyn when she was named the Best of NYC Emerging Artist [2014]! Witness a cinematographer, composer, editor, music-maker.

"I used to sit down and play guitar, and write the song at the same time but now my music is a little less just solo guitar. And it's more like collaborations with other producers." (#BRUTalk)

Her latest single 'Slow Down' is a laid-back, quiet storm vibe with smoothly interspersed saxophone (members of Aztec Sun). Take a second to listen! D.C. music rocks!

"I've always wanted horns on my songs. You know in general, I just love horn sections! If I could like, be in a horn band, if I could perform with a horn section all the time, I would do that."

Julie Outrage also re-works hip-hop and R&B hits into outstanding guitar covers: 'Bodak Yellow' (Cardi B), 'Don't Hurt Yourself' (Beyonce), 'Whole Lotta Love' which is how we found their music.

Julie Outrage regularly instructs guitar and schedules studio sessions between songwriting and filming (Outrage Productions). Currently she's documenting DMV music's survival, and rocking out whenever possible.

   

The (Macapá) Brazilian vocalist for Guitarrista de Atena, Drusa and Vennecy! Hanna Paulino has been on our rock radar for a while now!

She is indisputably talented and channels her creativity into such cool avenues. Meet Hanna! Samba circles, Whitney Houston, exposure to rock in her youth converged.

Hanna Paulino would sing for Senzafine. FYI: they were Amapa's first gothic metal band (Roadie Metal). #BRU passes Black rock her-story along at every opportunity.

We deeply are indebted to underground scenes internationally for supporting artists, their worth. Metaleiras Negras interviewed Hanna Paulino a few years ago about her career.

"Mas no rock, especificamente, gosto de vozes fortes...Tina Turner, Alice Smith (mais pro R&B), The Skins, dentre outros.

No cenário nacional mais voltado pro Metal sou EXTREMAMENTE fã da cantora Daísa Munhoz (Vandroya e Soulspell)...

Tenho alguns nomes que são referências para mim, tais como: Living Colour, Tina Turner, Alice Smith, Militia Vox."


Welcome to Vennecy, a Brazilian hard rock group since 2013. Hanna joined in 2018!

Translated: "Rock music, specifically, I like strong voices...singer Tina Turner, Alice Smith (more for R&B), The Skins, among others.

In the national scene more focused on Metal, I am a HUGE fan of the singer Daísa Munhoz (Vandroya and Soulspell).

I have some names that are also references to me, such as: Living Colour, Tina Turner, Alice Smith, Militia Vox." (Metaleiras Negras)

Hanna Paulino performed at Estação Rock during Black August, and the Power Woman Festival via Metal no Vale last December!

Hanna is an enormous anime fan too. Bankai used to perform opening themes and well-known compositions in Macapa (Egua Mano). This is how she eventually joined Crisnel Ribeiro's Saint Seiya rendition! Can we take a second to appreciate her Shurato 'Shining Soul' cover?

      

"NYHC. Heavy Metal. Latina. Taina." Dominican-American actress/musician Jessica Pimentel is a Brooklyn, NYHC veteran and bonafide rock-her.

New York City affects everyone differently but trust that you have to hustle. That 24/7 grind makes you tough, puts an emphasis on self-definition.

"All ages, all races, all monetary standards of living...hustling is in our blood no matter what you do in New York," she divulged on Doc Coyle (God Forbid)'s March Ex-Man Podcast.

"I went to my first hardcore show freshman year in high school. That energy, that's a boy's club, you know? And I wasn't coming there shopping, you know! I was coming there to enjoy the music."

Jessica Pimentel notably plays María Ruiz (Orange is the New Black) who is a lovable, tough mother behind bars. María defined the story like other compelling Black, Latina, non-white characters. CBS' Person of Interest (2014) featured her as the intriguing Brotherhood character, Floyd.

Jessica is Alekhine's Gun lead vocalist/recording guitarist almost a decade. She's also part of notorious Mexican metal band Brujeria to top that! Meet La Bruja Encabronada, AKA "the Pissed-Off Witch".

Alekhine's Gun is an artistic-spiritual outlet for her Buddhist practice since its inception. Band members include Dan and Jeff Martinez (bass, guitar respectively), Leo Mattie (guitar) and drummer Andrew Czegledi.

"Alekhine's Gun is kind of like a finishing move, involving a queen and two rooks...Leo was working at a chess shop at the time and I was thinking names that were different for a black metal band."  (Ex-Man)

Meditations in Wrath personified that to the T, 2012. Every moment exuded brutal bliss. They recorded ...And Kings Will Fall (2014).

"This music, heavy metal music, tends to speak to that kind of [rebellious] mind...I would use that music to share dharma with people whether they know it or not." (The Wisdom Experience)

She starred in Slayer's 2019 slasher anthology film, The Repentless Killogy, with director BJ McDonnell. The trifecta originated from Repentless: 'Repentless', 'You Against You', 'Pride in Prejudice'. Each film follows an ex neo-Nazi's revenge on all his former cohorts.

Jessica Pimentel starred alongside Danny Trejo, Jason Trost for the gory cult classic. Killogy concludes with Slayer's 2015 Forum show! (Consequence of Sound)

Year of the Lazarus is Alekhine's Gun's latest gem with colossal tracks like '21' and 'Ngepar Chiwa' (Certain Death).

Her enchanting vocals appear on death metal supergroup Nitesoil's October 2020 EP (Abusement Park). Prepare for the face-melter 'Odio' ('Oh God'). Proceeds will go to the Cancer Research Institute. Jessica Pimentel currently rocks in Stockholm, Sweden: a black metal capital. Skål!

      

Pleasure Venom are "explosive experimental garage punk" geniuses, an Austin outfit for five years and counting. And their creative core is our featured rock-her: Audrey Campbell (plus percussionist Thomas Valles, of course)! Pleasure Venom is intriguing.


Afropunk in the Pit!

They formed in 2014 when Audrey expressed interest about an EP to Trevor Mason (then bassist). Thomas Valles and she met at the same time while celebrating their birthdays.

"This project started around the Spring of 2014! I came up with the name, Pleasure Venom, one night when I was looking up female supervillains." Cool origin story. We knew it would be!

Audrey relays the importance of Black church for skilled or upcoming musicians, the ancestral legacy there in many pews. So you don't forget!

"Black Baptist Churches are probably my earliest memory of seeing skilled musicians, many of whom were self-taught… choirs and singers who sang with every INCH of their souls." (The Alt Club)

Hunt is Pleasure Venom's 2016 six-song EP, filled with glam, post-punk and hardcore, soul. "How you gonna hide, hide, hide from me?" Audrey crooned as the band held a psychedelic punk rhythm. Hard not to adore their sound!

"I don’t have a lot of fear of addressing whatever the hell I want," Audrey Campbell clarified for the record. America has atonement ahead and punk seems to be the catalyst for the greater good.

'These Days' was filmed in stereoscopic mode so you can sing and sway to Pleasure Venom in 360. A friend showed me 'These Days' when I said non-Black vocalists were the majority of visible punks. I stood entirely corrected.

We were invisibilized, but certainly kicking ass and HERE. Audrey Campbell wasn't going to rock quietly or go away!

Seize (2018) clutched the status quo's pearls and yanked them right off. 'Seize' hit us hard, and 'In Heat' branched out bravely into heavier, more complex interplay between Audrey as a vocalist and Pleasure Venom's instrumentation/message.

Who are her inspirations?

"Recently, we love The Muslims, Nova Twins, Danny Denial—all dope. Locally in Austin, Chris Conde, BLXPLTN, Bondbreakr, and Chief Cleopatra are amazing. There are just so many Black and Brown artists..." Audrey Campbell revealed (BRT Today)

"A lot of different sounds came out of my household, because I am first-generation United States from two Jamaican parents. My mother played everything in our house, from Marley to Hendrix to Zeppelin to Gladys Knight to Bowie to the Ramones to Al Green." (The Alt Club)

Too dope! Yes, Afro-diasporic medians like this made punk. There is no mistaking that.

Pleasure Venom electrified Garbage's Texas tour dates at The Aztec Theatre and opened for Against Me! in Austin. Xingonas in the Pit booked Pleasure Venom for Afropunk in the Pit alongside Afro-Punk director James Spooner, BLXPLTN and the late Elaine Day (After Dinosaurs) back in '19.

This movement has been growing stronger everyday. Xingonas in the Pit are all about making safe, inclusive spaces for punks in San Antonio and Texas statewide. Pleasure Venom were meant to be there.

We send love and solidarity to Texas. This has been a relevatory year.  Support Pleasure Venom, #BRU crew! Their single 'You Get What You Deserve' will be released in April 2021, this month!

And remember why this list matters, what Black Rockers United means.

"...reminding you that rock is and always has been a Black art form. Hopefully, by the time I’m done, a Black person at a punk or rock show, whether playing or in attendance, being deemed as 'strange' will be a thing of the fuckin' past. Rock music is Black music. Don’t like it? Kick rocks or I can show you the door..." (BRT Today)

'Fascist' needs no cap.

We are getting there, Audrey. Slowly but surely, these days will come. Expect a full-length Pleasure Venom project this year!

     

 

"Rescue ancestry to show the existence of resistance!" Punho de Mahin (Brazilian Portuguese: 'fist of Mahin') is a Brazilian punk quartet: vocalist Natália Matos, Camila Araujo (guitarist, vocalist), bassist Dú Costa and Paulo Tertuliano (percussionist).

Punho de Mahin alludes to the Jeje-Nagô heroine, Luísa Mahin. She came from Ghana today and orchestrated 19th-century Bahia's anti-colonial uprisings vs. Portugal.

"Everyone came up with the same idea of reference of a popular or quilombola revolt that made reference to a woman," they told the Brazilian rock-her outlet Metaleiras Negras.

Luísa exchanged and translated messages for rebellion, did so much to protect Black kinfolk.

Mahin left Bahia in 1937, history made her fate unclear. Punho de Mahin passionately play punk as people in militaristic times, Black Brazilians at a cultural flashpoint.

Bolsonaro brought supremacy to the forefront. Revolution is more important than ever.

'Dandara' depicts the 17th-century story of Dandara dos Palmares who fought till death for her quilombola's autonomy (maroon communities throughout Brazil). Delve into 'Estupidez Racista', Punho de Mahin don't play!

"A primeira vez que nos reunimos foi em novembro de 2018, logo percebemos que éramos quatro pessoas pretas querendo falar sobre as mazelas que a sociedade nos proporciona," frontwoman Natália Matos told Nada Pop, October 2020.

Translation: "The first time that we met was in November 2018, we soon realized that we were four black people wanting to talk about the problems that society brings us." She sang for Condenados before PDM.

Camila Araujo previously shredded with Bandido da Luz Vermelha (Metaleiras Negras). This is her own view.

"A Punho é uma banda de punk rock e ainda por cima, formada por negros falando de sua própria luta e de suas vivências e de nossos ancestrais."

Translated: "The Fist [of Mahin] is a punk rock band and on top of that, formed by Black people talking about their own struggle and their experiences and our ancestors."

Natália Matos joined the Sangue Preto ('Black Blood) project in August 2020 as author/guest guitarist, "a proposta de combate ao racismo na sociedade em que vivemos."

Sangue Preto deconstructs bigotry and set the record straight! Leo Rissuti (creator and Derrota band member), Josie Lucas, Natalia and Bah Lutz start the punk roda in 'Intro'.

Punk Scholars Network Brasil also has interviewed Natalia Matos about punk's artivist intersections.

Punho de Mahin performed at Monster Energy Rock Fest too! Demais to these rock-hers! "#ForaBolsonaro!"

     

New York's acid-soul rock Lovehoney may be TOO cool. Aly Quinones is a ferocious and versatile vocalist on cue, ever ahead of these weird times. They are a founding member since 2015 with guitarist Tommy White, drummer Tom Gelhaus and bassist Matt S.

 

We can equate a listening session to a hot summer drive in the blazing sun.Their first full-length album drifted pleasantly into our ears on Valentine's Day. Cruda is their initial EP. Yow!

"I think what makes us stand out is that we make vintage rock & roll with a twist sound really good without trying too hard to be extra old school or too modern. It all blends really well." (Earhart)

"The first half of the album has aggressive sleazy guitar tracks, and by the second half you’re floating on air...

We recorded our album at Sabella Studios (Long Island) with Will Harris, who also engineered and mixed our EP, Cruda." (Radio Free Brooklyn)

"We've always had a really eclectic set of songs in our catalogue, and this was just our chance to put it all together and mix it with what people know us for." (My Little Underground)

"It all creates an atmospheric vibe and I feel like I’m in some other world," Aly says about Lovehoney and creating their unique music: doom, funk, grunge, sultry R&B undertones.

Aly Quinones finds beauty in the struggle of life, contemplation, being a woman warrior which "makes her proud".  Lovehoney heals through sound. Take a second and tune in.

"There’s an abundance of opportunity everywhere and a market for everything.

Just keep perfecting your craft and working hard because you will face rejection a lot, and you need to believe in yourself more than you want someone else to believe in you." (Earhart)