Seven Completely Awesome Female-Fronted Miami Bands
Cuci Amador of Afrobeta sings onstage in Wynwood.
Photo by Amadeus McCaskill
Men have had it pretty good for the last, oh, several thousand years. Ruling the world, waging war, oppressing anyone weaker and penis-less — it must have been tiring work.
Well, good news, men. You can take a break. Your time at the top of everything from the corporate world to the artistic realm is reaching the end of its road, and there are millions and millions of women ready to step into your spot.
It’s no secret that women have to work harder to make it in the music industry. Although things had evolved significantly since the ’60s, it’s still a rare sight to go to a show and see a majority of women onstage. If that is the case, it’s viewed as an attribute that makes the group or act peculiar.
Oh, that band has a girl drummer.
That’s the band with the cool girl bass player.
In this list we decided to honor some of Miami’s most talented, musical leading women, featuring female-fronted bands that stand out in our city for one reason or the other. We tried to cover different genres, from electro to metal. Here are just a few of our favorite women leading the charge in the Miami music scene.
Afrobeta are Miami OGs.
Photo Courtesy of Afrobeta
If the name Afrobeta doesn’t ring any bells, you're probably new in town, or else you have been living under a rock for the last decade. The self-proclaimed “avant-dance” duo, formed by Cuci Amador and Tony Smurphio, has been representing Miami’s music around the world since 2006 and were Miami New Times' Reader’s Choice for Miami's Best Band this year. Cuci masterfully handles the role of leading woman, her charisma on- and offstage shining as brightly as her handmade outfits. Afrobeta will be launching a Kickstarter soon to help produce a documentary about the duo's first trip to Cuba, so keep your eyes peeled for that.
Basside films scenes for the music video "Rich Healthy Girls."
Photo Courtesy of the Artist
You can’t get more Miami than this. Basside is the project of Linda Attias and Carolina Villalba, two Miami girls rocking bikinis (and great abs) who are devoted to bringing back old school Miami bass and freestyle. With not even a sliver of shyness, the two girls satirize local stereotypes while never taking themselves too seriously. Using tons of neon and leopard print along with a punk attitude, Basside are modern storytellers of Miami’s decadence.
Inez Barlatier onstage at Churchill's.
Photo by Karli Evans
Kazoots is a three-piece band that beautifully combines jazz, rock, afro, and blues. The band — formed by Inez Barlatier, Jayan Bertrand, and Gabe Norwood — started as a continuation of Koleksyon Kazak, a 1980s Haitian voodoo-jazz ensemble in which Inez’s and Jayan’s parents used to play. All the members of Kazoots are Haitian-American Miami natives, and their music often speaks on issues of social justice with heavy cultural influences. Inez, the group's lead singer, is the pulse of Kazoots. Her voice is deep and enchanting. She stands still onstage and focuses on the music. Her singing style has been compared to Tracey Chapman, Adele, and Shakira all wrapped into one.
Megan Morrison leads Dorothy's Surrender into battle.
Photo Courtesy of the Artist
4. Dorothy’s Surrender
Influenced by Lewis Carroll, Absinthe, and Rainbows, Dorothy’s Surrender brings the power of New York city’s raw rock 'n' roll to Miami. The band was born in late 2012 as a collaboration between singer and classically trained musician Megan Morrison and guitar player Ian Michael. Soon the group added bass player Arnaldo Buddah Zayas and drummer Saul David Ferrerosa to the team. But it's Megan that catches our eye. She has a gothic yet glamorous onstage presence combined with a rebellious attitude. The songs she sings are dark and edgy, the perfect soundtrack for a night of old-school debauchery and Jameson shots. Besides being the band's powerful lead singer, Megan is currently working on a solo project that leans towards pop and electronic music. Dorothy's Surrender will be releasing a new video for its song "Dirty Stayout" off its latest EP, Late Bloomer, on July 22 with a party at Kill Your Idol.
Bring earplugs to a Shroud Eater show.
Photo Courtesy of Shroud Eater
3. Shroud Eater
Shroud Eater proudly holds Miami’s metal and sludge flag high. The three-piece is lead by two unquestionably talented women, Jean Saiz (guitar/vocals) and Janette Valentine (bass/vocals). Shroud Eater is one of the most active local metal bands and will be going on a national tour this summer that will take the group to Las Vegas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Austin, New Orleans, and more destinations. The band's sound is raw and visceral, with gritty vocals that could be a prelude to the apocalypse. Shroud Eater's latest release, Face the Master, is a two-song EP that serves as an ode to darkness.
Johanna Viscaino is a vocal ninja.
Photo by Carlos Monino
2. My Deer
My Deer makes beautiful indie-pop songs reminiscent of the sounds of Broken Social Scene, Arcade Fire, Metric, and St. Vincent. The band was founded by former Sirens & Sealions songwriter Johanna Viscaino and guitar player Yannick Calleiro. Since its inception, the band has played at local shows including III Points, the Transatlantic Festival, Wynwood Life, and at local venues like Bardot and Libertine. Viscaino stands pristine on stage with a sweet, secure, and charming voice that mixes innocence with a little bit of spice. Besides My Deer, she is currently working on a side project that will see the light of day very soon.
Artist, photographer, singer, songwriter, video game designer: Virgo does it all.
Photo by Virgo
Elizabeth Ann Clark, better known as Virgo, blends electronic music with tech and sci-fi. Originally from California, Clark created Virgo as a humanoid from an unknown planet transmitting her feelings through music created with synthesizers. Dressed in white or silver, Virgo almost floats onstage. She recently released an EP called Water Planet with an accompanying video game she designed herself. Her next performance will be at III Points 2016 and will surely hold some otherworldly surprises.
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