As a child, I religiously watched VH1's "Top 20 Countdown" every week to inform my musical preferences (I know, I was a cultured kid). In 2015, the final episode of the Top 20 Countdown aired, without much justification.
But looking back on the last 15 years, its clear that the winds of the music world have drastically shifted, transitioning away from the days where radio DJs held the keys to the kingdom, and VH1's countdown served as music's most powerful performance indicator. Now, streaming services like Spotify, YouTube, and SoundCloud, or social media apps like Instagram, Musical.ly, and Snapchat, have become key initiators of virality.
With these new methods of sonic dissemination has come a sort of changing of the guard in the industry, and increased opportunity for young women to break musical boundaries and launch a career on their own terms. Think Kehlani, who found success on SoundCloud; Cardi B, who found her voice through Instagram; Alessia Cara, who was discovered on YouTube.
With the help of social media and some of my favorite streaming services, I've identified ten up-and-coming female artists, the majority of whom the Top 20 Countdown wouldn't have unveiled to me in 2002. I chatted with them about life, their music, and what's up next for them. Ahead, meet ten music superstars poised to dominate the scene in 2018.