Iconic Skills: March Re-cap

It’s been a crazy month, one that’s seen a lot of change in all of our lives. Thankfully, one thing that hasn’t changed is our group classes, which are now online! Here’s a quick recap of March’s Iconic Skills classes, which focused on activist female artists. Be sure to drop in on Zoom this month to see Coach Aijia teach us about important rock artists! 

Alicia Keys: 

Born in New York, Keys started her musical journey as a child, taking up the piano at age 7. At 15 she began writing her own material, and 2 years later graduated from the Professional Performing Arts School in Manhattan. 

Recognized as a musical prodigy, Keys inspired a bidding war from many major labels and was signed at 17 by Arista records. Three years later she released her debut album Songs In The Key of A Minor, which has sold over 10 million copies worldwide. 

As an activist, she started the No Make-Up campaign to help inspire women to feel comfortable being themselves. She is an advocate for increasing the amount of non-male members in the music industry. 

If you’re going to check out just one song, this is the one!: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7yHYe9sbjo 


Born in Auckland, New Zealand, Lorde’s artistic side was inspired by her mother, who was an award winning poet. She soon began singing and writing songs and was discovered and signed at the age of 12! 

In 2011 she released her first E.P. Though it was not a success at first, one of the songs “Royals” soon caught fire and became an international hit. 

She has released 2 more albums since then, and is one of New Zealand’s only artists to have such massive international success. 

Her lyrics often reflect feminist values, and speak on both social and personal implications of what it means to identify as something other than male in our patriarchal society. 

If you’re going to check out just one song, this is the one!: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nlcIKh6sBtc

Nina Simone: 

Born in Tryon, North Carolina, Simone was a child prodigy who could play anything she heard on the piano. A virtuoso instrumentalist, her original dream was to be a classical pianist. However, after applying to the Curtis Institute of Music she was rejected, which she felt was due to the colour of her skin. 

Soon after this she began to explore jazz piano and singing. She was discovered in her mid 20’s and launched her prolific and legendary career. 

Simone was one of the most important artists of the Civil Rights movement. She was constantly vocal about her beliefs, both on and off the stage. 

An individual talent, she is one of the greatest artists to ever grace the earth. 

If you’re going to check out just one song, this is the one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghhaREDM3X8

Taylor Swift: 

Born in Reading, Pennsylvania, Swift started singing at an early age, thanks to the influence of her opera singing grandmother. By age 12 she was writing her own songs! 

Swift started her career as a country artist, penning such hits as “Tim McGraw” and “Teardrops on my Guitar”. As she grew, she successfully transitioned into the pop world, where she continues to thrive today. 

Billboard named her Woman of the Decade to honour her female activism and her continual fight against toxic male privilege. 

If you’re going to check out just one song, this is the one!: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IdneKLhsWOQ