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Tiny Desk Playlist: Celebrating Women Across The Globe

International Women's Day celebrates the success and achievements of women. Under the weight of patriarchy, women remain endlessly resilient and fabulously talented; naturally, we wanted to toast all the female musicians who brought us together for comfort, triumph and liberation at the Tiny Desk. It was a challenge selecting five from the archives, but all these performances highlight the power of dynamic women and community connectivity. Chloe x Halle put it best: "Do it for the girls all across the world."

Wu Man holds history in her hands. Master of the pipa — an ancient four-stringed instrument — the Chinese composer oscillates between intense, grandiose playing and delicate silk-like sounds. Wu Man's music commands full attention; every note should be savored and admired.

Lous and The Yakuza, born Marie-Pierra Kakoma, is a natural-born performer. Her raspy, full voice is refined and arresting; I get chills every time I watch her Tiny Desk (home) concert, especially during "Dilemme," a song likely inspired by her experience escaping war in the Congo and living as a refugee in Belgium.

Chloe x Halle — Grammy-winning R&B duo composed of self-taught musician sisters is the definition of (excuse the cliché) girl power. With their nine-piece all-female band supporting five intimate, story-rich tracks, Chloe x Halle showcase the intentionality of centering female empowerment in their art.

Daymé Arocena's vitality is palpable throughout her three-song set. With a million-dollar smile, the Afro-Cuban jazz singer generously shares her warm energy as she tells stories of her life, sends prayers to Yemayá and Ochún, and scats love songs.

Mitski's approach to art is unhinged and feral, which is exactly why I love her and this set. Vulnerability, whether through a rage-fueled desire for vengeance or an existential need for beautiful expeditions, is embraced front and center as the Japanese-American singer-songwriter screams into her guitar. —LaTesha Harris, production assistant forLouder Than A Riotand NPR Music contributor.

Tiny Desks In This Playlist

Wu Man
Lous and The Yakuza
Chloe x Halle
Daymé Arocena

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

LaTesha Harris is NPR Music's editorial assistant. A relentless jack-of-all-trades, she takes turns writing, editing and producing music coverage. Invested in the culture behind pop, hip-hop and R&B, her work highlights the intersection between identity and history. Once in a blue moon, Harris moonlights as a talking head with no filter.