BLOSSOM Miss Lopez Media

AMENTA ABIOTO Intisar Abioto

Saying that Black people have been "taking an L" lately is essentially the biggest understatement ever. Sure, we've managed to MAKE the world pay attention to our pop culture—with Beyoncé's twins, the success of "Bad and Boujee," and films like Get Out, Hidden Figures, and that irritating Moonlight mess at the Oscars.

But these considerable wins do relatively little to alter Black cultural perception throughout the US and the rest of the world. As Black women, we're raised with the fundamental strength to navigate these battles of skewed views with our heads held high, our pride serving as the guiding light through the storms of microaggressions. There isn't much representation in Portland, especially in the fair-skinned domination of its music community.

For local music votaries of color, we've got at least two powerful female voices in Amenta Abioto and Blossom. Abioto's a triple threat, exhibiting her appreciation for all things cultural and mythological as a songwriter, actor, and producer. Her performances are often captivating theatrical nods to African life, blending jazz and hip-hop with the vocal heft of gospel. We look to Blossom and her funky neo-soul creations as a guideline for mixing meaningful lyrics with sonic enjoyment. Born in Trinidad and Tobago, Blossom made her foray into music at just 12 years old; she’s like a local poster child for starting with humble roots and essentially blossoming into success. 

Both women are talented, intellectual, and inspirational—everything a child of color needs to see from minority figures in a world where representation is lacking.

Check out Banana Stand Media's videos from last month's Sound + Vision, featuring Perfume V, Boreen, and Cool American!