Being offbeat is cool
Meet pop music's new breed of individualistic, on-conformist female singers
Good news for those of you out there who have had enough of the likes of Taylor Swift and Ariana Grande.
A new breed of young female singers who are offbeat, non-conformist and unapologetically individualistic is poised to take the music scene by storm.
These rising stars, each armed with quirky influences, make addictive earworm-y electropop tunes that are dark, subversive, brutally honest and delightfully weird.
Meet Halsey, Grimes and Tove Lo, the trio who are proof that oddballs may get the last laugh.
Real name: Claire Elise Boucher
Birthplace: Vancouver, Canada
Fast fact: Influential British music magazine NME named her fourth album Art Angels 2015's Album Of The Year.Influences: Japanese anime and graphic novels, Korn, Marilyn Manson, Trent Reznor and Dixie Chicks
Breakout hit: Flesh Without Blood/Life In The Vivid Dream, a double-song music video that flaunts Grimes' wicked eye for visual storytelling. Kitschy and campy, it shows her playing a slew of colourful characters, including a bloodstained Marie Antoinette and a creepy angel.
Biggest collaboration: Last year, US singer Lana Del Rey recruited Grimes as the opening act for her North American summer tour. Latest project: Grimes' newest MV California is dreamy and vibrant, with cameo appearances by fellow Canadian artists Born Gold and Megan James.Weirdest moment: Up until recently, she often posted pictures of herself sporting armpit hair and unshaven legs on Instagram. The eccentric musician has even pulled off fashion shoots with fuzzy underarms.
In an interview with Teen Vogue in March, Grimes shared that she had "begun shaving her body hair for the first time" in her life.
"I am rebelling against my previous body hair, because now people get mad when I shave my legs. So I'm like, 'I have the right to shave my legs'. I think people policing my body either way is bizarre," she said.
Real name: Ashley Nicolette Frangipane
Birthplace: New Jersey, US
Fast fact: Halsey is unflinchingly open about her identity; she's bisexual, bipolar and biracial.
Influences: Emo and post-hardcore bands such as Brand New and Taking Back Sunday
Breakout hit: New Americana, which was dubbed by the New York Times as a "generational anthem for millennials".
Biggest collaboration: The Feeling, a duet with Canadian pop star Justin Bieber. The duo performed it live on the Today show last November.
Latest project: Castle, her fourth single from her 2015 debut album Badlands (her "angry female record") which debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 chart, was chosen as the promotional song for the recent Hollywood fantasy flick The Huntsman: Winter's War.
Weirdest moment: She might look nonchalant and edgy, but she turns into a shy, insecure girl in the presence of Bieber.
In an interview with Billboard.com, Halsey called their Today show performance a "trainwreck".
"You don't know fear until it's 7am and freezing cold on live television and you're not sure if Justin Bieber is going to kiss you or not," she said.
She became slightly delusional midway through, recalling to Rolling Stone magazine:
"It was just so real, so emotive, so evocative - two people connecting in this love song. There was a moment where I think (Bieber) and I were both kind of like, 'Are we… are we… is this real?'"
Real name: Ebba Tove Elsa Nilsson
Age: 28Birthplace: Djursholm, Sweden
Fast fact: Lo is part of Swedish maestro Max Martin's songwriting team. Besides penning her own material, she co-wrote Hilary Duff's Sparks and Ellie Goulding's Love Me Like You Do.
Influences: Grunge acts such as Nirvana and HoleBreakout hit: Habits (Stay High) from her 2014 debut album Queen Of The Clouds, which peaked at No. 3 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and has a hypnotic music video that features Lo downing shots, hooking up with strangers and crying in a nightclub toilet.
Biggest collaboration: Close, a duet with US singer Nick Jonas. The pair performed the sexy, sensual jam at the Billboard Music Awards last month, wowing the crowd with their chemistry.
Latest project: She provided the vocals for Say It, a new track by Australian DJ-producer Flume.Weirdest moment: Last year, Lo's breasts became a talking point on the US festival circuit after she flashed audiences at several gigs.
In an interview with MTV, she explained that exposing her nipples to thousands of people was a liberating, spontaneous move.
She said: "I should just do it if I want to and everyone gets so amped up (by it)... A lot of girls and guys are flashing me now and taking their clothes off. It gets very heated and I like that.
"I hate when someone tells me I can't do something because I'm a girl. Then I'll do it twice as much."