Nasty Gal Vintage founder Sophia Amoruso's rise to success was unconventional. When the CEO and author was 22, she found success when she started her own business selling vintage clothes on eBay. Amoruso's memoir about the experience, #Girlboss was adapted into a Netflix series of the same title. Of course, the entrepreneur's dramatized life story needed the appropriate musical accompaniment, and the Girlboss soundtrack features so many empowering songs. Throughout the series' 13 episodes, these tunes capture the spirit of Amoruso's dramatized journey, especially her independent attitude.
In one of the show's opening sequences, the character Sophia, feeling triumphant from her purchase of a perfect-condition vintage jacket but now flat broke, dumpster dives for a bagel and steals a rug. It establishes a running theme of the show; this is a woman with little care for conventions or consequences. In the background, the punk band Bikini Kill's single "Rebel Girl" plays. Aside from the obvious thematic relevance of the song, the band's presence in the show is symbolically significant. In the 90s, Bikini Kill paved the way for women in the male-dominated punk genre, a feat that singer Kathleen Hanna has openly described the difficulties of. One of the themes of the series is Amoruso's carving out a space for herself in the business world, and this song serves as a preface for this theme. The rest of the tunes in the show are equally relevant to the show's theme of female empowerment.
"Nasty Gal" By Betty Davis
The show depicts Sophia's quest for the right name for her business, and it's one she only found after a rowdy night in a San Francisco club. Sophia screams the words to Davis' 70s funk hit, and thus her business is born. Davis' was also a pioneer, and was considered a visionary soul singer and creator ahead of her time. There might be more than one reason this song resonated with the show creators, and why it may have resonated with Amoruso in the early days of her business.
"TKO" By Le Tigre
Kathleen Hanna is all over this soundtrack, and TKO was the singer's first big hit with her electro-punk band Le Tigre. The song is a hit back at the critics, especially those who assume to know Hanna. It's interesting that the series would start with this song, as it is sort of a nod to Amoruso's career. Even with all the exposure, Sophia defies understanding. Also, Le Tigre's colorful, danceable music fits the energy the series tries to capture.
"Je Veux Te Voir" By Yelle
This song came out in 2007 as an alleged response from Yelle to the misogynistic antics of French rapper Cuizinier, although Yelle told Aural States that it's "not a diss track." It's a ruthless track that mocks the rapper, but is also about not taking any knocks and self-empowerment. It's the kind of track that Sophia would listen to back in the day on Mypace (where it was first posted), but one can still enjoy it today.
"Whistle While You Work" By Katy Tiz
This song is about picking yourself back up again, and that fits Sophia's story well. Sophia is a profoundly imperfect character: in her personal and professional life, she makes big mistakes. However, she's also a young character, and since the show is at least in part about growing up and finding a path, this song fits.
"Let The River Run" By Carly Simon
This song, like many of the others featured on the series, relies heavily on the themes of dreaming and trailblazers. It first appeared in the "Working Girl," a 1980 film about a secretary who poses as her boss to broker a deal with an investment banker. It relates to the show in the thematic ways, but it also has a history in movies about entrepreneurial women.
"Gold Lion" By Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Nobody embodies confidence more than the Karen O, the fearless lead singer of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. If you use the Gold Lion in this song as a metaphor for ambition, it is a fitting reflection of Sophia's pursuit of financial success.
"The Wild One" By Suzi Quatro
"AII my life I wanted to be somebody and here I am! I know what I've got and there ain't nobody gonna take it away from me," Suzi Quatro sings in the opening lines of this track. It's the kind of attitude Sophia takes in the show, as she is rightfully protective and proud of the success that she cultivated.
However, it is another song with an empowering backstory; Quatro was the first female bass player to become a major star, and broke new ground for women in rock music.
The Girlboss soundtrack is filled with musical pioneers, and these songwriter and band's accomplishments alone are inspiring. However, these tunes also feature empowering lyrics, and just listening to these tracks can inspire confidence.
Even if you have not yet invested a watch in Girlboss, listening to these songs is definitely worth it as well.