Whether using Apple Music or Spotify, music is more accessible than ever today thanks to the internet. With that comes more accessibility for anyone to make music and find stardom through curated playlists, suggested artists, and online-generated buzz. With so many new and upcoming artists popping up, it can be difficult to decide who to listen to next. To save you some time, I have gathered some of the best rising and underrated artists you should be listening to right now.
Sven Gamsky, better known as Still Woozy, is making quite a name for himself in the music world, despite recording all his songs in his garage in Oakland, CA. To be truthful, I started with Still Woozy because he is one of my favorite artists I’ve discovered in the past couple of years. He released a handful of singles sparsely in the past two years and finally released his debut project, Lately EP in 2019. Lately EP is truly something special; when listening I want nothing more than to dance in the sunlight to the hypnotic, woozy instrumentals and harmonious vocals. Gamsky credits his rapid growth to the internet, after being featured on popular Spotify playlists and being discovered on social media.
For a rapper who runs around on stage yelling in nothing but his briefs, Slowthai sure has a lot to say. One of the biggest rising names in hip-hop, Tyron Frampton is ready to shine. Frampton derived his stage name Slowthai from his childhood nickname “Slow Ty” given because he slurred his speech. Slowthai now uses that to his advantage for an extremely unique and catchy vocal delivery on his critically acclaimed debut album, Nothing Great About Britain. This LP is a grungy, aggressive, and very honest message to “Great” Britain. Slowthai raps for the lower-class citizens of the UK whose voices are not heard by the ruling class. He wants to connect with the people he makes music for. Slowthai is currently finishing his solo tour and will be opening on tour for hip-hop collective/boyband Brockhampton around the US this fall.
Rising up in the shadows of Justin Bieber and Drake, Toronto genre-bending duo MONEYPHONE may be the next Canadian sensation. High school buddies Enoch and David set out to make a wave in Canadian pop music which has now bled into the states. Their vocal ranges work together in a beautiful yin-yang type of way. Bred from the feeling of not fitting in and being heavily inspired by Brockhampton and experimental hip-pop, MONEYPHONE released two EPs, Tolerance and Athletes, in the last couple of years and are on to their next project with four singles released this year.
A perfect fusion of John Mayer, Xxxtentacion, and Justin Bieber, Dominic Fike is almost guaranteed to be the next big name in pop music. Fike made his big debut in 2018 with his debut release Don’t Forget About Me, Demos, which was recorded in his Florida home while on house arrest. Near instant buzz lead to major record labels all competing to win his signature. Despite his eccentric off-camera personality, face tattoos and colorfully dyed hair, Fike is soft at heart and captivates the listener with his heartfelt lyrics and infatuating guitar riffs. You may have already heard his hit song 3 Nights, but the EP in its entirety is truly fantastic. Run time may only be 15 minutes, but you’ll be replaying it all day. Fike has released three singles this year and we should be expecting a project in the upcoming future.
KOTA THE FRIEND
Despite being offered three deals with major record labels, Kota the Friend chose to stay independent. Indie rapper out of Brooklyn released FOTO this year and it is the most organic rap album I’ve heard in a long time. FOTO is a musical photo memoir of Kota’s life through the good and bad. Kota raps with his distinct Brooklyn flow about topics such as family, love, overcoming depression, and appreciating life’s small moments over lush, jazzy beats. FOTO brings a deep sense of nostalgia and peace, an album fully deserving of a full listen through because Kota is only gaining momentum from here.
Lucky Daye has a lifetime of music stored up inside of him and he’s ready to blow up. Born David Brown, he grew up in a cult-like-church which condoned many aspects of his life including secular music. Daye was limited to gospels and hymns for many years which lead to him learning melodies and rhythm from Dr. Seuss books and his father’s vinyl collection. After finding his way out of the church to freedom, Lucky Daye got to work and released his first full length album Painted in 2019. Painted delivers thirteen fresh and soulful tracks with Frank Ocean-esque vocals, Anderson. Paak’s funk, and a whole lot of groove.
I believe Deb Never is going to be one of the biggest female artists in the next couple of years. After learning to play music on a stolen guitar and drawing inspiration from groups such as Nirvana and Three6Mafia, her debut project House On Wheels EP is gaining traction. Her punk rock hip-hop sound, natural, raw vocals, are a sure shot in the revival of grunge music. You won’t know if you want to bop your head or cry alone in your room thinking about your ex. With her close connections to other rising stars such as Brockhampton and Dominic Fike, this will certainly not be the last we hear from her.