10 More Rappers & Singers to Watch in 2013
With less than six months left in 2013, new artists have been cropping up everywhere. From hip-hop to R&B, from the streets of North Atlanta to the U.K., singers and emcees are determined to make their mark before 2014 arrives.
The influx of new talent from year to year coupled with the speed of the music industry and the clipped attention span of most consumers makes it tougher for these artists to break through. But, great music speaks for itself, and a few rising stars are to thank for crafting tracks that sound better than we imagined.
Before this year got underway, we highlighted some of the hip-hop wordsmiths and stellar songbirds that would be taking over. They’ve showed and proved, but there are other artists doing much of the same. TheDrop.fm provides an introduction to a few other men and women making their mark in the world of hip-hop and R&B. Here’s 10 More New Artists to Watch in 2013.
So much great music comes out of the U.K., it's amazing. While we lament about the oversaturation of a fixed number of artists on this side of the pond, it's only a matter of doing a quick online search to discover new favorites from elsewhere. Essex-born Devante Hynes, aka Blood Orange, is one of those who stand out amongst internationally-known artists. He's not only a singer-songwriter but an instrumentalist as well -- good with everything from the cello to the piano. He doesn't claim any one sound, but funk and soul are clearly major influences in his movement. If you aren't wooed yet, take into account that the 27-year-old has also written for the likes of Solange Knowles ('Losing You').
Folks have been twerking for years at unsupervised house parties but the nationwide explosion of the super-sexualized booty bounce has everyone trying to "twerk somethin'" -- from Miley Cyrus to your teenage neighbors. Regardless of the older generation's take on the craze, the dance is becoming even more popular and you can't get it in without the right music. Enter KStylis -- the self-proclaimed King of Twerk. Even if you haven't heard his tracks yet, you can guarantee your younger cousins have. The Epic Records signee has much to look forward to with the success of his track, 'Booty Me Down.' The video for the song has garnered more than one million views since its April release and the Kansas City native is ready to do even more while giving the people something to dance to.
Brooklyn-based Justine Skye is your everyday, fun-loving teenager -- only she's signed to a major record label. The Atlantic Records signee is primed to soar as one of the youngest R&B singers on the imprint. Her Instagram and Tumblr followers would agree wholeheartedly. Skye's lead single, 'Everyday Living,' showcases some mature vocals and production reminiscent of R&B released in the 1990s -- when she was only a toddler. After being released for a mere three weeks, the video for her latest single has surpassed more than 50,000 views, ensuring that Justine Skye is the next to watch on the R&B scene.
Tristan "Mack" Wilds is the latest actor-turned-singer to watch. The Staten Island, N.Y., native, who signed to producer Salaam Remi's Louder Than Life imprint through Sony, is set to release his debut effort this fall. The LP, 'New York: A Love Story,' ought to be a pleasant surprise to those who've been following his acting career since he was a youngin' on HBO's cult favorite 'The Wire.' The lead single, 'Own It,' is steadily gaining traction and Mack Wilds is finally getting his turn in the spotlight, with support from the likes of Rico Love, whom he also recorded tracks with.
Janine and the Mixtape
New Zealand native Janine and the Mixtape dropped her 'Dark Mind' EP in June to immense critical acclaim. Fans of the singer-producer-songwriter had been anticipating the full project since the release of the haunting track 'Bullets' in the spring of 2012. Janine is currently an independent artist but it shouldn't be long before she's snatched up by an imprint. Her airy voice and careful production show a dedication to detail and indisputable knowledge of her own talent -- if nothing else Janine knows what she sounds great on.
Rich Homie Quan
Rich Homie Quan is the next out of Atlanta's TIG camp, home to Trinidad James and his 'All Gold Everything' movement. Quan is the stark opposite of Trinidad though -- there are no carbon copies coming out of TIG, with singer-rapper Forte Bowie set to bring up the rear. The lightening speed of Rich Homie's recent success may mimic the pattern of James', but he's a little less sensational. Quan's lead street single, 'Type of Way,' has an energy unseen since Future's rise -- the lyrics measure up as well. His latest mixtape, 'Still Goin' in Reloaded,' has pushed Rich Homie Quan into the national spotlight and we can't wait to see what he does next in order to stay there.
R&B and soul have experienced a resurgence over the past few years, despite the presumption that the genre is a dying one. Artists like Miguel, Elle Varner and Bridget Kelly are saving soul music one track at a time. The newest LPs from artists like Justin Timberlake and Chrisette Michele prove that soul music isn't going anywhere and we can look to new artists like 23-year-old Daley to keep up the momentum. The U.K.-based crooner recently dropped a three-song FreEP to whet the palate of R&B fans everywhere. 'Songs That Remind Me of You' boasts Daley's strong falsetto and some melancholy production -- perfect for rainy nights and make out sessions.
Houston-based rapper RiFF RAFF may be the most polarizing artist hip-hop has seen in some time. The most interesting thing? He doesn't seem to care in the least. While he may not be the deepest or most introspective emcee, he sure is entertaining. Check out songs like 'Dolce & Gabbana' to hear a sampling of his sound. RiFF RAFF has an ever-growing fanbase, a fact that led to his most recent signing with Diplo's Mad Decent! imprint. He had a quick moment as a signee to Soulja Boy's label a few years ago, but since then, RiFF has increased his visibility by far -- continuing to confuse some, but being adored by the rest. Look out for his debut LP, 'Neon Icon,' to arrive in September.
Seemingly out of thin air, Migos have appeared to take the rap game to yet another level. Independent artists usually have a bit of a hard time getting people to pay attention but the trio achieved the near-impossible before even releasing their official debut LP. Following the success of their song 'Bando' last fall, the North Atlanta-based group managed to get Young Money superstar Drake to cosign and hop on the remix of their infectious track 'Versace.' The Zaytoven-produced song has made its rounds from online to the radio and has been remixed by everyone from Meek Mill to Frank Ocean.
If there's one thing Drake does with his October's Very Own imprint, it's give the spotlight to fellow Canadian artists aiming to break through and dominate the international music scene. He carefully cosigns newbies who have that same sort of ethereal, fuzzy -- potentially drug-induced -- sound that's become synonymous with the OVO signature. Nineteen-year-old crooner PARTYNEXTDOOR is the newest signee to the imprint's OVOSound division. His debut self-titled mixtape is a substantial dedication to what occupies the mind of most young men in the industry: balling hard and an overwhelming interest in shapely women from the South.