Updated: Jan 15
One of the most exciting things about music is seeing new, emerging artists develop their sound and reach their full potential. Every year you will discover a new artist that will have you wondering how on Earth you never came across them before - so we thought we'd give you a bit of a head start in 2021, asking some of our friends for some of their artist picks to look out for this year. If you like what you hear then go and give the artist a follow to keep up with them!
Words by: Azariah Sheeley
Living in Louisville, Kentucky I first stumbled upon Zaniah on Instagram. I chose Zaniah because her music takes me to places of such relaxation and happiness that I wanted to share it with the rest of the world. Her voice endows a vibrant soulful tone which goes hand in hand with the wonderfully melodic instrumentation in her latest single ‘Coffee Bean”.
I had been following her for some time, quite some time before she had put out any music, however, she has since released two beautiful singles - definitely check them out. These releases didn’t disappoint and lived up to all my expectations after listening to her sing online for some time.
Ericsson Kaner is a Pianist/Composer from Forest Hill in south east London and member of the Levitation Orchestra. I was so pleased the day this artist got in touch with me and showed me his latest song ‘Changed Beings’. I was blown away. The craftsmanship this artist exhibits release after release is exquisite. Not your typical ‘Jazz’ artist, his music takes you on a journey. With ‘Changed beings’ I was quite reminded of the soundtracks to the Studio Ghibli films. An anime adventure. His latest single ‘In Convalescence’ featuring O the ghost is another great track to behold. With almost ‘ghostly’ vocals and tinkering piano riffs reminding me of rain, this is music which paints imagery.
BEN BEFORE CHRIST
Although I haven’t heard any original music from this artist yet, I was impressed by a recent video I saw on his Instagram. Rapping over a beat in a back garden surrounded by friends, there’s no denying this artist has rhythm. Aside from rapping his Instagram includes a number of singing videos which caught my attention, a soulful voice which has much potential indeed. I am super excited to hear his debut EP ‘We need a Vacation’ coming out this March.
Words by: Brad Bennett
Originally from Portland, USA and now living in London, the first thing that struck me about JT Flowers was his unique vocal tone. What's most interesting is that his deep and commanding voice seems to be able to blend in seamlessly on all types of production. Whether it be over the hard-hitting 808's on 'Penny Hardaway', the smooth guitar-lead beat on 'Track 4' or the more soulful 'Lose My World', JT Flowers comfortably flows over them with his introspective writing. On Instagram he recently teased an upcoming project, so keep your ears to the ground for more info on that soon.
With his breakout EP Umm.. Random Shit in 2019 (produced entirely by KianVsLife) dereck d.a.c. was able to cement himself as one of the most exciting, up and coming artists in his city, Brighton UK. Continuing his upwards trajectory he followed that project up last year with blue. (produced by Otherside) which further displayed his sharp lyricism on the mic and beat selections, complimentary to his style. After hinting at it throughout last year dereck & KianVsLife are expected to drop the follow up to their acclaimed collaborative project in 2021, which is sure to make waves in the underground rap scene, and take them both to new heights.
With her songs barely clocking in at 2-minutes in length, Dexter still manages to showcase an excellent ear for melodies as well as displaying her talents as a songwriter, where she offers a sincere outlook on unrequited love. Along with her heartfelt vocals and delicate guitar plucking, the stripped back feel to her music is the perfect setting for her raw storytelling.
Words by: Andy Rossiter & Annabel Whittle
(Love Thy Neighbour)
LIME are a Brighton, UK-based 4 piece who make disco influenced indie-pop. They've only released two tracks so far, but both are super catchy and they've quickly established themselves in their city's scene. They're one of the bands I'm looking forward to seeing live again when we can!
The Regressive Left
The Regressive Left are a post-punk three piece whose debut track 'Eternal Returns' was recorded shortly after their first show, supporting PVA, Scalping and Porridge Radio in London. This is the only track they've released so far and it has a sax solo to die for.
Irish Indie/folk-pop singer CMAT is sure to be a big artist in 2021. With four successful singles under her belt, her roaring voice draws you in, complimented with funny and intriguing lyrics. She is emerging from what appears to be a growing Irish scene at the moment, alongside artists like Pillow Queens, Sorcha Richardson + more.
Words by: Ned AKA Feleke
Kymara is one of the most gifted artists that I’ve seen coming through the Brighton scene over the years. With her well drilled band, she had a terrific end of 2019 and a start to 2020 before the pandemic. Nonetheless she’s been cooking up that soulful vibe to bless our 2021 with. A must see live with fiery flavour and poignant delivery. Let's hope that venues open from spring/summer this year so she can bless us all with her presence.
Don’t sleep on Meron T, take my advice. Sultry vocals and a cool guitar player with beaucoup style. Her sound is like a summer breeze that holds the listener enchanted by her spell. A great singer/songwriter hailing from South London, 2021 could be a breakthrough year for her.
So excited about this band. Nigeria has a rich history of great live music and this band embodies that. First heard of these guys as the backing band of another great act coming out of Nigeria at the moment, Lady Donli. Another cool musician Etuk Ubong occasionally plays trumpet for the band. I genuinely can’t wait to see what the future holds for this band and the new live music scene taking shape in Nigeria.
Words by: Laura Pegler
(So Young Magazine & Boogaloo Radio)
Entering the ring in 2020, the Leeds hailing four-piece made an outlandish debut with three
consecutively compelling singles. Recounting tongue-in-cheek tales under the guise of a
minimalist-rock outfit, Yard Act’s music is brimming in character and ladened with hook
Having signed to industry heavyweights EMI Records in the summer of last year, it’s since
been an upward trajectory for the York based alt-pop lads. With four feel-good releases
firmly in the mix, Bull could well be the answer to putting a smile back on our pandemic-
worn faces one upbeat riff at a time.
The beguiling post-punk alias of London based Jojo Orme, Heartworms made a thrilling
entrance at the tail-end of last year with her enticingly devilish single ‘What Can I Do’.
Released via the illustrious indie label Permanent Creeps, who’ve worked with the likes of
Peeping Drexels, Italia 90 and Football FC, 2021 looks like a blank canvas set for her own