Only a couple years divorced from his debut studio album PEAK, Choker continues to eclectically blend hip-hop, R&B, soul and pop in a way that's both of-the-moment and forward-thinking. Already a master of melodies and an expert at channeling every type of emotion through his uniquely-carved sounds, the multi-talented 23 year old has quickly proven himself to have the ability of superstars with several extra decades of experience. With his buzz continuing to build in recent months, expect Choker to be at the top of his game in the near future.
As the trailblazers of a new, genre-bending interpretation of jazz, Ezra Collective is putting a contemporary, fresh and exciting spin on a classic style of music. They have received a strong wave of critical acclaim and media attention in recent months, and currently boast one of the fastest ascents out of any modern jazz acts. Continuing to take their craft to new creative and artistic heights, Ezra Collective is quickly and impressively making their mark on jazz, shifting the way musicians can express themselves through the genre.
Lucky Daye can do it all. The versatility of his music makes him hard to box in one genre. A singer from New Orleans, he has the talent and writing ability to find a place on television screens across the country. Over the last few months, he’s released two EPs, showing elements of his skillfulness with songs full of strings, funk and tempo. As Daye gears up to release his Painted debut album later this year, all his tutelage from huge talents — Keith Sweat, Ne-Yo, Mary J. Blidge, Trey Songz, Boyz II Men — ought to be fully realized.
For Fans Of: Frank Ocean, Miguel, Solange
New Gen: Spring 2019
New Gen is HYPEBEAST’s new series that spotlights the most promising up-and-comers in the music game. Every season, we will highlight 10 of the most talented and/or buzzworthy new artists from all corners of the globe, across all genres.
Spring is that magical time of the year where leaving your house actually begins to seem like a worthwhile prospect again. For music, a turn of sound is beginning as well, with artists consciously making more upbeat tempos to match the mood. Before the summer hits and you put in the finishing touches for your spring trips here are 10 of the most promising up-and-coming artists you should check out for Spring 2019.
For Fans of: YG, SOB X RBE, E-40
Alongside his close friend, musical affiliate and fellow DMV underground king Goonew, Lil Dude has created a signature style that's being imitated as much as Valee's. Mixing together calmer-toned vocals with agile, breathless flows, the "Trapnana" originator slithers across menacing, bass-heavy beats as if every new record is a freeform sonic experiment. In the same fashion as Atlanta superstars Young Thug, Gunna, Future and Lil Baby, Lil Dude uses his voice as an instrument, adding unconventional, psychedelic twists and turns to raw street music. As the codeine-coated melancholy of recent releases like “Magic” and his experimental, progressive approach to production prove, he also holds the type of of versatility that almost guarantees longevity. With his cult following expanding beyond the boundaries of the underground, expect his next run of videos and projects to quickly catapult him to new commercial heights and critical breakthroughs.
Once Pink Sweat$ starts to sing it’s like being whisked away by a cool breeze in the summer. The smooth-voiced singer went from an ominous newcomer to R&B’s next big thing within nine months. From his breakout single “Honestly” to his most recent project, Volume 2, the Philadelphia native makes music that you can listen to all day long.
Ever since listeners were given a taste of what it was like to live a "day in the life of a player named Quik," the West Coast has always been hip-hop culture's foremost supplier of party music -- whether it was bottle-breaking, beat-down-your-block records or smooth cuts that feel at home in the middle of a Sunday night session with Art Laboe. Carrying on that proud, substance-streaked tradition, 1TakeJay has become the latest hero for his coast's nocturnal set. Separating himself from the pack, the slick-tongued proponent of the fast life blends together tightly-wound flows, 200 mile-per-hour energy and the playfully-arrogant shit-talking of like-minded regional cohorts like Drakeo the Ruler and Blueface. As raw snippets of future releases go viral within hours and the views of his videos near the million-mark, 1TakeJay stands as one of his scene's most promising new acts. If he continues at this pace, superstardom is inevitable.
So far, Dua Saleh only has one official studio project under their belt, but they're already on their way to becoming one of their craft's most forward-thinking and singular voices. Creating heartfelt musical alchemy in a way that makes their sound feel like it was birthed from a psychedelically-propelled studio session involving Flying Lotus, Earl Sweatshirt, Erykah Badu and Madlib, the young poet-turned-singer-songwriter cooks up warm, moody, intensely-raw and experimental soul-sorcery that cuts deep and stands out in the most unique ways, turning their music into a sort of tripped-out emotional journey.
For Fans Of: St. Vincent, Grimes
For Fans Of: Brainfeeder, Stones Throw, Thundercat, The Internet
For Fans of: 03 Greedo, Young Thug, YG, Gucci Mane
What radiates from Koffee’s music is jubilation. The teenage, Jamaican wonder has a sound all her own and her ability to navigate between dancehall, reggae and even elements of Afrobeats is effortless. From the outside looking in, it feels like Koffee has the entire Caribbean population behind her -- and rightfully so. She is the future of reggae.
Tirzah really found her voice with her debut album Devotion, which was released last year. Her lyrics cut right through you making for an intimate listening experience. Her candidness allows for a connection so genuine that it’s like she’s singing inside your head. Made in collaboration with her longtime friend Mica Levi, her experimental love songs are easy to get addicted to.
For Fans of: Skepta, J. Cole, Stormzy
New music to get you outside the house.
LA's AzChike stands firmly at the forefront of a modern West Coast rap-renaissance, having helped bless his area with a type of fresh, exciting creativity that hasn't been seen since YG transitioned from jerking and "Toot It and Boot It" to mainstream magazine covers and Barney's shelves. Virtually every song he's put out in 2018 has had the potential to be a regional hit, having gone on to soundtrack parties and filled up cruising playlists across the West. Alongside fellow AzCult members AzSwaye and AzBenzz, he’s a large part of why West Coast hip-hop sounded like it did in 2018. Now in the same R Baron-helmed camp that brought us the ascents of Drakeo the Ruler and 03 Greedo, AzChike is just one big record away from becoming his state's next headlining star.
For Fans of: 21 Savage, Gucci Mane, Migos
For Fans of: FKA twigs, DAWN, Kelela
For Fans of: Frank Ocean, Brent Faiyaz, Daniel Caesar
For Fans of: The Strokes, the White Stripes, Oasis
Thanks to the name recognition of frontman and Stranger Things superstar Finn Wolfhard, Canadian indie rock act Calpurnia is already leagues ahead of other emerging bands when it comes to attention. However, after impressing critics and audiences alike with their debut and currently only studio project Scout, the quartet is already quickly on their way to being one of their genre's most talked-about acts. Clocking in at only six songs, Calpurnia's debut shows a band with a fully-formed style capable of topping charts and year-end best of lists.
For Fans of: Buddy, SiR, Smino
Rucci is one of the few young and buzzing West Coast rappers capable of pleasing both emcee traditionalists and those seeking true starpower and hit-making potential. Having dropped a couple of incredible solo projects in recent months, Rucci stands poised to solidify his claim to the throne with his forthcoming studio albums. With co-signs from a vast array of West Coast veterans, constant and consistent recording sessions at YG's studios and a spot at the top of his region's current rap-renaissance, Inglewood's chosen son is on his way to stardom.
For Fans of: Serpentwithfeet, Kelsey Lu, FKA Twigs
The solo project of Michelle Zauner, Japanese Breakfast has racked up millions of views and listens in recent months thanks to the act's genre-agnostic approach to experimental indie, rock and alternative. Zauner's Japanese Breakfast project has received a flood of critical acclaim since its inception, and Zauner herself is also an award-winning author. Japanese Breakfast blends together various cultural influences from around the world, connecting with listeners on levels outside of just the usual sonic bonds. While many have noted contemporary rock's lack of innovation and creativity as of late, Japanese Breakfast stands as one of the most forward-thinking, progressive acts in that field. Breaking boundaries on all sides, Zauner's solo effort stands poised to be one of indie's biggest forces in 2019.
For Fans of: Chronixx
Say what you will about his "unconventional" -- to say the least -- delivery, Blueface is one of hip-hop's most impressive recent success stories. Swiftly propelled to his side's top spot thanks to the astounding organic explosion of "Deadlocs," "Thotiana" and "Respect My Crypn," the fast-rising LA rapper has turned head-spinning and polarizing viral triumphs into a meteoric rise that could be compared to Migos after "Versace." Adding fuel to the fire: Drake is a huge fan, Quavo has been spotted in the studio with him, DJ Mustard has popped up at his recording sessions and a YG collaboration out now.
For the last three years, Dave has been making a name for himself as one of the most critically acclaimed artists in the UK. His stellar debut EP Six Paths got his foot in the door and ever since his “Wanna Know” single was remixed by Drake that same year, the name “Dave” has traveled across the pond. Since then he has released consistently solid projects, but it’s his 2019 debut album Psychodrama that stands out as one of the best projects of the year and, arguably, one of the most important rap albums to release from the UK in recent memory. Dave is a superstar.
For Fans of: YG, Nipsey Hussle, The Game
For Fans of: YG, Nipsey Hussle, RJ