"From viral sensations to promising up-and-comers, 2019 is producing an incredible crop of new artists that remind us why we listen to music at all. Here are some of our favorites so far.
- Her sophomore album, El mal querer, which was released this past November, has received widespread praise for revolutionizing and reimagining flamenco with pop and hip-hop. From Catalonia, Spain, she's now breaking through internationally due to her unique sound that appeals to mass audiences. As a multi-talented artist, she recorded her latest album herself, composing, producing, and arranging her own songs.
On repeat: “DE AQUÍ NO SALES (Cap.4: Disputa)"
- This Grammy-winning, London-based R&B singer auditioned for The X Factor at 19, but built her fanbase on Instagram where she posted covers of big hip-hop songs, including DJ Mustard who invited her to a studio session. She signed to his label shortly after and released her first major hit "Boo'd Up," in 2016. In 2017 she opened for Kehlani on her SweetSexySavage Tour and is set to tour with Ariana Grande this year.
On repeat: “Shot Clock”
- The LA-based singer-songwriter is a classically trained cellist who dropped out of the North Carolina School of the Arts. She recorded her debut EP Church in one take in a Brooklyn church. In 2018, she went on tour with Blood Orange and has collaborated with artists like Lady Gaga, Solange, and Kelela.
On repeat: “I'm Not In Love”
- The latest signee to 88rising first gained international attention when she won fourth place on the South Korean TV talent show K-pop Star 5, although at this point she was already a major star in her native China. She has been described as the Chinese Rihanna, with both her music, fashion sense, and stardom.
On repeat: “Hat Trick”
- This 20-year-old from South London started making music at a young age and learned to play covers on the guitar and piano by age 12. Her talent was noticed early - she signed to a label at just 15-years-old. She has released two EPs to date, including her latest one, Reminiscence, this past January.
On repeat: “Don't Let Me Down”
- The R&B singer-songwriter was signed at the age of 13 and caught the attention of Ed Sheeran who shared her music on social media. Since then, she has released an album and three Eps, played Afropunk in Brooklyn, and has been featured in publications like BET, Vibe, and Complex. She was nominated for Critics' Choice at the 2019 Brit Awards in February.
On repeat: “I Wish I Missed My Ex”
- The Honduran L.A.-based artist was first inspired to get into music by her father, a salsa pianist. She attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston, where she spent her time learning how to make beats. She wrote, produced, and recorded her first album, Me, and has recently released her sophomore album, Us.
On repeat: “I Don't Even Smoke Weed”
- This Syrian-Iraqi, singer-songwriter has independently released two EPs and a couple of singles with millions of online streams and has sold out shows across North America, Europe, and her native Australia. Although she completed her undergraduate degree in pre-medicine, she chose to pursue music full time instead. She has worked with artists like Ta-ku and Louis the Child, and has received praise from Pharell Williams.
On repeat: “Better Not (Louis the Child feat. Wafia)”
- At just 18-years-old, this Florida native directed and co-starred in Prince's video for "Breakfast Can Wait." Her breakout hit "Lil Bebe" has already garnered millions of streams despite entering the music industry as a dancer. Her debut album, The Plan, features rappers like YG, Lil Yachty, and Lil Baby.
On repeat: “Lil Bebe”
- The 24-year-old British indie rocker took weekend music classes throughout high school and started performing at 18, at which point she released her debut single "Waves." She grew up listening to and inspired by Nina Simone, Amy Winehouse, and The Pixies. She was featured on the Longlist of BBC Music's Sound Of 2018.
On repeat: “In Your Head”
- This upcoming, alternative English singer-songwriter is determined to write her own songs completely without the direction of anybody else. Instead of seeking guidance from labels or professional musicians, she tests her songs at live performances or with snippets on social media. Her latest single "Lottery," hit No. 1 on Billboard's Adult Alternative Songs and she is set to tour with Hozier this year.
On repeat: “Lottery”
- Based in Washington, D.C., this electro-pop trio is led by frontwoman Chelsea Lee who signed a multi-record deal with a major label when she was just 18. They have toured with artists like X Ambassadors, Marian Hill, and Bishop Briggs and released their first EP in July 2018.
On repeat: “Trampoline”
- The Atlanta-born R&B singer recently toured with 6lack and Tierra Whack and is signed to LVRN under Interscope. She was named the first Apple Music Up Next artist of 2019 and her hit single "Girls Need Love" was recently remixed by Drake.
On repeat: “CPR”
- This up-and-coming Philadelphia rapper met with G.O.O.D. Music, Top Dawg Entertainment, and Atlantic Records before deciding to sign with the latter. She engineers, produces, and writes her own songs. Since independently releasing tracks in 2016, she's performed on stage with Kendrick Lamar in 2018 and is expected to release her debut album this year.
On repeat: “Jealousy”
- This punk band from L.A. is led by frontwoman Lydia Night who formed her first band at the young age of seven, performing at school events and her local guitar shop. They are currently on tour with Twenty One Pilots and are set to release a new album sometime this year.
On repeat: “Come Through”