Artists to watch out for in 2019
2018 was full of groundbreaking, car-slapping albums, EPs and “protects." From The Carter's album EVERYTHING IS LOVE, Drake's Scorpion, Cardi B's Invasion of Privacy, Travis Scott's Astro World, Pusha T's Daytona, Ariana Grande's Sweetener, J. Cole's KOD, to the late Prince’s vault album Piano & a Microphone 1983, our ears and our souls were filled with nostalgic beats, new-age styles and lyrics that made us think about oursleves, our families and our societies.
But let’s not forget some of the artists who may have not made it as high on the charts, but succeeded in creating very defining and powerful music. Here are a few artists to look out for in 2019.
Mahalia is a British singer/songwriter with a soulful voice and sweet personality. Her 2018 EP— Seasons—draws comparisons between the stages of love, to the changing of the seasons. The EP details the start and end of a relationship. At only 20-years-old, her fresh acoustic-soul style is sure to gain crowds of all varieties.
Don’t worry if you can’t pronounce this one. In fact, he makes fun of how hard his name is to say in a few of his songs. This year, Aminé switched up his usual light-hearted R&B/hip-hop sounds with a few more serious songs like “DR. WHOEVER” and “WHY?”— both of which touch upon depression and family issues. He also ties in the iconic sounds of Instagram sensation Rickey Thompson, adding a light-hearted, humorous touch to the ONEPOINTFIVE album.
Tierra Whack truly pushed the boundaries of a typical album. She released a 15-track album titled Whack World, entirely composed of 60-second songs. The 22-year-old from Philadelphia wanted to see how much of a story she could pack in a short amount of time and challenge the entire idea of what a song/story is. She succeeded, even creating a 15-minute audiovisual video of all songs in one. It is by far one of the most impressive and unique projects I have encountered all year.
With beauty, amazing dance moves and impressive vocals, Dani is a triple threat. You may recognize her from her viral dance challenge video of Drake’s “In My Feelings.” The 24-year-old released The Plan, a 13-track R&B album in November 2018. The album channels the sounds of Kehlani, Aaliyah, and Ciara. After touring with Teyana Taylor this year, Dani has gained a ton of recognition and is definitely one to keep on the radar.
This 19-year-old Londoner mixes soulful R&B vocals with cool, funky synth beats. He touches on the toxic culture which emerges from fame, on movie references, on stress and anxiety, as well as young love on his 2018 album BOOT. With a style similar to Frank Ocean, Col3trane is sure to appeal to a youthful demographic.
In 2018 Russ not only released a full-length album titled ZOO, but also surprised listeners with 3 singles on December 23rd, right before the New Year. The singer/songwriter, rapper, the producer has a wide range of topics in his music. ZOO details the jungle that is the artist's’ life, ranging from his dysfunctional family life to the heartbreak of an old lover.
Unfortunately, Goldlink did not release a full album in 2018, but he did drop a few singles, some with well-known artists like Miguel and Christina Aguilera on "Got Friends" and ''Like I Do." There has been lots of talk from news outlets and the artist himself, that a new album is in the works. This lyrical rapper draws upon groovy, layered beats and fast-paced, well-thought-out wordplay. Goldlink is truly an artist unlike any others on the music scene right now.
With the powerful lyricism of Lauryn Hill, and her clear, sensual pop-soul vocals, the newly 21-year-old has already gained attention for her work with The Weekend and Daniel Caesar. However, she is receiving lots of attention worldwide for her two-part EP. Separated into I Used to Know Her: The Prelude and I Used to Know Her- Part 2. She combines relaxed R&B beats and acoustic guitar with coming of age lyrics, intermingling to create two dynamic projects.
Nao’s synth-soul, out of this world 2018 album—Saturn— is romantic and tragic all at the same time. Every song on the album follows a cosmic theme, creating a metaphor for the troubles of love and to that of extraterrestrial, astrological forces. The album and her sound as a whole are fun and trippy.
Starting with YouTube covers, Kiana has come a long way from a room and a mic to a short 7-song album this year. Selfless is simple and sweet. Most of the songs are very basic, ear-pleasing beath with impressive riffs. The highlight of the album is her raw-vocals and unarguable vocal talent
A special thanks and mention to the late Mac Miller. Thank you for blessing us with your presence, amazing music, and sending us off this year with Swimming— the 13-track mentally and emotionally-packed album with funky, fun sounds underlying lyricism on navigating mental health and the hardships of life.