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Emerging Artists to Watch: Spring 2021

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Emerging Artists to Watch: Spring 2021

By Sorcha Collister, TMA’s Manager for Music Partnerships, UK

In today’s social media and streaming environment, it only takes one big song or pop culture moment for up-and-comers to become overnight sensations.

TMA Music has compiled the following recommendations of artists to watch based on data, dialogue with music industry partners, and signals from social media. Our goal is to provide you with a sneak peek of who is on the rise to spark new ideas and celebrate the joy of new music.

Here are 10 of the artists on our radar right now.

Pa Salieu

GENRE: Rap

AGE: 22

KNOWN FOR: Rapper Pa Salieu won BBC Music’s Sound of 2021, identifying him as Britain’s most exciting musical talent thanks to his adventurous, infectious tracks with hard-hitting lyrics about life and death on the “frontline” in Coventry. In topping the Sound of 2021 list, Pa Salieu follows in the footsteps of previous winners like Adele, Ellie Goulding, and Michael Kiwanuka.

LYRICAL THEMES: “I am the voice of the voiceless,” stories of friendship and family, of violence, exclusion, and racism; acting as timeless evidence of British street life at the turn of new decade.

MOST SPOTIFY LISTENS: UK, Ireland

LISTEN TO: “Energy (fest. Mahalia)” (Explicit)


Griff

GENRE: Pop

AGE: 19

KNOWN FOR: “I Love You’s,” which Griff co-wrote, was released by American singer Hailee Steinfeld. Nominated by The Ivors Academy for an Ivor Novello Rising Star Award. Has also co-written two notable songs, “1,000,000 X Better” with English band Honne, and “Inside Out“ with German-Russian DJ Zedd. One of her tracks was licensed for a 2020 Disney Christmas commercial and she’s getting a big push from her label, Warner Records.

LYRICAL THEMES: Griff explores themes that young people can relate to: “the swirling chaos of battling your insecurities with the fortitude of youth.”

MOST SPOTIFY LISTENS: UK, France, Singapore, Taiwan, Australia

LISTEN TO: “Say It Again”


mxmtoon

GENRE: Indie Pop

AGE: 20

KNOWN FOR: From connecting with fans over anime, doing inspired make-up looks based off her music and interests, and her constant Twitch streaming of her gaming capabilities, mxmtoon has successfully put herself in the space of both a musician and gaming creator online. Her Twitch streams, both for gaming and charity, regularly rack up huge engagement and speak highly to how she connects with those in her generation.

LYRICAL THEMES: LGBTQ; “providing some much-needed solace for the shy, the sensitive, the routinely underrepresented.”

 MOST SPOTIFY LISTENS: US, Mexico

 LISTEN TO: “prom dress”


Biig Piig

GENRE: Pop/Hip Hop/Neosoul

AGE: 23

KNOWN FOR: Biig Piig has a gift for intimate, affecting and often brutally frank vignettes about first loves (and losses), of a young generation navigating their way through late-night city life, and about embracing who you are and what you want. Her music draws effortlessly from the worlds of hip-hop, jazz, poetry, soul and R&B.

LYRICAL THEMES: Growing up, relationships

MOST SPOTIFY LISTENS: UK, US, Turkey, Germany, Australia

LISTEN TO: “Feels Right”


Maisie Peters

GENRE: Pop (Acoustic, Folk)

AGE: 20

KNOWN FOR: Her single “Worst of You” has amassed almost 82 million streams, and “Smile” was on the soundtrack for the film “Birds of Prey,” released by Atlantic Records in February 2020. That same month, Peters was announced as the supporting act for the majority of the European leg of Niall Horan’s Nice to Meet Ya Tour.

LYRICAL THEMES: Relatable, diary-entry songs, taking on the mundane normality of life.

MOST SPOTIFY LISTENS: UK, Singapore, Taiwan, Australia

LISTEN TO: “Place We Were Made”


Tayla Parx

GENRE: Pop

AGE: 27

KNOWN FOR: In 2018, Parks was credited as a co-writer on three Billboard Hot 100 top 10 singles; “Love Lies” by Khalid and Normani, “Thank U, Next” by Ariana Grande, and “High Hopes” by Panic! at the Disco. Her writing contributions on Grande’s albumThank U, Next earned her a nomination for the Grammy Award for Album of the Year.

LYRICAL THEMES: LGBTQ, femininity, individuality

MOST SPOTIFY LISTENS: US, Australia

LISTEN TO: “Dance Alone”


Flo Milli

GENRE: Hip Hop, Trap

 AGE: 21

KNOWN FOR: After her singles “Beef FloMix” and “In The Party” went viral on TikTok, she signed a recording deal with RCA Records. Flo Milli was nominated for Best New Artist at the 2020 BET Hip Hop Awards in September 2020.

LYRICAL THEMES: The delicious feeling of being newly successful and witty one-liners.

MOST SPOTIFY LISTENS: US

LISTEN TO: “May I” (Explicit)


Giveon

GENRE: R&B, Singer-Songwriter

AGE: 25

KNOWN FOR: Selected as Apple’s Up Next artist in October 2020. He is best known for his feature on Drake’s single “Chicago Freestyle.” Giveon has released his debut EP “Take Time,” which was been nominated for Best R&B Album at the 2021 Grammy Awards. This was followed by the EP “When It’s All Said and Done,” which peaked at number 93 on the Billboard 200 and number 9 on the Top R&B Albums chart.

LYRICAL THEMES: Heartbreak, inner battles, and emotional conflict.

MOST SPOTIFY LISTENS: US

LISTEN TO: “Stuck On You”


Camilo

GENRE: Pop

AGE: 26

KNOWN FOR: Colombian singer-songwriter Camilo Echeverry released his new album “Por Primera Vez” last year. He penned hits for other artists and is now returning to the spotlight with his “Amar es la Revolución,” or “Love is the Revolution,” mantra. Camilo rose to fame in Colombia after winning a variation of The X Factor. Since then, he has written many songs, both for himself and other artists, one of which (Alessia Cara’s “Querer Mejor”) was nominated for Song of the Year at last year’s Latin Grammy Awards. Camilo is perfectly positioned to break into the US market with his finger-snapping pop songs.

MOST SPOTIFY LISTENS: Mexico, Columbia, Argentina, Peru

LISTEN TO: “Favorito”


Ashnikko

GENRE: Pop

 AGE: 24

KNOWN FOR: Ashnikko has toured with Danny Brown, joined forces with Grimes on “Cry,” collaborated with Beats by Dre on a campaign, and (pre-lockdown) confirmed three sold-out headline shows in London and a Doja Cat support tour. She has an active YouTube channel with engaged followers and counts Billie Eilish, Blackpink, and Miley Cyrus as fans.

THEMES: Empowerment, vengeance, and sex positivity.

MOST SPOTIFY LISTENS: US, Turkey

LISTEN TO: “Daisy” (Explicit)


Here’s a Spotify playlist with all of these up-and-coming artists and their songs to listen to. Listen on Apple Music here. Enjoy!

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