Written by Live Nation Staff • December 25, 2016
We’ve talked a lot about what happened over the last year, but now it’s time we start looking forward. Leave it to Big Champagne to create this bangin’ list of up and coming artists so we can treat our ears to the hottest and freshest music on the block. Here are 17 artists you need to look out for next year, brought to you by LNTV and Big Champagne:
It seems like rapper Desiigner came almost out of nowhere but within a year, he already has a 4x platinum record up his sleeve with “Panda” and a gold-certified single with “Tïmmy Turner.” The 19-year-old Bed-Stuy rapper had a tune sharp enough to catch Yeezy’s attention, who featured the track on his Life of Pablo album and gave the young artist a well-deserved boost. According to Big Champagne, “on January 14th Desiigner ranked #12,910 and on April 21st he was #10”—quite a “meteoric rise." Desiigner tells Billboard that he puts everything he sees in his music. “I know I’m saying words; it’s just like you’re tapped into my world. That’s my job as an artist: to show you and make you understand.”
Though the term “super producer” hasn’t been thrown around in recent years, Pomo may be one of the few to bring it back. The Canadian producer has his foot in the door with genres across the board through his numerous remixes and original beats featuring artists like KAYTRANADA, Anderson .Paak, Snakehips and Tinashe. Blending '80s synth pop with a ‘70s-inspired groove line and hip hop beats, Pomo can turn anything into a nu-disco masterpiece.
This multi-instrumentalist and beat maker breathes waves of life and relaxation into the tracks he produces with bright guitar hooks and airy tones, often featuring a smooth-voiced singer to frame the track, sometimes even his own. Misch describes his sound as “a mixture of jazzy, hip hop and smooth.” After hearing some of his tracks, it’s hard to believe such a distinct sound is developed by a 21-year-old producer. Beginning his classical training at the age of three when he first began violin lessons, Misch has spent his whole life studying music and started producing when he was in high school.
Pittsburgh-born singer and songwriter Daya, whose real name is Grace Martine Tandon, had her first EP out only a little over a year ago, but is already up for a Grammy award with her feature in The Chainsmokers’ “Don’t Let Me Down.” The 18-year-old has studied music her whole life, learning how to play the piano, ukulele, flute, saxophone and guitar all by the ripe age of 11. If you’ve heard her recently debuted album Sit Still, Look Pretty, you’ll know this power pop star isn’t planning on stopping anytime soon.
Kiara Saulters, professionally known as Kiiara, is a rising pop star whose music you’ve probably heard without even realizing it. Her most popular song “Gold,” a pop tune with a trap beat and glitchy vocals, took the world by storm when it was featured on an Apple Music ad and now has over 330 million streams on Spotify. When the single was released in 2015, she was home from college for the summer working at a hardware store; now she is headlining festivals like Lollapalooza and getting her work remixed by Lil Wayne.
A rapper ahead of his time, Isaiah Rashad spits words of actuality and strikingly heavy lessons he’s learned through the trials and tribulations of his own life. The Tennessean rapper’s been influenced by a wide range of artists, including OutKast, Gnarls Barkley, Frankie Beverly, Lil Wayne, and more. After touring with Juicy J back in 2012, he’s now a major player in the Top Dawg Entertainment family, home to reigning artists like power group Black Hippy and SZA, Rashad is known widely for his clever hooks and extra sharp wit. He tells Complex, “Getting signed to TDE is like I got accepted into the college I really wanted to be in.” Keep an eye out—this is only the beginning for the “Shot You Down” rapper.
Virginia-bred rapper D.R.A.M. is changing the game and breaking the rules of rap one song at a time. D.R.A.M.—an acronym for “Does Real Ass Music”—is known for the playful, energetic and contagious energy his music creates. His single “CHA CHA,” a bouncy backyard-boogie-type tune, was posted on Beyoncé’s Instagram as a “song that makes [her] happy,” and even influenced the beat of Drake’s “Hotline Bling.” His latest album release, Big Baby D.R.A.M., gave a more sturdy look into his abilities as an artist; GQ author Rohan Nadkari says, "Calling it hip-hop would be a disservice to the album’s sultrier, smoother sounds, but calling it R&B would gloss over the funkier elements of many of the tracks.” Now up for a 2017 Grammy Award for his double-platinum single with Lil Yachty, “Broccoli,” D.R.A.M. is steadily making his way up the ranks.
Kelsea’s second year on Big Champagne’s Emerging Artists chart, she’s had a huge two years of country-pop music success. The first female artist in 25 years to have three Billboard No. 1 singles in a row all from a debut album—“Love Me Like You Mean It,” “Dibs,” and “Peter Pan”—Kelsea said she grew up on “Top 40s pop,” and now is creating it herself. Influenced by the likes of Shania Twain, Dixie Chicks and Keith Urban. Winning the Billboard Women in Music Award for Rising Star of 2015, she is now up for her first Grammy Award for Best New Artist. Whether she wins or not, 2017 is already looking like yet another promising year for Ballerini.
British pop singer Bishop Briggs may only a handful of singles released, but she’s already racked up millions of plays on each song via Spotify. Known for her most popular song “River,” the grungy power pop gem of the year, Bishop has been climbing the charts of Hype Machine as well as Spotify’s Global Viral 50. Finishing up a tour with Coldplay this year, the sultry-voiced singer is proving herself to be an up and coming princess of dark pop. Check out our gallery of Bishop at KROQ’s Almost Acoustic Christmas concert.
Daryl Kent Jones is a hip hop recording artist born in Tallahassee, Florida. Picked up first by Miami-based Cool & Dre on their label Epidemic Records, Jones was eventually introduced to DJ Khaled, who signed him to a joint deal on We the Best Music Group and Epic Records. His single “Don’t Mind” from his first release mixtape in 2015, Tours, was a breakout hit and reached No. 8 on the Billboard 100. Featuring lyrics of French, Spanish, Japanese and Haitian Creole, Jones says the basis for the song was to “tap a nerve in each demographic culture.”
Formerly known as SPZRKT, Xavier Omär is an R&B singer-songwriter who hails from Texas. Growing up in the church, he got his start in music from singing in his church choir and playing the drums. With his most recent EP, titled Everlasting Wave, Xavier wanted to make a statement about his durability as an artist. "I wanted to counteract the stigma that I was just a wave or that I was simply a part of a wave. I'm not just passing through, I'm here. And I'll be here for a very long time,” the 26-year-old artist told Earmilk. The Soulection singer gives way to an uplifting, feel-good style of music, with lyrics that highlight his .
Rock band Kaleo have been marking their territory across the map, first conquering their home country of Iceland. Going viral from a Youtube cover of an Icelandic ballad called "Vor í vaglaskógi,” the four-man group only had a handful of studio recorded songs at the time. After they recorded their first full length studio album in 2013, the album featured five chart topping singles and eventually went gold. Now internationally recognized, their sound is a mixture of blues, folk and indie rock, similar to the likes of Hozier and Ray LaMontagne, and their music has been featured on multiple advertisements and television shows.
One of Def Jam’s latest additions, Bibi Bourelly is a LA-based singer/songwriter who carries an impressive bill of collaborations with artists like Rihanna, Usher and Nick Brewer. A cowriter of multiple hits, such as Rihanna’s lead single “Bitch Better Have My Money,” Selena Gomez’s “Camouflage” and Usher’s “Hard II Love,” to name a few. Not only a writer, she has been featured on songs with Nick Brewer, Lil Wayne and Nas. We were lucky enough to catch her in action at her Red Bull Sound Select show in LA, and we were not let down. With just a handful of singles released along with one EP of her own, we’re looking forward to new material from this hitmaker.
Electronic producer Marius Lauber was raised in Germany and studied the piano and drums to kick off his musical journey. He tells Pitchfork that when he first started listening to dance music, he thought, “It all kind of sounds like the same song.” Thankfully he kept on with the art and now values its hypnotic effects and its sense of storytelling, which shows in his work as Roosevelt. Touring with the likes of Hot Chip and Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs and DJ’ing at world renowned venues like Germany’s Panorama Bar and London’s Fabric, Lauber’s made a name for himself in the dance community around the globe. His 80’s dance-pop sound is contagious and impossible not to dance to—keep an eye out for the German
Dubbed by Noisey as the “Princess of Chicago Rap,” the Windy City’s Seandrea Sledge, known professionally as Dreezy, is a multitalented vocalist who slightly resembles a young Nicki Minaj with her confidence and talent. After signing with Interscope Records late 2014, she’s already worked with T-Pain, Wale, Gucci Mane and Jeremih in just the past year. Her album Schizo is a representation of her persona as an artist versus her entity as an individual. Whether we're looking at Seandrea or Dreezy, we’re impressed by the young R&B dynamo.
Another youngin’ making his way up the rap ranks is 19-year-old Kodak Black. Joining his first rap group at the age of 12 and grew up in the projects of Pompano Beach in Florida. Much of his songs' lyrical focus is on his troubled youth and criminal experiences—heavy subjects for a young teen to be writing about. After Drake posted a video dancing to his breakout song “Skrt,” the self-proclaimed “Best Rapper Alive” got himself a deal with Atlantic Records.
MadeinTYO, which stands for "Made in Tokyo,” is a hip hop recording artist from Atlanta, Georgia. Malcom Jamal Davis released his debut single just this year on Warner Bros Records, “Uber Everywhere,” which has already earned him a platinum certification under his belt. The rapper even got the A$AP Mob stamp of approval when his single “I Want” (featuring 2 Chainz) got the remix treatment from A$AP Rocky and A$AP Nast. As someone who started out recording songs in his bedroom with family, the Tokyo-bred rapper has come a long way.
Jon Bellion released his first mixtape back in 2011 and has already written and produced songs for some of the biggest artists in pop music. A co-writer of Eminem's "The Monster" as well as Jason Derulo's "Trumpets," Bellion's been influenced by the likes of hip hop artists such as Kanye West, J Dilla and Pharrell Williams, as well as indie songwriters like Band of Horses, Phil Collins and Death Cab for Cutie. Not only is he already established as a hitmaker, he is an artist for the people. In an interview with Forbes, he explains how he splits profits evenly with everyone involved in the process of the song, and had even done a Fan Experience tour, in which he visited winning fans and performed for them directly. With his debut studio album The Human Condition, Bellion is ready to give the people what they want—more Jon Bellion.