Looking for a less mainstream sound or just wondering what else is out in the musical world besides the same old, same old? Still listening to Beyoncé’s Lemonade and looking for the next move? (No judgements!) Have no fear! Here is a list of 10 badass music artists that should be rotating in your playlist as we speak.
10. Spree Wilson: Spree Wilson is a young man from Nashville, Tennessee. His sound is reminiscing of the blues, soul, and rock and roll. He is definitely a man of many sounds and styles. His guitar skills are on another level and his writing skills speak for itself. Spree Wilson is known for co-writing Afrojack’s single, “The Spark” and his own personal recent work includes his newest single, “Counterfeit” that came out this year. Wilson also known for working with Mentor, Dallas Austin, and internationally known hip-hop artist Q-Tip.
9. Tish Hyman: Latisha "Tish" Hyman is a 33-year-old singer-songwriter from the Bronx. Tish has strong bold vocals; she reminds me of a new age Lauryn Hill meets Missy Elliot. Her 2016 album Dedicated To, takes you through her personal struggles of how she got where she is now. With records like "Lesbehonest" and "Subway Art" you can hear her strength through her powerful vocals and New York style beats and instrumentals.
8. Chavis Chandler: Chavis Chandler is an independent artist originally from Detroit Michigan. He gives me vibes of soulful hip-hop, with a deep smoothing raspy voice, it’s almost like he’s singing a lullaby to you. Don’t be fooled though, Chandler can also deliver what is known as, “verbal vomit,” reminding you that he is indeed from Detroit Michigan. His 2016 album, SangFoMe including must listen tracks, “My Love” and “Don’t Let Me Go.”
7. Tiffany Gouche: Tiffany Gouche is an openly queer woman of colour that is no stranger to the music industry and yet until 4 months ago, I haven’t heard of her or her music. From Inglewood, California, she’s been named by Okayplayer “Top Artist to Watch in 2016”, and they were not lying. Tiffany has a smooth sound that would make even The Weeknd catch feelings. Her 2015 album, Pillow Talk includes track “Red Rum Melody” that sweeps you up in her soothing vocals and low key beats.
6. Anfa Rose: Anfa Rose is a young independent artist from Sydney, Australia. Mostly known on SoundCloud with his recent album Debauched. Anfa Rose is a young artist known for his “effortlessly universal” sound, giving you different parts of himself to you in every track. With passions concerning art and music, Anfa Rose delivers in both musical talent and with his very own artwork for his album covers.
5. Mick Jenkins: Mick Jenkins, originally from Alabama, but known as a Chicago rapper is the truth. Jenkins delivers powerful lyrics with a spoken word presence within his music. Growing up, Jenkins was associated with YCA (Young Chicago Authors) and it shows within his tracks, delivering powerful messages and metaphors. Within his album, The Water[s], his track “Jazz” fills your ears with rhythmic pleasure, his pungent voice has deep dark melodic tones that will put you in your feelings.
4. Isaiah Rashad: Tennessee native, Isaiah Rashad, is known for his southern-neo soul/hip-hop sound. Rashad has toured for Juicy J, Joey Bada$$ & Smoke DZA. Rashad is signed to TDE (Top Dawg Entertainment), and he just dropped his newest album, The Sun’s Tirade. Yet, the album that got me hooked is his 2014 album, “Cilvia Demo.” His track, “Heavenly Father” resonated with me, with his talks of struggle and moving on. You can hear the growth from this album to his newest one. His lyrical skill has developed greatly and with the newest album, he has collabed with amazing artists such as Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock and SZA.
3. R.Lum.R: There is not much that we know about R.Lum.R besides that he’s independent and from Nashville, TN. What we do know is, R’s sound is simplistically beautiful. His sound feels like alternative R&B with soft soulful melodies. With singles such as “Be Honest” and “Frustrated” which is very popular on Spotify will have you wanting more.
2. Ray Blk: From South London, Ray Blk has a strong presence even through headphones. Her sound is like 90's R&B and she goes extremely hard and too real. With her singles "50/50” and "My Hood,” Ray invites you to her love life and home. Like Q-tip would say, this lady has lyrics to go! Rumors of her newest album, Everybody Loves Ray should be coming out soon!
1. Quincy Vidal: Quincy Vidal is a Brooklyn Duo of creative geniuses, Le’Asha Julius and CE. This duo has the dopest sound I’ve heard in some time. Their sound is original, unique and thoughtful. Le’Asha reminds me of Lauryn Hill when she was in the Fugees; giving cut throat lyrics that literally make you rewind the track back. With each track they give such culture and life, being young black and trying to make it. Their 2016 album Chi’ren reminds you that conscious hip-hop isn’t dead.
Words by Tesia Pennie
Photograph by Pierre Ware
Illustrations by Nylo G