"Do you remember when the guitar was a wild, unpredictable instrument? (...) Well, Daniel Champagne still plays the guitar in that bold, unconstrained way" - Ted Gioia recommends the Australian guitarist (now living in Nashville). "You feel as if he just invented the instrument yesterday and was discovering its possibilities afresh. And I haven’t even started telling you about his singing and songwriting—but go find out for yourself."

Darkest hour
April 05, 2023

Heartworms - "the next great cult act"

"There’s a real depth to Heartworms’ music that matches the image, and proves her to be a true and powerful outlier of her time" - NME is delighted with the debut EP by Heartworms, London goth/post-punk band. Fronted by musician and poet Jojo Orme, formed in 2020, their 4-song introductory release ‘A Comforting Notion’ feels "urgent and important, brimming with all the promise of the next great cult act." DIY Mag feels similar about her: "a Seriously Fucking Cool new artist with vision and formidable talent to her name."

The thrill is coming
February 01, 2023

Raye to finally release her debut album

Raye was signed to Polydor Records as a teenager, she wrote songs for Beyoncé and Little Mix, sang on top 10 hits by David Guetta and Jax Jones, but her label refused to release her debut album. After she extricated herself from Polydor and struck out as an independent artist, she had the biggest-selling single in the UK within 18 months - 'Escapism', a hard-hitting account of abusing drink, drugs and meaningless sex to get over a break-up. Her long-awaited debut album, '21st Century Blues', is out this Friday, with hard-hitting stories of sexual abuse, self-doubt, misogyny...

Will be happy to say "told you so"
January 13, 2023

MixMag chooses 24 best new artists

"There’s an exciting energy in the air at the start of each year, knowing that a whole new wave of exciting music and dancefloors moments are soon to be experienced" - MixMag introduces the selection of 24 DJs, producers, and rappers to watch in 2023. Included are English rapper Clavish with "some of the most formidable wordplay in UK rap right now", Irish DJ Fio Fa - "expect to see him get dancefloors shaking in 2023", Chinese DJ Hao who "pulls dancers through pneumatic beats up to blinding trance-inflected climaxes with a sense of momentum that’s relentless and exhilarating", and LA DJ Introspekt because "any artist who can master the full stylistic range garage offers is immediately essential".

Ana Moura is one of Portugal’s biggest stars, a fado singer (or fadista) who has sold millions of records, and has just released her seventh album. This time Noura is reinventing the ‘Portuguese blues’ again, mixing its emotional intensity with kizomba, samba and trap. Guardian presents the fado star.

Good days are coming
October 26, 2022

Stereogum picks out the 40 best new bands of 2022

A nice list - Stereogum chooses 40 musicians who have done "something... in the past year that makes us feel like they’ve reached or are about to reach their full potential". It's not really a global list - the vast majority is American, and a few come from the UK or Australia - but still, it's quite colorful. The full list: Age Of Apocalypse, Anxious, Blackbraid, Caroline, Chat Pile, Dazy, Dijon, Doechii, DOMi & JD Beck, Dummy, Dust Star, Ethel Cain, Fugitive, Glorilla, High Vis, Jane Inc, Jane Remover, Jockstrap, King Hannah, Knifeplay, LF System, Lowertown, Maria BC, Mess Esque, MSPAINT, Naima Bock, Pool Kids, Rachika, Nayar, Rat Tally, Ripped To Shreds, Romero, RXK Nephew, Saucy Santana, Scowl, They Are Gutting A Body Of Water, Trapland Pat, Undeath, Why Bonnie, Zoh Amba, and ZORA.

January 09, 2022

PinkPantheress is BBC's Sound Of 2022

20-year-old PinkPantheress, who only started releasing music a year ago, has won BBC Radio 1's Sound Of 2022. The singer, who goes by her TikTok username, remains shrouded in mystery - she comes from Bath and currently lives in London, where she's studying film. Her real name remains a secret and, until relatively recently, she didn't show her face on social media. Indie-pop duo Wet Leg came second in this year's list, with powerhouse vocalist Mimi Webb third.

London rapper Central Cee is the first musician shortlisted on BBC's Sound of 2022. He's been doing music for 10 years, but he's been in the limelight for the last year. He talked to BBC about his perseverance: "Within those 10 years there's obviously been bumps in the road and whatever but I was determined for the most part". His plan for 2022 is to - "stay alive and get richer!".

Watch out list!
November 05, 2021

Stereogum's 40 best new bands of 2021

PinkPantheress / Horsegirl / Bruiser Wolf

Stereogum picks out 40 musicians "that make us most excited about the future", which includes Bruiser Wolf, Olivia Rodrigo, Enumclaw, For Your Health, Indigo de Souza, Horsegirl, Mustafa, PinkPantheress among others. The criteria is that "all of them are doing something worth hearing right now, and deserve to have your ears on them going forward". Check out the full list.

One by one
November 01, 2021

Vevo unveils 2022's Artists To Watch

Lola Young

Vevo has unveiled its 2022 DSCVR Artists To Watch list, featuring 21 exciting new artists in the US, UK, Europe and beyond. The Vevo list which has in the past spotlighted the likes of Billie Eilish, Lewis Capaldi and Sam Smith early in their careers. MBW presents this year's cohort:

  • Andy Rivera
  • ArrDee
  • Brray
  • Chiiild
  • Clinton Kane
  • Enny
  • EST Gee
  • Grip
  • Jessica Winter
  • Lola Young
  • Mimi Webb
  • Nija
  • Pip Millett
  • Poupie
  • Ronisia
  • Sen Senra
  • Seori
  • Serious Klein
  • Wet Leg
  • Willie Jones

Pitchfork talked to five promising new artists about structural racism, the many conundrums of relying on streaming services, the effect of COVID on their careers and communities, over recording techniques, album art, and other topics. Amaarae sums up their common identity - "We fought to have our voices heard and to unlearn a lot of our past traumas" - and looks into the future - "I think the generation after us is just so radical and self-aware in a way that we’ve just started to learn. They’re fearless".

Yves Tumor / Moor Mother / Navy Blue

Pitchfork made a list of 25 new artists "that help us consider the future of music: how it’ll be made, where it’ll come from, what role it’ll play in shaping scenes, and how genre lines may be increasingly dismantled". Some of the promising ones the P staff chose: MIKE for being "a beacon within the modern rap underground", Black Midi for "oddity and unpredictability", 100 Gecs for their "extreme pop music", Moor Mother for her "radical message", Bartees Strange for "his vision of what guitar music can encompass", Yves Tumor for their "restless experimentation", Amaarae for "bending the boundaries of Afro-fusion music", Navy Blue for being the "leader of a new class of introspective rapper-producers", Blood Incantation because they've "elevated old-school death metal into a psychedelic, ever-expanding solar system".

“What do they say? ​‘It takes 10 years to become an overnight success’” - Brighton raper Arrdee says to The Face about the fame he is experiencing right now. He has been rapping since the age of 12, but he blew up only this year, with his 'Cheeky Bars' freestyle. He's also on Tion Wayne x Russ Millions' song 'Body 2', also featuring 3x3E1 & ZT, Bugzy Malone, Fivio Foreign, Darkoo, and Buni. Arrdee's latest single 'Oliver Twist' needs to prove that he's “smiley, I’m fun and bubbly, and cheeky”.

Part-punk crooner, part-singer-songwriter, part-experimental rapper, Teezo Touchdown is one of America’s shiniest new enigmas - The Face presents Texan rapper. "The surreal genre collagist re-emerged in 2020 with a series of oddball singles" with a look "that simultaneously references gangsta rap, ​’00s Hot Topic punk and ​’80s hair metal icons". He says he's just "trekking this journey. “So wherever you hop in, don’t worry, you’re early. This is a long ride that we have here, so wherever you hop in, come on. There’s room for you”.

The rising south-London rapper Enny talks to Guardian about a genre-generated shift in hip-hop and music in general: “It’s almost like a Renaissance moment for women who are taking a stand in what they want to do, and just being whoever they want to be when it comes to music. They’re not getting stuck in boxes, or focused on what they think that people might want to hear, or what labels are telling them to do. They’re just being themselves". There were women in hip-hop before, of course, but they were sporadic, now there's a movement: “Before Cardi [B] and Nicki [Minaj], it was Lil’ Kim and Missy Elliott, like you could pinpoint specific moments. But now you’ve got hundreds of lady rappers”.

She won't go quietly
April 26, 2021

One to watch: Kira Skov

Danish singer Kira Skov has released 14 albums in her career, but the new one, 'Spirit Tree' coming out in May is special. It is a duet album featuring Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Mark Lanegan, John Parish, Jenny Wilson, Bill Callahan and others. Skov explains the idea to TNC: "Uniting forces with artist that has specialized in something, that I could not master myself and vice versa, merging and creating something more than we could have done by our selves. I wanted to distill this experience on this album. It's a homage to the duet".

April 21, 2021

One to watch: Pom Pom Squad

"I write sad music. It’s how I process and it makes me feel good" - Pom Pom Squad's frontwoman Mia Berrin says in a Stereogum interview about their debut album 'Death Of A Cheerleader', out June 25. It's not that sad-sounding at all, the album is "bigger and brighter than Pom Pom Squad ever has, spanning Misfits-style punk bursts, longer grunge ballads, and a lot of pop".

Global idea
April 19, 2021

One to watch: Arooj Aftab

Pakistan-born, New York-based artist Arooj Aftab is releasing her new album 'Vulture Prince' later this month, with South Asian, reggae, western indie music influences, which she explains in an NPR interview: "I sometimes feel that, even approaching my own music - what I mean is South Asian music - is like the quintessential imposter syndrome situation where it's like, you know, I haven't really studied this, and I never went back since 19. I might be appropriating it, too, you know? So I'm always kind of making sure that I'm actually inheriting the music with integrity and with some kind of depth and with some kind of respect for its history rather than using it".

Angel of dark
April 16, 2021

One to watch: Amigo the Devil

Consequence chose dark Americana singer-guitarist Amigo the Devil as their Artist of the month, and had interviewed him. His sophomore album, 'Born Against', released, Friday, April 16, as he's told the C,"has to do with … doubting faith itself. … I kept asking myself, 'Are we born a blank slate?' … or 'Are we built pre-programmed with things'. It was more of that exploration of intention versus purpose, of discovery versus instinct”. He also discusses three of his biggest influences: Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen, and Fiona Apple.

Golden soul
April 01, 2021

Ones to watch: Navy Blue

“A lot of young Black kids don’t have healthy outlets, writing has become mine. It’s beautiful to take tremendous pain and turn it into something powerful” - LA-based rapper and producer Navy Blue says in an extensive Pitchfork interview. He released his first two albums in 2020, and the reaction of his fans is what makes a difference to him: "What really touches me is just how many people are touched by the music. The messages I get talking about 'I felt this too' are priceless to me. That’s when I realized what I’m doing is special because that means more to me than making money off of it. Of course, being able to take care of people and buy nice things is great. But you need to be able to help yourself while also helping other people. Being honest in my music is how I learned to love myself".

What's not to love about love and friendship
March 12, 2021

Ones to watch: Avant-pop duo Smerz

"Atmospheric techno, ‘00s R&B, sampled orchestras and cut-up beats all at once" - The New Cue describes Smerz, their new favourite artist of the week. The Norvegian duo takes their name from the German phrase for heartbreak - “herzschmerz”, and have released their debut album 'Believer' on XL Recordings last month. Pitchfork has described it quite accurately: "There’s a creeping insistence to this music, thriving off a dual sense of unease and temptation, and the best songs blur the line between hedonism and anxiety". The band says it's "a record about love and friendship".

Run far, run!
March 08, 2021

One to watch: Nuha Ruby Ra

London artist Nuha Nuby Ra has released her debut EP 'How To Move', an avant-garde pop record that draws from the punk DIY ethos in order to experiment with music. The Quietus hears Nuha Nuby Ra finding herself in opposition to many things on 'How To Move' – "convention, sensuality, misery, vexation – and transforms it all right in front of us". In the Wax Music interview, Nuha Nuby Ra explains what her influences are, and how she made her EP.

Smoke at the piano bar
March 01, 2021

Ones to watch: Lady Blackbird

Los Angeles-based singer Lady Blackbird is releasing her debut album 'Black Acid Soul', a pop piano-jazz-sounding one. The New Cue says Lady Blackbird's "arresting voice breathes new life into old jazz moves. It’s powerful stuff".

Four green yellows
February 18, 2021

As cool as it gets: Psychedelic jazz of Apifera

Named after a variety of bee-attracting orchid, Apifera create free, improvisatory, and live sound, combining jazz, psychedelia, and electronics. They recently released their debut album 'Overstand' for Stones Throw, with influences ranging from folk music, classical music and transcendental jazz. Their recent live tape shows them more in electronic mode.

Black James Bond
February 07, 2021

One to watch: Irish rapper/singer Denise Chaila

Zambian-born, Limerick-based Denise Chaila is very proud of her Zambian-Irish identity, and quite eager to spread her message of freedom and unity with much self-confidence, as she said on an Irish TV show - "I would regret the things that I do not say far more than I would regret anything that I do say". He explored her identity very early on with her song 'Duel Citizenship', and last month her first mixtape 'Go Bravely' was nominated for Ireland’s Choice Music prize, both for best album, and best song for a track 'Chaila', about her name. Her latest song 'ANSEO' might just be her big break.

Happy being
January 21, 2021

Arlo Parks: Find enjoyment where you can

“I know sometimes there’s chaos and you’re running around kind of stressed out, but I’m just reveling in the fact that I have no idea what I’m doing” - CoS' Artist of the Month Arlo Parks says in an extensive interview. London singer (20) is about to release her debut album 'Collapsed in Sunbeams', which took a while to make - "Build things slowly, and don’t expect to immediately feel better or be better. And in the meantime, find enjoyment where you can as well".

They do know
January 07, 2021

Pa Salieu wins BBC Sound of 2021

English rapper Pa Salieu has been identified as Britain's most exciting musical talent this year by the BBC thanks to "his adventurous, infectious tracks with hard-hitting lyrics about life and death on the 'frontline' in Coventry". Previous winners of the "BBC Sound of" list include Adele, Ellie Goulding and Michael Kiwanuka. He shared a life lesson he learned in COV - "The thing that matters is what you're going to do with it - let it eat you up, or rise above it? Getting shot is the same as getting fired from your job. What are you going to do with it? Rise up, or what? That's life. Everything is a lesson".


NME did a great job of picking out 100 artists from across the world, that are expected to make a name for themselves this year. Here's a few of them:

Death Tour - hardcore hyper-pop

Enny - slick London rapper

Hollow Sinatra - blender of genres

Pa Salieu - already on end-of-year lists

Baby Keem - Kendrick Lamar's protege with a great flow

Marijannah - stoner/metal from Singapore where drugs are strictly forbidden

Skullcrusher - atmospheric folk

For Those I Love - The Streets-meets-James Blake Irish singer

Fousheé - alter-soul

Frosty - a talented rapper and lyricist

Genesis Owusu - R'n'B meets rap, somewhat grandiose

Goy Gumbani - chill, conscious rap

Kenny Hoopla - indie-pop

Martha Skye Murphy - pianist and Nick Cave collaborator

Scalping - techno meets punk

"I never thought I was going to be a singer. I'm not making music to be recognised as a singer. It's been a by-product of it that that has happened" - UK singer Greentea Peng told BBC, which chose her as their Sound of 2021. "I'm literally doing my healing process in front of everyone because every song I'm writing is just me going through the works, I'm not making anything up" - she added about her music-making experience.

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