Pushing the boundaries is one thing, doing it effectively, poignantly and with panache so that others will follow you, is something else entirely. Today’s music scene isn’t short on artists trying to be different, but every so often we see someone carrying it off with a certain style, either providing something totally unique or combining a blend of influences and references in a quite brilliant way, and we sit up and take notice.
GetToTheFront.com, an independent music news site, like to champion new music and trendsetters, so here they list five artists evolving rapidly in 2017 and who they expect other performers to be emulating by the end of the year.
Rag ‘n Bone Man
For Rag ‘n Bone Man – real name Rory Graham – the rise to the top has been a slow burner. The 32-year-old from Brighton has been on the fringes of the UK hip hop scene working with various artists and producers for nearly a decade, but it was only in 2013, having signed a publishing deal, that he had designs on a full-time career in music. Even then, two EPs in 2014 and 2015 showed only steady progress, but the almighty smash that was 2016’s ‘Human’ single has now propelled Rag ‘n Bone Man onto a Brit Award for 2017’s Breakthrough Artist. The 2017 album ‘Human’ delivers on its promise to be an ‘eclectic’ album with many influences not necessarily like the single, but certainly there is a soulful groove, hip-hop flavours and a unique voice that explodes with the richness of a Blues singer from the 1950s.
This 23-year-old UK rapper from Croydon is causing quite a stir already as the cousin of Stormzy, but is expected to make a name for herself in 2017, with debut EP ‘Highly Flammable’ showcasing a rare talent. According to recent interviews Nadia used to sleep with a dictionary under her pillow, and it certainly shows, with confident wordplay and verbal panache offering a compelling mixture of Missy Elliot and Eminem in her unique delivery, which is still unquestionably now. It seems a certainty that Nadia will be omni-present this year, having already frequented the festival scene in 2016, so keep an ear and an eye out.
Twenty One Pilots
Formed in 2009, the American duo Twenty One Pilots are another artist that has enjoyed a none-too-brisk rise to prominence. But things are meant to happen when they’re meant to happen, and for Josh Dun and Tyler Joseph that was the 2015 album ‘Blurryface’. The hit singles ‘Stressed Out’ and Ride’ lead to a raft of Grammy nominations and widespread recognition for their mix of hip hop and indie/alternative rock and their innovative use of keyboards. Critics have found it hard to pin them down to a specific genre, which probably underlines their star quality, and with deep lyrics and messages and their self-stated aim to produce music that “makes people think”, Twenty One Pilots are certainly a band we would like others to imitate.
Despite being eliminated from The Voice in 2012, this 21-year-old US singer songwriter has used that experience to motivate a single-minded onslaught on music listeners. Described as “twisted lullabies” and with a feverish nightmare quality, Martinez brings personal stories and a heavy hip hop influence to her music. ‘Dollhouse’ was her most successful single in 2014, but her debut album ‘Cry Baby’ in 2015 brought widespread attention. Martinez adopts an almost Bowie-like alter ego with her striking two-tone hair, and she describes the protagonist from ‘Cry Baby’ as a “fairytale” version of herself. Taking inspiration from Lana Del Ray, Fiona Apple and Ariana Grande, Martinez has created a fascinating character and we can’t wait to follow her story.
As a former singer in Acid Jazz band Crisp, Sia found herself in London in 1997 struggling to kickstart a solo career. But seven albums later, the 41-year-old Australian has finally broken through, with her hip hop, funk and soul combination really making waves. After song writing for other artists for a couple of years, Sia’s sixth album ‘1000 Forms of Fear’ made the right impact in 2014, with the hit single ‘Chandelier’ demonstrating the hills and valleys of her amazing vocal range, and the explosion of her unusual delivery took her into the US charts. Her seventh album ‘This Is Acting’ perfectly illustrates the thoughtful self-analysis that is sure to maintain her ascent on to big things in 2017.
This is a sponsored post by Get To The Front which is a 24/7 online music news magazine.
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