T here are millions of emerging musical artists from all cultures, languages, and genders everyday, but there are some more prominent than others.
These women are breaking out to become in the future some of the best known artists in the industry, all with idiosyncratic sounds that still somewhat resemble each other. These women are emerging a new sound, on its face subdued, yet possessing hard hitting bass with choruses and curated lyrics about introspective topics such as the afterlife, discrimination of all forms, suicide, youth incarceration, and more. They all have their own flavors, styling these templates with personalization, but this fresh sound is not only good, but sure to stay and only grow in popularity.
The story of Maggie Rogers is one of the few viral video stories to have a productive ending. In this case, she was in a masters class at NYU taught by Pharrell Williams. A video caught his priceless reaction to her song Alaska when she was presenting it to him: utterly impressed. As this video spread, so did her fledgling fanbase, eager for more. She has since released her first EP entitled Now That The Light Is Fading, with five songs: Alaska (an ode to new beginnings), Dog Years, On + Off, Color Song (reminiscent of summer campfire hymns), and Better. She utilizes her invitingly haunting voice in conjunction with impeccable production and lyrics about change, distinction, and shock to enchant her blend of folk and pop in her EP. She has also released videos for some of these singles that are equally as curated and thought provoking. Hopes are high for her future endeavors and she is sure to continue to climb through her unique qualities already shining through.
Californian Billie Eilish made her name through remixes of her song Ocean Eyes by Blackbear and Astronomyy, and though this became her most prominent song to date, her new song Bellyache shows her development as an artist, hitting deeper emotional complexities and a more intricate balance between relaxing and energizing. Starting on Soundcloud and with only three official singles out, she is someone to be watched in 2017.
Alternative R&B artist NAO has a mystical quality about her voice strewn throughout her album For All We Know. Raised in England and studying jazz vocals, she takes a refreshing perspective on R&B. Her music, with big hits such as Bad Blood and Girlfriend, resembles Billie Eilish in the manner that it both calms and energizes. Hopefully more releases will be in store for NAO in 2017; her style is something worth the anticipation.
Finally, Australian Kita Alexander has learned to mix folk rock with an alternative sound. She’s only released some singles and her EP, Like You Want To, in 2015. Most recently, she released a single Damage Done, which though reminiscent of her earlier music, shows refinement in her sound. It’s upbeat without being overpowering, includes a lot less bass than her EP. Though about love, but far more complexly than most with a particularly visual lyric: “It’s hard to see your color when we all just bleeding to war.” Perhaps she will release a full album this year, something I’m sure would only continue to grow her fan base.