Written by Krystal Beez //
Get familiar with these five emerging artists.
1. SOPHIA SOMAJO
Who: Sophia Somajo
Origin: Stockholm, Sweden
What she’s about: They must be putting something in the water in Sweden. The amount of exemplary pop music that has come from the Scandinavian country is insane, and its latest export, Sophia Somajo, is no different. Somajo first arrived on the scene back in 2007 with a complete DIY project, The Laptop Diaries, and now, she’s back. “Sapphire” is the stuff that delicious pop dreams are made of. It’s got a hook made of gold. Just add in some dark fringes, and you’ll be hooked. This track has been stuck on repeat since my first listen. I can’t wait to see what she does next.
File next to: Sia. Charli XCX. MO.
2. MAGGIE ROGERS
Who: Maggie Rogers
What she’s about: Maggie Rogers is a student at the NYU Clive Davis Institute. You may have seen this video on Facebook during which she plays a song of hers for Pharrell Williams, and his reaction is amazing. That video has gone viral, and the track, “Alaska”, is now available on iTunes. Rogers combines folk, dance and a self-proclaimed genre of movement/feelings in her music. “I wanted to make dance music, or pop music, feel as human as possible,” Rogers recently told Pigeons & Planes. Do yourself a favor and have a listen. That chorus has all the feelings and makes me move. Keep an eye on the name.
File next to: Sylvan Esso. Oh Land. Niki & The Dove.
3. TERROR JR
Who: I just know there are three of them.
Origin: New York? LA? Canada? Greenland?
What they’re about: This enigmatic trio has been keeping its identity on the down low for now (remember when no one knew who ZHU was?), and its first track “3 Strikes” was featured in a Kylie Jenner commercial a few months ago. While some people are convinced that it is, in fact, Jenner singing, The FADER tells a different story. What I do know is that “3 Strikes” is on point, riding a similar wave as Kiiara, with light, airy vocals over a hypnotizing beat. And now “Sugar” has been released, and I am officially hooked. Terror Jr can seemingly do no wrong.
File next to: Kiiara. Felix Snow. The Chainsmokers.
4. JORJA SMITH
Who: Jorja Smith
Origin: Walsall, England
What she’s about: Jorja Smith first came on the scene back in January with the poignant “Blue Lights”, which ignited more than 100,000 plays on Soundcloud in a week. The song was written as part of a school project that asked Smith and her classmates to dissect the legacy of post-colonialism in grime. It quickly put the 18-year-old on the map as she drew comparisons to Amy Winehouse and Lauryn Hill. Since then, Smith has dropped a track entitled “A Prince” featuring English-Irish singer/rapper Maverick Sabre and her latest cut “Where Did I Go”, cementing her place as an emerging R&B artist that you need to know.
File next to: NAO. Zak Abel. Lauryn Hill.
5. ERA ISTREFI
Who: Era Istrefi
Origin: Pristina, Kosovo
What she’s about: Era Istrefi is an Albanian Kosovar singer-songwriter that comes from a family of singers. She has been on the scene in Europe since 2013 and won three Albanian Music Awards. Istrefi recently gained international attention after the release of her latest single “Bonbon”. From there, she signed to Sony Music Entertainment and Ultra Records. According to Spotify, she has the most plays in Hamburg, Germany. Check out “Bonbon”, which is my pick for song of the summer.
File next to: Rihanna. Dua Lipa. Major Lazer.
Who is your favorite emerging artist? Let us know in the comments section below!