Five emerging artists you need to hear

Sabrina Claudio, Little Simz, Grace Mitchell, Amy Shark & TRANSVIOLET

Get ready to discover your new favorite artist.


Sabrina Claudio

Who: Sabrina Claudio

Origin: Miami, Florida

What she’s about: Growing up in Miami, Claudio would eventually be drawn to pop-oriented contemporary R&B, similar to that of Mariah Carey. Despite only being on the scene for about two years, she’s already set to be the next big thing in R&B. Last year she dropped six-song EP, which has gained millions of plays and highlights her raw talent and astounding songwriting abilities. The title track “Confidently Lost“, for one, showcases the sultry vulnerability in her voice. Claudio describes the song as being inspired by her own experience being “vulnerable and lost, (but) almost like a good kind of lost.” Check out the full breakdown on Genius here, and watch her latest music video release below.

File next to: Jorja Smith. Jhene Aiko. H.E.R.

Follow: Facebook. Soundcloud. Twitter. Spotify.


Little Simz

Who: Simbiatu Ajikawo

Origin: London, UK

What she’s about: Simbiatu Ajikawo, aka Little Simz, might not be considered an emerging artist in her native London. In fact, she was named Breakthrough Artist of the Year at BBC DJ Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide Awards in 2015. However, here in the U.S., you probably haven’t heard much of Little Simz. Well, get ready because you’re about to. In 2016, Simz dropped the phenomenal Stillness in Wonderland on her own Age 101 label. The record contains her lucid storytelling skills and speaks to her touring lifestyle while featuring collaborations with Bibi Bourelly as well as Syd and Chronixx. Most recently, the UK native released an introspective and compelling track called “Backseat” in addition to another collaboration she worked on with Bourelly that’s titled “Customz” and is a raw and unmastered gem about the highs and lows of a traveling artist. Make sure to keep an eye on Simz.

File next to: GoldLink. Kehlani. Lauryn Hill.

Follow: Facebook. Soundcloud. Twitter. Spotify.


Grace Mitchell

Who: Grace Mitchell

Origin: Portland, Oregon

What she’s about: Arriving on the scene at the tender age of 16, Mitchell first opened eyes with her R&B influenced cover of Hall & Oates’ “Maneater”, which was on the soundtrack for “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”. Since then, she has released two EPs with standout tracks like “NoLo” and “White Iverson“, creating a sound that blends alt-pop and R&B with an air of attitude and candor — something that is truly hard to come by these days. So far this year, she has released four new songs that have me eagerly awaiting more. 2017 is going to be the year that Mitchell takes off, and if you missed her at Coachella (read our festival review here), see her perform on Friday, August 11th at Outside Lands. You can also check out her latest release below, which surely doesn’t disappoint.

File next to: Verite. Anna of the North. Phoebe Ryan.

Follow: Facebook. Soundcloud. Twitter. Spotify.


Amy Shark

Who: Amy Billings

Origin: Gold Coast, Australia

What she’s about: Better known by her stage name Amy Shark, Billings is an indie-pop singer-songwriter from Down Under. The Aussie has been an active musician on YouTube since 2014, but her career really took off last year with her single “Adore” (listen to it below). The song was voted at No. 2 on the Triple J Hot 100 (with Flume’s “Never Be Like You” coming in at No. 1) and went double platinum. It was also remixed by Dave Sitek of TV on the Radio. Shark’s personal lyrics and in-your-face chorus arm her with a uniquely emotional sound that connects and resonates with the listener — and you can’t help but want to hear it again and again. Some might think that Shark is just a one-hit wonder, but “Weekends” proves that is not the case. And judging from the response of her recent performance at Australia’s famous Splendour in the Grass festival, you are going to want to see her perform live when she arrives in the U.S. You’ve been warned.

File next to: Vera Blue. Maggie Rogers. Paramore.

Follow: Facebook. Soundcloud. Twitter. Spotify.



Who: Sarah McTaggart, Judah McCarthy, Michael Panek and Jon Garcia

Origin: Los Angeles, California

What they’re about: This foursome will satisfy all of your indie-electropop needs. Their slick debut single “Girls Your Age” made waves in 2015 and was remixed by Twin Shadow. And this year, they’re back and ready to take over the world after releasing their explosive single titled “Kaleidoscopes” and featuring Reo Cragun, followed by their eponymous EP, which is full of exceptional songwriting and shimmery synths. You’re going to want to get to know this band, so listen to their latest single, a brooding and delicious slice of electropop goodness, below.

File next to: Halsey. Sia. XYLO.

Follow: Facebook. Soundcloud. Twitter. Spotify.

Who is your favorite emerging artist? Let us know in the comments section below!

Five female emerging artists you need to hear

Billie Eilish, Sigird, Sampa the Great, Mabel & Jessie ReyezWritten by Krystal Beez //

Get ready to discover your new favorite artist.


Billie Eilish

Who: Billie O’Connell

Origin: Los Angeles, California

What she’s about: Better known by her stage name Billie Eilish, LA’s Billie O’Connell is our youngest emerging artist this month. At only the age of 15, she’s releasing the kind of music that ethereal, dark pop dreams are made of. Her debut single “Ocean Eyes” was released in 2015. Eilish collaborated with her brother on the track, and it’s a beautifully arranged and highly impressive debut. Her voice just seems to float in the air as the chorus comes in: “No fair / You really know how to make me cry when you give me those ocean eyes / I’m scared / I’ve never fallen from quite this high falling into your ocean eyes”. Though Eilish had been a part of the LA Children’s Choir, her initial focus was dance. We’re so glad that this rising star decided to explore recording. Her latest song “Bored ” comes from the Netflix original series “13 Reasons Why” soundtrack. And don’t forget to check out Marian Hill’s sultry “Bellyache” remix, too.

File next to: Lorde. Lapsley. AURORA.

Follow: Facebook. Soundcloud. Twitter. Spotify.



Who: Sigird Solbaak Raabe

Origin: Alesund, Norway

What she’s about: Our next emerging artist young’n is Sigrid, a 20-year-old from a small town in Norway. Her debut single “Don’t Kill My Vibe ” is about the time she was put in a writing session with middle-aged men. Spoiler alert: they killed her vibe. The single was released in February and was immediately named “Hottest Record in the World” on BBC Radio 1. In the few short months since then, Sigrid has released her debut EP, and Gryffin remixed “Don’t Kill My Vibe“. One thing that I love about Sigrid, and what I think sets her apart from others is the fact that even with big production, each song is piano-based and focused on the songwriting. This aspect might be due to being influenced by Joni Mitchell along with Chet Baker when she was young. Make sure to pop on Sigrid’s live and acoustic versions to really hear those lyrics and that big voice. You’ll want to keep an eye on this one.

File next to: MO. Lorde. Jessie Reyez.

Follow: Facebook. Soundcloud. Twitter. Spotify.


Sampa the Great

Who: Sampa Tembo

Origin: Zambia, South Africa

What she’s about: Born in Zambia, raised in Botswana and currently residing in Australia, Sampa the Great is a modern poet. Her lyrics contain political and societal themes, while her debut release The Great Mixtape is an inspiring and accomplished piece of work. With tracks like “Female” and “Blue Boss ” and a tour in support of Kendrick Lamar, it’s easy to see why Sampa is about to the next big thing. Last month, the urban poet unleashsed HERoes Act 2, a three-track EP for Red Bull Sound Select featuring British songstress Estelle. So, if you need a new hip-hop artist in your life, go listen to Sampa’s EP. It’s beautifully produced and uplifting with poetic lyrics. Plus, Estelle is on each track so what’s not to love? Furthermore, check out her feel-good collaboration “For Good” with Remi. You won’t be disappointed.

File next to: Lauryn Hill. Ray BLK. Remi.

Follow: Facebook. Soundcloud. Twitter. Spotify.



Who: Mabel McVey

Origin: London, United Kingdom

What she’s about: Despite having quite famous parents (Neneh Cherry and Massive Attack producer Cameron McVey), Mabel is beginning to make a name for herself. She spent a large portion of her childhood in London before moving to Stockholm at the age of 15. It was there that she undertook a three-year course at Rytmus (where Robyn and Tove Lo also attended). But it wasn’t until she came back to London that she felt free to create her specialized R&B sound that’s 90’s-influenced with London beats. Mabel first stepped onto the scene in 2015 with “Know Me Better” before her second single “My Boy My Town” caught the attention of Annie Mac and was remixed by Shura. The following year, she was nominated for the BBC Music Sound of 2016 poll. Get familiar with the name and check out the latest track from her Bedroom EP below because we expect Mabel’s debut album to be the stuff 90’s R&B dreams are made of.

File next to: RAY BLK. Bibi Bourelly. NAO.

Follow: Facebook. Soundcloud. Twitter. Spotify.


Jessie Reyez

Who: Jessica Reyez

Origin: Toronto, Canada

What she’s about: Reyez first garnered attention in 2014 for her collaborative track with King Louie entitled “Living in the Sky”. From there, Reyez was approached for her songwriting and vocal talents by the likes of Diplo, Chance the Rapper and Babyface. Last month, she released her debut EP Kiddo. The great thing about Reyez is not only how she blends pop, hip-hop and R&B influences, but also her honest and at times, intense storytelling ability. Reyez dives deep into the story about her cheating ex like on “Figures” and what it’s like dealing with sexism in the music industry as she explains on her latest single “Gatekeeper”, which even she created a short film for. You definitely don’t want to miss her SF debut at The Rickshaw Stop this June.

File next to: Bibi Bourelly. Sigrid. Melanie Martinez.

Follow: Facebook. Soundcloud. Twitter. Spotify.

Who is your favorite emerging artist? Let us know in the comments section below!

Five emerging artists you need to hear

Ray BLK, Kali Uchis, KING, MUNA & Camp CopeWritten by Krystal Beez //

Get familiar with these five emerging artists.



Who: Rita Ekwere

Origin: South London, United Kingdom

What she’s about: Ray is taken from her last name, and BLK stands for “Building, Living, Knowing.” Many have dubbed her “the Lauryn Hill of the UK,” and it’s not hard to see why. Born in Nigeria, Ray came to London at the age of four. Many of her songs are influenced by “My Hood” and are about female empowerment. Her lyrics are truthful and brash and sung with such raw, soulful vocals. Listen to any of her tracks, and you can hear how Ray is not only a voice of strength and confidence for herself, but also for those who listen. Her music video for “Chill Out“, which dropped last year, was filmed in Jamaica and features the Gully Queens, a group of LGBT women who have been forced out of their homes. “It put a lot into perspective because every day of their lives is a struggle and a battle to stay alive — yet they were so happy, so full of life,” Ray says of the experience. She recently won the BBC’s Sound of 2017, beating out Nadia Rose and Jorja Smith. If Ray is any indication of what the sound of 2017 is, then this is going to be a great year for music.

File next to: Lion Babe. Lauryn Hill. Jorja Smith.

Follow: Facebook. Soundcloud. Twitter. Spotify.


Kali Uchis

Who: Karly Loaiza

Origin: Colombia

What she’s about: Kali Uchis (born Karly Loaiza) does it all as a singer-songwriter, record producer and music video director hailing from Colombia. Five years ago, she released her self-produced mixtape Drunken Babble, which garnered attention from high-profile rappers like Snoop Dogg and Tyler, the Creator. In 2015, she released Por Vida independently, which includes standouts “Loner” and “Ridin Round” (below). Loaiza never really wanted to be a singer; she wanted to be a director. Just like she sings “I don’t even wanna know ya / I don’t wanna be known” in the chorus of “Loner”, you can sense that she’s more about staying in the background than in the public eye. Influenced by music from the 50’s and 60’s, and by beautiful women who were never taken advantage of, Uchis herself is quite the feminist. Her music is a wonderful blend of pop, soul and surf rock. Last year, she released the Kaytranada-produced track “Only Girl“, featuring Vince Staples and The Internet’s Steve Lacy. I can’t wait to see what Kali Uchis does next.

File next to: SZA. Kelela. The Internet.

Follow: Facebook. Soundcloud. Twitter. Spotify.



Who: Paris Strother, Amber Strother, Anita Bias

Origin: Los Angeles, California

What they’re about: KING are an alternative R&B/soul trio with a unique and distinctive sound that’s drenched in old-school vibes but is also quite futuristic. In fact, the way their harmonies float so perfectly over Paris Strother’ production is the stuff that musical dreams are made of. They write and produce their own music, on their own record label named King Creative. Formed in 2011, it wasn’t long before they began to earn praise from Erykah Badu, Prince and Questlove. Last year, KING released their debut album We Are KING, which was nominated for “Best Urban Contemporary Album” at the Grammy Awards. Impressed yet? Take a listen to their song “The Greatest” below, and you’ll hear why KING are one of the greatest emerging acts out there right now.

File next to: Amel Larrieux. Erykah Badu. Gallant.

Follow: Facebook. Soundcloud. Twitter. Spotify.



Who: Katie Gavin. Josette Maskin. Naomi McPherson.

Origin: Los Angeles, California

What they’re about: This three-piece met in 2013 while attending the University of Southern California. The next year, MUNA self-released their debut EP More Perfect and subsequently signed to RCA Records following its success. Last month, they released their debut full length About U, which is full of beautifully crafted electropop songs. “Crying on the Bathroom Floor” is a glittery jewel of a track. Think Robyn meets HAIM, and soon you’ll be singing along to all of their songs. Check out their first single “I Know a Place” below.

File next to: Robyn. Grace Mitchell. Grouplove.

Follow: Facebook. Soundcloud. Twitter. Spotify.


Camp Cope

Who: Georgia Maq. Sarah Thompson. Kelly-Dawn Hellmrich.

Origin: Melbourne, Australia

What they’re about: Last but not least is another talented trio, this time from the land Down Under, who will satisfy all of your alt-rock and indie-rock needs. Their self-titled debut album came out last year and climbed into the Top 40 of the ARIA Albums Chart. They’ve been quite busy in Australia, performing at major festivals like St. Jerome’s Laneway, covering the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s “Maps” for Triple J’s “Like a Version” series and launching a campaign that helps stop sexual harassment at concerts. Watch the music video for their defiant and heartfelt tune “Keep Growing” below.

File next to: Gang of Youths. Methyl Ethyl.

Follow: Facebook. Soundcloud. Twitter. Spotify.

Who is your favorite emerging artist? Let us know in the comments section below!

Five female emerging artists you need to hear

Charlotte Cardin, Shura, Bibi Bourelly, Tkay Maidza & Anne-MarieWritten by Krystal Beez //

Get familiar with these five female emerging artists.


Charlotte Cardin

Who: Charlotte Cardin

Origin: Montreal, Canada

What she’s about: If you’re in need of a new artist who effortlessly blends electronic textures with classic soul and jazz, close your eyes and put on Charlotte Cardin’s music. Just 21 years old, the French-Canadian singer placed in the top four on the Canadian TV talent show “La Voix” in 2013. Two years later, she released her first EP Big Boy on Cult Nation, in which she sings in both English and French. After watching this live version of the title track, I can’t wait for Cardin to begin touring outside of her home country. The lyrics, the voice and the music — Cardin has everything she needs to be a star. Watch the video below for the latest release from the EP, which features rapper Husser.

File next to: Amy Winehouse. James Blake. Billie Eilish.

Follow: Facebook. Soundcloud. Twitter. Spotify.



Who: Aleksandra Lilah Denton

Origin: Manchester, England

What she’s about: Aleksandra Denton, better known by her stage name Shura, first stepped onto the scene two years ago with her single “Touch“, which gained positive traction across the blogosphere. It’s is a languid, bittersweet song beautifully capturing that post-break-up moment. “Touch” would later be released featuring a version with Talib Kweli while Shura was also a longlisted nominee for the BBC Sound of 2015. Over the summer, she dropped her debut LP Nothing’s Real on Polydor Records. What I love about Shura is her ability to create songs that sound like they’re pop songs from the 80’s or 90’s while still sounding fresh and new. Watch the video for “What’s It Gonna Be?” below (I’ll wait while you dance it out).

File next to: Lapsley. HONNE. Mura Masa.

Follow: Facebook. Soundcloud. Twitter. Spotify.


Bibi Bourelly

Who: Badriia Ines Bourelly

Origin: Berlin, Germany

What she’s about: At the age of 22, Badriia Ines Bourelly is a fresh face. She is multi-talented (prior to releasing her own material she was featured on a Lil Wayne track, an Usher track and wrote both Rihanna’s “Bitch Better Have My Money” and “Higher”) and has an ego. Bourelly is now signed to Def Jam Recordings and releasing her own material. Many of her songs touch on ambition, society and honesty. It’s very refreshing to see such a young female artist be so frank and unapologetic with her lyrics. Bourelly’s new EP Free the Real (Pt. #2) is available now everywhere. Don’t sleep on this rising star.

File next to: LEON. Jorja Smith. Rihanna.

Follow: Facebook. Soundcloud. Twitter. Spotify.


Tkay Maidza

Who: Takudzwa Victoria Rosa Maidza

Origin: Adelaide, Australia

What she’s about: Another young star on the up and up is Tkay Maidza, who first stomped onto the scene in 2013 with “Brontosaurus” at the age of 17. Since then, she has worked with SBTRKT, Martin Solveig and Killer Mike, supported Troye Sivan and Charli XCX on tour and released her debut album last month. While her danceable blend of hip-hop and electronic music might remind you of M.I.A., Maidza has a distinct flow, sound and presence all on her own. I recently saw her perform live. If you get the chance to see her, do yourself a favor and do it. She glows onstage while simultaneously setting it off, so it’s easy to see why Maidza is Australia’s hip-hop sweetheart.

File next to: Santigold. M.I.A. SAFIA.

Follow: Facebook. Soundcloud. Twitter. Spotify.



Who: Anne-Marie Nicholson

Origin: Essex, United Kingdom

What she’s about: Anne-Marie Nicholson has previously worked with Gorgon City, Magnetic Man and Rudimental. Now signed to Rudimental’s label Major Toms, she has embarked on a solo career. Her music is a beautiful blend of hip-hop, R&B and pop with soulful energy. I’m still jamming out to her first solo single “Do It Right” — and her second single is just as good. Check out a live version of “Alarm” from the Live Lounge at BBC Radio One below, and keep an eye out for her debut album that’s due out later this year. Random fact: She’s a three-time world karate champion. Talk about a multitalented artist!

File next to: Jessie J. Dua Lipa. Zara Larsson.

Follow: Facebook. Soundcloud. Twitter. Spotify.

Who is your favorite emerging artist? Let us know in the comments section below!

Five emerging artists you need to hear

Sophia Somajo, Maggie Rogers, Terror Jr, Jorja Smith, Era IstrefiWritten by Krystal Beez //

Get familiar with these five emerging artists.


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.

Follow: Facebook. Soundcloud. Twitter. Spotify.


Maggie Rogers

Who: Maggie Rogers

Origin: Maryland

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.

Follow: Facebook. Soundcloud. Twitter. Spotify.


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.

Follow: Facebook. Soundcloud. Twitter. Spotify.


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.

Follow: Facebook. Soundcloud. Twitter. Spotify.


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.

Follow: Facebook. Soundcloud. Twitter. Spotify.

Who is your favorite emerging artist? Let us know in the comments section below!

Five female emerging artists you need to hear

NAO, Andra Day, Zara Larsson, Tala & KiiaraWritten by Krystal Beez //

Get familiar with these five female emerging artists.

1. NAO


Who: NAO

Origin: East London, Britain

What she’s about: NAO is a graduate of the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, where she studied vocal jazz. After teaching singing for a few years, she decided that she wanted to make her own music. Since 2014, she has released two EPs on her own label Little Tokyo. NAO’s sleek and at times, dark production, combined with her rich and subtle vocals, create a smoky neo-soul sound that integrates quite a few different influences, such as funk, R&B and UK bass, seamlessly. Most recently, NAO contributed to Disclosure’s Caracal on the superb track “Superego”, as well as released her first single from her debut album, which is due out early next year. Listen to “Bad Blood” below.

File next to: FKA twigs. SBTRKT. Lion Babe. Billie Black.

Follow: Facebook. Soundcloud. Twitter. Spotify.


Andra Day

Who: Andra Day

Origin: San Diego, California

What she’s about: After releasing a few covers that went viral on YouTube back in 2012, Andra Day is now signed with Warner Bros. Records. After one listen, it’s easy to see why many compare her to the likes of Amy Winehouse and Billie Holiday. But it’s not just her vintage style and “retro-pop-soul” sound, as Day calls it. It’s that raw emotion that few singers have, and it makes for a very special live performance. Her debut album Cheers to the Fall was released earlier this year and is produced by Raphael Saadiq and Adrian Gurvitz. She recently performed in San Francisco to a sold-out crowd at Rickshaw Stop (hopefully you were there). If you weren’t, watch her live performance for NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert below, and you’ll understand why she’s on this list.

File next to: Amy Winehouse. Billie Holiday. Adele.

Follow: Facebook. Soundcloud. Twitter. Spotify.


Zara Larsson

Who: Zara Larsson

Origin: Stockholm, Sweden

What she’s about: If you’re looking for a new pop fix, look no further. At just 17 years old, this Swedish pop singer has already won Sweden’s equivalent of “America’s Got Talent”, signed a record deal and released her debut album 1. “Lush Life”, her debut single from her second album, is the stuff that summer jams are made of. And then there’s “Rooftop”, another pop anthem with light harmonies and a strong beat. But perhaps the most exciting track in her repertoire is the latest, a collaboration with MNEK (an amazing up-and-coming artist in his own right) titled “Never Forget You”. In September, the track was named by Annie Mac of BBC Radio 1 as the hottest record in the world, and rightfully so. Get ready to listen to your new favorite song below.

File next to: Robyn. Lorde. Rihanna.

Follow: Facebook. Soundcloud. Twitter. Spotify.




Origin: Southwest London, Britain

What she’s about: “The idea of taking something and fusing it with its complete opposite excites me,” TALA says of her influences. This best describes what the multicultural producer is all about, and her music explains the rest. Start with “The Duchess“, released last year, and then listen to “Tell Me”, featuring up-and-coming UK producer Mssingo and Korean group Wa$$up. Both tracks combine electronic pop with a global, experimental sound that is all her own. And then check out TALA’s most recent release, which features Banks, and you’ll see why TALA is one of the most exciting producers to emerge this year. Listen to “Wolfpack” below.

File next to: Cashmere Cat. Lil Silva. M.I.A. FKA twigs.

Follow: Facebook. Soundcloud. Twitter. Spotify.



Who: Kiiara

Origin: Illinois

What she’s about: Not a whole lot is known about Kiiara other than the fact that she is from Illinois, worked at a hardware store and Felix Snow produced her first single “Gold” (below). But we’re loving her whispery voice over the glitchy pop/R&B bass-heavy beat. Hippie Sabotage released their remix of “Gold” just a few weeks ago, and Kiiara’s debut EP Meet Me in the Cornfield is coming soon.

File next to: Made in Heights. Kate Boy. Alina Baraz. Marian Hill.

Follow: Facebook. Soundcloud. Twitter. Spotify.

Which female emerging artists are you most excited about? Let us know in the comments below!

Five emerging artists you need to hear

Five emerging artists you should hear this AugustWritten by Krystal Beez //

Get familiar with these five emerging artists.



Who: Ellinor Olovsdotter

Origin: Stockholm, Sweden

What she’s about: Inspired by Scandinavian pop and the Jamaican-influenced dance scene in Sweden and Denmark as well as London’s dubstep scene, Elliphant’s music is a global potpourri of electrifying rhythms and powerful, yet raw, chants. “Down On Life” is her most “traditional” song, while her more recent singles, “Only Getting Younger” and “Revolusion”, resemble the efforts of her Mad Decent associates M.I.A and Maluca much more. Elliphant is currently on tour supporting the fabulous Charli XCX. Catch them both at Slim’s in San Francisco on Saturday, October 25th. Get your tix here.

File next to: M.I.A., Mapei, Maluca.

Follow: Facebook. Soundcloud. Twitter. Spotify.


Seinabo Sey

Who: Seinabo Sey

Origin: Stockholm, Sweden

What she’s about: Seinabo Sey is of both Swedish and Gambian descent — a fact that is reflected in her music, which is an accessible blend of Swedish pop, R&B and African rhythms. At just 23, Sey made a big splash across the blogosphere with her debut single “Younger” and is currently recording her debut album in Stockholm. With crisp production coming from fellow Swede Magnus Lidehall (Mapei, Veronica Maggio), Sey’s powerhouse vocals are always the focus of each track. Hopefully we get more tracks from this emerging pop/soul artist in the very near future.

File next to: Ella Eyre, Marlene, Mapei.

Follow: Facebook. Soundcloud. Twitter. Spotify.


Zella Day

Who: Zella Day

Origin: Arizona

What she’s about: Zella Day first appeared on the scene a few years ago with her sparse and organic cover of The White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army“. Since then, Day released the single “Sweet Ophelia” and began drawing comparisons to Lana Del Rey. The Arizona native picked up a guitar at a young age, capturing inspiration from the Arizona scenery, Western films and personal experiences to create a raw sound that doesn’t really fit into one specific genre. Currently, Day is in the studio working on her debut EP, and if her single and B-side “1965” are any indication, then we can expect some charming indie pop to hook us. Until then, check out her newest release “East of Eden” below.

File next to: Lana Del Rey, Broods, Betty Who.

Follow: Facebook. Soundcloud. Twitter. Spotify.



Who: Oliver Lee and James Carter

Origin: London, England

What they’re about: If you need a more laid-back soundtrack for the summer, then look no further than Snakehips. The London duo make music at that sweet spot where the 90’s R&B of yesterday meets the technology of today. They’ve topped The Hype Machine charts with remixes of Banks, Wild Belle and The Weeknd, and they are getting ready to take over. Think Disclosure, but at reduced speeds. Check out their newest single below, featuring the always lovely vocals of Sinead Harnett, who has previously been featured on tracks by Rudimental and Disclosure and is another artist to watch out for in 2014.

File next to: Disclosure, Cyril Hahn, Kidnap Kid.

Follow: Facebook. Soundcloud. Twitter. Spotify.

5. ZHU


Who: Steven Zhu?

Origin: Current location is California (LA/SF)

What he’s about: Zhu is the mysterious producer behind the Outkast mashup “Moves Like Miss Jackson“. You won’t find any pictures of him on his website or on Facebook. His EP Nightday is out now on iTunes, and you can listen to it on Soundcloud. Zhu issued the following statement about keeping his identity hidden: “Many are wondering why I chose to release my music anonymously. I am my own ghostwriter. As a society, we become more attached to the creator than to the creation. Music is faceless. My music is for a new generation—one in which people appreciate art for its intrinsic value—Generation WHY.” His chill, deep house and “letting the music speak for itself” vibes have got people intrigued, and he is set to be one of the biggest breakout acts in 2014. And now you know everything there is to know about Zhu — for now.

File next to: Moon Boots, Disclosure, Duke Dumont.

Follow: Facebook. Soundcloud. Twitter. Spotify.

Which emerging artists are you most excited about? Let us know in the comments below!

Five female-fronted, emerging UK acts you need to hear

5-in-JulyWritten by Krystal Beez //

With the Fourth of July in the rearview mirror and the taste of independence fresh in my mouth, I thought it would only be fitting for us to get familiar with five emerging artists from the United Kingdom. While listening to the artists below might make you a quasi-traitor, at least you’ll be a renegade with some good music.



Who: Ella McMahon

Origin: West London, Britain

What she’s about: You may recognize her name if you listened to Rudimental’s amazing album Home. She was the sexy and husky voice belting out proudly on their No. 1 single “Waiting All Night“. She also collaborated with Wiz Khalifa and Naughty Boy on the track “Think About It“. But now, Ella Eyre is out on her own with a debut EP entitled Deeper. Ella attended the famous BRIT school for performing arts and was runner-up for the Brit Critics’ Choice Award, losing to Sam Smith. At 21 years old, Ella is just getting started. Her debut single, “Deeper“, really emphasizes her sultry voice and her R&B/soul influences. Sadly, there’s no release date for her debut album yet, but no need to panic. You can catch Ella’s San Francisco debut at Popscene on Friday, July 25th. Samsaya and local artist Anya & the Get Down support. You do not want to miss this! Tickets available here.

File next to: Zella Day, Sam Smith, Kiesza

Follow: Facebook. Soundcloud. Twitter. Spotify.



Who: Camden Cox

Origin: London, Britain

What she’s about: Camden Cox is signed to Little Boots’ label On Repeat, and her debut single, “Kinda Like”, is future pop coming to fruition. She recently released an EP with only one drawback — it needs more new songs by Camden Cox.

File next to: AlunaGeorge, Sky Ferreira, Tove Lo

Follow: Facebook. Soundcloud. Twitter. Spotify.



Who: Elli Ingram

Origin: Brighton, Britain

What she’s about: Elli Ingram is a name that’s been buzzing around the UK music scene after she released the beautiful track “When It Was Dark“. Since then, Ingram has collaborated and toured with electronic duo Chase and Status, and she released two EPs. The UK songstress’ soulful vocals and R&B/hip-hop style have her drawing comparisons to the likes of Adele and, more accurately, Amy Winehouse. Both of Ingram’s EPs — Sober and the more recent release The Doghouse — demonstrate her powerful, soulful vocals as well as highlight the skill of her production team, Felix Joseph and Aston Rudi. Start with “High Love” and “All Caught Up“, and soon you’ll be addicted to the music of this talented young lady. And if you enjoy a good cover song, watch Elli’s jazzy cover of Kendrick Lamar’s “Poetic Justice“.

File next to: Sampha, Laura Welsh, Amy Winehouse

Follow: Facebook. Soundcloud. Twitter.



Who: Josh Christopher and Melis Soyaslanová

Origin: Brighton, Britain

What they’re about: IYES (pronounced “eyes”) are another girl/boy duo breaking out this year. The duo met at a party while in school and started making music together. They put a track on Soundcloud called “Lighthouse” and took over the blogosphere within a week. Since then, they’ve done a number of remixes as well as released their debut single “Til Infinity“, a lovely track of minimal electropop. More recently is the song “Toys“, which is labeled as a demo but actually feels like a polished and full track, and sees Christopher taking on more of a vocal role as the duo sing back and forth in almost an XX type of way. Again, if you enjoy a good cover song, check this one out.

File next to: MS MR, ASTR, Sohn

Follow: Facebook. Soundcloud. Twitter. Spotify.



Who: Jack Patterson, Luke Patterson, Grace Chatto and Milan Neil Amin-Smith

Origin: Cambridge, Britain

What they’re about: Now let’s combine elements of classical music along with dance music, house and UK funky, and you get the brilliance that is Clean Bandit. Their debut album, New Eyes, was released last month, and it features their No. 1 single “Rather Be“, starring the exquisite guest vocals of Jess Glynne, another emerging UK artist to keep your eye on. Clean Bandit are signed to the Black Butter Records label, home to the likes of Rudimental, Gorgon City and Kidnap Kid. Clean Bandit are going to be doing big things, so remember the name. Be sure to see them perform live at The Fillmore for their SF debut on Saturday, September 27th! More info on tickets here.

File next to: Gorgon City, Route 94, Le Youth

Follow: Facebook. Soundcloud. Twitter. Spotify.

Which female-fronted emerging artists from the UK are you most excited about? Let us know in the comments below!

Live 105’s BFD festival lives up to its name

BFD_POSTPhotos by Marc Fong // Written by Krystal Beez //

Live 105’s BFD //
Shoreline Amphitheatre – Mountain View, CA
June 1st, 2014 //

Live 105’s annual BFD festival has been around since 1994, and the festival has hosted A-list artists such as The White Stripes, The Killers, Garbage, Diplo, Snoop Dogg and Knife Party, to name a few. Over the years the festival has grown, selling out the last couple of years, and the Bay Area radio station hosts a Cheap-Ass Ticket Party for $10.53 when tickets went on sale (you know you have a good thing going when many people arrive at 6 a.m. for discounted tickets). This year, as 20,000 people descended on the Shoreline Amphitheatre, these five artists really stood out.


1. MS MR
MS MR’s performance was impressive, as Lizzy Plapinger’s vocals hit the mark while the group’s instrumentals were near flawless. Their alternative, dark wave sound translates well onto the stage, creating an immersive performance that felt special to witness. This duo, that also includes Max Hershenow (aka “MR”) is polished and popular enough to play the main stage at BFD — perhaps next time. If MS MR is playing in your area, do what you need to do to get yourself to the show.

2. AmpLive
Wow. Known best as half of the duo Zion I, this hip hop producer, performer & DJ got the Subsonic Tent going crazy! He dropped Snoop Dogg’s “Drop It Like It’s Hot” into The Fugees’ “Ready Or Not” into “I Got 5 On It” into “Feelin Myself”, and everyone present within the range of AmpLive’s speakers was most definitely feeling themselves. Check him out whenever he’s town for a proper dance party.


3. Phantogram
Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter are no strangers to performing in festival environments, and that was apparent on Sunday at the main stage. Phantogram gave an exceptional performance, and it was delightful to hear them play a few tracks from their debut LP, Eyelid Movies. Catch them at First City Festival in Monterey this August to see for yourself.

4. RAC
Another artist that kept us dancing at the Subsonic Tent was electronic/rock remix outfit RAC. No surprise here, RAC live is always going to be a dance party that pops off. They played a lot of their remixes as well as originals from Strangers, released earlier this year.


5. M.I.A.
M.I.A. clearly still has it going on. Her newer material from the underrated Matangi impressed on main stage — the only question: Shouldn’t she be headlining BFD at this point over Foster the People?

Overall, BFD continually delivers a diverse lineup. The main stage and festival stage contain eclectic acts, ranging from established artists to the up-and-coming next big things. The Subsonic Tent is a perpetual dance party, and the Local Stage is a real treat for Bay Area music fans, as it’s often a jumping off point for many local artists. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Waters, French Cassettes & The Hundred Days break out soon. Until next year!


Five emerging artists you need to hear

5-to-Hear-in-June_postWritten by Krystal Beez //

Get familiar with these five emerging artists.



Who: Mike Del Rio and Crista Ru

Origin: New York/Los Angeles

What they’re about: There’s not a whole lot of information about this secretive duo. Both Del Rio and Ru have written songs for Selena Gomez, Icona Pop and Kylie Minogue, just to name a few. But don’t let those names fool you. The music that POWERS delivers is a wide range of genres (think future pop-rock-indie-soul), held together by their strong songwriting skills. Their second release, “Money”, is more of an electro-soul track, while “Touch The World” is indie-pop-rock gold. Both songs are anthems. The official lyric video for “Touch The World” was just released last week, watch it below.

File next to: NONONO, IYES.

Follow: Facebook. Soundcloud. Twitter.



Who: Stevie Scott, Carman Kubanda, Trevor Kelley, Jake Randle and Harrison Allen

Origin: Los Angeles, California

What they’re about: machineheart makes new indie pop at its finest, and Stevie Scott’s engaging vocals are the perfect complement. Their debut singles “Circles” and “Another Me” will both have you pressing repeat. Also make sure you check out their latest release “Snow”, which is not as upbeat as their other songs, but it is just as good and just as infectious. machineheart are definitely a band to keep on your radar.

File next to: Rilo Kiley, Kyla LaGrange, Foster the People.

Follow: Facebook. Soundcloud. Twitter.


Laura Welsh

Who: Laura Welsh

Origin: Staffordshire, Britain

What she’s about: Laura Welsh describes her songs as ‘hypnotic and kind of like electric soul-pop’. She has collaborated with producer Dev Hynes (Lightspeed Champion) and on “Cold Front” with Robin Hannibal (of Rhye). She moved from Staffordshire to London to pursue a career in music as lead singer of a band. The band collapsed, and Welsh used that time to write new material and meet people with the same musical ideas as her. Her most recent collaboration sees her featured on the Gorgon City track, “Here For You”. While the original is an amazing dance-electro jam perfect for summer, Welsh recorded an acoustic version that really highlights the strength and beauty of her voice (watch below). Hopefully she releases her debut album soon, followed by an international tour that stops in San Francisco.

File next to: Jessie Ware, Banks, Broods.

Follow: Facebook. Soundcloud. Twitter.



Who: Kwabena Adjepong

Origin: London, Britain

What he’s about: The 23-year-old Ghanaian-born singer grew up in the UK and studied jazz at the Royal Academy of Music. Kwabs creates soul music that fully embraces the futuristic sound of 2015, similar to fellow UK acts Sampha and AlunaGeorge. His voice is simply amazing, evoking so much soulfulness, especially when performing live. And with production coming from Sohn (“Wrong or Right”) and Plan B (“Pray For Love”), you’re going to be hearing a lot more from Kwabs. Watch a live performance of “Pray For Love” on BBC Radio 1Xtra below.

File next to: James Blake, Sampha, AlunaGeorge.

Follow: Facebook. Soundcloud. Twitter.



Who: Marlene Strand

Origin: Stockholm, Sweden

What she’s about:  Marlene is one of those artists that you hear sing one song, and then you play that song over and over until they release a new song. And then you play that song over and over and so on. From “Bon Voyage” to “Stay Awake” to “Indian Summer” the jams just keep on coming! The Swedish songstress has just the right amounts of the catchy chorus, infectious rhythms and powerful voice to be the next big Swedish import. Her music is so simple, yet so rich and full. She recently released a five track EP titled Indian Summer that you should listen to while driving to the beach. No tour dates are announced as of yet, so be sure to check out a live performance in the video below.

File next to: Foxes, Tove Lo, Say Lou Lou.

Follow: Facebook. Soundcloud. Twitter.

What emerging artists are you most excited about? Let us know in the comments below!

New Music: Lykke Li – I Never Learn


Lykke LiI Never Learn

3.5-BamsTop Tracks:
“No Rest For The Wicked”
“Just Like A Dream”
“Love Me Like I’m Not Made of Stone”

Album Highlights: Lykke Li has always been a strong songwriter, and this album is no different. In an interview with NME in January Li stated, “It’s always about me and the guilt and the shame and the hurt and the pride and the confusion of being a woman. I always feel like I’ve been slightly misunderstood. As a woman you get judged for appearances or things like that I don’t really care about. If anything I want to be seen as a singer-songwriter rather than a pop artist. I really feel like I’ve found my voice.” This album does help to establish Li as more of a singer-songwriter. The songs are well written, wonderfully produced, and at times surprisingly bare. For example, when she sings “Love Me Like I’m Not Made of Stone” she can barely get the last verse out. It’s utterly passionate and brutal. Nothing about this album is forced or manufactured. Producing again is Bjorn Yttling, of Peter, Bjorn, and John, who produced Li’s previous albums. Li herself dips into a stronger production role on this album, and Greg Kurstin (Lily Allen, Tegan and Sara) produced the track “Gunshot”.

Album Lowlight: This album contains less playfulness, and less of the girl group melodies that I thoroughly enjoyed from Li’s previous efforts. Perhaps it is fitting that her third album be titled I Never Learn, and be the saddest album to date. With previous efforts, Li sang of the enjoyment she felt from crying her hardest, she sang of sadness being her boyfriend, over a bittersweet melody. Part of what made these songs so amazing is Li’s ability to be both heartbroken and happy. She is extremely gifted in creating songs that express the happiness of being sad, the strength and depth that one can gain from experiencing pain. These songs are beautifully balanced, both lyrically and musically. This album, however, completely skips this theme that Li so excels at and instead wallows in its own sadness. It lacks some enthusiasm. While I’m sure this is intentional due to personal heartbreak and Li’s desire not to be regarded as a pop star, it’s not her best work.

Takeaway: Lykke Li’s Wounded Rhymes contains her best work. But there is something to be said about the ability of an artist like Li to be able to release a third album of this nature. On the edge of being a “pop star”, Li has released an album that doesn’t really contain any big, tribal-drums pop song. If you’re looking for another “Get Some” or “I Follow Rivers”, you will not find it here. If you’re ready for some beautifully sad music similar to what she briefly visited on Wounded Rhymes, then this is your album. Her first effort was playful naivete. Her second, more mature and more troubled. And I Never Learn is just raw heartbreak. There’s no sweet on this album, no dancing drums. It is simply the heartache that occurs when you realize you didn’t learn from your wounds, and now you must get used to sleeping alone.

~Krystal Beasley

K.Flay keeps it legit on a Sunday night in SF


By Krystal Beasley //

K.Flay & Air Dubai, with Itch //
Bottom of the Hill – San Francisco
March 23, 2014 //

Sometimes magical things can happen on a Sunday night. March 23rd at Bottom of the Hill was proof of that. K.Flay and Air Dubai got on that stage and kept the entire crowd awake.

Co-headlining act Air Dubai are a six-piece hip hop group from Denver, Colorado that signed to Hopeless Records in 2012. I’m not quite sure why, but when a band has more than four members, I am skeptical. But after seeing Air Dubai I understand their appeal. This group has a lot of energy on stage. The musicians are talented, the lead singer has that smooth R&B voice, and they just look like they are having the best time on stage. The highlight for me was “Warning”, their 2012 single on the EP of the same name, which definitely got me dancing.

After a short lull between sets, the crowd roars as San Francisco-based K.Flay walks onto the stage. Her melodic rhyming and mesmerizing beats fill the venue. Suddenly, it’s not Sunday night anymore. All of the focus is on her. Early in the set, we hear her two most recent singles, collaboration with Danny Brown, “Hail Mary” and “Rawks”, both off of her latest EP What If It Is. And if those two tracks aren’t enough to make you want to delve further into her catalogue, check out the more mellow fan favorite, “The Cops”, which had the crowd singing and swaying.

K.Flay’s smart, stream-of-consciousness flow is what sets her apart. And there’s something so unique about indie-electro beats this Stanford grad creates, whether the production features a sample or not. And it translates well to the stage. She tours with drummer, Nick, and their chemistry is great. I don’t know how this union came about, but luckily it did, because the result is simply magical. And when you add the really trippy visuals playing in the background, you get a really great live show that is not to be missed. Another highlight of the night was the performance of “Sunburn”, a track you might recognize if you listen to Live 105. Of course there is some head-banging on every song, but “Sunburn” is especially made for this.

The encore was another great highlight. She performed “Doctor Don’t Know” and “Waiting”, both tracks from her 2011 mixtape titled I Stopped Caring in ‘96. It was great to hear her revisit some older material.

K.Flay is a solid performer; she puts it all out on that stage. She gets you pumped up and head banging the second she steps out on the stage. And on slower songs, you get lost in the moment without even realizing it. And when you come back to reality, she is thanking you for coming out to the show. K.Flay, whose first name is Kristine, was at the merch table talking to fans and taking pictures before and after her set. This is the sixth or seventh K.Flay show I’ve attended, and I will be at her next show in the bay area. I think that speaks to her talent better than anything I could write here.

Be sure to follow K.Flay on twitter if you need some weird in your life, and on soundcloud if you need some remixes in your life. You can see K.Flay along with Air Dubai and many more on the upcoming Vans Warped Tour. Check out the dates here. I will see you at the Shoreline show.