Many artists made a breakthrough this year. While we still have two months of 2015 left, it doesn’t seem too early to display a brief predicted list of people who just might take over next year. These artists are different from the usual ones you hear on the radio. Instead of being limited to one pure genre, these musicians are molding their own sound. Here’s a list of 5 promising artists to watch out for in 2016.
Origin: Mississippi / Atlanta, GA
Atlanta has bred many of the prominent rappers in the music industry today. Future, Young Thug, and Migos are just a few of the artists from the ATL who have already made a name for themselves. Now it’s time to introduce up-and-coming rapper, Father, to the scene. If the name rings a bell, you may be familiar with the infectious song that gained him recognition, Look At Wrist, which featured notable A-town natives, iLoveMakonnen and KEY! Father is the founder of Awful Records, an independent collective of producers, musicians, and rappers. He taught himself the ropes, learning how to produce music, designing art for the group, and creating visuals. Father’s music is effortless, yet appealing. Different from the mainstream ATL rappers tune wise, but similar lyrically.
Similar artists: OG Maco, Post Malone, Denzel Curry
Origin: Little Rock, AK
With an aesthetic far beyond her hometown, Kari Johnson, better known as Kari Faux is expanding her name across not only the internet, but the world. Faux collaborated with Childish Gambino after grasping his attention with the sassy, “no bullshit, all business” track, “No Small Talk”. Her strong rap flow is revealed in “Gahdamn”, a song reiterating that she’s “the shit”. There’s humor in her music, making it entertaining to listen to. When it comes to visuals, she exceeds expectations with her music videos. “On The Internet” has an old Windows graphic vibe to it. Definitely something you would see getting endless reposts on Tumblr. Some have compared her to Azealia Banks, but honestly,Kari is an individual doing her own thing. She isn’t rocking a fake body and coating her face with makeup. She’s being real, and not adhering to the stereotypical “Barbie” image expected of female rappers today.
Similar artists: Kilo Kish, Noname Gypsy, The Internet
Origin: St. Louis
The first female to ever sign to Top Dawg Entertainment, a California based label, was East Coast resident, Solana Rowe. Rowe’s stage name, SZA, comes from the supreme alphabet and was also inspired by Wu-tang Clan rapper, RZA. Not intending on becoming a singer, SZA sort of jumped into being one out of the blue. After being exposed by a friend to TDE’s President, Terrence Henderson, and hopping on board with the label, SZA began recording music. The music she creates has a sort of dreamy, nostalgic sensation to it. She has a wide vocal range and a tone very pleasing to the ear. The essence of her productions make you feel like you’re floating on cloud nine, almost bringing you into another dimension. Also, watching her live is quite refreshing. Her stage presence is very authentic, and you can tell she’s in touch with her music. SZA’s a genuine artist, something hard to find these days.
Similar artists: Frank Ocean, Tinashe, Jhene Aiko
Origin: Pereira, Colombia / Virginia
With a voice that can melt butter, and a doo-wop/blues feel in her music, Kali Uchis is definitely an artist worth becoming a fan of. If you are an avid fan of the young and influential artist Tyler, the Creator, you’ve probably heard of her before. She was featured on a few songs with him and vice versa. Uchis even teamed up with Snoop Dogg last year on an early 2000’s, retro reminiscent track, “On Edge”. The singer possesses a versatile tone and utilizes it effectively with multiple genres of music. In “Know What I Want”, Uchis channels a reggae sound whereas in “Rush” she gets in touch with her soul/funk side. While comparisons of her to Amy Winehouse are played out, you can’t deny that she does favor the departed singer in a way. Kali Uchis is a refined, modern day soul singer with a soft, pastel type of swag. Unusual combination, but she executes it exceptionally.
Similar artists: Kehlani, Erykah Badu, Doja Cat
Origin: Canada / St.Paul, MN
Allan Kingdom (real name Allan Kyariga) is an independent rapper from Saint Paul, Minnesota. He went from singing unapologetically reckless on “Wavey” with Spooky Black to being featured on the chorus for Kanye West’s “All Day”. It’s safe to say that this guy is progressing quite swiftly in the industry. You never really see him flexing with designer brands or stunting with anything materialistic. He gives off a humble vibe. Sure, his music videos looks like your typical local rapper on the move trying to get noticed, but Kingdom is in his zone, simply doing what he loves. His efforts obviously hasn’t failed him. He’s an artist with great potential and a lot to offer. Don’t sleep on the man.
Similar artists: Vic Mensa, Chance The Rapper, Childish Gambino