With a Destiny’s Child reunion, a new JT/Jay Z track just released yesterday and several of our 2012 up and comers now bathing in dirty major record label money, my ears are smiling just thinking of the new sounds we are about to experience in 2013. Now more than ever, artists turn to the means of the Internet and social media to market their music on many social platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Youtube to establish a more personal connection with fans, but also the Internet gives artists the ability to share ideas, inspirations and new content more consistently (and a lot of times for free) to fans always ready for more. Suddenly the audience builds and artists start buzzing. The Internet is a cesspool for hidden talent and in my opinion good music will market itself online – it’s not hard to become what seems like an overnight sensation in just under a year. I made a similar prognostication of 2012’s buzz-worthy artists for a local blog last year which included the likes of A$AP Rocky, Frank Ocean, Gotye, and Lana Del Rey – all of which seemingly acted out their projections. Although you may not be very familiar with some of these artists, I have a feeling you’re about to be very soon. Here are my top 12 artists worth keeping an eye out for in 2013.
The London duo released You Know You Like it in February of 2012, then later released “Your Drums, Your Love” in August. Just last week a recording of a Frank Ocean cover from 1xtra’s Live Lounge was released and that’s when it really solidified these 2 for me as someone to watch this year. This pair is brilliant. Vocals similar to a warped Uffie x Jessie Ware x SBTRKT love child and an addictive beat which rests on a happy level of (tasteful) Dub & Pop.
2. Angel Haze
Haze and her nemesis Azealia Banks took to Twitter last week for an immature (embarrassing) feud. Perhaps Haze feels threatened by this other suspicious 21 year-old talent in town. After releasing a mixtape online for free, she was quickly swept up in the delicate hands of Island Records to be cherished away from bully Banks. Very excited to hear her debut album later this year.
This mysterious LA-based duo made their online appearance in many blogs all over the world in early 2012, and we still don’t know much about these two other than their names are Mike Milosh and Robin Hannibal and they’re fucking amazing. Rhye to me is the soundtrack to the night to myself, one rolled and a moderately priced white wine swirling around in my glass as I dance around my bedroom without pants on. Classic.
4. St Lucia
I first heard of St. Lucia a few weeks before they played the Vogue as the opening act for Two Door Cinema Club a few months back. I was absolutely amazed by their performance. The visuals, the sound and just the vibes coming off Jean-Philip Grobler is an all around great experience. I’ve never heard people talk about the opening band more than the headliner after a show before. Very excited for this debut album.
5. Action Bronson
Gourmet chef turned game changing rapper. Collabs in 2012 with Ghostface Killah and Termanology landed him a record deal with Warner Bros (via VICE).Bronson is the type of rapper than can persuade you into both g vibes and hunger. Most recently his raps of tarts, seared salmon and poutine were featured on A$AP Rocky’s new album, LongLiveA$AP, and as it looks by my music 8 ball, this dude is going to blow up (I mean, not physically, but, you know…). Maybe we can get one or 2 albums out of 2013… *fingers crossed*
6. The Knife
The news of the Swedish sibling duo, The Knife creating music together again in almost 7 years has put the biggest smile on my face and fans all around the world who have been withdrawling from Swedish sibling electro lords. The uproar of their fan reactions to the teaser video released on Youtube has been astonishing, titled, “We asked our friends and lovers to help us” followed by, “Music can be meaningless. We had to find lust.” Shaking the Habitual set to release in April.
7. Mikky Ekko
“Pull Me Down” (written and produced by Clams Casino) caught the attention of the Internet population earlier this year, but only after being featured on lord RiRi’s ballad “Stay” from Unapologetic, did more people begin wondering, “Who is Mikky Ekko?”. The Nashville based singer/songwriter co-wrote the song and has been buzzing ever since. Now signed to RCA Records, Ekko is putting the final touches on his debut album.
8. Joey Bada$$
Joey Bada$$ is 17 year old rapper and producer from Brooklyn, New York and a member of the rap group, Pro.Era. I’ve been noticing this new generation of very young rappers that appear and sound so much older then they are. Artists like Casey Veggies, and Earl Sweatshirt falling in this category. Badass generated a lot of buzz after releasing 2 mixtapes last year and although remaining independent, he is helped by the Green Label Sound, who also work with Chromeo, Wavves, Theophilus London, RAC and many more.
9. Lianne La Havas
Making major waves in the UK after the release of her album “Is Your Love Big Enough?” via Warner Bros, the enchanting Liane La Havas will begin touring North America in the Spring, which I’m sure will impact a larger North American explosion. An interesting package of talent and beauty all wrapped into quite an interesting and pretty package.
10. Earl Sweatshirt
One of the youngest members of Odd Future is getting some serious online props these past few months after finally releasing another solo effort in almost 3 years. The highly praised wordsmith is set to release, Dorls sometime in 2013. The album is to feature production from Alchemist, The Neptunes, (of course) fellow OF members and many more.
These 3 hard working Canadian boys are definitely on the radar this year. One of the most tasteful and gritty fuzz-Punk/Sub Pop bands I’ve heard in a very long time. Like Japandroids, they seriously make the energy in any room they perform in beyond an exeperience. Nothing but the raddest vibes, whether it’s in a basement or a festival, these guys know how to truly rock. METZ FOR 2013.
I’ve released since working in this business for a little while now that timing really is everything when it comes to new artists. You must be able to fill a certain void, be creative, have something different to say at the right time, in the right way. In the past year, we’ve had a huge comeback of quality R&B from the likes of Frank Ocean, How To Dress Well, The Weeknd and Miguel and I think Inc. are just the type to add to this roster in 2013 with something a little more funky-fresh.
Photo credit: Alex Prager - www.alexprager.com