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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Montclair chapter.

Each and everyday someone out there is signing their first record deal or uploading a cover of their favorite song and little do they know, one day they will change the course of the music game forever. By experiencing their humble beginnings, it brings us closer to them and the messages they are trying to convey leave a mark on us. Here are 8 artists on the rise whose music will capture your heart and mind like no other.


Like many, Halsey got her start on Youtube, with a cover of Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble” that went viral. She added her own twist to the song by changing the lyrics, which became known as “The Haylor Song” (About Harry Styles and Taylor Swift’s little romance back in 2012.) Fast forward three years later and the 21 year old New Jersey native is burning up the charts with her debut album, Badlands. Halsey is known for her eccentric yet relatable lyrics and pop sounds, not to mention the girl has some very powerful pipes. Her songs contain hints of poetry, which gives her listeners freedom of interpretation.

Songs to listen to: New Americana & Coming Down


Alessia Cara’s silky voice puts her on the map for artists to watch out for in the upcoming year. Pop and hints of R&B can be found in her music. Her debut single, “Here” has stirred quite some attention. The song is about secretly hating parties; the 19 year old has captured the essence of partygoers who find themselves lost. Her debut album is set to be released in November of this year.

Songs to listen to: I’m Yours & Seventeen


If you listen to the radio or haven’t been living under a rock, you most likely have heard of Charlie Puth through his song, “See You Again,” a tribute to the late actor, Paul Walker. Similar to Halsey, Charlie is from New Jersey and also got his start on Youtube. He’s become known for his effortless use of falsetto which brings us back to the 50’s with an old pop and jazzy feel of his own. His debut album, Nine Track Mind is expected to be released early next year.

Songs to listen to: Suffer & Nothing But Trouble


Jon is a visionary, which sets him apart from many artists. His unique take on artistry can be seen in a refection of his music. You may have heard him sing in Zedd’s track, “Beautiful Now” but apart from singing, the 24-year-old New York native, also writes, raps, and produces. He’s even helped put together songs for major artists, including Rihanna and Eminem’s “Monsters” and Jason Derulo’s “Trumpets.” 

Songs to listen to: Jim Morrison & Woke the F*ck Up


Lolawolf is a three-piece band formed by Zoë Kravitz (vocals,) James Levy (keyboard,) and Jimmy Giannopolus (drummer & producer.) The talented trio from Brooklyn has captured the hearts of thousands of fans thanks to their upbeat, bold, electro pop/ R&B sounds and “effortless” attitude. They are signed with an independent label, which effectively allows them to be in total control of their music. Their ‘one of a kind’ sound, which is mostly made up of analog instruments, has landed them tour gigs with acts such as Lily Allen and Miley Cyrus. 

Songs to listen to: AYO & Jimmy Franco


You can never go wrong with the Brits. Wolf Alice, whose name was inspired by one of Angela Carter’s short stories, is a 4-piece band from North London. The band consisting of, Ellie Roswell (vocals & guitars,) Joel Amey (drums & vocals,) Theo Ellis (bass,) Joff Oddie (guitars & vocals) made their debut back in 2010 but as many British acts, it’s taken a couple years for them to break through in the states which they are definitely doing now. Their sound is a sweet mix of alternative rock and indie along with hints of folk and pop. 

Songs to listen to: Bros & Moaning Lisa Smile


Years & Years is another British act founded in London. The trio is made up of Olly Alexander (vocals & keyboard player,) Mikey Goldsworthy (bass guitarist,) and Emre Turkmen (keyboard.) Years & Years’ sounds is a little indie pop and a little electronica with a touch of some 90’s house music, which sets them apart from many other artists today. They released their debut album, “Communion” over the summer.

Songs to listen to: Shine & Real


You might recognize her from the big screen; Hailee got her start as an actress but it was her recent role in Pitch Perfect 2 that shed light of the musical side of her. She was also featured in Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” music video, naturally making her a strong female in pop culture. However, her first and latest single, “Love Myself” is a catchy, empowering tune about being independent and love yourself before anyone else. The song captures the embodiment of what it’s like to be fine on your own. Her debut album is rumored to be coming out sometime in the upcoming months. 

Songs to listen to: Love Myself & Flashlight

Jenn is currently a senior (Class of '16) at Montclair State University, majoring in English literature and minoring in journalism. Some of her passions include writing, music, and photography. When she's not busy with school or interning at Seventeen.com, you may find her on some sort of adventure in New York City singing at the top of her lungs at a concert. She enjoys being in the company of dogs, eating chocolate, and making new friends. You can also find her on Twitter and Instagram (@jennmx3).