It’s a new year and, after realizing my Spotify Wrapped consisted of the same five artists, it’s time to delve into new music. In this pursuit, I tested out Spotify’s numerous new music/catered-for-you playlists to see what artists they recommended to me. So, as a homage to rising artists and the several Spotify Wrappeds I saw on my Instagram, here are some of my favorite breakout artists of 2020 you need to listen to.
- Still Woozy
Still Woozy is interesting because, while he may not be a household name, his songs have reached more than 50 million streams on Spotify—yet very few people know who he is? His music is best described as a “mixture of acoustic and electronic instruments that combine to make a funky, laid-back, abstract sound”. His album covers are also a real work of art ;)
Most Popular Song: Goodie Bag
Favorite Song: Goodie Bag
Sounds Like: Rex Orange County mixed with Clairo and funky lo-fi EDM
- Eric Nam
So technically Eric isn’t a new artist; In fact, he’s been in the music industry for a little under ten years. However, up until recently, he’s only made Korean music. Being from Atlanta though (and attending college in Boston), he came out with an entirely English album that is absolutely worth listening to. His vocals work with just about any genre (plus I’m seeing him in concert next month!).
Most Popular Song: Honestly
Favorite Song: Runaway
Sounds Like: Shawn Mendes but more upbeat
Benee is a musician from New Zealand who’s basically our age. She got her start on Soundcloud and has since released chart-topping hits. Similar to Still Woozy, her album covers are definitely eye-catching.
Most Popular Song: Soaked
Favorite Song: Glitter
Sounds Like: Lorde mixed with King Princess but also more upbeat
- Tobi Lou
If you’ve been on Tik Tok recently, you probably know his single, “Buff Baby,” but he also has so many other songs. He initially pursued a career in professional baseball but injuries led him back home and eventually to Los Angeles where he now makes music.
Most Popular Song: Buff Baby
Favorite Song: Just Keep Goin’
Sounds Like: A chilled out version of Kyle or Chance the Rapper
- Alina Baraz
Despite being absolutely gorgeous, Alina Baraz has an amazing voice. She’s released several songs over the years but her most famous and streamed have been collaborations with Khalid (Floating and Electric). Her voice is sure to make you serene.
Most Popular Song: Electric (ft. Khalid)
Favorite Song: Fantasy
Sounds Like: Jhene Aiko with Sabrina Claudio sometimes
I found out about Aries through YouTube as many of his videos like “How 21 Savage’s “BANK ACCOUNT” was made in 2 minutes” and “Making a Beat using OLD CARTOON THEME SONGS” have gone viral. Despite being known for never smiling in his videos, his music career has been extremely successful, even with leaving YouTube.
Most Popular Song: Sayonara
Favorite Song: Santa Monica
Sounds Like: Juice WRLD mixed with Post Malone
Keshi is one of those artists you listen to when you’re stuck in a rut. In fact, most of his songs are very melancholic but there’s something so catchy about them all. Despite only being 24 years old, to me, he represents “lo-fi rnb” and I can’t stop replaying his songs.
Most Popular Song: like i need u
Favorite Song: summer
Sounds Like: Joji mixed with Khai Dreams
I initially heard of Raveena because she’s apparently cousins with one of the girls I went to high school with. I don’t regret looking her up though. Her music videos are incredibly aesthetic and her music is right up my alley. Being an NYU graduate, her musical skills are clearly shown in her career.
Most Popular Song: If Only
Favorite Song: No Better
Sounds Like: UMI and Amber Mark
Similar to “Buff Baby”, if you’ve been on TikTok, you’ve definitely heard of bbno$’s song with Y2K, “Lalala”. The song has currently reached over 400 million plays on Spotify. However, the Canadian rapper also has dozens of other tracks to listen to.
Most Popular Song: Lalala
Favorite Song: Sriracha
Sounds Like: Yung Gravy or Lil Nas X
I remember first seeing bülow when she was the opening act for Lauv but I didn’t realize I already heard so many of her songs. This German-born Canadian pop singer is also very similar in age to us and has released many addictive songs.
Most Popular Song: Not a Love Song
Favorite Song: Boys Will Be Boys
Sounds Like: A more upbeat version of Sasha Sloan or Charlotte Lawrence