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5 Artists to Check Out Before They Get Famous

There’s nothing like starting summer with new beats, and we live in a great age for up-and-coming music. Check out these rising stars before they make it big!

Chet Faker: Coming off of the heels of his newest album, Built On Glass, expect to hear more from this Australian electronic artist. You may have heard him featured on couple tracks from the popular DJ, Flume, such as “Drop the Game” or “What About Us“, or perhaps his one-of-a-kind cover of Blackstreet’s “No Diggity.” First hitting the scene with his praised Thinking in Textures, in 2012, Chet—also known as Nicholas Murphy—has been soaring in success throughout Europe, and it looks like the U.S. will be soon to follow. Sidenote: his beard is legendary.

  • Genre: Mellow electronic, alternative, indie dance
  • Great for: Cooking, kickbacks, impressing exchange students
  • Tracks to check out:Melt,” “Talk is Cheap,” “Release Your Problems

Grimes: Also known as Claire Boucher, this Canadian singer-songwriter gained popularity in the underground music scene while at college in Montreal, particularly via her Tumblr. Her electronic, melodic synthpop sound combined with her unique high-pitched voice make Grimes an eclectic music genre of her own. Plus, she’s the whole package: Grimes has worked as a producer, music video director, and songwriter, and last year she signed under Jay-Z’s management company, Roc Nation, following her breakthrough album, Visions. Her new hit “Go” has a completely new vibe, prepackaged for mainstream hip hop, but still hits some great vocals.

  • Genre: Synthpop, upbeat electronic, indie dance
  • Great for: Dancing, working out, throwing a hipster house party
  • Tracks to check out:Oblivion,” “Genesis,” “Be A Body

First Aid Kit: Swedish sisters Johanna and Klara represent the perfect medley of indie folk with a country flair. The two have been singing since early adolescence, first entering the scene in 2008 with a Youtube video of their cover of Fleet Foxes’s “Tiger Mountain Peasant Song.” Since then, the duo continues to release strong albums, even collaborating with Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes. With their angelic harmonies and lyrics, the band is finally earning the success they deserve, particularly with their latest critically-acclaimed album, Stay Gold.

  • Genre: Folk, acoustic, Americana
  • Great for: Roadtrips, picnics, falling in love
  • Tracks to check out:Silver Lining,” “Emmylou,” “Wolf,” “Tangerine

Sampha: Even in 2014, soul is alive and well as artists like Sampha Sisay reinvent the genre to be more diverse and expressive than ever before. Last year, Sampha released his much-anticipated yet short and sweet album, Dual. This British singer-songwriter has already been recognized and featured on multiple tracks from SBTRKT to Drake. With his silky, heartbreaking voice and distinct mixes, Sampha has a great ear for blending an assortment of sounds—both new and classical. Did I mention he plays piano? P.S: If you’re a fan of his sound, be sure to check out the artist Banks or James Blake as a follow-up.

  • Genre: Soul, electronic, R&B
  • Great for: Quiet nights in, long walks on the beach, candlelit baths
  • Tracks to check out: Too Much,” “Indecision,” “Happens

Mr. Little Jeans: With her incomparable cover of Arcade Fire’s “The Suburbs,” Monica Birkenes brings electrifying, dreamy vocals to her pop-electronic tracks. First gracing the music scene via Soundcloud and Youtube, Mr. Little Jeans gets her strange name from the Wes Anderson film, Rushmore. With her most recent album Pocketknife, the Norwegian singer’s music has been featured on commercials, TV shows, and movies such as Gossip Girl and 21 Jump Street, yet the renowned solo artist still remains fairly under the radar—for now.

  • Genre: Synthpop, indie dance, electronic
  • Great for: Doing homework, singing in the shower, showing Mom some new music
  • Tracks to check out:Good Mistake,” “The Suburbs,” “Runaway

There’s a lot more artists out there to be discovered. Check out Pitchfork or Billboard to stay on top of the latest breakthrough musicians.

Heather is a senior at the University of Oregon, majoring in advertising. An aspiring copywriter, her dream job would be screenwriting for TV, but for the meantime she works as an office assistant, ad director for Envision magazine, freelance graphic designer, and her favorite, campus correspondent at Her Campus Oregon. She hails from Lake Oswego, Oregon, and loves the quirky side of Oregon: its unique people, unpredictable weather, and amazing music scene. She's a cat lover, avid black coffee drinker, and TV and movie addict.
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