Happy 2019! It’s a new year with new resolutions and, most importantly, new music! Time to kick off the year with some artist that I think you’ll want to listen to and you’ll most definitely love.
1. Lennon Stella
I have been waiting forever for this artist to come out with her own music, and she’s finally here! (By forever I mean six years.) The Canadian-born artist is best known for her role as Maddie James in the hit country music television series Nashville, in which she played the daughter of fictional country star Reina James (Connie Britton) next to her real-life sister Maisy Stella. Lennon and Maisy have been singing together since they could speak, known for their covers on YouTube as the duo, “Lennon and Maisy.” The 19-year old star has recently come into her own singing career, signing with Columbia Records last summer, and releasing her first EP, Love, Me, back in November. Still figuring our her sound, Lennon captures her mesmerizing vocals and catchy lyrics, in a web of Alternative/Pop synths, paving her own way into the spotlight. She could very well be exactly what the Pop music industry needs right now, collaborating with music’s biggest artists, Liam Payne, and D.J. Jonas Blue in single “Polaroid.” Lennon hasn’t strayed too far away from her country roots, keeping her acoustic guitar close and her family and fans even closer. Lennon will be headlining her first tour titled “Love, Me,” this year joined by an incredible live band, for a night you won’t want to miss.
Jamaican-born artist Micha Davis, best known by his stage name Masego, is making music we feel entirely from head to toe. I have to admit I’m late to the party on this one, as I just found out about him in the last month or so, but I’m here and I’m ready for the world to know him, too! Having grown up in Virginia, his father being in the US Airforce and his mother a pastor, Masego’s music was shaped into the feel-good “trap jazz” sound that it is today. Just last year Masego released his second studio album Lady Lady featuring the song “Queen Tings,” which I personally haven’t stopped listening to in weeks. With a fusion of sensual trumpets, undeniably catchy rhythms and lyrics that you want to sing out loud, Masego’s heart and soul are evident in his music, making him an artist we must listen to as we dance into the new year.
3. Greta Van Fleet
You’re probably thinking, “Greta Van Who?” Let me tell you something–if you don’t already know who this band is, listen up! All the way from Frankfurt, Michigan (shout out Midwest!), the rock band called, yes, “Greta Van Fleet” has been making music for a hot minute (by that I mean since 2012). Who are they? They are a 4-person classic rock group that draws many influences from the Blues and Rock genre. They have been rumored to sound freakishly like 70’s band, Led Zeppelin (Finally an artist my age that my Dad and I can both enjoy!). How does this band sound almost too good? It probably has to do with the fact that three out of the four members, 21-year old frontman and lead singer Josh Kiska, 21-year old guitarist Jake Kiska, and 18-year old bassist/keyboardist Sam Kiska are, (yes you read that right) brothers, Josh, and Jake being twins, in fact. The group recently released their debut studio album, Anthem of the Peaceful Army last year, performed on NBC’s Saturday Night Live and have now begun their tour, “March of the Peaceful Army Tour.”
4. Billie Eilish
Although her hair tends to change colors frequently, one thing that doesn’t change is this Billie Eilish’s heart-stopping vocals. At the young age of seventeen, Billie has made quite the impression on the music world. Having collaborated with Khalid in the chart-topping song, “Lovely,” to “Bored” featured on the soundtrack to Netflix’s original 13 Reasons Why and “When I Was Younger,” inspired by 2018 award-winning movie Roma, Eilish never fails to impress her ever-growing fanbase. Billie is known for her sparkly vocals, sense of style and her Alternative/Indie-Pop sound that stands out on the charts. Her chilling single “Ocean Eyes” has reached over 132 million streams on Spotify, a song that she wrote in her bedroom with her older brother and accompanist Finneas. Her debut EP, “Don’t Smile at Me” dropped in 2017, and rumor has it a debut album is on the way!
George Miller, better known as Joji, is a hip-hop R&B sensation who started his music career on Soundcloud and now has over 5 million listeners on Spotify. The Osaka-Japan-born artist released his debut album Ballads1 in October of last year, reaching #1 on Billboard’s Hip-Hop/R&B charts, making him the first Asian artist to do so. Some of my favorites on the album are ballad “Slow Dancing in the Dark,” “Test Drive” and “Yeah Right,” but each song demonstrates Miller’s artistry and attention to detail with his music. Stay on the lookout for Joji coming round on tour this year (catch me at his show in Seattle on February 23rd!).
6. Ama Lou
If you haven’t heard of Indie artist Ama Lou, have no fear because the year has just begun and you, too, can become obsessed! The 20-year-old British singer is a star in the making, endorsed by artists like Drake and now touring with Pop queen Jorja Smith. With a background in classical music, Lou hopes to build a strong platform to communicate her beliefs as an activist. Her debut EP DDD dropped in March of last year and you’d be crazy not to love everything about this aspiring artist!
The year is still young (as are many of the artists on this list), and my list can go on and on! I’m hoping this new year gives these artists a chance to show themselves through their music, capturing their devotion to the ever-changing art. We’ll remember 2018 as the year the Pop genre became one that fits artists and songs of all kinds, redefining hit music for generations to come. This year, we expect to see more and more artists speaking their truths and making room for their voices to be heard and their music to be played loud and clear.