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Underrated artists to give your playlists a new startup

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UW Lax chapter.

We’ve all been there before.

You go to put on some music and can’t decide what you want to listen to. You’re not really feeling indie today, but not rap, or even pop either. Soon enough, you come to the realization: I’m bored with my music. Need a little help? I’ve got you covered.

Here’s a list of various underground and upcoming artists to help you refresh your playlists and help you fall in love with music once again.

Will Hill

With only 22,000 listeners each month, Will Hill began his start in the alt hip hop and rap genre as early as 2013. His upbringing from both Western and Southern cultures, as well as the Bay Area has heavily influenced his craft. He’s performed with artists like A$AP Rocky, Young Thug, and more. Give him a listen here.


Need a homegirl to hype you up? Monaleo is your girl. With not one, but two popular songs on TikTok, Monaleo may just be on the rise to become the next Megan Thee Stallion, as she’s the most popular artist on this list. Coming from a history of depression and anxiety, this Texas-raised woman is making song after song to keep everyone feeling their best. Add her songs to your favorite r&b, rap, and trap playlists. Wanna check her out? Click here.

Knox Fortune

Making his way to college radio stations, Knox Fortune produces his music from the brawling city of Chicago. His indie and pop sound gives listeners something chill to listen to while they’re relaxing, doing the dishes, or hanging with friends. Though he only has roughly 300,000 listeners each month, Knox Fortune is no stranger to working with big artists like Chance the Rapper. View his work here.

Joey Valance

Another upcoming artist on the list is none other than Joey Valence. Want songs that remind you of music from Dr Dre, Nas, and even Beastie Boys? Joey Valance’s modern take on 80s and 90s hip hop and rap separates him from current artists and the music we’re used to today. Him and his vocalist⁠—Brae⁠—utilize social media to gain an ever-growing audience, and it has clearly worked wonders. Need some throwbacks to bump to? Listen to Joey Valance here.

illuminati hotties

illuminati hotties is comprised of one band member, that being the talented producer, mixer, and audio engineer: Sarah Tudzin. She describes herself as a “tenderpunk poineer”, which makes sense due to her indie rock and art pop sound. With a similar awareness towards mental illness as Monaleo, Tudzin took all proceeds from her track “ppl plzr” in October of 2019 and donated to the Trevor Project—a suicide prevention group. Explore illuminati hotties’ music here.

Felix Ames

With only two songs but 280,000 followers, Felix Ames’ music lives up to the hype. He’s featured in Spotify’s ‘Levitate’, ‘New Jams’, and ‘Fresh Finds R&B’ playlists, which is an impressive start for an artist who began releasing songs just this year. Aiming for the younger population, Ames heavily promotes his r&b music through TikTok, which in fact, is where I found his song “SPF”. Ames makes “Sunday afternoon soul music”, so feel free to put on his radio here, and get some Sunday cleaning done.

Surf Trash

One of my favorite bands since 2019, Surf Trash’s music is created by Andrew Scott, Lachlan Jackson, and Nick Scott. Together, they’ve produced the best rock and indie punk sound as of late. Surf Trash likes to draw on their individuality, but then later comes together to put their ideas forth and curate a rough draft based on everyone’s ideas. They expand their creativity even more when filming music videos by shooting and editing them themselves. Curious to hear their sound? Check them out here.

Reyna Roberts

Last but not least, we have a soulful woman for the country lovers: Reyna Roberts. Introduced to performing at a young age, Roberts packs a punch with her music. So much so, she’s been featured on ESPN’s Monday Night Football. Her cover of Carrie Underwood’s “Drinking Alone” gained traction, being shared and reposted by Underwood herself. While she’s a country artist, Roberts is no stranger to her roots of classic rock, R&B, pop, gospel, and classical music. Thinking about doing the hoedown? Listen to Reyna Roberts here.

Need some more music to listen to?

I’ve got you covered. Listen to my current favorite playlist at the moment, curated by yours truly.

Still not satisfied?

Check out these articles on our website:

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Jenna Holler

UW Lax '25

Jenna is a Sophomore at UW La Crosse and is studying Communications as well as Graphic Design and Photography.