Music is dynamic and forever changing, but two things are necessary for longevity within the music industry–talent and fan appeal. This past year, music lovers were introduced to artists that understood this and who were rooted in the craft of music. 2012 birthed the success of artists like Frank Ocean, Kendrick Lamar and Lana Del Ray. This year, numerous artists are hoping to follow in their footsteps and find their own spotlight. Without a doubt. 2013 will bring a multitude of new artists, but this will also be the year that many indie favorites obtain the mainstream spotlight they’ve been working so hard for.
Joey Bada$$ (Hip-hop/Rap)– Independent seems to be a good look for hip-hop these days, especially for 17-year-old New Yorker Joey Bada$$. Joey Bada$$ has managed to make quite a name for himself in such a short time. With two solo projects, two projects with collective Pro Era, and numerous collaborations with rap heavy-hitters under his belt, Joey Bada$$ is quickly becoming a favorite within hip-hop circles.
Although the young rapper has major labels begging to sign him, he has chosen to remain independent. It’s unlikely that this decision will hurt his growth, though. With a spotlight slot on MTV, this young rapper will be a household name in no time. While waiting for new music, check out his debut project, “1999” and his latest release with collective Pro Era, “P.E.E.P: The aPROcalypse.”
Skylar Grey (Pop)– Formerly known as Holly Brook, three-time Grammy nominee Skylar Grey is not a new face or name within the music industry, but she still has not had the success needed to push her to stardom. Years of setbacks have prevented Grey from standing out among the crowd. However, after her name change in 2010, she’s been on a steady uphill path.
Since 2010, Grey has worked with numerous big name artists, including Lupe Fiasco, Eminem and The Band Perry. Grey’s latest single, “C’mon Let Me Ride” is satirical and humorous, so it is only natural that Eminem is featured. Although fun-filled, the song showcases her songwriting abilities. Between her songwriting skills and vocals, Grey is an artist music fans will want to know and love this year. Fans will have to wait a bit longer for Skylar Grey’s latest album, but her extensive catalog should be enough to keep them happy.
Jhené Aiko (R&B, Soul)– Singer-songwriter Jhené Aiko is also is no new face within the music industry. Although Aiko made her musical debut in 2002 with boy band B2K, that success was short live as she took a step back and walked away from music in 2008. Jhené Aiko reemerged in 2011 completely independent and unknown to the general public, but she made a splash.
The release of her mixtape “Sailing Soul(s)” catapulted her into the spotlight. Since then, Aiko’s fan base has stabilized and increased enormously, making her an artist everyone will know in 2013. As fans anxiously await the release of her album “Souled Out,” they can hear her signature sultry voice on songs with music group “Cocaine 80s.”
AlunaGeorge (Electro-Pop)– U.K. breakout duo AlunaGeorge will have no trouble gaining the attention and respect of American music lovers in 2013. Consisting of singer Aluna Francis and producer George Reid, this duo is a remarkable pair.
Capitalizing off the success of groups like Little Dragon and SBTRKT, these two have managed to create their own distinctive sound in a lane dominated by artists who are successful globally. The stand out track “Your Drums, Your Love” is making their crossover into the U.S. market a simple task. While waiting for their upcoming album, check out their latest single “Body Music.”
By: Dominique Bailey