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9 Innovative New Musicians
To Watch For In 2013: Part 2









Last month we introduced you to the first round of fascinating new Musicians to Watch For in 2013. Now we’re back, to present you with a second round of innovative new musicians in the world of pop, electronica, R&B and hip-hop who are well on their way to take over this year. These artists and musicians are behind wildly popular viral videos, radio hits, outlandish stage shows and even mash-ups. And just like last month, don’t miss Melanie’s runner-ups, powerful artists who she predicts will top this chart next year!

Check out artists not-to-be-missed in 2013 featuring Baauer, Mikky Ekko, Rhye, Brooke Candy and more, right here and right now!


Baauer - The man behind the “Harlem Shake” internet meme

Last year, we featured the Brooklyn-based EDM trap producer, Baauer’s song “Harlem Shake”  in our list of Top Summer Anthems of 2012 and now he has a #1 song on Billboard and iTunes, and he is on the soundtrack to the first major meme of 2013. “Harlem Shake” was released on the Mad Decent’s imprint, Jeffree's in May 2012. The song features lion growls and an uncleared sample of Philadelphia rap group, Plastic Little’s song “Miller Time”, which isn’t about the dance but rather about graffiti, which features the notable line “punch you in the face, then do the Harlem Shake”.

On February 2nd, the YouTube vlogger Filthy Frank released a 36 second video of him and 3 friends wearing colorful bodysuits, thrusting to Baauer's "Harlem Shake",  and then breaking into a playful reappropriation of the 90’s urban dance by flailing arms when the beat kicks in and the song says, "and do the Harlem Shake". The video has been recreated by celebrities (Jon Stewart, Jimmy Fallon, Ryan Seacrest, T-Pain), internet companies (Facebook, BuzzFeed, CollegeHumor), universities, sports teams, universities, and even the armed forces. Since Baauer's summer release, he has collaborated with superstar hip-hop producer, Just Blaze to create the trap song "HIGHER" and remixed songs for Flosstradamus, No Doubt and Nero. Now that EDM Trap (also called rave trap, future trap or trapstyle) is the the new dubstep, Baauer has taken the southern rap influenced electronic music trend and pushed it to the mainstream.

Mikky EkkoMikky Ekko - The Nashvillian Who Collaborated With Rihanna And Clams Casino

No to be confused with Mykki Blanco, the similarly named transvestite rapper, Mikky Ekko (real name John Sudduth)  is a Nashville based singer-songwriter who is best known for singing the beautiful falsetto featured on Rihanna’s radio hit, “Stay” from her album Unapologetic. Mikky Ekko made an impressive television debut at this year’s Grammys, when he performed "Stay" with the beautiful superstar. But don’t say that Mikky Ekko is a total newcomer, since last year his music was featured on the MTV show Teen Wolf. Listeners from around the world had a full-on swoon fest when he first released his romantic and ethereal single, “Pull Me Down”, which was produced by Clams Casino, who has worked with A$AP Rocky, The Weeknd and Lil B. Mikky Ekko was certified as an artist to watch out for when he was remixed by hipster heavyweight producers Ryan Hemsworth and T. Williams. Later this year, Mikky Ekko plans on releasing a new album which will be produced by Paul Epworth (Adele, Florence and the Machine), Elof (Niki and the Dove), John Hill (M.I.A., Santigold), Dave Sitek (TV On The Radio, Yeah Yeah Yeahs), and Justin Parker (Lana Del Rey and Bat For Lashes).

Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs

Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs - 
Dinosuars, And Feathers, And House Music! Oh, My!

Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs (also known as TEED) isn’t only named after a dinosaur, but he also dresses up like one, a stegosaurus to be exact. The accomplished electronic producer and singer’s debut solo album, Trouble won the Best Album and Best Live Act awards at the 2012 DJ Magazine Best of British Awards and it was featured on the Best Album of 2012 lists for BBC, Time Out London, Rhapsody, Q Magazine. Despite his meek nature and delicate lyrics about love, TEED nicely balances it with dance-floor-ready electro house production, eye catching music videos and live shows that feature backup dancers and glitter cannons. To top it off, TEED is known for wearing an eclectic feathered headdress, which is similar to the trendy Native American headdresses worn by Wiz Khalifa, Lana Del Rey, Gwen Stefani and Victoria Secret models. Surprisingly, TEED’s colorful head wear hasn’t caught as much flack for cultural appropriation as other mainstream musicians, who have had to take down music videos featuring Native American inspired headdresses after groups called it insensitive. With quirky and controversial clothing aside, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs is bound to rise in popularity this year for his touching and rhythmic songs.

RhyeRhye - The New Addition To Your Slow Jams Playlist

There must be something in the water in Canada because if Justin Beiber, The Weeknd and Drake aren’t enough, Rhye’s piano ballads for the internet generation will surely convince you that Canada boasts the best young talent to be found anywhere.The mysterious Los Angeles duo’s songs "The Fall" and “Open” were featured on the Best Songs of 2012 list by several tastemaker blogs like Pitchfork and Rhye’s debut album, Woman is scheduled to be released on March 5 (Loma Vista in US/Polydor in the UK). Lead singer Mike Milosh’s falsetto voice is so mesmerizing that you might initially think he is indeed a woman, but his Sade meets The XX sound, is actually a man who has released three solo albums using his own name, Milosh. Thankfully the blue-eyed-soul crooner is not offended by the gender confusion and has said, "I've never thought of myself sounding like a girl." He added, "But I have no control over what people think I sound like-- I'm not going to be like, 'Oh, you don't think I'm man enough?’” The other half of the Rhye is Danish producer Robin Hannibal from the electro-soul group Quadron. Rhye’s soulful bedroom music would fit perfectly in a Spotify playlist of quiet storm classics by Babyface, Teddy Pendergrass, Anita Baker, Guy, and Maxwell.

Brooke CandyBrooke Candy - The Queen of Tumblr-Ratchet Rap Music

Labelled as “The queen of tumblr-ratchet”, this stripper and tumblr celebrity is definitely an acquired taste. Brooke Candy’s fans are more likely to be amused by her off the wall lyrics like, “it’s time to take the word back, slut is now a compliment”. The 23 year-old rapper got on important tastemakers’ radar  when she starred in Grimes uber weird music video for her song “Genesis”, and collaborated with Charli XCX, whom she met at Azealia Banks' Mermaid Ball. If that isn’t hipster enough, the white rapper’s signature look is long multi-colored braids, platform shoes and extremely long fake nails. Overall Brooke Candy is an unapologetic cross between a drag queen, 90’s club kid, Kreayshawn, and Shanaynay from the 90's TV show “Martin”. Candy’s hood persona is a clear descendant of the Lil Kim era’s sexualized female rapper aesthetic.

Despite her street aesthetic, Candy was raised in the affluent Oak Park, CA.  Her privileged background might explain her need to reach out from beyond the cookiecutter norm and embrace avant-garde fashion. She frequently collaborates with fashion designer, Seth Pratt, who has also designed for Grimes and Azealia Banks. Those convinced that Candy’s scantily clad look is simply a gimmick should learn that her father worked behind the scenes for “Hustler Magazine”. Brooke Candy first gained attention as a rapper when her NSFW music video with Count Mac was featured on “World Star Hip Hop” with a fitting X-rated headline. Her most recent music videos for “Das Me” and “Everybody Does” are still edgy and scandalous, but she finally decided to cover up alittle. Brooke Candy is definitely comfortable in her own skin, which she loves to bare, and we’re looking forward to her upcoming “Freaky Princess” EP this year.

Elijah BlakeElijah Blake (formerly Redd Stylez) - The Next Frank Ocean

After penning Usher’s game-changing and Grammy winning #1 single “Climax” as well as songs for R&B divas like  Mariah Carey, Kelly Rowland, Ciara, and Keyshia Cole, singer-songwriter Elijah Blake (formerly Redd Stylez) might be the next Frank Ocean. They are both 2013 Grammy winning singer-songwriters who are signed to  Def Jam Records, and they were first known in the music industry for writing for some of the leading names in R&B and rap before going solo. Elijah Blake (real name Sean Fenton) first gained major attention when he wrote for Trey Songz when he was only 16. Now at twenty-two, Elijah Blake is managed by Jay-Z’s Roc Nation and he released his stellar debut free EP, “Bijoux 22”  this past December. According to forecasts by music journalists, 2013 is going to be the year of the resurgence of R&B. Elijah Blake’s superior songwriting might lead him to writing more Grammy winning songs, but this time, for himself.

Piu Piu

Piu Piu - The Smoky French Mystery Girl

Cheeky covers of rap songs are ubiquitous nowadays, but France's Piu Piu truly made Rick Ross’ street rap anthem “B.M.F” her own. She’s a smoky voiced singer and DJ on the French electronic record label, Youngunz, who reminds us of a millennial version of Nico from the uber hip 60’s band, The Velvet Underground. Her most well known song,  “Almighty Sun” features her effortless vocals over a bassy hip-hop influenced electronic production by French Fries and Bambounou. Piu Piu is also the sister of French electronic producer French Fries, who helped her get noticed when he featured her on French Fries and Tony Senghore’s remix of “La Vie Moderne”. Despite her mysterious presence and limited releases, she has gained praise from tastemaker blogs PinBoard Blog, MTHRFNKR, and AO-AO. There’s still not a lot to be known about the Parisian vocalist with woozy a voice, but we can speculate from the diverse range of music in her mixes that range from R&B slow jams and hip-hop to bass and house music, that she will be putting out more impressive tunes this year.

Katy B

Katy B - Our Favorite Aaliyah Obsessed Singer

Back when everyone thought dubstep was cool, Katy B found a way to unite her pop sensibilities and bass heavy electronic beats into catchy songs, that made everyone from Dalston to Brooklyn dance. Her 2011 album, “Katy on a Mission” racked up several nominations in Europe including the Mercury Prize, MOBO Award, MTV Europe Music Award and more. In 2013, Katy B seems to have her sights set on dominating the music scene. In December, she unexpectedly released her 4-track “Danger” EP which features Diplo, Iggy Azalea, Jacques Greene and Jessie Ware. The diverse EP wet our whistle with songs that would be perfect for a Saturday night pre-gaming playlist list like “Just Got Paid” and “Aaliyah”, which is a reimagination of Dolly Parton's “Jolene” for Millennials and lovers of 90’s R&B.

Bullion - The Man Who Brought The Beach Boys and J. Dilla Fans Together

Mashup albums by notable producers like Girl Talk and Danger Mouse (“The Grey Album”) have made music lovers and even legislators rethink copyright law. By sampling vocals or instrumentals from legendary albums, these producers brings musicians of different eras and genres together. UK producer, Bullion did just that when he united The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds album with the hip-hop producer J. Dilla for an album called, Pet Sounds: In the Key of Dee. Since the release of Danger Mouse’s 2004 ode to The Beatles and Jay-Z, we have seen him win Grammys and be called one of the most influential people of the 21st. We have also watched mashup producers become common (search for them on YouTube and SoundCloud if you need proof).

Honorable Mentions in Rock/Pop:
Gary Clark Jr, Haim, Wild Belle, Work Drugs, Youth Lagoon, Cherub, Alpine, The Skins

Honorable Mentions in R&B:
Teedra Moses, Jamie Lidell, Shy Girls, Sam Smith, Lorine Chia, MNEK, Lulu James

Honorable Mentions in Electronic:
Kaytranada, Cyril Hahn, Sweater Beats, Ta-Ku, Obey City, Route 94, Dj Rashad, TR€€K€€P€R

Honorable Mentions in Hip-Hop:
Tink, The Underachievers, DVNNY SETH, Wavy Spice, DJ Nate, Antwon, The Celestics / Issue 144 - September 2018
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