Though 28-year-old singer and producer Sampha has been making music for the past seven years, his recent jump into the vocal scene is what separates him from lack of authenticity and authenticity. The beat-maker has been creating melodies and loops for artists such as SBTRKT, Jessie Ware, Drake, Solange, and others. His feature on “4422,” on Drake’s new album, More Life, that released last month drew attention to his raw, emotional sound from a more mainstream audience that he was not recognized from before. With a humbled background, Sampha fights fire with a tender, smooth voice that creates a sense of depth in his music. His debut album, Process, released February 3, 2017, and with a new spotlight focus on his music, he is a force to be reckoned with.
With his captivating and crowd-pleasing hits, “Caroline,” and, “Baba,” Aminé’s popularity has risen very quickly but that is not to be overlooked. His head-nodding hooks and low-hum vocals composes itself into music that you will have on repeat for hours. Though the Portland, Oregon native has only released two singles to debut his upcoming album/mixtape, the twenty-two year old has branded himself as a vibrant rapper that fuses his Ethiopian culture, synth house drops, and Kanye West and OutKast inspired beats. His new single, “RED MERCEDES,” released March 10, 2017, effectively allures those who listen with an energetic yet relaxed hook. Aminé skillfully delivers a sound and twist on the genre blend between hip-hop, rap, and alternative making him an artist to be on the lookout for.
Fresh out of high school and fresh into the spotlight, Khalid has formed himself into a phenomena that can only get bigger from his groovy hit single, “Location”. The effortless runs and R&B hopeless romantic vibes that emit from his songs guarantee an emotional connection from singer to listener despite who you are and what you are going through. From El Paso, Texas, this 18-year-old has effortlessly crooned and used his smooth voice to climb his way up to the top of the charts. His debut album, “American Teen,” released on March 3, 2017, mixes youthful exuberance and first love heartbreak all in one. Recently, his vocals have been used on Kendrick Lamar’s new track, “The Heart Part 4,” and have shaken up the music industry’s definition of passionate, satisfying music. Khalid’s fluid harmonies are a guaranteed worthwhile listen that will make you wanting more.
Native to Alpharetta, Georgia, this local artist has created a unique vision that stretches beyond just the music. Ricardo Valentine, or better known by his stage name 6LACK (pronounced black), released his project, “FREE 6LACK,”on November 18, 2016. The project alone produced a mass reaction that established a standout connection with his fans – a deeper, more personal story that regards Valentine’s past six years with struggles both in music – label battles – and personal – romantic relationships that took a turn for the worse. The diverse blend of moody hip-hop, singing, and melodic beats demonstrate the idea that there are no structural bounds for him. 6LACK uses raw vulnerability to his advantage as he croons throughout his 11-track album. With a rapid growing fan base and getting noticed by bigger artists, 6LACK is an artist not to be missed out on.
With a newly released debut solo album, At What Cost, on March 24, 2017, GoldLink has set the stage for his well deserved rise of fame. The 23-year-old’s introspective soul-house sound is exactly what the future of hip-hop, rap, and R&B is headed towards. With a good balance between upbeat, textured rhymes and more heartfelt riffs, GoldLink transforms what we hear into a stunningly cohesive sound that takes us through a journey. Though the DMV-bred rapper has been in the game since 2015, it’s clear to see that he has found his aesthetic with his newest project, and it is clear to see that with singles, “Crew,” and “Meditation,” that this is the push he needed to make him one of the freshest, original musicians in the game this year.