Words: Charlie Lake
There has been an explosion of new music recently, with the likes of Kanye West, Drake and Young Thug all dropping full length projects, much to the anticipation of their huge fans bases. However, it is not just the established powerhouses of the industry that are making waves, as there is a wealth of untapped musical talent that is on the verge of breaking into the mainstream. To help navigate your way through the musical minefield, we have selected the best 5 upcoming artists that deserve your attention this Autumn.
Professionally known as Kaycyy Pluto or Kaycyy, the Kenyan-American artist is fast becoming one of the most sought after singers and songwriters within the music industry. Managed by Bu Thiam, the brother of R&B great Akon, Kaycyy has had the opportunity to let his talents see the light of day, having connections and upcoming collaborations with the likes of Pierre Bourne, Kanye West, Vic Mensa, Travis Scott, Justin Bieber and legendary The Weeknd producer Gesaffelstein. Kaycyy worked closely with Kanye on his most recent body of work, ‘Donda’, singing the hook on the song ‘Keep My Spirit Alive’ and had songwriters’ credits on songs ‘Hurricane’, which has now surpassed 175 million streams on Spotify and Apple Music, ‘Praise God’ and ‘24’. His upcoming album titled ‘Who is Kaycyy?’ will answer exactly that, and if executed properly, will showcase his talents alongside a wide variety of collaborators. He is certainly one to keep a close eye on.
Yebba, despite being around in the music scene for several years, is now only just be shunned into the limelight following several key guest appearances in recent time, all of which have been massively impressive. Co-signed to Ed Sheeran’s record label Gingerbread Man Records since 2017, Yebba has enjoyed collaborations from the likes of Zane Lowe, Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith and celebrated producer and hit-maker Mark Ronson. Most recently, however, Yebba performed the interlude ‘Yebba’s Heartbreak’ on Drake’s album ‘Certified Lover Boy’, arguably a standout of the record, adding to the theme of the highs and lows of relationships explored in the album. Yebba also released her album ‘Dawn’ in September of 2021, which has guest appearances from A$AP Rocky and Dreamville artist Smino, which quite rightly received much appraisal across the board. Yebba’s varied vocal range and sensitive subject matter is just part of what makes her such an attractive prospect for the years to come.
Another Kanye West prodigy, Vory, is also a promising young talent. The Kentucky singer, rapper and songwriter had three guest appearances on Ye’s Donda album, on the tracks ‘God Breathed’, ‘Jonah’ and the record’s outro, ‘No Child Left Behind’. Again, Vory’s vocal range is nothing short of outstanding, with his ordinary pitch being a deeper tone, yet he has the ability to sing high-pitched refrains and vocal texturing, such as on ‘Jonah’, where we find Vory singing on the song’s hook about battling the inner demons in his life and needing a shoulder to lean on. His upcoming album is rumoured to be executive produced by Mr West, meaning he will have an active input in the track listing and the overall quality of the project, which is still yet to have a name. This will be Vory’s first official studio album release, and it follows a string of EPs from 2016, 2018 and 2020. Keep your eyes peeled for more details of forthcoming release.
This enigmatic English singer and songwriter has garnered a lot of attention and support over the last year, particularly on the social media platform TikTok. She cites the app’s algorithm as one of her main tools in the creative process of making her music, since she is able to monitor which snippets that she uploads become more popular and have more shares and thus can record a full-length track for those that receive millions of likes. Her singles ‘Pain’ and ‘Just for Me’ both charted in the UK Hot 40, coming in at 35 and 27 on the UK Music Charts respectively. Following her debut hit ‘Break it Off’ in, she was signed to Parlaphone Records, and has since featured on rapper Goldlink’s album ‘Haram!’ earlier this year. Her music style is an upbeat and catchy fusion of pop, drum and bass, garage, and jungle. She is due to release a mixtape compiled of a number of her already released hits and some new yet-unheard music. Despite her complete virality on the internet and digital streaming platforms, her real name remains unknown to the general public, and she rarely uploads pictures of herself to social media, maintaining her somewhat mysterious persona. She is without a doubt one of the UK’s brightest prospects when it comes to the next generation of music artists, bringing a new, undeniably catch sound which just cannot be ignored, not least due to its virality.
From Leicester, CJ Pandit is the so-far largely unheard art-pop trailblazer. Over a steady drip of singles released throughout the last two years, the solo multi-instrumentalist and producer has proven his worth, creating immersive, intellectual, and introspective indie-pop music. His sound is like a beautiful amalgamation of Bon Iver and The 1975, whilst also being clearly 80s inspired, thus providing an excellent equilibrium between nostalgia and futurism. His debut single ‘Karelu’ was telling of what was and still is come, serving as a masterfully produced and dynamic sing-along track, with an addictively snappy and tuneful refrain. Most recently, back in May, CJ released his debut EP ‘Just Before You Disappear’, consisting of 5 memorable indie-pop, each exploring various aspects and nuances of love and relationships. If you are fan of the likes of Declan McKenna, The 1975 and the exciting genre of indie-pop, then we recommend that you lend CJ Pandit your ear.