13 Artists to Watch in 2013
They're not household names. . . yet, but these 13 music makers -- including pop stars in the making, a big "Voice," an up and coming rapper, and several hot bands -- are primed to do big things this year.
@ollyofficial | Pop
Olly Murs auditioned for Britain's "X Factor" in 2009 with raw talent and a dream and the result was wowing Simon Cowell (no easy feat) and becoming the runner-up of the competition that season. The British sensation, already well received in the UK, has finally crossed the pond with his single “Troublemaker,” featuring Flo Rida. America will get an even larger taste of Murs' vocal charms with the April 16 release of his album "Right Place, Right Time."
@CassadeePope | Country
Still riding high from winning Season 3 of NBC’s “The Voice,” Cassadee Pope has a promising year ahead of her. At 23, Pope recently signed a record deal with the Big Machine label group, home of country music’s golden girl Taylor Swift as well as The Band Perry. After wowing with covers of Sheryl Crow's “Steve McQueen” alongside Blake Shelton and a perfect rendition of Faith Hill’s “Cry” on TV, her talent (boasting feathery soprano vocals) should win her ever more fans in 2013 as she preps her album.
@HAIMtheband | Alternative Pop
With music running through their veins, Haim makes their business a family affair. Este, Danielle, and Alana are sisters that hail from Los Angeles and grew up playing in a band with their parents who exposed them to the genius musical stylings of Santana, Joni Mitchell, Donna Summer and more from a very early age. With precise harmonies and honest lyrics Haim delivers a perfect brand of pop music, one that balances sweet toe-tapping music with raw emotion. After their single “Don’t Save Me” gained tons of attention last month, it’s clear that 2013 will a special year for the sisters of Haim.
@joeyBADASS | Hip-hop
Brooklyn MC Joey Bada$$, 17, grabbed the hip-hop world’s attention last spring with the release of his mixtape, “1999.” Not only did the project showcase the teen’s confident flow and slick wordplay, it displayed a maturity and appreciation for old school hip-hop not expected from an artist his age. ‘90s hip-hop junkies will be amazed at how much Joey Bada$$’s music reminds them of 1995, which, ironically, is the same year the Flatbush native was born. “Unorthodox,” his recent collaboration with legendary producer DJ Premier, should make listeners yearn for a full project between the two, and is a bridge between eras that hip-hop needs.
@Alt_J | Rock
The British indie rock foursome released their debut album “An Awesome Wave” last fall stateside to much critical acclaim. And they’re still accepting applause for the effort now with three 2013 Brit Award nominations, including one for Best British Album. But they’ll make an even bigger splash this year when they come across the pond for their U.S. tour this spring.
@JheneAiko | R&B
Though she’s only begun to gain popularity over the last year, Jhené Aiko is no rookie. The Los Angeles native signed to Epic Records a decade ago, but left after realizing that the label didn’t know what to do with her. She resurfaced in 2011 with her “Sailing Soul(s)” project, which showed off her soft, silky voice and depth as a songwriter. The “3:16am” singer is currently preparing for the release of her album, “Souled Out,” which should satisfy the appetite of her rapidly expanding fan base.
@skyferreira | Pop
When she isn’t modeling, Sky Ferreira also holds a large audience’s attention with her other love: music. The L.A. native’s career was blessed with the influence of a legend early on by way of Michael Jackson, who her grandmother worked for and often spent holidays with. The 20-year-old’s debut album, “I’m Not Alright,” is due out this year and will blend dance-pop sensibilities with production from the likes of Jon Brion.
@charli_xcx | Pop
UK singer/songwriter Charli XCX doesn’t shy away from attention. The video for her latest single, “You (Ha Ha Ha),” features girls dressed to party and holding some pretty heavy artillery. It’s something “Jackie Brown’s” vulgar gun-runner Ordell Robbie would love. After catching ears with the singles “Stay Away” and “Nuclear Season,” she toured with Coldplay and Santigold and released her “You’re The One” EP last summer. “I Love It,” her collaboration with Icona Pop, is the theme for MTV’s “Snooki & JWoww” and she’ll look to keep the success going in 2013 with the release of her debut album.
The Lone Bellow
@TheLoneBellow | Americana
Folk comes to Brooklyn. New York trio The Lone Bellow is going to bring new meaning to the term “Brooklyn’s finest” in 2013. They’ve caught the ears of music lovers all over with their clean harmonies that teeter on the edge of old school gospel chords with their songs “Teach Me To Know,” “You Never Need Nobody” and their standout single “Two Sides Of Lonely.” The songs on the group's self-titled debut album, out now, are already giving Dwight Yoakam fans something to smile about as they are out on tour opening for the country iconoclast now.
@Timeflies | Pop/EDM/Hip-Hop
Timeflies is the musical lovechild of Bostonians-turned-Brooklynites Rez (producer) and Cal (vocalist). The duo combines elements of dubstep, hip-hop, and pop to build their unique sound, which mirrors the fusion pop sound created by production duo The Cataracs. Timeflies gained a following through “Timeflies Tuesdays” a weekly gift to fans that featured new music and freestyle sessions uploaded to Youtube to the tune of millons of views each. It’s helped with the promotion of their new single “Swoon.” Based on the smooth sounds of the cut and a slew of tour that includes stops at major venues like New York's Terminal 5, 2013 will probably take Timeflies up a few notches on pop music’s totem pole.
@TrinidadJamesGG | Hip-Hop
At times, an artist’s appearance can be a distraction from their music. Atlanta rapper Trinidad James’ style might instantly evoke memories of the infamously pimped-out grandeur of the Jerome character from the classic ‘90s sitcom “Martin” but it’s certainly not his most interesting quality. After becoming serious about rap less than a year ago, the newcomer dropped “Don’t Be S.A.F.E,” which spawned the obnoxious yet anthemic club hit “All Gold Everything.” The end result was a major deal from Def Jam Records. If his sold out New York show last December and the adoration he’s getting from peers like Big Sean and Wale is any indication, he’s on the right path.
@DeLongMusic | EDM
One of 2013's fastest rising EDM artists is Robert DeLong, a Los Angeles-via- Seattle act who's been gaining a good deal of buzz in the past year with his diverse EDM stylings. He's got a debut EP ("Global Concepts") out now on Glassnote Records, known for breaking a wide range of artists, like Mumford & Sons and Temper Trap. His live show is set to hit this year's Coachella festival, which could be a major step into making him a bona fide EDM star.
@goldfields | Synthpop
Those longing for the glory days of 80s synthpop will be glad to find Gold Fields, an Australian band with a knack for slick hooks and sleek, streamlined anthems. March 2012's four-song self-titled teaser set the tone for their sound, before the band dropped single "Dark Again (Lights Out)" late last year, their strongest offering yet. Their full-length debut "Black Sun" is due Feb. 26 via Astralwerks, as the quintet gears up for a big 2013. They'll be playing theater and club-sized venues for now, though their sound suggests they have areana-sized ambitions.
And a bonus Artist to Watch...
Twenty One Pilots
@twentyonepilots | Alternative
Fueled By Ramen enjoyed breakout success in 2012 with fun. and are hoping for similar results from the Columbus, Ohio duo Twenty One Pilots. The duo of Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun certainly sounds like it'd love a place on the Billboard charts, as debut album "Vessel" flashes bits of nearly every Top 40 genre imaginable, from hip-hop, to alt rock, to piano rock, to dance. Since the album dropped Jan. 8, lead single "Holding On to You" has debuted on Alternative Songs at No. 38.