Amex AIR: Follow the Journeys of Rae Sremmurd, Borns, Gavin James & Pia Mia

On Monday (Aug. 17), American Express revealed the four buzzworthy musicians that are featured in the second cycle of its 2015 Artists in Residence program -- a campaign that aims to boost awareness of emerging acts through a series of compelling live performances and online interviews that tell story of each artist’s journey and the inspiration behind their music.

Tonight (Aug. 20), the fantastic four -- Rae SremmurdBørns, Pia MiaGavin James  – will hit the stage El Rey Theater in Los Angeles for a showcase that will display the talents that have made them some of the year’s most acclaimed new acts. Billboard and Amex AIR will share exclusive performance footage and behind-the-scenes interviews from the event in the coming days. Until then, check out the videos below to learn about the paths each of the artists took to become music’s next big thing.

American Express Announces Amex AIR 2015 Artists

Rae Sremmurd: “We’re not going out with the intention of sounding like this person because this song is hot right now. You’ve got to come out with something new. You’ve got to stand out. And that’s what we shoot for – different, but still banging.”

Børns: “I remember playing some shows at biker bars and being like, I’m not going to make it out of here alive. I’m singing like a girl up there. But really they enjoyed it. Sometimes they’d come up to me after and say, ‘Hey! Good job up there. You sing like a goddam angel.”

Pia Mia: “I think no matter what you do, you have to be tough. In any career choice, there are always people that are wanting to take you down. If you work hard and just do you, they’ll become believers.”

Gavin James: “When I stated off, I used to do all these open mic nights in pubs (in Dublin). Pub crows are really tough… The first gig, I think there were like three people. Eventually, that pub become 600 people. And loads of (them) started singing along with the songs.”

Learn more about the Amex AIR: Artist in Residence Program