Ones to watch in 2018

If 2017 was the year of viral hip-hop releases, and girl power from the likes of SZA, Cardi B and Dua Lipa, then the next 12 months look like they belong to a fresh set of newcomers. Whilst scheduled releases from Nicki Minaj, Selena Gomez and the Gorillaz (again) will undoubtedly dominate the sales charts, there are plenty of up-and-comers with their eyes on the throne. Here’s our list of 2018’s contenders…

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Mahalia makes what she calls “psycho acoustic soul”. It’s clearly catching on, with 2.5million streams hits on her breakthrough single “Sober” and strong critical reception and rising numbers on her latest effort “No Pressure”. With a full length album set for release some time in 2018, the whole music world is watching.

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Yxng Bane

Yxng Bane has had an excellent 2017. The Disturbing London signee has racked up tens of millions of plays across Spotify, YouTube and SoundCloud with a catalogue that seamlessly shifts from dancehall-influenced love songs like “Rihanna” to the gritty, ominous sounds of latest single “Froze”. His diversity of sound, global influences and ear for a hook make Bane one of 2018’s most hyped artists. Watch this space.


A killer combination of drum-heavy tracks and dreamy vocals has seen Yaeji become New York’s most exciting EDM to underground pop crossover artist. In late 2017 she quit her graphic design job to work full time on her music almost


Brooklyn art rapper Orrin is about to take over. His sound layers lyrics deconstructing the modern male experience over SoundCloud beats and experimental soundscapes, while his fashion-forward image combines 2017 street style with vintage fashion, toy shop sunglasses and a taste for emerging NYC designers. In 2018 his world is set to expand even further beyond the confining stereotypes typically reserved for New York City rappers.

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Biig Piig

Biig Piig has a strange name but her out-there slow jams are like your favourite summer daydream. Tune in to her debut video “24K” for an instant reminder of what it’s like to be in love.

Rina Sawayama

Singer, model and social media sensation Rina Sawayama is making the kind of neo-pop that will eventually soundtrack the inevitable online apocalypse. Unafraid to articulate her experience with the digital world – something artists still seem reluctant to do – Rina is becoming an underground spokesperson for the internet generation.