This week, we’re looking to the future and sharing some of the brightest upcoming artists in the music world. Some are already well on their way to immense success, while others are right on the precipice of becoming future hitmakers.
Unusual Demont – hey!
Working with Spotify as part of their fresh finds programme, Wisconsin’s Unusual Demont partnered up with producer The Idiot (Kieran Watters) for his latest single ‘hey!’. Influenced largely by his grandfather, the drummer for R’n’B and soul legend Curtis Mayfield, as well as contemporary artists such as Frank Ocean, Demont’s style combines intricate lyricism with upbeat R’n’B beats. On‘hey!’, he delivers on the same level of NoMBe, Childish Gambino and Brockhampton, creating a maelstrom of R’n’B and alternative hip-hop with unrivalled style. Speaking about working with Spotify on ‘hey!’, Unusual Demont shared:
“At this point, I think it’s almost a trademark of mine to make upbeat songs that have really intense lyrical meaning. Even though ‘hey!’ on the surface sounds like a really fun and energetic song, just being that I was inspired by a lot of old punk rock at the time, it was written during an extremely stressful transitional period in my life. From fear of living in the US because of my skin tone to songs I made for fun becoming a source of income, it’s been a lot, to say the least. But what made me feel a bit better at the time, as almost an affirming mantra, is that ‘the family is fine.’ Like I can support and make them proud doing the things I’m doing right now. It was super fun to work with Kieran on this song just because I think we really see eye-to-eye in making ‘melodic chaos’ where the energy is so loud but under it all you can hear those synths creepin in. He has such a library of just wild percussion and sound effects and his layering is golden. Spotify giving a platform to something so different is really a testament to just making what you like and the right people will feel it.
Julia Wolf – RBF Part 1
Another artist from Spotify’s fresh finds programme, hailing from Queens, New York City, Julia Wolf, is ready for her incomparable take on pop music to be heard everywhere. ‘RBF Part 1’ (resting bitch face) immediately grabs you, not just with Wolf’s straight to the point lyrics, but the speed at which she delivers widely varied vocals. Sounding as though she should be rapping at times, Julia Wolf’s unique vocal display transcends as quickly from smooth R’n’B/pop displays as it does to razor-sharp hip-hop inflexions. Mixing her vocals with trap heavy beats, ‘RBF Part 1’ for lack of better phrasing, sounds sick as fuck. Speaking about the single, Wolf shared:
“I’ve been told I can have a ‘resting b*tch face,’ which I used to take personally but now I know it’s not a negative thing. I’ve learned over the years how being too nice can translate to people taking advantage of you and, growing up especially, I was overly accepting of that behaviour… being certain of yourself and finding that power in you to say ‘No’ can also label you as a ‘b*tch.’ In a twisted way it feels like a compliment that I’m doing something right”.
Joy Crookes – Feet Don’t Fail Me Now
Joy Crookes is by no means a newcomer to the music world; however, the London based artist is rapidly becoming a big name on everyone’s lists. Her latest single, ‘Feet Don’t Fail Me Now’, is another classic in the making, bringing UK soul together with Motown stylings in a celebration of Crookes’ multicultural upbringing. With the swagger of South London coursing through the grand, cinematic production on her latest single, Crookes explores the delicate territory of online activism that often is viewed as half-hearted performatism:
“This song is one of the most complicated songs I’ve ever written (in a good way). The track carries with it a deep sense of irony, it’s written from the perspective of someone who finds it easier to remain complicit out of a fear of being cancelled. During the social and political turmoil of the last 12 months, performative behaviour has become prevalent alongside cancel culture. These two reactions I think are often intertwined as cancel culture can be a response to half-hearted performatism.”
“In some sense you can sympathise with the perspective I’m singing from because cancel culture is scary, as is re-educating yourself and challenging your friends and families. Ultimately I hope the song encourages people to be a bit braver, whilst the themes are clear in my head the chorus is universal – ‘man I guess I was scared, feet don’t fail me now, I got to stand my ground and though I’m down for trying, I am better in denial so I hush don’t make a sound’. Open up a dialogue, speak out, make mistakes – that’s okay and that’s how progress happens.”
Walt Disco – Selfish Lover
Fancy something more different? A bit edgier? Queer perhaps? Well, Glaswegian alt-pop outfit Walt Disco are here to pave the way to a much more queer future for pop music. Equal parts goth rock and post-punk, while simultaneously rocking out to New Romantics era synth-pop, Walt Disco are arguably one of the most exciting bands to have emerged in the past few years. ‘Selfish Lover’ is a prime example of the Glaswegian group’s ability to flaunt their weird and wonderful take on pop, crafting a queer-banger that the goths, punks, and mainstreamers will all love. Walt Disco shared:
“Last year we got creative with thinking about old experiences – who can’t relate to having a relationship where they were with a selfish lover?! The monotony of writing songs in our pyjamas made us want to think about the fun and chaotic times of the past and give ourselves the feeling of a party in our bedrooms by referencing modern hyper-pop, 2000s girl groups and the bands that inspired us to be who we are like Scissor Sisters, Dead or Alive and Frankie Goes To Hollywood.”
Deb Never – Disassociate
If you’re big into gloom-pop, emo-hop or whatever you want to label Deb Never’s music as then you’re already aware of how her music is ready to take over every playlist and platform across the globe. Taken from her upcoming EP “Where Have All The Flowers Gone”, out July 23rd, ‘Disassociate’ continue with the L.A. natives take on creating sad-bangers that slap just as hard as they are made for the greyer days in our lives. Wanting to run away from the overwhelming nature of life, Deb Never’s latest captures the mood of every generation in their 20’s, cementing her work as a timeless banger ready to be re-loved by generations yet to come.