Phwoa. It’s a new year!

To say we’ve been and gone through the works would only be an inch of the truth. Now it’s time to take a breather, reset, and bring ourselves back into the swing of things as we head into a fresh year.

To kick things off, we thought we’d get a bit of a list going for the artists on the rise for our bright and shiny 2021. With so much talent floating around, we know how it feels to be overwhelmed with the ever-rising sea of artists and the challenge of keeping a keen eye on them all. So, we’ve done the deed of handpicking 7 of our favourites so far; wildly diverse in genre, but not enough to make you feel like you’re drowning in an endless pool of ‘new’.


7. Cat & Calmell

Yeah team, get well strapped in for these two Sydney artists. They’ve got a good deal of global pop-appeal dripping from their fingertips after releasing their first ever single ‘dumbs***’ which reflects the truth of being young and getting up to some decently dumb stuff. They met at an after-school programme for developing stars and now they kind of resemble a modern version of the Powerpuff Girls with their ridiculously bold style. It’s a treat to follow them on the gram which brings a splash of colour, modern-angst and cynical humour to the average Joe-Blogs’ feed. Don’t think you want to miss out on the news they’ve got coming in the next 365.

Get in the know


6. Celeste

Can you imagine scoring a BRIT Award, a Golden Globe nomination AND a #1 on the UK Albums Chart off the back of one release?! Welp. There’s no need to imagine, British up-and-comer Celeste’s gone and done ALL of that + more. Fresh off dropping her stunning debut album ‘Not Your Muse’ at the start of the year, Celeste’s broken records across the UK and she’s just getting started. Did we mention how *amazing* her new single ‘Love Is Back’ is? Sheeeesh! We’re getting serious Amy Winehouse/Norah Jones vibes mixed with a bit of Motown and we can’t get enough.

Keep up with Celeste


5. Gretta Ray

Winning multiple competitions at just 18 years old with her 2016 song ‘Drive’, The Melbourne singer hosts slow tunes and soft vocals, potentially helpful when you have something pressing to sort out in your mind. I’d recommend giving Ray a play in those long car rides where you’ve got the time to mull out the window and dive into her craft with intention.

I crush on her song ‘Radio Silence’ if you need somewhere to start.

She just released ‘Passion’ last December with producer Kyran Daniel, a track of velvety elegance and passion. If you’re into sophisticated love songs you’re really going to enjoy what Gretta Ray has on her radar this year as she takes the jump into new musical terrains.

Listen here


4. Alison Ponthier

You won’t find her on Spotify yet, but her devoted Instagram and TikTok followers certainly prove she’s one to watch in 2021. Her incredible covers over acapella harmonies on TikTok showcase her jaw dropping vocal range and tonality. The 24-year-old brings her Texas roots to life, not only through her powerful vocals but through her crafted guitar plucks.

If you’re a sucker for a powerful and emotive vocal and guitar duo, Alison will easily find her way into your playlist on your summer road trips when she finally releases those long-awaited works of art. Extra points for her weird but wonderful weekly updates on her home-made sculptures:



3. Muroki

Looking to de-stress your 2021 and start the year with the best intentions? Look no further. Muroki’s easy-listening jazz, reggae, pop, R&B and hip-hop influenced releases are on their way. Originally from Raglan, New Zealand, Muroki began making music when was a young kid, deciding at age 14 it was time to invest in recording equipment – planting a heap of local trees to help him earn the money for a bedroom studio.

He’s released three works so far, appearing on BENEE’s ‘All The Time (feat. Muroki)’ and then his own releases, ‘For Better Or Worse’ and ‘Light Me Up’- the upbeat, cheeky, romantic tunes of summer. Elton John even says he’s a fan!

Keep up with the play


2. deryk

I’ve been banging on about this fascinatingly intellectual human being in my own personal friend group these past couple of weeks. I’ve been really enjoying her releases as they offer something a little spicy to the table. Her last drop was back in 2020, a song called Brains [HOME DEMO]’, which was relatively surprising as she already generously gave us her full EP WOMb earlier last year. Busy girl, definitely one to keep track off as she fires through, and then ahead of the radar.


1. Gino October

2020 was a phenomenal year for Mr Gino October and I predict it’s only going to get better for him and his listeners alike in 2021. Gino’s effortless flow makes him a sensational up-and-coming New Zealand rap artist that’s spitting tracks like he’s got plenty more where those came from. Driven, open-minded and confident, October’s well on his way to dominate the scene.

“I need to keep working, carve my own way. I don’t know what it is yet but I’m going to call it a project for now but it’s only the start. I just learnt how to walk so there’s a lot more that’s going to take place.”

Listen to his work to date

2021 is shaping up to being a great comeback from 2020 and these are only a handful of artists catching momentum and working on incredible music to kickstart our summer.

Happy festival-season folks.


SEE ALSO: deryk’s Top 5 Things