This was such a monster year for great music that we need to prepare you for an even bigger 2019!
With the rise of streaming platforms and social media, it can be hard to keep up with all of the breakthrough artists becoming overnight successes. These are the ones that should be at the top of all of your playlists, the ones you turn up in the car and the ones you blast on the portable speaker that your brother got you for Christmas. So let’s not waste any more time… here are the artists to watch in 2019.
The new NZ three-piece band from Masterton that you may not have heard of yet, but with over 150,000 monthly listeners and 6 million Spotify streams – tastemakers certainly have. The trio effortlessly defies genres by fusing pop, rock and soul to create a sound which is best showcased by their breakthrough hit ‘Hurricane Love’ and their brand new smash single ‘Don’t Call Me Back’ which is currently hitting up the radio airwaves. Better not waste any more time on this one. They’re ‘one of the hottest new acts in town’ according to MTV and their debut EP ‘I was admiring her through a series of precision cut mirrors’ is out now!
Artist on the rise and triple-threat DaniLeigh is the name on everyone’s lips. After becoming a viral star on Instagram and YouTube for her impeccable covers, she is now dominating dance culture worldwide with songs of her own. She found a mentor in the late Prince at just eighteen years old and her star power has not stopped shining since. Now she’s starring in videos alongside Mala Rodriguez, J. Balvin, DJ Khaled + Asahd, about to embark on her headlining tour and just released an Apple Music World Record smash hit dreamy single ‘Blue Chips’ as part of her debut album ‘The Plan’.
Who is Benny Blanco? Oh, just the guy who’s sold over 100 million album sales worldwide and won a bunch of songwriting awards. He is behind ALL of your favourite tracks – he wrote ‘Teenage Dream’ as well as produced ‘Love Yourself’ and ‘Moves Like Jagger.’ Now he’s decided to finally release an album of his own – ‘Friends Keep Secrets’ is out now, featuring the likes of ‘Eastside’ with Halsey & Khalid and ‘I Found You’ with his good mate Calvin Harris. With the array of contacts he appears to have on his phone, no doubt he’s gonna continue to drop hit after hit!
Heard of the names Sam Smith, Florence and the Machine and Ellie Goulding? Well, Sam Fender has won the Brits Critics Choice award for 2018, the same award these three pop legends won early on in their careers. Sam is a British singer-songwriter with a propulsive, polished rock sound which tackles important social and political issues such as toxic masculinity and mental health. With the industry and already a legion of fans behind him, he’s going to go on to do HUGE things. Get his tracks ‘Poundshop Kardashians’ and ‘Dead Boys’ (Annie Mac’s ‘Hottest Record in the World’) in your ears AND keep your eyes peeled…
Destin Choice Route or better known as J.I.D hails from East Atlanta, Georgia and quickly became part of the rap game after being taken under the wing by Earthgang. After appearing on a collaborative album with them and perfecting his craft on multiple tours, he was later picked up by J. Cole and signed to his label Dreamville Records. J.I.D made his live debut TV performance on Fallon recently, performing ‘Skrawberries’ as a tribute to his would-be tour mate, the late Mac Miller. With two critically acclaimed albums under his belt already and headlining tour ‘Catch Me If You Can’ in January, there’s no stopping him.
From posting 15-second clips of herself singing covers of popular songs to being a two-time Grammy nominated artist all within just two years – Introducing R&B queen Ella Mai (although, you should already know who she is). She’s opened up for the likes of Bruno Mars and Kehlani, hyping up arenas with her breakthrough smash ‘Boo’d Up’, jumped on collabs with J.I.D, 6LACK and Meek Mill, played SNL, is #10 on Billboard’s Top Female Artists chart for 2018 and isn’t slowing down anytime soon. With a debut album and her first worldwide tour, make sure you can keep up with her in 2019…
Kian may be a sixteen-year-old highschooler but so was Lorde when she released ‘Royals’. His raw and angelic voice on his song ‘Waiting’ crowned him the winner of triple J’s Unearthed High 2018 competition in Australia and has gone on to rack up a massive 14 million Spotify streams. His infectious chorus on the song ‘Cloud 9’ with Baker Boy earned him a spot on the triple j Hottest 100 chart and gave him his first dose of festival exposure, playing the likes of Groovin’ The Moo and Splendour In The Grass. Picked up by mentor Vance Joy and set to release his debut album in 2019, he’s one to watch – and not just in Australia and NZ, but around the globe.
LA born and Wellington-based Jon Lemmon is always the nicest guy in the room – and one who’s going to dominate 2019. There’s no doubt you’ve already heard his “ecstatic dance pop” hits ‘It’s Gonna Be Alright’ and ‘Something True’ if you’ve been anywhere near a radio this year. We also may have heard a few of his unreleased new tracks at one of our artist showcases recently… and let’s just say, he’s set to continue releasing banger after banger!
All eyes on Jarad Higgins aka Juice Wrld aka the guy who knocked Drake and Kanye off the top spot on Spotify. From being Soundcloud rap’s best-kept secret to having his debut album ‘Goodbye & Good Riddance’ peak at #4 on the Billboard 200, you could say he’s become an overnight success. His hit singles ‘All Girls Are The Same’ and ‘Lucid Dreams’ showcase his genre-defying talent of being able to express vulnerability and pain through genius lyricism. Higgins has also just linked up with the elusive Benny Blanco on new track ‘Roses’. Don’t miss him at RNV headlining on December 29th!