25 Artists to Watch in 2017

25 Artists to Watch in 2017

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Check out the rising artists we're tapping to make major moves in 2017.

Predicting breakout artists isn't an exact science. For every budding star at the center of the musical zeitgeist there's a bedroom-produced hopeful who rockets to success off the back of a track blowing up on SoundCloud or YouTube. That's the beauty of music in 2017, it comes from places you wouldn't expect and is never short on fresh sounds.

Regardless, we've pulled together 25 of our favorite rising artists that we're expecting to blow up this year. Check out the list below and see who we'll be watching and eagerly waiting for new music from in 2017.

Alexandra Savior

Home city: Los Angeles, CA

Why: The freshness of Alexandra Savior’s voice hits like a blast of cool air. Coupled with the fact that she’s been developing a fruitful production relationship with Alex Turner (Arctic Monkeys, Last Shadow Puppets), her album "Belladonna of Sadness" which is due April 7 should be nothing short of spectacular.

For fans of: Warpaint, Angel Olsen

Xavier Omär

Home city: San Antonio, TX

Why: If there were a secret lab that created R&B stars, their 2017 model would probably sound something like Xavier Omär. Omär writes sexy songs that celebrate women and never objectify, showcased best on standout single "Blind Man." His 2016 release "The Everlasting Wave" features a confident voice and mature sound, with eclectic production that keeps his neo-soul sound fresh.

For fans of: Smino, Erykah Badu

serpentwithfeet

Home city: New York, NY

Why: Look like nobody else, sound like nobody else, perform like nobody else and you might have a crack at making it through the white noise in 2017. Josiah Wise, aka serpentwithfeet, won’t have any trouble making an impact this year. With a critically acclaimed EP in the bag from last year, expect this classically trained singer to make creative strides this year.

For fans of: Bjork, Frank Ocean

Charlotte Day Wilson

Home city: Toronto, Canada

Why: Charlotte Day Wilson has the kind of voice that captures your attention immediately. Sultry and smoldering, it pairs perfectly with the hauntingly powerful music she creates. Her tracks are full of atmosphere, building from quiet moments to powerful emotional climaxes. This singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist has talent for days.

For Fans Of: BADBADNOTGOOD, Sade

DJ Seinfeld

Home city: Barcelona, Spain

Why: There’s a burgeoning lo-fi counterculture spreading in house music and DJ Seinfeld is leading the charge. It might look like he’s taking the piss at first glance, but his first record just flew off the shelves and is already slated for a repress. He’s got a knack for making seriously emotional dance tracks, and he’s been hoarding an arsenal of tunes that’ll only stoke the fire of this rapidly growing microcosm (shout-out Slav.)

For fans of: Aphex Twin, Bicep

THEY.

Home city: Los Angeles, CA

Why: LA-based duo THEY. are far from strangers to the game. Producer Dante made a name as a pop-producer, working behind the scenes on major hits — remember “Mr. Know It All?” That beat was him — and singer Drew cut his teeth writing with artists like Jeremih. Together, THEY. craft a blend of hip-hop and rock driven by earworm hooks with serious cross-genre appeal. Though they’re only in their early 20s, they’re already industry vets ready to break out.

For fans of: Jeremih, Tory Lanez

A2

Home city: London, UK

Why: It’s undeniable that UK hip hop is having a well-deserved moment, so it’s no surprise to see artists like A2 making a charge. His flow is less aggravated than some of his UK peers, but he’s icy cold and has a touch of the Toronto/OVO sound that could see him tip into mainstream.

For fans of: Giggs, Stormzy

6LACK

Home city: Atlanta, GA

Why: 6LACK (it’s pronounced “black” — he hates “six-lack”) brings an emotional twist to the sound of Atlanta, fusing trap instrumentals with brooding vocals that focus on the dark side of relationships. With millions of YouTube views on tracks from his debut album "FREE 6LACK" (and one of the best album covers of the year — seriously, where did he find the bear?), he looks poised for a big year.

For fans of: Travis Scott, Bryson Tiller

Mark Johns

Home city: Los Angeles, CA

Why: Look at the name Mark Johns, who recently released an EP via Skrillex’s OWSLA label, and you’d probably expect to hear a heavy-hitting wall of sound. Hopefully you learned not to judge a book by its cover. The name Mark Johns belongs to 22-year-old singer/songwriter Naomie Abergel whose voice captivated Skrillex’s entire team and is on a clear pathway to the top.

For fans of: Alina Baraz, Wafia

Princess Nokia

Home city: New York City, NY

Why: Princess Nokia embodies New York City, but not because she draws on the sounds of its hip-hop heritage. She’s fully New York because her music is confident, creative and puts her unique identity and culture on full display. And, oh yeah, the tracks are hard as hell.

For Fans Of: M.I.A., Cakes Da Killa

Liss

Home city: Aarhus, Denmark

Why: A group of Danish teenagers who barely look old enough to drive making '80s tinged R&B tracks shouldn’t make sense, but that’s the beautiful thing about music in 2017. The four-piece band’s debut EP has been racking up plays by the millions, so it’s only a matter of time before this European boy band captures the hearts of fans across the pond.

For fans of: The xx, Blood Orange

Sampa the Great

Home city: Sydney, Australia

Why: Sampa the Great has been around the world — born in Zambia, raised in Botswana, now living in Sydney and playing shows internationally. This global influence puts a fresh spin on the boom bap beats and bars at the heart of her music. Sampa’s slam poetry background shines through in her skillful lyrics and the soulful messages she delivers in them.

For Fans Of: Joey Badass, Lauryn Hill

Jazz Cartier

Home city: Toronto, Canada

Why: There must be something in water in Toronto to have caused this overflow of talented, young rappers. After putting out a dizzying array of tunes in 2016 that caught the attention of Lil’ Wayne, this determined rapper shows no signs of slowing down.

For fans of: Drake, D.R.A.M.

Pell

Home city: New Orleans, LA

Why: When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, a young Jared Pellerin had to move from his home city to Jackson, Mississippi, but the city’s unique culture and sound never left him. His soulful brand of hip-hop is full of bounce and positivity, and with a charming personality and unique style Pell looks primed for stardom.

For fans of: Chance the Rapper, A Tribe Called Quest

Tennyson

Home city: Toronto, Canada

Why: The chemistry of this brother/sister duo comes alive when you see them perform their dynamic blend of jazz-infused electronic tunes live. Their futuristic landscapes wouldn’t sound out of place at a Disney theme park, yet you find yourself dancing to their quirky beat and can’t help but fall in love with these two adorable prodigies.

For fans of: Flume, Louis The Child

Twelve’len

Home city: Miami, FL

Why: Twelve’len’s sound isn’t exactly what you’d expect from an artist who frequently collaborates with Denzel Curry. Straying from Miami’s hard-hitting tradition, he makes soulful, feel-good music that feels like a ray of Florida sunshine. If you’re looking for something to jam with friends on a beautiful day, "Star Dust" is about as good as it gets.

For fans of: Anderson .Paak, Mac Miller

Cherrie

Home city: Stockholm, Sweden

Why: I don’t speak a lick of Swedish, but that won't stop me from trying to memorize all the sounds in Cherrie’s "Aldrig Igen," which features UK grime artist Stormzy. The Somalian singer now calls Sweden home, but her powerful voice transcends any global boundaries.

For fans of: Jhene Aiko, Solange

noname

Home city: Chicago, IL

Why: Noname started 2016 as something of an enigma. Standout features on two Chance the Rapper albums had her name on the lips of hip-hop heads, but with an aversion to press and no proper solo release there was an air of mystery around the poet-turned-rapper. "Telefone" changed all that, putting on full display the ear for production, heartfelt tone and effortless lyrical mastery that make her one of the genre’s brightest stars.

For fans of: Mick Jenkins, Isaiah Rashad

KUČKA

Home city: Perth, Australia

Why: Getting featured on a Flume record that eventually goes gold is surely one way to get noticed. But peel back the covers on KUČKA and you’ll notice she’s got a slew of original tracks that showcase her syrupy vocals in a more subdued manner. There are clear comparisons to AlunaGeorge, and she’ll likely be called upon for some major-league features in 2017.

For fans of: AlunaGeorge, Grimes

Declan McKenna

Home city: Hertfordshire, UK

Why: Declan McKenna is only 18, but he’s already developed a remarkable knack for crafting charming indie hits. He catapulted straight from school onto festival stages when he won Glastonbury Festival's 2015 Emerging Talent Competition, and hasn’t slowed down since. A debut album is on the way, and we’re excited to see what’s next from this increasingly talented singer-songwriter.

For fans of: Two Door Cinema Club, Foals

Bonzai

Home city: London, UK

Why: Bonzai, an explosive Irish vocalist who now resides in London, is anything but boring. Her technicolor sound fuses grime, dancehall, techno and hip-hop and is some of the most forward-thinking club music around. Her tracks grabbed the attention of Flume, so he asked her to support his most recent European tour. We wouldn’t be surprised to see her as a guest feature on one of his tracks in the near future.

For fans of: Ms. Dynamite, Katy B

MUNA

Home city: Los Angeles, CA

Why: LA trio MUNA makes moody synth-pop that sticks. The powerful hooks and draw you in, but the emotion behind their songs on sexuality, relationships and self-discovery will keep you thinking and coming back. With last year’s successful "The Loudspeaker EP" under their belt, their album "About U" is sure to make waves when it drops February 3.

For fans of: CHVRCHES, Grouplove

Cancer

Home city: Copenhagen, Denmark

Why: There’s an undeniable sense of anguish in the quivering falsetto of Nikolaj Vonshild, but there’s also a lot of beauty in his fragile and intimate delivery. Cancer is a dark departure from Vonschild’s previous band, When Saints Go Machine, but his clever songwriting shines on this new project with spacious guitar riffs and patient chord progressions. Cancer’s debut album Totem lands on Jan. 27.

For fans of: alt-J, Bon Iver

Nav

Home city: Toronto, Ontario

Why: Atmospheric instrumentals, brooding crooning and drugged-out lyrics — sound familiar? It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Nav became the latest signing to The Weeknd’s XO label in late 2016. He has the recipe for Toronto’s signature sound down to a science, and with rumors of a collab mixtape with Metro Boomin on the way, Nav could be the next artist from The Six to blow.

For fans of: PARTYNEXTDOOR, Post Malone

Still not enough new music for you? Check out the playlist below for tracks from even more artists we're expecting to make waves this year. It's going to be a good one.