With many diverse acts currently in UK music, it’s easy for some to fall under the radar. Here are 7 artists that need to be on yours
The South London songstress continues to build momentum. Her projects 22 and, more recently, Hussle x Dreams have both made big waves, and not just in the UK.
Across the pond, Hussle has begun to establish a fanbase without even having to step foot there herself. Although she shines as a vocalist, there is more to hear than that. Not only a singer, but Ling Hussle also can rap and has shown to take an interest in multiple business aspects of her career. Clearly, the act is passionate about her vision of what she wants. You can’t help but get sucked into Ling Hussle’s vibe.
Hailing from Hackney, Bel Cobain is still a relative newcomer to the scene. Her sound is extremely mellow and captures a dreamscape like sound through both her choices in production but also in her vocals. She can range from quiet dulcet tones, that can lull you into a calm, or hit you with some more reverberating arrangements. Add to this her blend of poetic rap, and she’s a talent with all the potential to make it big. With only a selection of songs out so far across Spotify and Soundcloud, it has definitely left me wanting more music from her. ‘Emocean’, her latest release in an instant favourite. Cobain hits all the right notes lyrically, vocally, and production-wise.
Standing as an independent act to date, Bel Cobain deserves all the support as she continues to rise.
A Jamaican queen inna London. Alicai Harley should be the poster girl for the resurgence of dancehall music coming from the UK. In the past, we’ve had Stylo G and Gappy Ranks, but Harley is doing it for the ladies. Bringing in the vibes and with messages of independence and strength, there’s nothing not to like about her. The artist also seems very content with being herself and going against the grain but doing so only to be true to her sound rather than just to stand out. From bops to ballads, Alicai Harley has got you covered. Her style is contagious and fun without compromising on quality writing and content. Hopefully, Harley can be the catalyst for dancehall to grab the spotlight in the same way early adopters of afro-swing powered the sound to the forefront of the UK’s sound.
Another gem out of South London, JGrrey is probably one of the more recognisable faces on this list. Having made waves through a sublime performance on COLORS she is as close to a classic R&B artist as I think we can get in 2019. Despite clearly at home in the realm of R&B, she noticeably takes from other genres too. Blending these in alongside her personal experiences, even sometimes the mundane, make for JGrrey to be endearing. She sounds very relatable and that’s something we all love to hear in our music. Honest, and self-reflective, with some humour mixed in (‘I made pasta and chicken/ And it’s finger lickin’) Grrey is definitely an artist we need to give flowers to, now.
South London stand up, it’s another one!
Born in Bermondsey, moving to Hastings, and later Mexico; Greentea Peng is a talent that we only got because of her constant moving around. She almost quit music whilst going through a dark period but luckily after a trip to Mexico and getting back into singing she returned and has remained with music. The “green tea” portion of her name does a pretty good job of matching with her sound. It’s laid back, calming, and smooth. You could as much have it as chill music amongst friends as you could have it in your headphones getting through your latest bit of work. A more recent alumnus of COLORS than JGrrey but with an equally memorable performance, Greentea Peng has gained traction pretty quickly. No doubt her unique look helps with that as it reflects her comfortability with 100% being herself, but more so it’s that her talent is undeniable.
Etta Bond needs no introduction.
She is one of the best vocalists in the country. Having toured earlier this year, releasing a double album, Bond is not somebody to be slept on. She can capture emotions in a pure and effortless way, largely due to how openly expressive she is in not shying away from speaking about the negative sides of things twinned with hopeful undertones that we all feel when things aren’t going our way. She can also give us the catchy stuff, just listen to her and A2 on ‘Surface’. Press play ASAP.
Independent rapper/artist, businesswoman, actress – she is a star. That’s it, that’s the hot take. No further explanation needed. Take Little Simz in, she’s better than a lot of your favorite rappers easily and without making a big deal of it. With both her ‘GREY Area’ album release and ‘Top Boy’ appearance in this 2019 alone, Simz continues to take over in a major way.