By Katherine Stallard
On any given day, you could hear any number of songs. Whether it be a song playing in the grocery store, on the radio, or coming through your own earbuds, there is often a group of popular artists that are pushed upon you by outside influences. Whether it be through word of mouth or through ads on your Spotify, sometimes these popular artists get dismissed or ignored, simply because they are so prevalent in day to day, despite their popularity. In a day and age where media previlancy is extreme in our culture and it’s easier than ever to gain a musical following, I’m here to present some artists that while having a dedicated following, deserve every ounce of the hype.
Brockhampton may be a band you’ve heard of, but aren’t really familiar with. Until recently I wasn’t familiar with the band either. Despite having the group be recommended to me by media presences and friends, I somehow never took the opportunity to explore their discography. I would hear a song I enjoyed by them every so often on my Spotify, save it to my playlists and allow those songs to quickly become my anthems, but I never considered the band as a whole or pushed myself to listen to their body of work. When their heavily awaited album Saturation III finally dropped and I saw a raving sea of tweets on my timeline, I knew it was finally time. Little did I know, that Brockhampton was. This. Good.
Consisting of 12 guys and coining themselves “the best boy band since One Direction” in smash hit single ‘BOOGIE’, Brockhampton’s slamming r&b tunes are altering modern music one album at a time. Refusing to conform to the norms of pop music, Brockhampton pulls influence from all places, creating music that shouldn’t work but instead becomes the most confusing cohesive whole. With intense and passionate rap verses but also slower gentle vocals in certain tracks, it’s hard to categorize their music. It transcends genre like the best music does, and even for those that may have a bias towards rap music, Brockhampton is not a conventional rap group. Brockhampton is instead an explorative, thoughtful, and experimental band that I’ve yet to see let anyone down. While not being an on the radio/conventional type of popular, Brockhampton is making a big splash in the music industry and the world of music is loving it.
- The Neighbourhood
The Neighbourhood is a well known alternative band that is finally making a return to the music scene with their new 2018 EP “To Imagine”, and I am welcoming their return to radio with open arms. Ever since their track ‘Sweater Weather’, gained immense traction as one of the biggest tracks of 2013, The Neighbourhood has gained a dedicated group of fans. You’re most likely no stranger to their ground-breaking tracks that infuse rock influences with new age hip hop beats, alongside lead singer Jesse Rutherford’s dreamy and breathy vocals.
Like Brockhampton, The Neighbourhood fails to fit into the molds traditional music provides. With expertly produced tracks that live and breathe all on their own, to the hard-hittingness of their new songs like ‘Scary Love’, The Neighbourhood is changing the perceptions of good music and my expectations for the works of art they create are only going up.
SZA has quickly become a goddess among men in the music industry since the release of her album ‘Ctrl’. Hits like ‘Love Galore’ and ‘Drew Barrymore’ graced radios and streaming services everywhere her breathy vocals casting a spell on all her listeners. SZA was another artist that I wish I had taken advantage of sooner. Although she is a relatively new artist, she also has a 2014 album, ‘Z’, that is equally as formidable.
From being featured on tracks with Maroon 5 and Kendrick Lamar, SZA is making a splash. SZA’s album ‘Ctrl’, is an album packed with personality and prowess. The whole discography is skillfully crafted and it’s obvious that SZA deserves her rapidly growing following. With tracks to fit every mood, whether you’re ready to scream your lungs out or just enjoy her slow, melfulous vocals, there is a SZA song for every time and place. Her unique tone and style radiates through her music and I expect her to continue climbing up the ranks in the charts, (and in our hearts) as she rightfully should.
Listen to the artists mentioned here!