Spring is in full swing with the welcome mat for 2022’s breakthrough artists firmly laid. National and international roots enter the fray with rising artists cutting through the noise with flashes of promise to make a name for themselves. Fan communities on the rise, playlists dominating our everyday rituals, it was only right to put together a curation of the ones to watch right now, from the UK to US, and beyond. Tune yourself in…
New York via Florida, 454 is a rapper and producer gathering a vision of raw emotion. 454’s music cuts a poignant vulnerability at the core with elements of pitch-shifting make it distinct from his online counterparts. There is not one certain direction for 454, his refusal to stay in that insular lane creates an endless possibility with his music, always seeking for something new, and unheard.
Detroit rapper, Babyface Ray is next in line. The son of a pastor who once hid his musical endeavours from his family because he thought he was doing something wrong, but fast forward 18 years later and his father, Randal masks the cover of his breakthrough album, Face, released this year. Years in the game and a household name in his region, Babyface Ray has been drooling out conversational raps, street tales and funk beats since 2010. A powerful mover in the game and a representation of Detroit’s fruitful artistry.
Producer, singer, songwriter, and filmmaker – Nia Archives could be considered all of them. But we are here for the music. Nia showcases her admiration of mid-90s UK dance while devoting herself to the jungle scene of now. Her music treads along with diaristic lyrics about parties and problems with big scoops of bass to an informed pastiche of Jungle cues.
Berwyn’s music is a release of power fuelled from an underlying sense of the trails and tribulations he may have faced throughout his life. It is an escapism of reality for many, and more so for Berwyn himself. Self-taught and self-made, Berwyn’s debut mixtape spotlights moments of adversity through distinct bursts of rap with a vibrancy to his singing voice. A full deserved nomination for the Mercury Prize is only the start of his ascendency, and it is looking like 2022 could be his year…
Finn Askew is a lover of poetry and has a knack for translating this infatuation into his infusion of lo-fi beats, warm blends of Jazz and high vocal ranges. Born in the UK, from the sleepy Somerset town of Wellington, Askew’s sound hails from an adolescent exploration of everything from emo rock to downtempo R&B, where youth and love create the centrepiece to his stories which wouldn’t go out of place on a Post Malone record.
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