Six Great Artists I Started Listening To in 2015

What I love about having started this blog, second to featuring the up and coming, is checking out new music from different genres. Before I began working on Spotlight, I was pretty selective about the music that I listened to, focusing on R&B, hip-hop, gospel, and pop. With the widely different music submissions that we get, I was kind of forced to step outside my comfort zone and check out new music from other genres. I branched out into a lot of alternative, folk, blues, and electronic music surprisingly, and even some rock and country!

That being said, I definitely started regularly listening to some great artists this year, one of whom is actually nominated for three Grammys on his debut project! Definitely wanted to share them with you guys. I hope that you like them!

Check them out below!

James Bay

Quite a few of the artists I've started listening to over the past few years, I actually first heard on TV shows. Even if a show doesn't provide the artist and song name of a track that I like, I try to quickly type some of the lyrics I remember into Google so I can find it. That was the case when I was binge watching The CW's hit show Reign earlier in the year, and heard British singer-songwriter James Bay for the first time, loving his song "Incomplete."

James' music is a seamless folk-rock mix, energetic at times and mellow at others. His debut studio album, Chaos and the Calm, reflects that, and has been widely successful, with the album going platinum in the UK, and gold in other countries. Singles "Let It Go," and "Hold Back the River," have done well, and his work has garnered him Grammy nominations this year for Best New Artist, Best Rock Album, and Best Rock Song!

Bizzy Crook

I first saw hip hop artist Bizzy Crook as an opening act for Wale's most recent Simply Nothing Tour this past February. I really liked Bizzy's flow and material, and even bought a few of the songs I liked as he performed. The artist dropped his critically-acclaimed project, No Hard Feelings back in 2014, and is gearing up for his new project, From Everything Came Nothing, which will be released on Tidal Discovery.

Recently, the Miami rapper performed at the 2015 Made in America festival which was headlined by BeyoncéThe Weeknd, J. Cole and others!

Skye Townsend

The daughter of actor and director Robert Townsend, Skye Townsend has created buzz for herself as an R&B/pop singer, releasing two EPs, Vomit (2012), and Rocking Chairs (2015). I've seen her music circulating throughout my Twitter timeline, and decided to give her music a listen. The LA-based singer is pretty good!


I first heard Nao's (pronounced NAY-O) track, "Zillionaire," on the Samsung Galaxy Note5 S Pen commercial, and automatically loved it. I only had the lyrics played in the short snippet, but found her on Google as well, and became a fan! The British singer-songwriter brings a mix of neo-soul, electronic, and alternative R&B that I find really soothing.

Nao has released two EPs, So Good (2014) and February 15 (2015), and played Glastonbury Festival back in June. Her most recent track, "Bad Blood," is one that I play almost every day!

Tove Lo

I was introduced to Tove Lo after Wale tweeted about her music one day. The Swedish artist has been deemed as an indie pop singer with a dark tone. Her debut album, Queen of the Clouds, including singles "Habits (Stay High)" and "Not on Drugs," has gained various awards and nominations since the album's release in 2014. Her song "Moments" is one of my favorites!

William Singe

William Singe is an artist I found on YouTube, after looking up Drake's video for "Hotline Bling," To me, William's cover of the song is better than the original! His voice is so smooth!

William's done a variety of covers including TLC's "No Scrubs," Justin Bieber's "Sorry," and even Fetty Wap's "Trap Queen." A bunch of his covers are available on iTunes, and other music is on his website as well. 

What do you think of these artists? What are some artists that you started listening to this year? 

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