The introduction of October has many meanings but the most prevalent is we are entering the last quarter of the year. At which case we can start pulling out the never-ending music lists. The one we’ve been discussing recently is our favourite artists who’ve emerged this year. I’ve had the time to pick out 3 artists who’ve been on my radar this year that you should know. Check them out below
With the Internet being a prodigious platform for music hopefuls worldwide, it can be easy to identify an individual who is simply not ready for what the industry holds. However, in a way, this can allow for an artist to develop on a human level simply through the musical experience they gain along the way.
Enter Eli Sostre, a 25-year-old Brooklyn native with an impact that can be firmly felt through his music. What is different with Eli is his timing, it is as if he made the music wait for him, with an art form that radiates a tone filled with self-direction and poise.
After the release of his freshman EP ‘Still Up All Night’ last summer, Eli has refined his artistry even further by fine-tuning a heavily R&B influenced sound, which he has carefully crafted alongside close, childhood friend and producer, Soriano. Together, they have developed an isolated cadence, carrying a dark, late night drive sound, rich with life experience, which Eli really presented to us with his 12-track, sophomore project ‘Sleep Is For The Weak’ that released in July. With it, Eli documents personal transitions and life lessons he has picked up thus far, with multiple references to past relationships, the art of self-validation as well as obstacles and sacrifices he has had to make.
Although what remains consistent is his aura; a narrative which upholds authenticity and growth, not only in his sound but as a young male from the streets of New York. What makes Eli stand out to me is the legitimacy felt through his music, allowing for a truly relatable listen every time, with tracks such as ‘New Addy’ demonstrating a desire to seek more from a stagnant, frustrating lifestyle it appears he used to live before he wholly committed to the music. On two of the twelve tracks on his latest EP, Eli teamed up with Soriano, exhibiting his own production skills, which he has been developing since his high school days at the age of 14.
What is striking is the individualism Eli Sostre brings to the table in a modern-day industry, where sounds and genres can so easily become interwoven and lost. This month, he embarks on a small tour, visiting both Los Angeles and his home city New York, which will finally give his fans a chance to vibe and connect with him on stage as he performs his material live.
With two projects in his catalogue, Eli and his camp have already established a strong in house feel to their music; something, which I am sure, will only develop further as I look forward to what comes next from the young musical mastermind.
Have a listen to Eli’s latest project ‘Sleep Is For The Weak’ below:
Over the past few years, Soundcloud has produced a lot of artists who have gone on to break into the mainstream. With talents such as Ugly God, Smokepurpp and Ramriddlz just to name a few, it is safe to say that ‘Soundcloud Rap’ can be identified as its very own genre. However, with that being said, Soundclous has also been placed under scrutiny for its contribution in the production of ‘mumble rappers’ who have been accused of staining the legacy of rap in the coming years.
Conversely, Soundcloud has also allowed for individuals such as myself to discover new talents every day with its huge musical depths. One of these discoveries was Danger Incorporated. The Atlanta based duo comprising of Louie Dufflebags and BoothLord create a clandestine, drug infused sound full of adolescence. The young collective, who explained that an episode of the 90’s childrens TV show ‘Goosebumps’ inspired their formation, produce music with a synth filled, ambient presence; with themes such as young heartbreak and mistrust seeming to be at the centre point of their influence. A sound unique most definitely, does though strike similarities with those from Swedish Internet sensation Yung Lean, whose cult following which includes Danger Incorporated, has been a huge influence in their melodic sound, to the extent where both members have multiple tattoos paying homage to the Stockholm born underground music revolutionist.
After the success of their five-track EP entitled ‘World Wide Web’ which dropped on Halloween last year, the pair were scouted by Father, who then announced he had signed them to his label, Awful Records. With no label more fitting, consisting of artists such as Tommy Genesis and Abra, Awful Records boasts a niche of artists who although are very different, merge together by their minimalistic beats, antisocial attitudes and ‘sad’ personas. These components come together and give every signed artist his or her own social media-fuelled music and aesthetic influence.
Following on from the internet success of singles such as ‘World Wide Web’ and ‘Body’ which gained accreditation due to a music video which was entirely shot using an iPhone 7, the duo have announced that their new album ‘Birds Fly By Night’ will be releasing soon via Awful Records.
Listen to the duo’s latest EP ‘World Wide Web’ below:
This Summer was filled with anthems, from French Montana’s ‘Unforgettable’ to the superstar collaboration which produced ‘Wild Thoughts’, an unlikely hit came from DC Artist Goldlink, with his gold-selling single, ‘Crew’. The track, which featured a new artist to many, Brent Faiyaz, immediately captivated listeners worldwide.
Though, with ‘Crew’ being a rare collab for Faiyaz, his feet stay rooted with his musical collective, Sonder, a trio comprised of Faiyaz alongside producers Dpat and Atu. My initial discovery came after hearing their debut ‘Into’ EP, which was complete with the raw, sultry vocals from Faiyaz, laced over a melodic, but simplistic late 80’s R&B sound, reminiscent of an early Boys II Men or Donell Jones. What struck me was the reflection felt upon listening, the realisation of an absent R&B genre we once had in the 90’s. Bridging this gap, Sonder come together to epitomise the fusion of the golden age of R&B mixed with modern day melodies and instrumentation. After digging deeper into my research of Sonder, I found a trio of projects that they had available to stream on their website, which assert the utilisation of modern-day sampling, using the likes of Ginuwine and some unreleased material from The Weeknd, offering their own silky, Sounder touch.
The word ‘Sonder’ itself derives from the meaning of realisation. The realisation that everybody around you has a life outside of your own, complete with individual thoughts, emotions and feelings. However, what Sonder do with their music is gather consensual feelings of love, passion and overall existence in uniting their listeners through the power of their nostalgic sound.
When listening to ‘Into’, standout tracks such as ‘Care’ provide you with a feeling of inner warmth and dismissal, leaving you in a state of peace as Faiyaz’ vulnerable vocals fill every crevice of a solitude room. On last month’s episode of Soulection Radio, hosted by Joe Kay, Sonder were invited as special guests to showcase some unreleased material as well of some of their musical influences in a two hour set. As expected, the show included some R&B greats such as Michael Jackson, Ginuwine and even revisited Usher’s legendary ‘8701’ album, one which I truly believe embodies the so called golden age of rhythm and blues.
Now that the collective has the platform to showcase their music, I am sure that the remainder of this year will hold great things for Sonder, as they embark on their US tour, which begins this month.
Check out their ‘Into’ EP below: