TIDAL Risen 2016
Given the seemingly endless influx of new artists and acts on a daily basis, keeping up with the need-to-know up-and-comers proves to be one of the most challenging parts of being an informed music fan.
Fortunately for you, we at TIDAL pride ourselves on our ability to peg some of the finest fresh talent around, highlighting five exciting newcomers on a weekly basis throughout the year.
At the close of another year, that time when we look back at all that happened, we thought it timely to handpick 10 of our past TIDAL Rising alumni who took their careers and their art to new levels in 2016, and celebrate their success by reviewing what they’ve done since we first checked in. Glasses up to the TIDAL Risen Class of 2016!
(Be sure to also listen to our playlist The Year in TIDAL Rising, which gathers all of TIDAL Rising’s featured Artists To Watch from 2016.)
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Following the release of his Savage Mode mixtape, a joint effort with young-gun producer Metro Boomin, 21 Savage has been lighting up the industry in his path, collaborating with the likes of Drake and going on tour with Young Thug. Pegged as a TIDAL Rising Artist To Watch back in July, Savage (a.k.a. Shayaa Bin Abraham-Joseph) has not fallen short of our expectations whatsoever. What we said then: “the mysterious MC is off to an exciting and uniquely high profile start.” Captivating audiences with his hardcore lyrics, 21 Savage more recently worked with such renowned artists as Travis Scott, Meek Mill and Young Thug, with things only ramping up for a massive 2017. Without a doubt, 21 Savage is here to stay.
Watch our ongoing tour documentary series, 30 Days With 21 Savage, here.
In 2016 Anderson .Paak finally perfected the sound that he’d been working on for years. As one of our TIDAL Rising picks back in September, we said .Paak was “on the verge of something huge,” but who could have known just how huge 2016 would be for the breakout talent. Since then he was not only inducted into XXL’s 2016 Freshman class but also saw his second studio album, Malibu, released to critical acclaim with his NxWorries collaboration album Yes Lawd! coming soon after. Now a Grammy nominee, Anderson .Paak is now one of the most sought after artists to collab with in the industry today. Though his years of hard work have evidently paid off, he’s nowhere near done yet.
We first took notice of the angelic voice and ethereal sounds of Norway’s own AURORA a couple years ago. She’d built a steady following, and her breakthrough single, “Runaway,” caused quite a stir and inspired Katy Perry to call the then 18-year old singer “an angel that made her heart a-flutter.” Since truly making her name with her Running With the Wolves EP, AURORA’s been busy touring the world, playing Fallon and Conan, and providing the song for the 2015 John Lewis Christmas campaign (a cover of Oasis’ “Half the World Away”). This year’s critically-acclaimed full-length debut, All My Demons Greeting Me as a Friend (Decca/Glassnote) more than solidify’s her stake an artist of supreme integrity, grace and longevity.
Listen to AURORA’s brand new guest playlist, Favorite Songs of All Time, here.
Enigmatic trap rapper Desiigner was one of our Rising picks back in February after his massive hit single, “Panda,” was prominently sampled on Kanye West’s Life of Pablo standout “Pt. 2.” What we said: “Be sure to keep an ear to the ground on this one because this guy is going places and quickly, too,” and we were’t wrong. Since we first featured Desiigner, “Panda” has been certified triple platinum, peaking at number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, while his TIDAL premiered mixtape, New English, provided fans with a complete body of work for fans to sink their teeth into. Desiigner was also selected to be a member of XXL’s Freshman class of 2016 and was nominated for MTV’s Best New Artist award. His performance in 2016 has us yearning for even more from the animated and and dynamic teenage MC from Brooklyn.
Canadian DJ and producer KAYTRANADA has had a thrilling and career-making year. As one of our TIDAL Rising picks back in April, we said: “his production has been compared by some to that of the legendary J Dilla with the addition of some funky bass” and he has certainly lived up to our expectations. The release of his much-anticipated debut studio album, 99.9%, which featured diverse collaborations with Anderson .Paak, Vic Mensa, Craig David, BADBADNOTGOOD and AlunaGeorge, was met with tremendous critical acclaim and just recently named the winner of the 2016 Polaris Music Prize for Canadian Album of the Year. KAYTRANADA has solidified a place for himself among the best producers that the music industry has to offer, and we’re eager to see what the eclectic talent has up his sleeve next.
Listen to our steamy urban tastemakers playlist, GLOWED UP, inspired in title and sound by KAYTRANADA’s track with Anderson .Paak.
Soulful and unassuming Danish pop-quartet Lukas Graham were first featured TIDAL Rising back in November of 2015, just after their surprise European hit “7 Years” was released in North America for the first time. What we said: “Riding on the wings of recent transcendent singles ‘Mama Says’ and ’7 Years,’ they’re organically expanding to the rest of the world.” And they sure did. Lukas Graham managed to bring their once merely domestic success all around the globe, reaching the Top T0 spots in the U.S., U.K., Australia and Canada. Additionally, they’ve earned plenty of nominations for “7 Years” thus far, including three for the 2017 Grammys (Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance).
We met up Lukas Graham – the singer and the band – at home in Copenhagen earlier this year to talk about success and where they come from. Read the story here.
Maren Morris’ career was really gaining momentum when we featured her as a TIDAL Rising Artist to Watch in March of this year. The Texas-born country artist had already garnered attention for her songwriting skills, penning tunes for the likes of, among others, Tim McGraw and Kelly Clarkson, but she also had big plans for her own career. We said: “At just 25 years old, Maren Morris has managed to carve out a place for herself in Nashville’s deeply competitive landscape, defining herself as an up-and-coming force to be reckoned with.” “My Church” from her self-titled EP paved the way for her breakthrough debut full-length, HERO, one of this year’s finest and one that impressively debuted at #1 on the Billboard charts. More recently she brought home the CMA’s New Artist of the Year award in November, performed on Saturday Night Live, and become the most nominated country artist at the 2017 Grammys.
Check out our Soundtrack to My Life feature with Maren Morris where she talks a little about some of her favorite songs.
Sir the Baptist
We first featured Sir The Baptist (a.k.a. Sir Williams James Stokes) this past February when we featured his video “Wake Up” prior to his signing with Atlantic Records. Here’s what we had to say: “Musically, the young artist on the rise successfully manages to merge a multitude of genres not unlike fellow hometown hero Chance The Rapper, and thus, his shifting, multifaceted sound often eludes categorization.” Sir continued to release groundbreaking new music as 2016 progressed, including singles like “What We Got” and “Raise Hell,” a track that ultimately made it onto The Birth Of A Nation soundtrack. Stokes has created a brand new genre with his conscious and captivating music, which he aptly calls “Church Pub Rap.”
The four-piece slacker rock outfit with a penchant for sunny 1970s styled song structures known as Whitney were a TIDAL Rising pick last May. What we said: “Channeling the likes of The Band, Neil Young and Pavement, Whitney’s work proves simultaneously old school and wholly fresh, exhibiting Ehrlich and Kakacek as one of the most dynamic new songwriting duos of the year.” And boy did they deliver with their outstanding debut, A Light Upon The Lake, which has been featured on numerous lists for best albums of 2016 (including ours). As far as we’re concerned, Whitney’s is the sleeper indie breakout of 2016.
Xenia Rubinos was one of our TIDAL Rising Artist To Watch back in May. Here’s what we said: “Xenia Rubinos sews her soulful musical quilt from a patchwork that includes hip-hop, punk and jazz, while channeling the likes of Billie Holiday and Judy Garland to craft her identifiable brand of delightfully spooky chic.” At that time we were still anxiously awaiting the release of her full-length, Black Terry Cat, which went to to earn enormous praise and recently landed the #11 spot on All Songs Considered’s end of year list. Both sonically and lyrically rich, the album consciously tackles concepts and contemporary issues that other, less self-assured and courageous artists would likely shy away from. In the troubled year of 2016, Black Terry Cat hits the nail on the head and delivers a socially conscious sound that is both pleasing and necessary.
Read our Rising Q&A with Xenia Rubinos here.
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