On Friday, Indio, Calif., will once again light up for Coachella, the grand tee off to festival season. With The Weeknd, Beyoncé and Eminem as headlining acts, the megafest is primed to showcase an array of musical talent, both established and up and coming.
Ahead of the festivities, WWD is highlighting 10 emerging acts preparing to take the stage. From the soulful Kali Uchis to the pop-minded Sigrid to hip-hop rising star Kamaiyah, these are the acts to watch this year.
Fresh off the release of her debut studio album “Isolation,” Kali Uchis is on the rise. Drawing influence from the Fifties, Sixties, Seventies and her Colombian roots, the singer has already collaborated with the likes of Snoop Dogg, Tyler the Creator and Daniel Caesar. She and Caesar’s “Get You” was nominated for Best R&B Performance at this year’s Grammys.
At 21 years old, Skip Marley has already been associated with at least two major names — not counting that of his late grandfather, Bob. With one Grammy performance — he performed “Chained to the Rhythm” with Katy Perry in 2017 — and a major commercial — his song “Lions” was used in Pepsi’s infamous Kendall Jenner ad — on his résumé, Marley is making waves in music and pop culture.
Having a credit on the soundtrack for one of the year’s biggest films is no small feat, but that’s just par for the course for Jorja Smith. The British singer contributed “I Am” to the Kendrick Lamar-curated soundtrack for Marvel’s record-breaking film “Black Panther.” Before that, she collaborated with Drake on his “More Life” album, which makes for yet another cosign from one of the biggest names in hip-hop. With a spot on Coachella’s roster followed by a spring and summer tour, Smith is poised for a promising 2018.
In addition to her stunning 2015 “Urban Flora” EP with Galimatias, Alina Baraz generated buzz in 2017 with “Electric,” her gentle, soothing duet with newcomer Khalid. With a hypnotic voice resting over slow, sexy beats, Baraz makes lullabies for lovers.
Norwegian pop sensation Sigrid found her breakthrough in the form of last year’s “Dont Kill My Vibe.” The song garnered much attention, and in January, the singer was chosen as the recipient of BBC Music’s Sound of 2018 award, which has been given to Adele and Sam Smith before her. With sweet, soprano vocals over upbeat instrumentals, Sigrid puts forth a refreshingly hopeful sound.
Yaeji makes house music fit for epic raves, as evidenced by the video for her jam “Raingurl.” Whether she’s rapping in Korean and English on “Raingurl,” singing in Korean on “Drink I’m Sippin On” or covering Drake’s “Passionfruit,” Yaeji is producing dance songs that warrant full volume.
The Black Madonna
The Black Madonna, née Marea Stamper, made her name by pairing unexpected sounds — and championing the club world’s LGBTQ community. Stamper got her start in the late Nineties and has since become known for combining music from various genres in a seamless way. With two decades of experience under her belt, she is now a veteran in the DJ community.
The son of Taiwanese immigrants, Charlie Yin aka Giraffage, went from buzzing on music blogs to festival favorite. His electro-pop sound has garnered him a steady following — 161,000 on SoundCloud alone. His Coachella set this weekend and the following marks the end of a tour in support of his October 2017 debut album, “Too Real.”
Aminé is as attentive to his music as he is its visual elements. The singer and rapper, whose “Caroline” peaked at number 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2017, is versatile and endlessly imaginative. Whether recruiting Mel B for his “Spice Girl” video or singing playful duet “Heebiejeebies” with Kehlani, the Portland native keeps a fresh approach.
Oakland emcee Kamaiyah dropped her debut mixtape, 2016’s “A Good Night in the Ghetto,” to critical acclaim. The 16-track offering included a feature from YG, who later invited her to feature alongside Drake on “Why You Always Hatin?” Kamaiyah’s latest release, the “Before I Wake” mixtape, received positive reviews once again, thus solidifying her as a rising talent in hip-hop.
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