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Best New Artists For 2021: 10 Musicians You Need To Know
Ricardo Castano
List & Guides

Best New Artists For 2021: 10 Musicians You Need To Know

From genre-mashing singer-songwriters to melancholy duos and old-soul voices, these ten musicians are set to be the best new artists of 2021.

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It is no secret that 2020 was a struggle for many industries, especially the arts. With any luck, 2021 will be a bumper year for music and will see the revival of live gigs, reunion tours and in-person gatherings of music fans all over the world. To get you hyped, here are the ten best new artists we suggest you keep an eye on in the new year… We have a sneaking suspicion they’re going to take 2021 by storm!

Listen to our TikTok trends playlist, and check out our ten best new artists for 2021, below.

Griff

If this songstress’ name doesn’t ring any bells, perhaps some of her mega streaming successes will jog your memory. If they don’t do the trick, then maybe you’ve seen her signature ponytail dancing across your screen…

At the tender age of 19, Griff (born Sarah Faith Griffiths) already shows much promise, with no small amount of buzz surrounding her next move. She burst onto the scene in 2019 with the powerful, pop-driven Mirror Talk and followed it up with her critically acclaimed debut EP of the same name. Griff’s collaborations have further propelled her to what will surely be a permanent position in the limelight, thanks to successes such as Inside Out, recorded with Zedd, and the co-writing credit she earned on Hailee Steinfeld’s smash hit I Love You’s.

In her still-budding career, Griff has already proven to be one of the best new artists of recent years. From her anthems of female empowerment to her poignant, vulnerable lyrics, which touch on much more tender subjects, this multi-dimensional talent is destined for much more airtime in 2021.

Must hear: Say It Again

Tom Grennan

Tom Grennan is an up-and-coming British singer-songwriter who hung up his football boots for a chance at taking his music to the big leagues. Grennan had a promising career on the pitch before catching the attention of indie-pop audiences, and rose to prominence as the guest vocalist on Chase & Status’ 2016 song All Goes Wrong (31 million Spotify streams and counting). A string of EP releases under his own name paved the way for his 2018 debut album, Lighting Matches, which confirmed Grennan had staying power. His latest single, Amen, is a promising taster for his second album, Evering Road.

Must hear: Something Better

Hannah Grace

Fans of Gabrielle Aplin may already be familiar with Hannah Grace. The Welsh songbird, born Hannah Vivan-Byrne, supported Aplin on her 2013 English Rain tour, and is signed to Never Fade Records, the label Aplin co-founded with James Barnes.

Grace’s growing discography already boasts radio staples and playlist mainstays such as Praise You and December, while her debut album, Remedy, released in September 2020, offered an eclectic mix of soulful and reflective ballads, proving Grace is a strong recording artist whose career remains on the up, despite the setbacks of 2020.

A familiar artist with a striking approach to being a multi-genre singer-songwriter, Grace has a voice that’s commanding yet comforting. 2021 is sure to see her become one of the best new artists to enter the mainstream.

Must hear: Blue

Kara Marni

Kara Marni’s buttery vocals lend themselves perfectly to earworms such as Young Heart, but her musical versatility knows no bounds, and extends to successful acoustic renditions of R&B tracks like No Logic, delivered with raspy riffs and unparalleled passion.

The BRIT School alumna takes inspiration from soul legends Roberta Flack, Minnie Riperton and Anita Baker, and has supported the likes of Rita Ora and Ray BLK on tour. A soulful songstress in her own right, Marni has all the signs of becoming one of 2021’s best new artists.

Must hear: Young Heart (featuring Russ)

Alfie Templeman

Every Alfie Templeman release explodes in a colourful display of 80s-infused, indie-R&B fun. Having mastered the new-wave synth aesthetic – with the added bonus of a honeyed drawl that drives his songs along – Templeman’s sound recalls the early days of The 1975, delightfully blended with Rex Orange County.

With four impressively received EPs, several supporting tours and constant Radio 1 airplay to his name, fans are eager to see what Templeman’s debut studio album will have in store.

Must hear: Forever Isn’t Long Enough

Hamzaa

This soul and R&B singer-songwriter, producer and proud Londoner has made quite a splash in just under three years of releasing music, with influences such as Amy Winehouse and Lauryn Hill infusing works that are unmistakably her own. Hamzaa’s commanding yet vulnerable vocals, paired with her wise lyrics, have all the hallmarks of a seasoned artist much older than her 22 years, giving us every confidence that she will continue to build on her already impressively large and diverse discography.

Must hear: Write It Down

King Hannah

A moody and atmospheric duo comprised of Craig Whittle and Hannah Merrick, King Hannah are masters of crafting melancholy songs with a sonic edge that carefully treads the line between electro-acoustic and indie music. Despite having released just a handful of singles and one EP in 2020, they quickly made a name for themselves as one of the best new artists of the year, and are already being spoken of in hushed voices among the slowcore scene, thanks to gritty, dynamic ballads that recall artists like Cigarettes After Sex with a mellow, dreamy twist.

Must hear: Crème Brûlée

 

Joy Crookes

Joy Crookes’ stunningly raspy, fervent voice shines on all her singles, whose concoction of soul, pop, and R&B leaves audiences yearning for more. Offering a rich listening experience drawn from her Bangladeshi-Irish heritage and South London upbringing, songs such as Anyone But Me offer an auspicious taste of what to expect from a debut album rumoured to be arriving in 2021. Heartbreakingly honest and evocative, the song managed to balance melancholy feelings with an invitation to dance, marking Crookes out as one of the best new artists on the scene.

Must hear: Hurts

Reuben James

Reuben James’ style could be best described as a beautifully balanced juggling act between jazz, pop and R&B. His vocals roam effortlessly alongside his impeccable songwriting, resulting in laidback and stirring tracks that leave you desperate to hear what he’ll do next.

Those unacquainted with James as a solo musician are likely to be familiar with some of his ongoing collaborations with pop powerhouse Sam Smith, not to mention his creative links with icons such as Joni Mitchell and Elton John, who have co-signed James as one of the best new artists of his generation. Despite his impressive musical alliances, James’ solo work shines in its own right – and is set to shine even brighter in 2021.

Must hear: My Line (featuring Col3trane, Jay Prince, Vula and Soweto Kinch)

Beabadoobee

If you’re familiar with TikTok hits then you’ve most probably heard of Beabadoobee. This young talent’s career skyrocketed seemingly overnight in 2017, when her internet sensation, Coffee, bewitched the ears of Gen Z and millennials alike. Her musical style dances around the indie, alternative and space-rock circles, while her gentle vocals and enchanting melodies leave every genre she dips her toe in feeling familiar.

Four EPs followed the contagious Coffee, and 2020 saw the arrival of Beabadoobee’s long-awaited debut album, Fake It Flowers. With her popularity steadily rising, her first release of 2021 may be the one that eclipses her breakout track.

Must hear: Worth It

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