The 25 Artists to Watch in 2023


With a new year comes an unknown sense of promise—the idea that a new, untold beginning lies ahead, just waiting for us to reach out and grasp it. Nowhere does this sentiment of bubbling potential feel more alive in the host of artists set to leave their mark on the year to come. Picked from a wide expanse of genres, and often blurring genre lines, we hand-selected 25 artists set to soundtrack 2023 and beyond. Meet the Ones To Watch class of 2023.

The Dare


The Dare, née Harrison Patrick Smith, is a multi-instrumentalist and producer who has left listeners foaming at the mouth with the release of their debut track "Girls." While it may be his only track to date, at the time of this writing, Smith is an artist creative in constant metamorphosis, having gone from a raging indie rocker to a dance-inducing, genre-blending force of nature. "Girls" is an anthemic blend of pop, house, and techno that captures the chaos of a night out in NYC, bottling the city's dizzying atmosphere into a dance-punk tour de force. If 2023 sees The Dare releasing anything close to the caliber of “Girls,” we’re in for one hell of a year.  —Alessandra Rincon

Zeph


Zeph may be the only artist on this list without an official release (outside a pair of demo EPs) in 2021, but it speaks to the palpable excitement surrounding the rising singer-songwriter. Taking a wear-your-still-bleeding-heart-on-your-sleeve approach to songwriting, Zeph’s songs spill out like the pages of a not-so-tightly-kept diary or a stolen glimpse at the hastily scribbled notes of your therapist. It’s a testament to the rising artist’s unapologetic songwriting, which provides a bold look at the swirling heartbreak, anxieties, and hopes of young adulthood that flood our minds at one point or another. And with rumors circling of new music to come in 2023, it sounds like we’ll have a lot more of Zeph to cry over and rally behind in the year to come. —Maxamillion Polo

 Destroy Lonely 


It seems like everything that has ever happened in the history of music (and mankind) has led to Destroy Lonely. Though viral hits like “Bane” have had him on our radar for the past few years, his debut album NO STYLIST cemented him as not only a member of hip-hop’s next wave but one of its most powerful forces. Synthesizing hazy and hypnotic plugg sounds with the electric abrasion of rage, Destroy Lonely has held hip-hop in a chokehold for most of the year, and it doesn’t seem like things are going to end anytime soon. Signed to Playboi Carti’s equally mysterious and prestigious label Opium, the Atlanta star’s influence is painted all over NO STYLIST but mixed within are glimpses of unique and forward-thinking artistry that could only come from a culture-first artist. Destroy Lonely’s not chasing hits, he’s finding them himself and letting the world catch on. —Carter Fife

Jim Legxacy


Young and curious, South-East London’s Jim Legxacy is having the time of his life exploring his own edges in front of the world, spilling the truths of a wide-eyed heart. His breakthrough single “candy reign (!)” captured anyone that listened, amassing over a million Spotify plays and perfecting his signature drill, jersey, and afrobeat blend. Like his name suggests, his infectiously daring nature and affinity for the eclectic are paving a lasting road so much bigger than him. This South-East London artist is penning a legacy that will allow those wanting to discover themselves outside of stenciled lines full permission. —Jazmin Kylene

Delaney Bailey    


 After the release of her EP, This Is About You, 21-year-old Delaney Bailey quickly established herself as the next big thing in the acoustic singer-songwriter world, accumulating millions of streams and earning a Spotify Singles session along the way. Bailey’s music is refreshing; her lullaby-like melodies reflect the feeling of being wrapped in a soft blanket—it’s therapeutic, calming, and feels lucky to hear—despite its heartbreaking yet simultaneously heartwarming lyricism. Sometimes, less is more, and Bailey’s simple and stripped-back sound has certainly found a home for itself here. The Indiana native is ending her whirlwind of a year on tour with Ricky Montgomery, which we presume will be her first tour of many. —Tatum Van Dam

JELEEL!


JELEEL! is pure explosive energy. The breakout rap star leverages the intensity of punk and metal to deliver distinctive, raw rap anthemics that defy imitation. It’s a one-of-a-kind formula that saw its first major success with the TikTok-fueled hit “DIVE IN!,” an electrifying two-minute introduction that saw JELEEL! backflipping onto the scene with what would become his trademark throat-searing vocals, genre-eschewing production, and infectious charisma. Since then, JELEEL! has continued to strive towards even more cathartic highs with a series of earth-shaking singles, including the Denzel Curry-assisted “SHOTS!.” If JELEEL! keeps this up, 2023 and every year is set to be his.  —Maxamillion Polo


Hemlocke Springs


From viral TikTok sounds to millions of streams on Spotify, hemlocke springs is making pop quirky again and the internet couldn’t be more enthralled. Fueled by experiment and eccentricity, everything the North Carolina native creates is an extension of herself: she’s witty, wondrous, and as captivatingly human as it gets. The awkward we cower from, springs accentuates, making tracks like the ‘80s-esque breakout hit “girlfriend” feel like a return home. As she continues to express herself through color and synth, it’s a pleasure to know that this is only the beginning of her rise. —Jazmin Kylene

mazie


Chances are you’ve heard mazie’s sped-up version of “dumb dumb” on TikTok—an infectious, unpredictable pop tune that feels like the soundtrack to a little kid walking into Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, but the 23-year-old Baltimore native never anticipated the tune to amass the popularity it did. “dumb dumb” is one of eight tracks on mazie’s debut EP the rainbow cassette, which is the auditorial embodiment of candy buttons, Lisa Frank, and y2k teeny-bop magazines. mazie’s music puts a kaleidoscopic twist on traditional pop music, embracing the age of the internet and hyper-onlineism (and using it to her advantage). With one full-length project under her belt, mazie has proven herself to be more than just a ‘TikTok artist.’’ —Tatum Van Dam

ThxSoMch


Multi-talented Canadian artist ThxSoMch spent 2022 blowing our minds with his brand of mind-bending, genre-blending music. First making his mark with the release of his debut single, "Runaway (Move Quickly)," a sparkling, hyper-pop jam that immediately captured our attention despite its short run time, it was inarguably "SPIT IN MY FACE!" that kept our eyes firmly glued on this rising star. Having amassed over 38 million streams on Spotify alone, "SPIT IN MY FACE!" blends elements of grunge, post-punk, and hyper-pop in brilliant fashion, effectively catapulting the enigmatic artist to the next level. —Alessandra Rincon

skaiwater


It may be safe to say that London artist skaiwater has had a pretty busy year. Between the viral hit “#miles,” its subsequent remix with Lil Uzi Vert, and the long-awaited release of his experimental mixtape rave, few artists' ascents have felt as palpable in the last year. At this point, the term ‘genreless’ has been thrown around a lot, but by blending pop, pluggnb, hip-hop, and Jersey club, skaiwater truly embodies its very definition. rave is the perfect example of this, as one moment he's delivering fans a headbanger in the form of "boys dont cry" and the next he's lost in the experimental bass-laden ambiance of “ihy.” It’s difficult to reduce an artist pushing the envelope like him into a few short sentences, but let’s just say nobody is making music like skaiwater is. —Carter Fife

flowerovlove


The only reason why we believe Joyce Cissie, more popularly known as flowerovlove, is truly only 16 is because her love affair with life and vibrant sense of youth permeates from her music in a way that could never be feigned by someone tainted by age. Otherwise, her musical maturity far surpasses her time. Juggling packed tours while being an actively enrolled student, music is just a form of inescapable expression for the talented indie creative. She’s got an unwavering will to keep digging deeper and fall even more deeply enamored with herself, making her essence medicinal for the devout following she’s cultivated. And after winning Vevo’s Artist to Watch 2023 award, it’s clear the London-based songstress is still to come into her fullest potential. —Jazmin Kylene

 Joey Valence & Brae


Hip-hop duo Joey Valence and Brae kicked off 2022 strong with the release of their debut EP, The Underground Sound, with the invigorating tracks "Double Jump" and title track "Underground Sound" leading the charge. The larger-than-life MCs continued to skyrocket with bombastic tracks like "Punk Tactics," "Hooligan," and "Startafight" as well as performances at some of the biggest festivals across the country. Valence and Brae's unique vocals, production, style, and high-energy antics that harken back to ‘80s rap supergroups of yesteryear combined with a masterful use of social media firmly solidify the duo as an act to watch in the year to come. —Alessandra Rincon

Ethan Bortnick


Affectionately dubbed “Billie Eilish meets Mozart” by his growing legion of fans on TikTok, Florida native Ethan Bortnick makes music befitting of such a bewitching juxtaposition. The piano stands as the centerpiece of each of his transfixing works, including his viral track “cut my fingers off”—whose devilish, frenetic key presses propel not just the song forward but hurled the artist toward a breakout moment. Since the initial success of “cut my fingers off,” Bortnick has proven himself to be much more than a waning star, with singles like “engravings” and “arsonists” seeing the rising star taking his trademark sound to newfound and unexpected heights.  —Maxamillion Polo

Tom The Mail Man


Atlanta’s Tom The Mail Man has spent the better part of the past few years blurring the lines between emo-rap and alt-pop, but in 2022 our hero delivered fans a slew of singles and his long-awaited album Sunset Visionary, Vol. 2. Known for his heart-on-sleeve songwriting and absolutely insane live shows (can confirm), Tom The Mail Man is the perfect artist to embody emo-pop’s unlikely expedition into music’s mainstream but what sets him apart is much more than just a candid rawness or an affinity for smart songwriting. Tom The Mail Man has a youthful spirit that cannot be emulated or copied—an ineffable energy that bleeds through on tracks like the rambunctious “Destroyed” and the electronic banger “WORST FRIEND.” Tom The Mail Man is an artist primed for the spotlight. —Carter Fife

Rocco


19-year-old independent singer-songwriter Rocco is creating with all the infectious joy of an artist coming-of-age in real-time. While the Los Angeles-based artist may only have a handful or two of singles to his name, one can find moments of unbridled joy, understated melancholy, and everything in between within that budding discography. Yet, it’s arguably his breakout single, “spin you round,” that put Rocco on our radar. Featuring pitched-up vocals and effervescent production, the breakout moment feels akin to falling in love for the first time—butterflies and all. It’s a euphoric crystallization of the endorphin rush of young adulthood, and if Rocco keeps making songs of this caliber, it won’t be long before we’re the ones falling head over heels. —Maxamillion Polo

dexter


From acne-driven self-hatred to her distinct love of sandwiches, UK bedroom pop songstress dexter has mastered the particular magic of being a personable artist through nostalgic storytelling and boundless honesty. She embodies liberation, making music that feels like ripped pages from her diary and easing listeners into her freshly brewed warmth of knowing they’re held in her mirror. We all get to see ourselves in the bits of pieces dexter breaks off of herself, making her left-field pop sound a sweet soul refuge. —Jazmin Kylene

Frost Children


It is quite literally impossible to assign a unitary genre, style, or sound to Frost Children. Google them now and you’ll see subgenre upon subgenre used to try to classify them; terms like ‘glitchcore’ and ‘technopunk’ are thrown around to try to cast a net over a duo who love to do everything but conform. 2022 saw the release of their long-awaited sophomore album SPIRAL, a painstakingly-polished epic decorated with thundering bass signals, glitchy electronic abrasion, and left-field songwriting. While many celebrated Frost Children’s 2021 debut Elixir Rejection for pushing the boundaries of what hyperpop could look like or accomplish, tracks like the explosive “FOX BOP’ and the ethereal “LAKE OF LOVE” take those boundaries and throw them out the window. With more music coming right around the corner, 2023 is gearing up to be Frost Children’s year, and I’m just hoping we can catch up. —Carter Fife

Omni ! 


If you aren’t familiar with Omni ! now, chances are you will be very soon. The three-piece hip-hop collective is composed of best friends and Atlanta natives Dwarvo, Javaughn Simmons, and J’aime, balancing an energy that is completely unmatched. Seriously. Omni !’s music makes you wish you were in the middle of a mosh pit losing your mind. Whether it be the standout single “BLACK MINIVAN,” taken from their debut album DOPEBOYS, or their follow-up single “PARDON,” Omni ! finds a way to put their DIY southern twist on alternative hip-hop Completely independent and self-made, Omni ! already has a distinct aesthetic and sound to match, and we don’t doubt that it’s about to take them far. —Tatum Van Dam

quinnie


It's been a stellar year for indie folk-pop artist quinnie. The ethereal singer-songwriter spent the better part of 2022 dropping a series of singles that pulled on our heartstrings with their fresh perspective on love and relationships. Yet it was "touch tank," a refreshing ode to sexual connection, that landed the artist an unassuming breakout hit, leaving us all with bated breath over each forthcoming new track. After putting out two equally enthralling singles, "man" and "itch," the singer-songwriter has ended the year with thank you wisdom angel i love you. With cosigns and collaborations with artists like Camila Cabello and Alana Haim under her belt, we cannot wait to see what 2023 has in store for this indie darling. —Alessandra Rincon

Take Van 


Equipped with an uncanny affinity to synthesize garage and club styles with futuristic pop energy, Miami’s Take Van is one of the most exciting artists to break through this year. Their 2022 project Far Away is a masterful display of inventive drum ‘n’ bass-meets-R&B bangers, each one more cinematic and atmospheric than the last. Between tracks like the dulcet and dreamlike “In My Head” and the thunderous cacophony of “How’d You Go out Like That,” Take Van has quickly risen through the ranks to become one of 2022’s best-kept secrets. When history books and internet scholars look back at club music’s long-awaited resurgence in the mainstream, artists like Take Van will be front and center as pioneers of the movement. —Carter Fife

Sad Night Dynamite 


Sad Night Dynamite is difficult to describe, and that’s part of what makes them so great. Composed of friends Josh Greacan and Archie Blagden, the London-based duo was raised in Somerset and decided to form Sad Night Dynamite after leaving university. If you took bits of alternative, indie, trip-hop, and digicore, you might get something along the lines of Sad Night Dynamite. With eerie samples and glitchy distortion balanced between melodic hooks and hip-hop beats, the duo’s sound offers a sense of escapism and disruption. The self-produced band has collaborated with the likes of FKA Twigs and IDK, and can even claim Gorillaz as a loyal fan. Growing up steps away from the Glastonbury Festival, Sad Night Dynamite’s music reflects the beautifully wacky chaos of festival culture. Dynamite comes in small packages but its impact is not to be understated, and true to their namesake, Sad Night Dynamite is a force to be reckoned with. —Tatum Van Dam

Katherine Li


Singer-songwriter Kathrine Li follows the highs and lows of falling in love on her debut EP, Crush(ed). Scoring the bright, whimsical anxiety of those first fleeting butterflies caught in the pit of your stomach and ensuing moments of heartbreak and unrequited love with equal poise and grace, Li digs deep and gives listeners a collection of achingly relatable songs. The EP's narrative is largely carried by Li's lovelorn vocals, lilting piano riffs, and heart-wrenching songwriting, all of which leave listeners on the verge of tears as they either reminisce on a heartbreak past or one that’s still aching. It's a beautiful six-track collection that cements Li's status as one to watch in 2023. —Alessandra Rincon 

greek 


greek, née Michael Davie, is an alternative R&B newcomer from Martinsville, Virginia. According to his bio, he is currently chasing his dream of becoming a leading sales representative at Bed, Bath & Beyond, but we’re fairly positive that the new year has some other plans in store for the rising artist. With each release, greek is bringing a breath of fresh air to the world of R&B and soul. Underrated as he is unpredictable, each one of his songs offers a unique versatility within their production and vocal delivery. Smooth yet raspy, poppy yet jazzy, unfamiliar yet nostalgic, greek is a bundle of perfectly imperfect ironies. This all culminates in his 2022 debut album EXTC—a nine-track no-skip stream of consciousness establishing greek’s sound as uniquely his own. —Tatum Van Dam

piri & tommy


It’s violently vulnerable to co-create an album in which the songs rip open the relationship you’re both currently navigating, but that’s just what piri & tommy’s debut project froge.mp3 brilliantly does. From situationship to committed lovers, the futuristic dance-pop duo has left the world enamored by their chemistry, which blurs all the lines and invites us to redefine true intimacy. From “soft spot” to “on & on,” each of their garage-laden tracks is a hit of dopamine, drowning you in a euphoric high you never want to come down from. —Jazmin Kylene

okayceci


okayceci is a bedroom pop dream come true. The Miami native first began sharing her promising musical talent with the world at large in 2019, gracing the internet with an internet-bred blend of silky soft lyrics, lulling vocals, and hypnotic guitar loops. This early start as a teenager would pave the way for her TikTok-fueled breakthrough hit “feel u.” Retaining all the early hallmarks of her initial online meditations, “feel u” is a tender, unassuming daydream given sonic form. Punctuated by okayceci’s laissez-faire vocal charm and buoyant production, the track, which is well into the millions on Spotify alone, feels like only the start for this rising artist. —Maxamillion Polo

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