New year, new music: 16 Artists to Listen to in 2016

Every year someone new pops up on the scene trying to steal the number spot on the charts. Last year, it was Halsey. In 2012, it was One Direction. This year, there is no telling who will be the next big artist. However, many new artists are emerging and slowly growing bigger fanbases. The following musicians have either just recently released an album or are planning to release one this year. With big artists such as One Direction and Ed Sheeran taking hiatuses, it’s time to focus on the upcoming artists.


  1.  BØRNS



This singer made an appearance at ACL last year, and released his debut album, “Dopamine, October 16th, 2015. His music is alternative, and has a “chill” vibe–you could listen to him on a  road trip to the beach, while falling in love with a donut, or even doing some winter cleaning. His most popular song, “Electric Love”, peaked at #15 on the Alternative charts, and his album peaked at #24. The man with the golden locks has a light voice that will make you want to dance, yet has lyrics so meaningful you’ll want to cry.



fka twigs


FKA Twigs, or Tahliah Debrett Barnett, has been around since 2012. She has released three EPs and her latest one, “M3LL155X”, was released on August 13th, 2015. Her breathy vocals and “trip-hop” styled music is a shift in “normal” music, and adds a mysterious touch to her music. It feels so simple, yet complicated at the same time. Her most well-known song, “Two Weeks”, comes from her LP, LP1”, which peaked at #30 in U.S. Billboard.





This two person band from Ohio has been blowing up ever since the summer of 2015 when their latest album,Blurryface”, was released. Some see them as alternative, some see them as pop-rock, or ukulele screamo, and others claim they have their own genre. No song is alike: each lyric has a deeper meaning behind it. Singer Tyler Joseph, writes the songs, and with the help of Joshua Dun, the drummer, the duo brings them to life. Their most popular songs are “Tear in My Heart” and “Stressed Out”, both of which come from Blurryface”, which peaked at #1 on Billboard charts.





After leaving the English-Irish boyband One Direction during March of 2015, this artist  left his millions of fans across the globe hanging, promising to release new music in early 2016. Making his mark as a solo artist with a recent January cover-story with Billboard Magazine, Zayn’s debut solo album, which has yet to be announced, is much anticipated.





This Australian singer and actor started off as a YouTuber in 2007, and since has gained over 3 million YouTube subscribers. After releasing two EPs, one in 2014 and another in 2015, he released his much-anticipated album Blue Neighbourhood” on December 4th of 2015. His freshman album is a promising debut, with a variety of songs ranging from ones you can dance to, to ones you can cry to. His single “Wild” hit #10 on Australian charts, and in 2015 he was recognized as “Artist on the Rise” at the MTV Europe Music Awards.



tori smol


After dropping her first album, “Unbreakable Smile”, on June 23rd, Kelly has finally started receiving the credit she deserves. The vocals this girl has are amazing, and combined with the pop/R&B styled music, she has a natural unique touch to her music. She first appeared on American Idol, until she was eliminated.  Each of her songs are guaranteed to make you dance, especially her single “Nobody Love”, from Unbreakable Smile, which peaked at #60 on Billboard charts.


  1. DNCE



This band features previous actor and former “The Jonas Brothers” singer Joe Jonas, as well as bandmates Jack Lawless, Cole Whittle, and Jinjoo Lee. The pop band made their mark in September of 2015, when they released their first-ever single “Cake By The Ocean”, which peaked at #43 on the Billboard Hot 100. Since then, they’ve released their EP “Swaay”, and gone on a small 14-date tour during the fall, selling out every show. Playing unreleased songs on tour and giving promises of a debut album in 2016, they’ve already got thousands of fans waiting for whatever’s coming next.





R&B singer Kehlani has been popping up all over teens’ social media feeds. The singer from Oakland, California was originally a part of a group called PopLyfe, which grew to fame after being finalists on America’s Got Talent. In 2011, she went solo and released an EP titled “Cloud 19”. Later, her album titled “You Should Be Here”, which peaked at #2 on R&B charts, the album was even nominated for a Grammy in the category “Best Urban Contemporary Album”. Her voice is smooth and her lyrics smoother — they will remind you of summer adventures and bring you back to fond memories. such as her song, “Alive”.





Well-known daughter of Will and Jada Smith and sister of actor/model Jaden Smith, Willow Smith is most well-known for her 2010 single “Whip My Hair”. Many don’t know about her recent music, which is quite different. She released her first album on December 11th, 2015, titled “ARDIPITHECUS”, which is filled with alternative pop with thoughtful lyrics and themes not typically sung about in music, such as the government system, and coming of age, but she makes it work. There is no way to describe the type of music she makes, but a good song to start your day is “F Q-C #7”.





She is here to stay. Down to Earth artist Alessia Cara released her album Know-It-All on November 13th, 2015, and ever since, she has been rapidly growing a fanbase. Before releasing music, she was known for her YouTube covers. She sings about being her own person — in “Wild Things” she sings, “Don’t wanna hang around the in crowd/ the cool kids/ I’m cool to me/ cause they’re not cooler than we are.” “Seventeenis a good song to listen to during late night car rides to make you feel youthful and nostalgic, even if you’re not seventeen yet.





Another artist found through social media, Tiller is an artist from Kentucky, whose single, Don’t, from his album, “T R A P S O U L”, made it big on apps like Vine and Twitter. He describes his music as “the perfect marriage between hip-hop and R&B.” Rapper Drake listened to his music and helped him get signed to RCA Records. If Drake approves of Tiller, then you should too.


  1. GRACE



An Australian singer, Grace is best known for her pop cover of “You Don’t Own Me” by Lesley Gore, which she put on her EP Memo, which was released in May of 2015. The single, which features rapper G-Eazy. topped Australian charts at #1, going double platinum. It was also a Spotify Top 10 Viral Hits. Her debut album is to be released in the spring of 2016, and her big voice is going to be blowing up the charts when it drops.



DJ Khaled


You may know him from his outrageous Snapchat posts, but this internet-famous DJ also released his album “I Changed a Lot” in late October of 2015. Collaborating with big artists such as Lil Wayne, Chris Brown, Big Sean, and John Legend, his eighth album displays a wide array of talent from the R&B and hip hop industries. With numerous albums, he’s best known for his upbeat 3x platinum single “All I Do Is Win” from his fourth album, “Victory”. So, maybe next time you’re watching him document getting lost on a jet ski via Snapchat, go ahead and listen to some of his music too.





Alternative rock band Bad Suns are known for touring with The 1975 back in 2013 during their U.S. tour.. Their music is described as 70’s/80’s pop, often compared to The Cure. Their most famous song, “Cardiac Arrest”, came from their first and only album, “Languages and Perspective”. The song was a hit on alternative radio, reaching #14 on the U.S. charts. They released their latest single, “We Move Like the Ocean” last year. They are set to release an album soon, making an announcement on their Twitter stating, “It’s time to return to the task at hand: the creation of album2. We hope to see you all again soon.”





Looking for songs to listen to on a hot summer day when you’re tired of all the same songs on the radio? Mac Demarco has your back. With an completely unique style of rock music, he is that refreshing change you need in your life. The Canadian singer released a mini-album in August, titled “Another One”, which sold 13,000 copies in the first week. Demarco may not be well-known, but his music received a score of 75/100 on the Metacritic scale, so obviously someone thinks he makes good music.



years and yeae


Electronica band Years & Years started in 2010, when the two band members, Mikey Goldsworthy and Erme Türkmen met online. Soon there were five members, and they began making music. Their debut album, Communion, was released in July of 2015, and it hit #1 on the U.S. Dance/Electronic charts. Their song, “King”, peaked at #37 on U.S. Top 40’s Hits, will make you want to dance all night. If you’re looking for dance party music, this is the band you need.