2017 Favorites & 2018 Predictions: Ones To Watch Staff Picks

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2017 may have been a horrendous year for political sanity, socio-economic development, and environmental stability, but HEY! It was a fantastic year for music, so at least we (always) have that. To recap a year of triumph and innovation in the wonderful world of emerging artists, we’ve surveyed our entire team here at Ones To Watch to serve you with an eclectic collection of 2017 favorites and 2018 predictions.

On behalf of the OTW team, wishing the happiest of holidays to our fellow music fanatics all over the globe. Be sure to follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to stay up to date on all happenings in the new year!

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Yasmin Damoui (Content Editor, Ones To Watch)

Best Album of 2017: The XX - I See You

Most Underrated Song: Suzi Wu - “Taken Care Of,” Cigarettes After Sex - “Apocalypse”

Favorite Song To Cry To: Bruno Major - “Easily,” Lewis Capaldi - “Bruises”

Favorite Song To Make Out To: Kwaye - “Lost In My Boots”

Favorite Song To Dance To: Tom Misch - “South of the River”

Best Concert You Attended: All of Lollapalooza

Favorite Ones To Watch Piece: Charlotte Cardin live at Baño Flaco

Favorite Guilty Pleasure: Maty Noyes - “Say It To My Face”

Most Surprising Music Trend: The rebirth of Led Zeppelin via Greta Van Fleet

Top Female Artists To Watch In 2018: Jessie Reyez, Charlotte Cardin, LÈON, Jorja Smith

Top Male Artists To Watch In 2018: Masego, Dermot Kennedy, Two Feet, Brent Faiyaz

Top Music Trend Prediction for 2018: Continued resurgence & mainstream growth of ‘90s-inspired R&B 

Top Hope For 2018: New music from HONNE, Wet, & LEISURE


Jimmy Smith (Content Editor, The Noise)

Best Concert You Attended: Taking Back Sunday & Every Time I Die

Best Album of the Year: Glassjaw - Material Control

Best Music Video of the Year: PUP - “Old Wounds”

Best Song To Protest Trump To: Stray From The Path - “The House Always Wins”

Top Male Breakout Artist: nothing,nowhere.

Best Remix: alt-J - Adeline (Shade Code Orange Mix)


Maxamillion Polo (Writer, Ones To Watch)

Best Female Breakout Artist: Billie Eillish

Best Male Breakout Artist: Sampha

Best Concert You Attended: LANY presented by Ones To Watch

Top Artist Crush: Kacy Hill

Favorite Song To Dance To: Elohim & Whethan – “Sleepy Eyes”

Favorite Song To Cry To: HOMESHAKE – “Every Single Thing”

Best Album of the Year: Loyle CarnerYesterday’s Gone

Best Music Video of the Year: Nick Mulvey – “Myela”

Best Song To Protest Trump To: RAT BOY – “Revolution”

Best TV Show Soundtrack: Twin Peaks Season 3

Top Female Artist To Watch In 2018: Nilüfer Yanya

Top Male Artist To Watch In 2018: BROCKHAMPTON

Top Music Trend Prediction for 2018: The return of the supergroup/boy band


Alexis Cueva (Artist Development Coordinator, Live Nation)

Best Female Breakout Artist: Tash Sultana

Top Artist Crush: Allan Rayman

Best TV Show Soundtrack: The OA

Favorite Song To Dance To: Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee - “Despacito” ft. Justin Bieber

Best Concert You Attended: Kung Fu Kenny

Favorite Ones To Watch Piece: Amy Shark Live On The Rooftop


Malcolm J. Gray (Social Media, Live Nation; Writer, Ones To Watch)

Best Female Breakout Artist: Jorja Smith 

Best Male Breakout Artist: Steve Lacy 

Best Concert You Attended: Frank Ocean @ FYF Fest 

Most Surprising Music Trend: Reggaeton’s comback 

Favorite Song To Dance To: Calvin Harris - “Slide”

Favorite Song To Cry To: Lil Uzi Vert – “Neon Guts” 

Best Album of the Year: Daniel Caesar - Freudian 

Best Music Video of the Year: Sonder – “Too Fast” 

Best Song To Protest Trump To: YG - “FDT”

Best TV Show Soundtrack: MTV’s Catfish


David O’Connor (VP Artist Development, Live Nation)

Best Poolside Intelligentsia Album: Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah -              Dispora

Best Song to Protest the Lack of Protest to: Ho99o9 - “United States of Horror”  

Best Music Video: The Blaze - “Territory”

Song That Makes You Feel Old: LIA LIA - “Olymp”

Best Song to Dance To: Migos - “Bad and Boujee”                                        

Female Artist To Watch In 2018: Ariana and the Rose

Male Artist To Watch In 2018: Nate Husser        


Aaron Wilson (SVP Tour Marketing, Live Nation)

Best Female Breakout Artist: serpentwithfeet, Charlotte Day Wilson 

Best Male Breakout Artist: Joe Fox

Best Concert You Attended: Depeche Mode

Top Artist Crush: Alison Mosshart

Most Surprising Music Trend: Gazzy Garcia (Lil Pump)

Favorite Ones To Watch Piece: All Eyes On The Regrettes

Favorite Song To Cry To: James Vincent McMorrow - “Wicked Game”

Best Music Video of the Year: St. Vincent - “Los Angeless”

Best TV Show Soundtrack: Stranger Things


Alexa Schoenfeld (Junior Booker, Live Nation)

Best Female Breakout Artist: Amy Shark

Best Male Breakout Artist: Daniel Caesar

Favorite Song To Cry To: YEBBA - “My Mind”

Best Concert You Attended: PUP, Jessie Reyez, St. Vincent

Top Artist Crush: Noah Kahan

Favorite Ones To Watch Piece: All Eyes On LEON, All Eyes On Aquilo

Best TV Show Soundtrack: WHITE FAMOUS

Top Female Artist To Watch In 2018: Kelela

Top Male Artist To Watch In 2018: Devin Dawson


Taryn Cheng (Writer, Ones To Watch)

Best Female Breakout Artist: Billie Eilish

Best Concert You Attended: Daniel Caesar

Top Artist Crush: SG Lewis

Favorite Song To Dance To: HONNE - "Just Dance"

Favorite Song To Cry To: LANY - “The Breakup"

Best Album of the Year: Daniel Caesar - Freudian


Valentina Carrillo (Writer, Ones To Watch)

Best Male Breakout Artist: Daniel Caesar

Best Album of the Year: SZA - Ctrl

Male Artist To Watch 2018: DUCKWRTH

Top Artist Crush: Sabrina Claudio

Top Music Trend Prediction for 2018: More fusion of soulful- and/or electronic R&B

Best Song To Protest Trump To: Rationale – “Fuel To The Fire”


Angie Piccirillo (Writer, Ones To Watch)

Best Female Breakout Artist: Julia Michaels, Billie Eilish, Bishop Briggs

Best Male Breakout Artist: Billy Raffoul

Best Concert You Attended: Terror Jr at the Roxy

Most Surprising Music Trend: The ‘80s comeback sounds of Bleachers; pop-punk rappers like Lil Aaron; Return of British punk like Yungblud; the ridiculous amount of tracks released this year “featuring Justin Bieber”

Favorite Ones To Watch Piece: I Don’t Know How But They Found Me Q&A“The 7 Best Emerging Bands From Bottlerock Napa Valley Festival”

Favorite Song To Dance To: ARIZONA - “Cross My Mind”

Favorite Song To Cry To: Wrabel - “11 Blocks”

Best Album of the Year: Hey Violet - From The Outside

Best Music Video of the Year: Billy Raffoul - “Driver” 

Best TV Show Soundtrack: 13 Reasons Why

Top Female Artist To Watch In 2018: Sigrid

Top Male Artist To Watch In 2018: YUNGBLUD

Top Music Trend Prediction for 2018: More minimal production with featured vocals, less autotune; more genre-bending songs and artists; the return of the guitar solo in top 40 (fingers crossed)


Kristin Stahlke (Writer, Ones To Watch)

Best Female Breakout Artist: SZA

Best Male Breakout Artist: Khalid

Top Artist Crush: Yoke Lore

Most Surprising Music Trend: Getting back to ‘80s synth pop

Favorite Ones To Watch Piece: Baum Q&A

Best Album of the Year: MUNA - About U

Best Song To Protest Trump To: Muna - “I Know A Place”

Best TV Show Soundtrack: Big Little Lies

Top Male Artist To Watch In 2018: Declan Mckenna

Top Music Trend Prediction for 2018: Continuation of EDM inspired sounds in pop songs. Hopefully we lose the rap features on songs that only appear for one verse


Nic Kosirog-Jones (Writer, Ones To Watch)

Best Male Breakout Artist: Declan McKenna

Best Concert You Attended: Overcoats

Top Artist Crush: Billie Eilish

Favorite Ones To Watch Piece: “Where Are They Now? We’re Rooting For Lorde At The Grammys”

Favorite Song To Cry To: Phoebe Bridgers - “Smoke Signals“

Best Album of the Year: Overcoats - Young

Best Music Video of the Year: Billie Eilish - “Bellyache”

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