Photo: Slaven Vlasic
The votes are in. Ones To Watch alumni Alessia Cara has officially been awarded Best New Artist at the 60th annual GRAMMY Awards, making her the first Canadian artist to receive the prestigious honor. The 21-year-old Canadian R&B and pop star has seen an irrefutable amount of critical success, becoming a Grammy Award-winning artist in little over two years since releasing her debut single, “Here.” Despite the feeling of Cara’s rapid, seemingly-overnight success, the award could not be more well-deserved. The young Canadian artist never fails to deliver in a range of genres, whether that be in the form of an electronic radio hit, beautiful and poignantly written pop, or soulful and moving R&B.
So, to celebrate Alessia Cara officially becoming a Grammy-Award winning artist, we hand-picked a few acts you’ll definitely want to get to know if you’re a fan of Alessia Cara. And who knows, it may very well turn out that one of these artists ends up becoming your next Best New Artist.
One of Alessia Cara’s strongest and most popular outings as an artist was her collaboration with superstar producer and DJ Zedd. The aforementioned song, “Stay,” currently boasts over 560 million plays, and for fans of similar electronic-infused pop stylings, look no further than Moxie Raia. The multi-talented artist from New Jersey made herself largely known to the world in 2015, collaborating with a superstar producer and DJ of her own, Steve Aoki, on the breakout hit “I Love It When You Cry.” While this may be Moxie Raia’s most popular track to date, it is only a small offering of her true level of artistry. On the artist’s other tracks, her background of studying jazz at Columbia University comes through to provide a timeless dose of pop R&B flair. For a true display of what Moxie Raia has to offer, one has to look no further than her star-studded mixtape, 931 Reloaded, featuring Wyclef Jean, Buddy, Pusha T, Vic Mensa, amongst a host of other seasoned veterans and fellow rising stars.
If you’ve been paying any attention to the UK’s dance and pop scenes, chances are you may already be familiar with Anne-Marie. The UK charting artist from Essex, England has featured on a number of tracks for the likes of Gorgon City, Snakehips, Magnetic Man, and Clean Bandit–the Clean Bandit collaboration, “Rockabye,” spent nine consecutive weeks at number one on the UK Singles Chart. Most notably, Anne-Marie spent two years with drum and bass band Rudimental as one of their leading vocalists before venturing off to fully devote herself to her solo career. And while Anne-Marie’s collaborations and features were certainly excellent, the beginnings of her solo career have thus far proved phenomenal. Anne-Marie has yet to release a full-length debut, but her singles thus far, such as “Alarm,” “Then,” and “Ciao Adios” burst at the seams with both the superb electronic experiences she has immersed herself in over the past few years and the pop acumen she has clearly spent all this time refining.
Bibi Bourelly may be a young artist but her music is wise and soulful well beyond her years. The rising star originally from Berlin, Germany, moved stateside at the age of 16 on her own to fully pursue her music dreams. Cut to a short few years later, where she would find herself working alongside visionaries in her field like Kanye West and Rihanna, the latter of which she wrote the worldwide hit single “Bitch Better Have My Money” for. Bourelly’s clear talent for songwriting extends outward to her own music that exudes a sense of musical depth and texture of a time passed while still managing to provide a fresh and new perspective. For instance, a track like “Ballin” brings forth feelings of ‘90s R&B coupled with modern day lyricism, while “Perfect” is beautiful track reminiscent of classic jazz and R&B juxtaposed with a modern-day vernacular. Bibi Bourelly is an artist actively creating something new out of tradition.
18-year-old Olivia O’Brien is a Los Angeles–based budding pop sensation, and it’s easy to see why. The most readily apparent aspect of O’Brien’s repertoire is her velvety smooth vocals, which instantly imbue every one of her songs with a deep sense of atmospheric intensity. This feeling is only elevated with the simple yet moving production elements she uses to wrap her arresting vocals in, creating a feeling of losing oneself in O’Brien’s artistry and story. The high level of emotiveness O’Brien time and time again displays can be found throughout the singer’s breakout hit with gnash, “i hate u, i love u,” which currently boasts over 610 million plays on Spotify alone. A slow-burning number that O’Brien wrote at the age of 15, it speaks volumes to who she as an artist, an artist capable of conveying the truest and most profound of human emotion without any superfluous or distracting elements.
Maty Noyes is a shining ray exuding the power of straightforward, tried-and-true pop. The Los Angeles-based artist first got her break in a large way, appearing on The Weeknd’s “Angels.” In similar fashion, Noyes can also be found on Kygo’s “Stay,” another track perfectly fit for the dance floor. It’s as if Noyes exists solely to give life to creations designed for one to move to. It’s no surprise then that Noyes lists Madonna as an influence, a fellow artist who serves as a paragon for how intrinsically satisfying pop can be to listen to when done right. Indeed, there is a familiar essence to be found of Noyes’ recent single “Say It To My Face,” a shimmering bout of pop perfection that feels revolutionary in its sonic use of glittering textures. If Maty Noyes keeps this up, she may very well end up becoming a revolutionary artist in the world of pop.
Photo: Alex Lake
Scotland native Nina Nesbitt first made herself a name to be on the lookout for in 2014, with her self-titled debut EP. Yet in the three years since the release of that debut EP, Nesbitt has grown exponentially as an artist. The Nina Nesbitt of today crafts alluring, story-telling pop that truly allows her unique talent for delivering relatable and heartfelt lyricism to thrive. The world at large also seems to have taken a liking to the Nina Nesbitt of 2017, with 2017’s “The Best You Had” becoming Nesbitt’s most-streamed single to date. In addition to crafting enthralling works of pop magic, the rising Scottish star is without a doubt multi-faceted talent. Writing her own songs, playing the guitar, being a pianist, and dabbling in modeling, it seems like there’s almost nothing that Nesbitt can’t do. And we can’t see wait to see what she’ll do next as the constantly evolving artist gears up for what is sure to be an explosive 2018.