The Best Of The Best: 20 Artists To Watch In 2017

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Photo: Molly Shannon in Superstar

Drum roll please…presenting Ones To Watch’s top artists to watch in the coming year. While all of our artists are remarkably talented in their own right, the following 20 were chosen on the basis of musical quality, fan appeal, and mostly importantly, an expectation (and hope) for active recognition and success in 2017, both in the digital and live spaces. 

By the same token, we want to hear from you! Email your top Ones To Watch to contact@onestowatch.com, and your favorite artist just might get featured on the site next year.

Cheers & Happy Holidays!


Allan Rayman

Genre: R&B

Sounds Like: No one else, really

Feels Like: Being trapped in the darkest depths of your own psyche

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Aminé

Genre: Hip hop, Rap

Sounds Like: GoldLink, D.R.A.M., Vic Mensa

Feels Like: Going on a bumpy, drug-fueled hayride through a banana grove

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Anderson East

Genre: Americana, Southern Soul

Sounds Like: Parker Millsap, Sturgill Simpson, St. Paul And The Broken Bones

Feels Like: Drinking age old bourbon at a bar in the Wild West

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Bibi Bourelly

Genre: R&B, Soul

Sounds Like: Rihanna, Alessia Cara, Andra Day

Feels Like: Coming into your own as a independent female in a male-dominated environment

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Billie Eilish

Genre: Pop, Electronic

Sounds Like: AURORA, Lapsley, Lana Del Rey

Feels Like: The tiny butterflies that tickled your insides the first time you laid eyes on your middle school crush

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CLAY

Genre: R&B, Soul

Sounds Like: Lauryn Hill, India.Arie, Corinne Bailey Rae

Feels Like: Discovering your true soul through the re-manifestation of a youthful spirit 

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Daniel Caesar

Genre: R&B, Soul

Sounds Like: Abhi//Dijon, Majid Jordan, The Weeknd

Feels Like: The mental soundtrack to the best you ever had

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Dua Lipa

Genre: Pop

Sounds Like: Jessie Ware, Sia, Alessia Cara

Feels Like: Crushing on the prettiest girl in school and then finding out she has a great personality too

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Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam

Genre: Indie-Rock, Folk

Sounds Like: Fitz and the Tantrums, Car Seat Headrest, The Walkmen

Feels Like: A divorced cowboy’s confident road to recovery 

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Jorja Smith

Genre: R&B, Soul

Sounds Like: Lauryn Hill, NAO, Sinéad Harnett

Feels Like: A lullaby for the gods, with a political undertone

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LÉON

Genre: Indie, Pop

Sounds Like: Broods, Phoebe Ryan, MØ

Feels Like: A colossal middle finger to that ex who did you wrong

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Lewis Del Mar

Genre: Alternative, Experimental

Sounds Like: Foals, Owen Rabbit, Bishop Briggs

Feels Like: Oceans waves crashing into the city skyline

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Maggie Rogers

Genre: Folk, Pop

Sounds Like: Banks, Låpsley, Wet

Feels Like: Falling in love in a sensational daydream

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Maségo

Genre: Hip hop, Jazz, Electronic

Sounds Like: Kendrick Lamar, Childish Gambino, Goldlink

Feels Like: Grinding with the class clown at prom…and enjoying it

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Michl

Genre: Electronic, R&B

Sounds Like: James Blake, Chet Faker, James Vincent McMorrow

Feels Like: Re-evaluating your existential purpose in the cosmos

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Noname

Genre: Hip hop, Rap

Sounds Like: Chance the Rapper, Isaiah Rashad, Earl Sweatshirt

Feels Like: The scent of single rose growing in a bush of thorns

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Rafferty

Genre: Blues, Rock

Sounds Like: Barns Courtney, Dorothy, Kaleo

Feels Like: The mental soundtrack to a suave gigolo’s morning routine

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Skott

Genre: Pop, Indie

Sounds Like: Lorde, Bloodboy, Feist

Feels Like: Getting lost in a magical enchanted forest

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Tom Misch

Genre: Jazz, Soul

Sounds Like: Erykah Badu, Moses Sumney, Sampha

Feels Like: Moonwalking through a ‘40s jazz bar 

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Whilk & Misky

Genre: Electronic, Folk

Sounds Like: HONNE, Raury, Josef Salvat

Feels Like: A gallant alien trekking The Oregon Trail

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