Anderson .Paak has quickly become one of the most exciting and dynamic artists in the game right now. Blending hip-hop, R&B, funk, soul, gospel and jazz, .Paak has crafted a sound as distinguishable as the period in his name. The release of his first album, Venice back in 2014, first shined a light on his ability to combine nostalgic sonics with new-age influences. The album served as the first offering in a “beach series” trilogy the California native plans on releasing. The second installment, Malibu, was released in early 2016 and received critical acclaim from publications around the country.
Gearing up for the conclusion of the trilogy, Anderson .Paak visited Zane Lowe at Beats 1 Radio today to share his newest single, “Tint,” featuring none other than the living legend Kendrick Lamar. .Paak’s third album, Oxnard, is named after his hometown in California and is described by the multi-talented musician as, “the album I dreamed of making in high school.” Yet, .Paak would not be .Paak if he just stopped at Oxnard.
An artist of limitless creativity who constantly seeks to amaze and defy expectations, .Paak just surprise dropped a new album that features everyone from André 3000 to Smokey Robinson. Ventura, the latest soon-to-be acclaimed project from .Paak, sees him returning to his roots while still finding the space to explore newfound territory. And what better way to celebrate the release of Ventura than streaming it on repeat while discovering seven rising artists who may just follow in his footsteps?
First on our list of talented musicians is the gifted lyricist from North London, Little Simz. Her music is both versatile and intimate as she uses her ability to deliver introspective lyrics, airy melodies and instrumentation filled production. A true creative, Simz released eight mixtapes prior to her full-length album debut, A Curious Tale of Trials + Persons and her most recent album, Stillness in Wonderland. Quiet since the release of her last album, Simz recently resurfaced to share two new singles from what we presume is an upcoming album. The two tracks are focused around the U.K. vocalist’s confidence and her rightful claim to the throne.
Kweku Collins has a way with words. The poet/rapper/singer/producer from Evanston, Illinois, is operating in a lane all his own. A family background in music and deep seeded passion from a young age crafted Collins’ trademark concoction of hip-hop, R&B, and freeform poetry. His latest single, “ET,” evokes emotion from the moment you press play. Collins raps and sings over the subtle strumming of an acoustic guitar that helps shine a light on an unheard element of his artistry. The release of his critically acclaimed EP, Grey, in early 2017 and string of new singles have kept Kweku Collins in high demand.
The talent that comes out of the Golden State of California never ceases to amaze me. And California’s most recent noteworthy artist, Leven Kali, is blurring the lines between R&B and funk, producing a sound that embodies his West Coast influences. Kali first made waves with the release of his independent project, 4102, back in July 2015. Kali would use the following two years to simultaneously work on his music and collaborate with artists like Playboi Carti, Topaz Jones, and Pink Slip. With currently four singles out, his most recent featuring Syd, Leven Kali appears to be gearing up for a proper debut.
Not many artists are as technically skilled in an array of instruments like Masego. The jack-of-all-trades musician from Newport News, Virginia, is the self-proclaimed king of trap house jazz. Masego released two 2016 EPs that showcased his ability to implement jazz elements into a litany of genres. His first, The Pink Polo EP, was a collaboration with electronic producer Medasin, his second and first solo EP, Loose Thoughts, was released a few months after. Masego reached international notoriety a year later for his live-looping collaboration with French instrumentalist FKJ for their song, “Tadow.” The video primed fans for Masego’s full-length album debut, Lady Lady, released in early September of 2018. The album is an ode to women around the world and the part they played in shaping the young musician’s life.
Anderson .Paak and Chicago based artist, Jean Deaux, share one impressive quality: their ability to navigate through complex pockets of production. Despite releasing her first single on DSP’s in mid-2017, Jean Deaux has been collaborating with the likes of Mick Jenkins, Isaiah Rashad, Saba and Smino since 2014. A representation of the company she keeps, Jean Deaux is offering rich, atmospheric vocals and off-center introspective lyrics about her trials and tribulations in the industry and life. Preparing for the release of her debut EP, Krash, Deaux is giving fans a glimpse into the highly anticipated project with her newest single, “Back 2 You.” The song showcases Deaux’s ability to match high energy production with an even more electric cadence. Needless to say, we are very excited to see what Jean Deaux has in store for us next.
Anderson .Paak’s Stones Throw label mate, Stimulator Jones, is a part of the genre-bending community of artist determined to push musical boundaries forward. Exposed to the entire spectrum of musical genres as a child, Jones quickly learned to play whatever instrument was in front of him. His debut project, Exotic Worlds and Masterful Treasures, is a direct reflection of his crusade. The album combs through various genres and time periods seamlessly blending and contrasting differing sonic elements. Stimulator Jones’ first offering is anything but stagnant, the dynamic debut leaves our curiosity rightfully piqued into what else Jones has to offer.
Chicago based MC, Saba is more than just a rapper or producer; he’s a storyteller. Painting vivid images with words, Saba has been one of Chicago’s most prolific talents for some time. His contributions to Chance the Rapper’s Coloring Book and Noname’s Telefone marked the beginning of his ascension. He released his first album, Bucket List Project in 2016, receiving praise from his hometown as well as the entire country. Two years later Saba released, CARE FOR ME to much critical acclaim as it marked his most personal and emotional project to date. The project leans on Saba’s ability to conversate with listeners as he leads them through the difficult moments that have afflicted him the past couple of years.