The Best of 2019 and Beyond | Staff Picks

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It’s the end of 2019. The world is on fire. You inhale your mango-flavored juul pod. The most pivotal figure in the world is a 16-year-old Swedish girl. Your Amazon Alexa listens intently in the corner of your bedroom. What I’m trying to say is that it has been an absolutely crazy year and an equally mind-blowing year for music. And what better way to cap the end of a year, an end of a decade than to perform a mandated survey on the entire Ones To Watch staff in the hopes of gathering their thoughts on the music that shaped their 2019, their 2010s, and their predictions for this brave new decade.


Maxamillion Polo

Most Underrated Artist of 2019: An honest toss-up between keshi and Aries. Believe 2020 belongs to them.

Best Breakout Artist of 2019: Lizzo, who is finally getting the recognition she’s deserved for years.

Best Music Video of 2019: BTS - “Boy With Luv”

Biggest Artist Crush of 2019: Carly Rae Jepsen, this year and every year.

Best Concert You Attended in 2019: Childish Gambino at The Forum. Felt like church.

Favorite 2019 trend: stan and cancel culture. Live by the sword; die by the sword.

What moment of 2019 will you not be forgetting anytime soon?: Naruto-running through Area 51.

Who is poised to be the breakout artist(s) of 2020: Conan Gray is going to be absolutely massive come this time next year.

Favorite Song of 2019: Dominic Fike, Kenny Beats - “Phone Numbers

Favorite Album of 2019: Tyler, the Creator - IGOR

Favorite Artist of 2019: Lil Nas X, if only for his Twitter presence.

Favorite Song of the Decade: Grimes - “Oblivion.” Honorable mention goes to Mitski’s “Nobody.”

Favorite Album of the Decade: Kanye West - The Life of Pablo

Favorite Artist of the Decade: Childish Gambino, an unmatched creative.

New Year’s Resolution?: Take more pictures, edit more videos, cook more, and discover more artists.


Green Lee

Most Underrated Artist of 2019: Arin Ray

Best Breakout Artist of 2019: Kenny Beats

Best Music Video of 2019: TOSS UP BETWEEN GINGER ROOT’S “WEATHER” & “B4” BOTH FIRE. HUGE FAN. CAMERON LEW, YOU’RE THE MAN.

Biggest Artist Crush of 2019: BENEE

Best Concert You Attended in 2019: SLOWTHAI AT THE ECHO WITH DAVID O’ CONNOR. HOW MANY OF YOU CAN SAY THAT YOU’VE MOSHED WITH YOUR BOSS? HUH!?

Favorite 2019 trend: @foosgonewild

What moment of 2019 will you not be forgetting anytime soon?: Game of Thrones’ trash ass ending.

Who is poised to be the breakout artist(s) of 2020: BENEE

Favorite Song of 2019: Monsune - “Outta My Mind

Favorite Album of 2019: MAGGIE ROGERS – HEARD IT IN A PAST LIFE

Favorite Artist of 2019: Channel Tres

Favorite Song of the Decade: Tyler The Creator ft. Frank Ocean - “She”

Favorite Album of the Decade: SHIT. This is hard. Majid Jordan by Majid Jordan or Whack World by Tierra Whack.

Favorite Artist of the Decade: BROCKHAMPTON.

New Year’s Resolution?: To be a better son and take better care of my body. Your health is your wealth. 


Jenna Singer

Most Underrated Artist of 2019: Huron John

Best Breakout Artist of 2019: Johnny Utah

Best Music Video of 2019:  Loved ROLE MODEL’s newest lyric video for “that’s just how it goes” – super simple and done very well.

Biggest Artist Crush of 2019: I don’t typically crush on artists, but seeing Jeremy Zucker perform live was a momementttttt

Best Concert You Attended in 2019: Polo & Pan – they are incredible, such a party

Favorite 2019 trend: Loose jeans lol – may low rise skinny jeans burn in the past forever

What moment of 2019 will you not be forgetting anytime soon?: Diplo playing Stagecoach – still confused, slightly jealous I missed it

Who is poised to be the breakout artist(s) of 2020: Ahhhhh! This is so hard to tell, the ability to make it big has been redefined with the ability to make music in your room. Really digging Gracie Abrams right now!

Favorite Song of 2019:  I have the worst memory, but “Hit the Back” by King Princess is a whole jam and has been on repeat

Favorite Album of 2019: Again, worst memory but LOVING Immunity by Clairo right now

Favorite Artist of 2019: Clairo

Favorite Song of the Decade: i. have. the. worst. memory. I’m going to go with “Stolen Dance” by Milky Chance

Favorite Album of the Decade: Sadnecessary by Milky Chance – a go to

Favorite Artist of the Decade: … Justin Bieber. Not for necessarily for his music, he’s withstood well against a lot of pressures from being such a world famous artist

New Year’s Resolution?: MAKE BIG CAREER MOVES – also carve out more time to relax. You are your best when you’re rested and clear-minded!


David O’ Connor

Most Underrated Artist of 2019: Sam Fender. So much more to come from him, can’t wait.

Best Breakout Artist of 2019: Clairo, built her own queendom of timely perception.

Best Music Video of 2019: “CRYABY” by Dijon. Visually tackles an emotion that’s hard not to look at.

Biggest Artist Crush of 2019: Lauren Sanderson. She may not care but I do enough for the both of us.

Best Concert You Attended in 2019: Wednesday, June 19, 2019. Sir SlowThai @The Echo w/ @fuqgreen.

Favorite 2019 trend: Flood-prepped pants  

What moment of 2019 will you not be forgetting anytime soon?: Lizzo memeing and melting the internet at every occasion.

Who is poised to be the breakout artist(s) of 2020: Arlo Parks, Deb Never, Dijon, Arizona Zervas, Audrey Mika, Alaina Castillo, Garçons, Sam Fender.

Favorite Song of 2019: “CHA” by LAUNDRY DAY. I am equally nostalgic and envious to write so honestly about teenage angst.

Favorite Album of 2019: slowthai - Nothing Great about Britain

Favorite Artist of 2019: slowthai

Favorite Song of the Decade: ANHONI - “Drone Bomb Me.” If you know me well, maybe too well, I’ll sing this song happily and loudly.

Favorite Album of the Decade: Intuitively obvious but My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy was the decade’s benchmark

Favorite Artist of the Decade: Kanye. Defending him became my protagonist social calendar.

New Year’s Resolution?: Work with more diehards before I die.


Malcolm Gray

Most Underrated Artist of 2019: Sudan Archives

Best Breakout Artist of 2019: Channel Tres

Best Music Video of 2019: Solange - “Almeda”

Biggest Artist Crush of 2019: Green Leef

Best Concert You Attended in 2019: Channel Tres at The Moroccan Lounge

Favorite 2019 trend: Creatives demanding ownership

What moment of 2019 will you not be forgetting anytime soon?: The last season of Game of Thrones being so mid

Who is poised to be the breakout artist(s) of 2020: Baby Keem

Favorite Song of 2019: Tyler, The Creator - “I Think”

Favorite Album of 2019: Toro y Moi - Outer Peace

Favorite Artist of 2019: Toro y Moi

Favorite Song of the Decade: Darius - “Hot Hands”

Favorite Album of the Decade: Kanye West - Yeezus

Favorite Artist of the Decade: Frank Ocean

New Year’s Resolution?: Listen to more music and make some music


Jimmy Smith

Most Underrated Artist of 2019: Can’t Swim

Best Breakout Artist of 2019: Grayscale and Angel Du$t

Best Music Video of 2019: Blink-182 - “Not Another Christmas Song”

Best Concert You Attended in 2019: Vans Warped Tour 25 Year Anniversary Festival

Favorite 2019 trend: TikTok, all of it.

Who is poised to be the breakout artist(s) of 2020: The Chats

Favorite Song of 2019: Bring Me The Horizon - “Sugar Honey Ice & Tea”

Favorite Album of 2019: Issues - Beautiful Oblivion

Favorite Artist of 2019: Waterparks

Favorite Song of the Decade: Angel Du$t - “Toxic Boombox”

Favorite Album of the Decade: Every Time I Die - Low Teens

Favorite Artist of the Decade: Every Time I Die

New Year’s Resolution?: Meet My Chemical Romance


Alec Wing

Most Underrated Artist of 2019: Little Simz

Best Breakout Artist of 2019: Billie Eilish

Best Music Video of 2019: FKA twigs - “Cellophane”

Biggest Artist Crush of 2019: UMI

Best Concert You Attended in 2019: James Blake / The Strokes / The Who

Favorite 2019 trend: IGOR Wig

What moment of 2019 will you not be forgetting anytime soon?: Drake Getting Booed off stage at Camp Flog Gnaw

Who is poised to be the breakout artist(s) of 2020: Aldous Harding

Favorite Song of 2019: YBN Cordae ft. Anderson .Paak - “RNP”

Favorite Album of 2019: JPEGMAFIA - All My Heroes Are Cornballs

Favorite Artist of 2019: James Blake

Favorite Song of the Decade: Frank Ocean – “Self Control”

Favorite Album of the Decade: Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp A Butterfly

Favorite Artist of the Decade: Kendrick Lamar

New Year’s Resolution?: To build something and be proud of it.


Precious Kato

Most Underrated Artist of 2019: Monsune

Best Breakout Artist of 2019: BENEE

Best Music Video of 2019: Jungle - “Casio”

Biggest Artist Crush of 2019: Oscar Jerome

Best Concert You Attended in 2019: The 1975 at The Roxy

Favorite 2019 trend: Wearing your jacket draped over your shoulders. It feels badass!

What moment of 2019 will you not be forgetting anytime soon?: Having not one but two Fyre Festival documentaries.

Who is poised to be the breakout artist(s) of 2020: DVNA

Favorite Song of 2019: Friendly Fires - “Offline"

Favorite Album of 2019: Loyle Carner - Not Waving But Drowning

Favorite Artist of 2019: Hablot Brown

Favorite Song of the Decade: HONNE - “Take You High"

Favorite Album of the Decade: Mac Miller - The Divine Feminine

Favorite Artist of the Decade: Tom Misch

New Year’s Resolution?: Learn how to separate hope and naiveté.


Alexa Schoenfeld

Most Underrated Artist of 2019: Hamzaa, Jean Dawson.

Best Breakout Artist of 2019: Baby Rose, slowthai

Best Music Video of 2019: UMI ft. YEEK – “RUNNIN (EP. 3)”

Biggest Artist Crush of 2019: FKA Twigs, Pell

Best Concert You Attended in 2019:  PVRIS at The El REY 

Favorite 2019 trend: Millenial app astrology – have you entered the Co-Star universe?

What cultural moment of 2019 will you not be forgetting anytime soon?: No genre boundaries, no gender boundaries

Who is poised to be the breakout artist(s) of 2020: Remi Wolf, Peach Tree Rascals

Favorite Song of 2019: Jacob Collier ft. Daniel Caesar - “Time Alone With You” 

Favorite Album of 2019:  The Menzingers - Hello Exile 

Favorite Artist of 2019: UMI

Favorite Song of the Decade: The 1975 – “SOMEBODY ELSE”

Favorite Album of the Decade: Childish Gambino – “Awaken, My Love!”

Favorite Artist of the Decade: Kanye West

New Year’s Resolution?: EXHALE DEEPER


Brooke Pohle

Most Underrated Artist of 2019: Briston Maroney

Best Breakout Artist of 2019: Summer Walker

Best Music Video of 2019: Jadu Heart - “Purity”

Biggest Artist Crush of 2019: I would end it all for A$AP Rocky this year and every year

Best Concert You Attended in 2019: Maggie Rogers at the Greek Theatre

Favorite 2019 trend: Reflective 3M jackets

What moment of 2019 will you not be forgetting anytime soon?: The mess of Area 51

Who is poised to be the breakout artist(s) of 2020: Patrick Martin

Favorite Song of 2019: Maggie Rogers - “Light On”

Favorite Album of 2019: Billie Eilish - When we all fall asleep where do we go?

Favorite Artist of 2019: Briston Maroney

Favorite Song of the Decade: Rihanna - “Stay”

Favorite Album of the Decade: Lorde - Pure Heroine

Favorite Artist of the Decade: Rainbow Kitten Surprise

New Year’s Resolution?: Put my mental health first!!!


Jess Chung

Most Underrated Artist of 2019: Rosemary Fairweather

Best Breakout Artist of 2019: BENEE

Best Music Video of 2019: Crumb - “M.R.”

Biggest Artist Crush of 2019: Pedro Sampaio

Best Concert You Attended in 2019: Dominic Fike

Favorite 2019 trend: fanny packs !

What moment of 2019 will you not be forgetting anytime soon?: the reappearance of Keanu Reeves on social media / memes / movies / games

Who is poised to be the breakout artist(s) of 2020: Clairo

Favorite Song of 2019: Rex Orange County - “10/10

Favorite Album of 2019: BROCKHAMPTON - Ginger

Favorite Artist of 2019: BROCKHAMPTON

Favorite Song of the Decade: Dominic Fike - “King of Everything” 

Favorite Album of the Decade: Tyler, the Creator - Flower Boy 

Favorite Artist of the Decade: Tyler, the Creator

New Year’s Resolution?: Do more hikes !


Jessica Thomas

Most Underrated Artist of 2019: Hope Tala

Best Breakout Artist of 2019: Rosalia

Best Music Video of 2019:  Ashnikko - “Hi It’s Me”

Biggest Artist Crush of 2019: ROSALÍA

Best Concert You Attended in 2019: BANKS at the Palladium

Favorite 2019 trend: Not sure if this counts but this dude is my hero… (editor’s note: totally doesn’t but I’ll accept cause same)

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What moment of 2019 will you not be forgetting anytime soon?: Juice WRLD’s tragic passing and the effect it will have on generations of creatives to come.

Who is poised to be the breakout artist(s) of 2020: Boy in Space (!!!)  

Favorite Song of 2019: YBN Cordae ft. Anderson. Paak - “RNP“

Favorite Album of 2019: Matthew Chaim - The Mathematics of Nature

Favorite Artist of 2019: Lolo Zouaï

Favorite Song of the Decade: BANKS - “Gemini Feed”

Favorite Album of the Decade: SZA  - Ctrl


Joey Legittino

Most Underrated Artist of 2019: BabyJake

Best Breakout Artist of 2019: Aries

Best Music Video of 2019: Supa Bwe ft. Qari - “LOOK”

Biggest Artist Crush of 2019: Kailee Morgue

Best Concert You Attended in 2019: Beck, Cage the Elephant, and Spoon at FivePoint Ampitheatre 

Favorite 2019 trend:Cowboy culture hitting the mainstream. Yee Yee!

What moment of 2019 will you not be forgetting anytime soon?: Eating tide pods

Who is poised to be the breakout artist(s) of 2020: Ant Saunders

Favorite Song of 2019: Augustine - “Guts

Favorite Album of 2019: Cage the Elephant - “Social Cues

Favorite Artist of 2019: BabyJake

Favorite Song of the Decade: Mac Miller - “Self Care”

Favorite Album of the Decade: Blink-182 - “Neighborhoods

Favorite Artist of the Decade: Mac Miller forever

New Year’s Resolution?: To not wait until New Years to make new resolutions for myself.


Chase Nathan

Most Underrated Artist of 2019: EARTHGANG

Best Breakout Artist of 2019: JID

Best Music Video of 2019: DaBaby - “BOP”

Biggest Artist Crush of 2019: Dominic Fike :)

Best Concert You Attended in 2019: slowthai at Flog Gnaw

Favorite 2019 trend: Baggy Pants - no more of that cuffed pant look

What moment of 2019 will you not be forgetting anytime soon?: Being 10th row at Flog Gnaw for Drake

Who is poised to be the breakout artist(s) of 2020: Bakar, Guapdad 4000, Kent Jamz, Grip, KEY!, Mez

Favorite Song of 2019: Tyler, The Creator - “ARE WE STILL FRIENDS?”

Favorite Album of 2019: Dreamville - Revenge Of The Dreamers III

Favorite Artist of 2019: Tyler, The Creator

Favorite Song of the Decade: Mac Miller ft. Anderson .Paak - “Dang!”

Favorite Album of the Decade: Anderson .Paak - “Malibu”

Favorite Artist of the Decade: Tie between Anderson .Paak and Pusha T

What Is Your New Year’s Resolution?: Be more positive!


George Schaefer

Most Underrated Artist of 2019: Pi'erre Bourne

Best Breakout Artist of 2019: Baby Keem

Best Music Video of 2019: Octavian ft. Skepta & Michael Phantom - “Bet

Biggest Artist Crush of 2019: Summer Walker, Jhene Aiko

Best Concert You Attended in 2019: Baby Keem at The Roxy

Favorite 2019 trend: Igor Wig

What moment of 2019 will you not be forgetting anytime soon?: Watching Drake get boo'ed off stage

Who is poised to be the breakout artist(s) of 2020: Jean Dawson

Favorite Song of 2019: Pi'erre Bourne - “Guillotine”

Favorite Album of 2019: Baby Keem - DIE FOR MY BITCH

Favorite Artist of 2019: Toro y Moi

Favorite Song of the Decade: Kanye West ft. Pusha T - “Runaway”

Favorite Album of the Decade: Frank Ocean - Channel Orange

Favorite Artist of the Decade: Frank Ocean

New Year’s Resolution?: Get a job.

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