These are your Most Promising Artists For 2018
As 2017 comes to an end, we all reflect on the artists we listened to this year. Some artists started their career this year while others used 2017 to fully immerse themselves in their craft. After careful consideration of the past year, these are some of the artists The Press Release feels are going to gain plenty of momentum in 2018.
Most Promising Singer-Songwriter: Hazlett
Hazlett is an artist I came across in late 2017 but within one listen, I was sure this was the strongest voice I had heard all year. The Australian singer-songwriter is a former “shy guy” who has (fortunately for the world) come out of his shell to share his emotionally-charged tracks. His delicate songwriting is perfect for cozying up in a remote wintery cabin. Without a doubt, Hazlett is my favourite discovery of 2017 and I have a feeling he’s going to catapult into the spotlight in 2018.
Most Promising Pop Artist: bülow
bülow (pronounced boo-low) is a 17-year-old German/Canadian pop artist who unexpectedly released her debut EP “Damaged Vol. 1” in November 2017. Within the span of a month, the title track “Not A Love Song” gained over 2 million streams and has since been featured on countless music blogs. At their core, bülow’s tracks are straight up pop — but they contain a sense of edginess that make them stand out among a highly saturated genre. With plans to move to Canada in 2018 to pursue music full-time, it’s certain bülow is a pop prodigy who is going to disrupt an entire genre.
Most Promising R&B Duo: Always Never
Always Never is Toronto’s newest R&B duo who have been releasing tracks steadily since the release of their debut EP in September 2017. The duo’s sound is akin to the haunting ambience found in The Weeknd’s early material. This is not to say they’re a copycat artist — they’re the farthest thing from it. Always Never have created their own unique sound that features crisp hooks that lay over top of dark, heavily reverbed bass. With having a combined total of over 2 million streams and a Beats 1 Radio premier under their belt, it’s safe to say 2018 is going to be a big year for this mysterious duo.
Most Promising Hip-Hop Artist: Jordan Solomon
Jordan Solomon is another one of Toronto’s up-and-coming artists. He’s been building a name for himself online with tracks garnering hundreds of thousands of streams; that many people can’t be wrong. Jordan Solomon’s flow coupled with solid production make all of his tracks complete hits. From dance-hall tracks like “Piña Colada” to the R&B banger “Oh Me Oh My”, he has shown no hesitation when it comes to crossing genres. If you thought Drake lyrics were Instagram-ready, wait until you hear Jordan Solomon.
Most Promising Female Solo Artist: STACEY
STACEY is Toronto’s best keep secret — but not for long. In September 2017, she released her sophomore EP “First Move”; a cinematic masterpiece. STACEY writes honest, tragic, love songs that seem like they’re something of the past. Her music is the soundtrack to the romantic situations we play back in our heads— you know, the ones you wonder how things could have gone if you had done something differently. Where some artists are following trends on what kind of tracks to release, it’s obvious STACEY writes music from her heart and stays true to that. Authenticity will always win. STACEY’s dedication to her sound is what makes her our most promising female solo artist for 2018.
Most Promising Male Solo Artist: Peter Manos
Peter Manos is a 20-year-old Nashville-based artist. The one and only studio track he has to his name, “In My Head” received praise from music connoisseurs around the world; it gained close to 2 million streams within six months of its release—but numbers aren’t everything. Peter Manos’ sound and image scream success. His voice is smooth and genuine while his lyrics are the epitome of vulnerability; a perfect recipe for stardom. I anticipate 2018 will be his breakout year where he gives stars like ZAYN a run for their money.
Most Promising Alt-R&B Artist: Hablot Brown
Hablot Brown (formerly known as Linus Hablot) is one of the best bands you may not have heard before. The New York-based band combines R&B and soul using a modern approach. Borrowing influence from Tom Misch and Nick Hakim, Hablot Brown brings forth an interesting blend of sensual sound. Ever since I heard their track “She Said”, I knew I had to keep a close eye on them. John Mayer fans, you’re in for a treat.
Most Promising Indie Rock Artist: Mount Farewell
Previously featured on The Press Release, Mount Farewell has not left our radar. The Burlington, ON-based band has had a strong year. Their sold-out album release show earlier this year proved the band already has a large amount of hype beneath them and they live up to it. The band’s debut EP features flawless songwriting and production that puts them in the same tier as world renowned touring artists. After playing numerous shows throughout 2017, the band has gained a powerful stage presence. 2018 will see the band gaining more momentum ever than before.
Most Promising Indie Pop Artist: VALLEY
Despite having not released any music in 2017, Toronto’s VALLEY have seen a tremendous amount of success this year; this sets the stage for the band’s year ahead. In 2017 alone, the band signed to a major label (Universal Music Canada) before travelling to New York City and Los Angeles for writing sessions with some of the industry’s top songwriters. The band will likely release their label debut in 2018; a release that will be well-received by existing fans and gain them plenty of new ones along the way.
Most Promising Producer: Wingtip
If you subscribe to a music streaming platform or attend college ragers, it’s nearly impossible you haven’t heard Wingtip’s music. His debut track, “Rewind” featuring Sophie Strauss that was released earlier this year went viral. The track captured the attention of official playlist curators and fans alike— “Rewind” has been streamed over 31 million times in 2017. Since the success of “Rewind”, Wingtip has steadily released new singles that have landed on New Music Friday playlists numerous times while touring throughout North America. After a strong 2017, Wingtip is showing a great amount of potential for the upcoming year. I believe he’s capable of writing another anthem for Summer 2018.
Most Promising Alternative Artist: Aaron Taos
Aaron Taos writes carefree and energetic tracks that are weird and fresh sounding at the same time. It’s the type of music you want to hear blaring on your radio—the difference is you’ll never get sick of Brooklyn-based, Aaron Taos. There’s a sense of grit in his music that makes it raw but relatable to everyday scenarios. His polished voice over top of his sometimes industrial-sounding tracks create a contrast that is jarring in the best way possible. Artists like Aaron Taos remind us that it’s okay to like music that isn’t overproduced. The way I see it: Aaron Taos is a futurist who will be a trailblazer for artists in 2018—just wait.
Most Promising Alt-Pop Artist: Aye June
Self-described, “Aye June is a personification of emotion”. It’s true. Aye June released his rollercoaster of a debut, “Want Me Anyway” in late 2017. His subdued sound is inviting as it allows listeners to explore feelings that they’re typically not comfortable with confronting for a whole 3 minutes and 9 seconds. Aye June shines the spotlight on himself in a genuine manner—a manner we’re not accustomed to seeing. With the internet, we typically only see the side of people that they want us to see, that is, the strong, confident self. Aye June goes against this concept and reveals what it means to be vulnerable and perhaps slightly complex. Even if bleak, I am hopeful for another honest and telling track from Aye June in 2018. After all, as listeners, we often want to see ourselves in a track’s meaning.