As you know, here in FADERville, we like to shake things up in the new year, beginning with our NOW issue, wherein we present our ideas about who and what is going to be blowing your mindbox in the coming 366 days. In the last few years, we’ve presented some interesting, unlikely, totally off-base and/or crazily prescient options. This year marks the very first time that we’ve had two women grace the covers of the magazine, and while shattering gender norms hasn’t always been in our editorial credo, we’re happy to do it when we can—and we like to think that the rest of the world might lock in step with us any day. Between Benazir Bhutto, Hillary Clinton, Aung San Suu Kyi and Angela Merkel, the geopolitical landscape has been seismically shifted by madame leaders around the world—a happy and pretty fucking welcome shift that might find some echoes in the music industry as well. Keri Hilson and Santi White (bka Santogold) are not simply great artists, they are forces—the former is a writing talent ne plus ultra, at home behind the boards working for pop princesses and princes alike, the latter possesses a sensationally focused mind when it comes to writing, producing and singing the kind of uncategorizeable new music that has come to define this magazine.
That’s putting a healthy gloss of gender politics on our cover stars—which is convenient for my tagline (and, to be honest, belief) that this is the YEAR OF THE WOMAN—though it unfortunately undermines the fact that these two women are great artists, full stop. Hilson and White have songs for days. Unpredictable, crazy, addictive music that you will be listening to on your earbuds at some point (a lot) this year. Presumably, because you are a curious and enlightened FADER reader, you will also be looking outside the confines of your web browser and/or apartment to find some new, unclassifiable shit that will be breaking your head with its awesomeness. Check out our feature stories on Mexico City rock, suburban sprawl rap from Hunstville, Alabama and experimental psychedelics from Lawrence, Kansas to get the mind juices flowing. This is going to be a big year for the FADER—we’re full of breathless, grandiose ideas about the World and the Music. We are, for the very first time in a while, optimistic about not only the future, but the right now. Happy New Year.