13 Artists You Need To Know About In 2017

These are the artists we’ll be watching in the coming year.

January 05, 2017
1. Hoodrich Pablo Juan
13 Artists You Need To Know About In 2017 @hoodrich_pablojuan

Hoodrich Pablo Juan freaking rules. The rapper's been floating around Atlanta's scene for a little bit, but he’s become a favorite of mine after listening to 2016's Designer Drugz 2 and Master Sensei — he has a raspily melodic voice and lyrics that make you feel untouchable. Also to note: the combo of Pablo and producer Spiffy Global is nuts. — NAZUK KOCHHAR

2. Steve Lacy

Steve Lacy was still in high school when most of us heard him for the first time, on The Internet's Ego Death. In 2017, a couple of years into his career and finally an adult, I expect his post-genre guitar soul will bring hope to a world that's sorely in need. — RAWIYA KAMEIR

3. LiL Peep
13 Artists You Need To Know About In 2017 YOSHINO

I’m not sure I fully understand LiL Peep, the pink-haired, La Croix-guzzling teenager behind songs like “crybaby,” which samples Long Island legends Brand New and includes the lyric, “I'll be inside, I'm making music to cry to.” But something about his rap-rock tearjerkers just make sense to me, and if he goes on a mall tour in 2017 I’ll probably be there, Auntie Anne’s giant pretzel in hand. — PATRICK D. MCDERMOTT

4. Rina Sawayama
13 Artists You Need To Know About In 2017 John Yuyi

She's been channeling the anxiety of our digital lives into languid R&B since 2013, but the east London singer stepped it up in 2016, and next year she'll finally release a debut album, with help from producers salute and A.K. Paul. I got a preview of the new tracks which sound a little Janet, a little "Whatever"-era En Vogue, and entirely like the future. — OWEN MYERS

5. Obongjayar
13 Artists You Need To Know About In 2017 Alec Mcleish

I know next to nothing about London artist Obongjayar. He appeared on my radar one day with a striking single, "Creeping." His voice, which sounds like it came from deep within the earth, sways between soul and rap and on Home, what might be the dopest debut EP of 2016, minimalist and profound production allows his measured, weighty verses to smolder. It’s unlike anything I’ve heard before, but also grounded with a sagacity that sounds ageless. We could definitely use some wisdom in the coming year, which means we need more of Obongjayar’s powerful music ASAP. — LEAH MANDEL

6. Richard Kennedy
13 Artists You Need To Know About In 2017 Matt Holmes

One of my favorite moments of 2016 slid into view as the year was fading. Comeuppance, which debuted in December, is a dystopian opera written by New York artist Richard Kennedy, and its scale and vision floored me. Maybe that's in part because Kennedy's lived many creative lives over the past decade or so. He first found success in theatre, but told Thump that it left him "unsatisfied." Stints as a photographer and promoter followed, before he released his debut EP, Open Wound in a Pool of Sharks,in October 2016. "Temple," in particular, I have listened to dozens of times. His voice is wise and pure, and soars like nothing's gonna hold him down. There's a debut album in the works and, no doubt, more operas to come in 2017, and I can't wait. — RUTH SAXELBY

7. Michele Nox
13 Artists You Need To Know About In 2017 Yannick Fornacciari

Our former Toronto intern, Kelsey, put me onto Montreal singer-songwriter Michele Nox, whose 2016 album Monolith is a compelling mix of cavernous distortion and aching acoustic folk. I saw her open for Tanya Tagaq in a church a couple of months ago; she stood in front of a synthesizer wearing thigh high boots and a wrap-tie robe that kept sliding off one shoulder, the spotlight made her shaved head glow like the moon. Visually captivating, and musically unforgettable. — ANUPA MISTRY

8. Zé
13 Artists You Need To Know About In 2017 Kailah Cunningham

I can't stop coming back to Zé, this young rapper out of Atlanta. He released his debut EP, Skies Are Filled With Secret Delight, at the tail end of last year. There's a cute song about stealing boyfriends and another about the telephone. It's romantic as hell and I'm here for every minute of it. Let's hope the good vibes continue. — MYLES TANZER

9. Kilbourne
13 Artists You Need To Know About In 2017 @kilbournebaby

In a coming year where I expect to become madder than ever, I plan to find both relief and motivation in the work of the New Orleans producer Kilbourne. Her blend of hardcore punk and hardstyle dance music is the most militant-sounding thing I know of. — DUNCAN COOPER

10. J Hus

One of the boldest, brightest tracks to emerge from the U.K. in 2016 was J Hus's "Friendly," on which he declares over an infectious beat that he likes his "Fanta with no ice" and his chicken "with seasoning." Hus is a deft lyricist with an ear for beats that are as big as his sense of humor. He's leading the charge of a fresh wave of diasporic artists who are blending dancehall and afrobeats with a distinctly British flavor: expect to hear much more of that sound in 2017. — AIMEE CLIFF

11. Code Orange
13 Artists You Need To Know About In 2017 Jimmy Fontaine

Code Orange, a metal/hardcore band from Pittsburgh, recently told Rolling Stone: “Our band is not about fun.” Maybe that’s because every inch of the band thrums with conviction: the angular peaks of their perforating noise to their online presence, and even their merch. What drives Code Orange with a militaristic fervor, their cause, is the ideal of a happy, healthy self: the lyrics of their 2014 album I Am King are ferociously motivational, and urge the listener to cut off the poisons of self-doubt and conformity. Integrity isn’t supposed to be enjoyable, but in Code Orange’s case, it landed them a tour with Deftones in 2016, and their new album Forever, is out January 13 on Roadrunner Records. — JORDAN DARVILLE

12. Ziúr
13 Artists You Need To Know About In 2017 Claudia Kent

Ziúr is a Berlin-based artist who co-runs one of the most forward-thinking club nights in the city (be sure to check BOO HOO if you're in town) and recently put together a compilation of 24 producers with a mission to fight discrimination worldwide. But when she's not revolutionizing nightlife or turning club music into activism, she also makes some of the wildest deconstructed beats around. This year, she supported Peaches, released two excellent EPs, and shared a slew of diverse, thrilling DJ mixes. Tracks like "Collar Bone" and "Nails" are anything but delicate, yet there's a fine, precise touch to the way she weaves tension and release throughout everything she does. Look out for her debut album on Planet Mu and Objects Ltd in 2017. — AIMEE CLIFF

13 Artists You Need To Know About In 2017 @_daboii_

SOB X RBE have a strange name and it's difficult to tell how many people are actually in the rap group. But the Vallejo, California natives made two of my favorite rap songs of the past year with "Anti" and "Different," and I'm looking forward to hearing them perfect their formula. — BEN DANDRIDGE-LEMCO

Listen to the artists you need to know about in 2017:
13 Artists You Need To Know About In 2017