MTV Unveils Their Eleven Artists To Watch Out For In 2012

Yesterday, MTV released their list of eleven artists to keep your eye out for in 2012. The group spans a large spectrum of genres from pop, hip-hop, rock, folk and EDM (electronic dance music). In 2012, the eleven selected artists will be featured across MTV’s multi-channel platform as part of a year-long campaign.

“This yearlong initiative underscores our commitment to connecting emerging artists with MTV’s audience of passionate music fans,” said Amy Doyle, executive vice president of music and talent programming strategy. “We know today’s music fans are presented with limitless choices and they’re looking for guides to help them find new music. We’re excited to shine the MTV spotlight on these artists and to introduce them to fans that might not have discovered them yet.”

The campaign will immediately begin on January 1 with the artists’ music videos being featured on PUSH (Play Until Someone Hears) and each artist will have a PUSH Week dedicated to them exclusively. MTV has been an active supporter of each selected artist. Whether it’s been adding their videos to heavy rotation or having them perform at awards shows and the like. Check out MTV’s 11 Artists To Watch below.

Alabama Shakes

Members: Brittany Howard, Heath Fogg, Zac Cockrell, Steve Johnson
Origin: Athens, AL
Genre: Blues/RocknSoul
My Thoughts: I am absolutely digging the sound of Alabama Shakes. Their low key, bluesy sound is sure to soundtrack multiple shows in 2012. Their debut EP is available now.

A$AP Rocky

Members: Rakim “Rocky” Mayars
Origin: Harlem, NY
Genre: Rap/Hip Hop
My Thoughts: Not unlike 2011’s breakout rapper of the year Tyler, The Creator – A$AP Rocky seems to have the power of social media on his side. His debut video for “Purple Swag” garned over 100K+ views overnight.


Members: Tim Berg, Ash Pournouri (Executive Producer)
Origin: Stockholm, Sweden
Genre: House/Electronic
My Thoughts: Love, love, love! Seeing Avicii as an emerging artist for 2012 is weird to me as I was jamming to him for half of 2011. However, with the success of “Levels”, he can only go up from here.

Lana Del Rey

Members: Elizabeth Grant
Origin: Brooklyn, NY
Genre: Hollywood Pop/Sad Core
My Thoughts: This girl is definitely one to keep your eye on next year. Her first single “Video Games” caught everyone’s attention and her second single “Born To Die” has everyone talking. I can’t wait for more of Lana Del Rey in 2012.


Members: Devin Star Tailes
Origin: Tracy, California
My Thoughts: Dev is one of my favorite artists. Period. She’s sweet, her music makes you dance and she’s a new mom. With her album finally coming out in 2012, she’s sure to rocket higher in the sky than she already is.

Electric Guest

Members: Asa Taccone, Matthew Compton
Origin: Los Angeles
Genre: Indie Pop
My Thoughts: A little Foster The People, a little MGMT – this indie pop band known as Electric Guest is sure to be on everyone’s playlist in 2012. Absolutely love their haunting sound. Expect to hear them on Gossip Girl and more in the New Year.


Members: Nate Ruess, Jack Antonoff, Andrew Dost
Origin: New York, NY
Genre: Rock
My Thoughts: I first learned about Fun. when Glee covered their track “We Are Young” which originally features Janelle Monáe. These free spirit rockers create great music and I can’t wait to listen to more of them next year.

Kendrick Lamar

Members: Kendrick Lamar
Origin: Compton, California
Genre: Rap/Hip Hop
My Thoughts: The influences of Kendrick Lamar include Tupac Shakur, Nas and Jay-Z and that definitely rings through in his rhymes. His album “Section.80” was one of the top digital hip-hop releases of the year according to iTunes.

Frank Ocean

Members: Christopher Francis Ocean
Origin: Los Angeles, California
Genre: Contemporary R&B
My Thoughts: I’ve been a Frank Ocean fan for a while now. His smooth vocals and lyrics will help him rise above his counterparts in the music industry. His label, Def Jam, seems to have a lot of faith in him too. Definite bonus.

Walk The Moon

Members: Nicholas Petricca, Kevin Ray, Sean “Extremely Precarious” Waugaman, Eli Maiman
Origin: Cincinnati, OH
Genre: Indie Rock
My Thoughts: These fun loving indie rockers known as Walk The Moon pull in some funk elements that help give their music some major mass appeal. You can’t help but bop along to these tunes. They’re so fun.


Members: Ricky Reed
Origin: Oakland, CA
Genre: Pop/Rock
My Thoughts: I am in love with Wallpaper’s track “Stupidfacedd”. It’s definitely a good party anthem for drinking on the weekend. His music is so unique and a blend of so many genres, it’s sure to please critics everywhere.

Who is your favorite emerging artist for 2012?

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  • Mike

    I’m surprised people still use the term ‘indie’ when defining a genre. Also, I’m pretty sure Fun. is not rock music. That is straight up pop. and Wallpaper is definitely more Hip Hop.

  • Tyrell

    I defined their genres by a combination of Wikipedia pages and their own Facebook fanpages so whatever they wrote was the genre I chose. I wouldn’t classify Fun. as “pop” because there is no way their music can go toe-to-toe with actual “pop” music like Britney, Selena, Christina and the like. They definitely have more rock elements. I think that Wallpaper. has so many genre bending songs, he’s hard to pin down. All of that aside, there is some pretty great music in this list.