rising artist spotlight

Page 1 of 512345

Rising Artist Spotlight: Finnish Singer Benjamin

In: Donovan, Music

When it comes to Scandinavian pop stars, Sweden is tops for its uncanny ability to export global sensation after another. Abba, Ace of Base, Robyn, Icona Pop, Tove Lo, Zara Larsson and The Cardigans are just a few that quickly come to mind. Rising artist Benjamin Peltonen, who simply goes by his first name, might just put Finland on the map.

The 19-year-old was an Instagram star before signing with Warner Music Finland. His first EP was released last year and achieved moderate success in his native homeland. His full-length debut album dropped just last month and features the sensational track “Body.” The pop anthem has potential to infiltrate several foreign territories including North America.

Check out the music video below directed by Hannes Honkanen. Benjamin serves up some light Jason Derulo realness.

watch after the jump

Jordan Fisher Debuts ‘All About Us’ Music Video

In: Donovan, Music

Prior to Grease: Live, I never heard of Jordan Fisher. I’m pretty sure most of the viewers (unless you’re a tween girl) hadn’t heard of the 21-year-old actor previously either. With talent oozing out of every pore, I have a strong feeling, the Teen Beach star is here to stay.

Days after Grease: Live, Jordan showed off his pipes on “Counterfeit,” a track he uploaded to Soundcloud. It showed off his vocals quite nicely, especially that sexy falsetto of his. Definitely a promising start.

He’s back with his official debut single and accompanying visual to boot. “All About Us” is a slick and radio friendly number produced by Pop & Oak’s “Oak” Felder- he’s crafted singles for Rihanna and Alessia Cara to name a few. I’m a fan of Jordan’s single, which sounds a little bit like Nick Jonas’ “Jealous.”

“The video is really an introductory piece for me not only as an artist but also my visual direction and an overall sense of my music by stimulating the senses,” Jordan tells VIBE.” The collaborative efforts that were made to create this piece allowed me to simply live in my aesthetic playground for a day. Being able to do that with dancers, choreographers, director and stylist, who all happen to be friends of mine, was a dream.”

Check out the visual below directed by TK McKamy. If Jordan stays on this path, he could legitimately become the next Usher.

watch after the jump


Ever since her showstopping duet with Ellie Goulding at this year’s Grammys, Andra Day and her undeniable talent have started to earn more widespread recognition. Deservedly so, if you ask me. Her soulful jazz voice is truly a revelation.

Though the San Diego native released her inspirational anthem “Rise Up” last year, it’s picking up steam lately. Wisely, she’s debuted two new music videos to propel the empowering ballad even further.

The first cinematic visual is directed by M. Night Shyamalan which features a woman caring for her man who’s paralyzed. The other, dubbed the “Introspective Version” finds Day singing in the woods. Both compliment the track quite nicely.

Shyamalan isn’t the first acclaimed director Day has worked with. The 31-year-old teamed up with Spike Lee for her debut video, “Forever Mine.” Check out all three clips below.

watch after the jump


Yuna is a huge star in her native Malaysia, known for indie folk pop-tinged tracks. I first noticed the 29-year-old singer-songwriter with her killer cover of Nirvana’s “Come As You Are.” She’s about to release her fifth studio album and showing off a brand new sound.

It appears Yuna is transitioning to R&B. The tracks she’s shared off Chapters, out May 20, show off a sexier and more sensual vibe. It’s the most evident on her Usher collaboration, “Crush.” Girlfriend is serving up major Aaliyah vibes. Her voice is like butter.

Check out her Usher duet below, along with “Places To Go” produced by the legendary DJ Premier. Who knew Yuna had such urban swagger. I’m loving her new sound.

listen after the jump

Rising Artist Spotlight: Mackenzie Thoms

In: Donovan, Music

Tori Kelly proved last year she didn’t need to win American Idol to make a huge splash in the recording history. Girlfriend became the “It Girl” of the year despite not even making the voting rounds. The 23-year-old singer was certainly the one that got away. Here’s another rising talent that the FOX singing competition rejected.

Mackenzie Thoms tried out for Season 11 of American Idol. Clearly he didn’t make it far because I don’t really remember him on the show. Like Tori proved, that doesn’t matter if you got mad skills.

The Seattle-raised singer made heads turn with his debut single “Conviction,” released last year. His latest, “Do Me All Again,” is even better. It’s R&B with a pop sensibility and radio friendly. Give it a listen below, along with his previous single.

“‘Do Me All Again’ is about the difficulty being in a relationship. Basically me asking the other person if being with me was worth the heartache. When I wrote this song it was with 2 of my friends when I was in a moment of vulnerability. I really wanted to be express my situation at the time. So that’s what I did. I hope when people listen they realize that nobody should ever be with a person who’s only giving or getting half of themselves.” – Mackenzie Thoms

listen to his music after the jump


Initially, I was turned off by Pia Mia. I know she can’t help it, but I found her name borderline annoying. Silly, right? Anyway. Despite my attempt not to like her, the 19-year-old singer won me over with her Chris Brown-assisted single, “Do It Again.” She’s followed that up with an even more fantastic offering.

If you like “Sorry” by Justin Bieber, you’ll love “Touch.” Since the track was co-produced by BLOOD, the same person who assisted Skrillex on The Biebs song, it’s not surprising both tropical house-tinged tracks sound quite similar. In her case though, the summery vibe is fitting given her exotic heritage.

For the accompanying visual, the diva from Guam chose to film in Australia. Wise decision given her previous track charted quite well Down Under. Pia looks great in the Dave Meyers-directed music video, but the choreography is a bit pedestrian. Doesn’t really matter though, because “Touch” is sensational. It’s my new obsession. Check it out below.

watch video after the jump


If you’re hoping this is another dig aimed a Katy Perry, you’re out of luck. This “Bad Blood” is a hot new track from rising artist Nao.

The British R&B singer debuted her new single on BBC Radio 1 earlier this week. The track, produced by Grades, is off her forthcoming debut album. If you love the slinky soul jam, be sure to check out her EPs- February 15 and So Good. There’s also her Disclosure collaboration, “Super Ego.”

Commit Nao to memory. This rising talent is surely here to stay. Check out “Bad Blood” below. If this blows up, I can totally see some mashup artist mixing it with Taylor Swift’s hit single. That would be epic.

listen after the jump


Tom Aspaul is a rising singer and record producer whose recent writing credits include penning tracks for Little Boots, Karen Harding and Kylie Minogue. He steps away from his pen for a moment to stand in the spotlight. The Brit teams up with XY Constant for a new banger title “Do It Well.”

My friend from across the pond recently shared this track with me and I’ve been obsessed with it ever since. I get a Years & Years-type of vibe from it. Looking forward to more from these two talented individuals, especially Aspaul. Love his sweet innocent-sounding voice. Check out “Do It Well” below.

listen after the jump

Page 1 of 512345

Be Our Friend

Life In Your Thirties