U.S Rising Stars of 2018
Kranium introduced new concepts to the popular music scene. Mixing African instrumentals with Carribean beats feels like the refreshing iced slushie we need when the suns heat gets unbearable on a summer day. Having first came across Kranium’s talent through his underrated song with Ty Dolla $ign ‘Can’t Believe’, it dawned that there was a whole spectrum of sounds just like this that the world is not aware of. Although his single ‘Nobody Has To Know’, also featuring Ty Dolla $ign, gained popularity in 2015 reaching #44 on the Billboard charts. It wasn’t enough to get Kranium’s fame giving him greater and more deserved exposure. It peaked at #32 on the Reggae Digital Song chart as Twitter had enlisted him as an emerging artist. Although this was not the case a few years back, the song did get Kranium signed to Atlantic Records, which was a start.
Born in Montego Bay, Jamaica, Kranium is well deserved of more exposure in the reggae genre. He enlists cultural beats from his hometown and combines those elements with the relevant beats that make up the present reggae sound. His soft and heavenly R’n’B vocal assertions integrate well with his compositions, in reference to more recent songs ‘We Can’ and the ethereal sounding ‘Want More’ with Rotimi.
With gained recognisable features in 2017, such as Bebe Rexha’s Comfortable, Kojo Fund’s My Wish, and appearing on the remix of Ed Sheeran’s Shape of You, similar marketing moves can be made in the next year that can gain Kranium great publicity that will get his foot in the popular music scene. There is hope that his previously anticipated but unsuccessful emergence in the industry a few years ago can finally prosper in 2018.
Lil Uzi Vert
Lil Uzi Vert gained his fame this year with the hit song XO Tour Llif3, named after The Weeknd’s label. The catchy track produced by TM88 was first performed at The Weeknd’s London show. Delving into mental health, drugs, and his unhealthy relationship with his ex-girlfriend, the songs likeability accounts for its memorable dragging bass rhythm, flows, and relentless, raspy vocalized lyrics by Lil Uzi. His welcomed exposure came to life during his opening nights on the XO European tour. When performing the song for the first time, fans of The Weeknd already knew the words to XO and were singing like the song had been in existence for years and re-appeared after all this time. What makes this track special is grimy under beats and bass that compliment Uzi’s rock-like vocals, many have compared his voice to Young Thug.
Speaking on the issues of suicide and mental health, he spoke almost the unspeakable in the hip-hop industry, where the paychecks exist in bragging about money, drugs and women. Similarly, Kid Cudi, Logic, Kendrick Lamar, Joe Budden and XXXTentacion rap of similar burdens and thoughts. The fact is that if Lil Uzi Vert can have a whole crowd of people, who weren’t there to see him, sing his song word for word when it was only released on SoundCloud at the time, there is a great chance his recently released album Luv Is Rage 2 and his likeability factor can influence his future success. With his yearning vocals, a test of vulnerable listeners cannot help but sympathize with Uzi. A feature that can save parts of the hip-hop industry in the future, which is why Lil Uzi Vert will only get bigger in 2018.
As well as a singer, rapper, and actor, the already prominent Jaden Smith can also add songwriting to his name. As the son of Jada Pinkett and Will Smith, the alternative hip-hop artist has come into his own over the past year. Releasing his 17 track album SYRE titled after his middle name, he is a sure rising star as the album climbed to #24 on Billboards Top 200 list. The album took a whopping three years to complete and features Pia Mia on the track titled ‘B’ and A$AP Rocky on the hip-hop conflicted track ‘Breakfast’. Jaden’s thought-provoking and provocative manners carry an alluring sense of mystery. He is able to attain listeners out of pure curiosity, even those who have a contrasting musical taste.
Jaden takes on beats and creates articulate vocal flows to accompany the beats. His songs can be made up of a combination of beats which differentiates him in the hip-hop scene. Taking on music melodies such as Jay-Z in ‘Icon’, and Kanye West in ‘Watch Me’, is there anything Jaden can’t pull off? His six-minute track ‘Hope’ embraces fast-paced lyrical flows, particularly one minute in, we hear a lengthy verse, similar to Big Sean’s flow in his breathtaking track ‘Paradise’. He explains that this album is about a new ‘awakening and consciousness’ and Jaden brings it all to the plate in this album. Inner thoughts and expressions are expressed in tracks, thinking far beyond typical hip-hop themes, he takes them into another dimension. For his creativity at the least, it is enough to say that Jaden Smith will shine in 2018. That is if it doesn’t take him three years to make his next album!
UK Rising Stars of 2018 (Overview)
Rak-Su came to UK TV screens on the popular singing show X-Factor. From the early days of the competition, the group of four boys were a favourite, and week by week they delivered in their original performances. Since they won the show, their original song Dimelo, inspired by Latin music, reached #2 in the UK charts, a big risk considering their first single was an original as opposed to the traditional X-Factor cover. Expect to see a lot of Rak-Su throughout 2018.
UK acts such as Maleek Berry, possesses a style similar to the evergrowing popular Mr Eazi and made his highly exposed entrance with ‘Kontrol’. Being able to receive a nomination for music producer of the year at the Nigeria Entertainment Awards, it is no surprise Maleek is on our emerging artists of 2018! Maleek completed his Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and managed to learn to play the Piano by ear, the producer is able to listen to a piece of music and translate in his own way, how to play it on the piano. That is a talent not to be reckoned with in today’s music industry!
Mabel & Kojo Funds
Mabel & Kojo Funds, who last year teamed on the nostalgic ‘Finders Keepers’, are both continuing to make new music and are teaming up on some hot collaborations in the next year! Having freshly collaborated with Not3s and having recently released her EP, good things are expected to come in the next year for R’n’B singer Mabel.
J HUS with his cool ‘Bouff Daddy’ swag has managed to steal the UK’s heart with ‘Did You See’ and ‘Friendly’ after he released his debut album ‘Common Sense’ this year. His light-hearted lyrics and catchy mellow beats are what is hot in the music scene right now. J HUS takes grime and electro-pop and creates some good songs!
With the British music scene rising worldwide, acts like Stormzy and Stefflon Don have raised the game and set the bar for these rising stars of 2018!