10 New Artists You Need to Know: August 2014

Meet the rising stars of rock, EDM, country, R&B and more acts shaping your tomorrow

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Melissa Steel
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Courtesy of Melissa Steel4/10

Melissa Steel

Sounds Like: A portable beach radio that's able to pick up and configure some of summer 2014's hottest trends — breakbeat diva house one moment, dancehall-touched R&B the next.

For Fans Of: Gyptian's slow jams, shows sponsored by streetwear brands, that three-volume compilation of unreleased Cassie songs

Why You Should Pay Attention: A former classmate of One Direction's Zayn Malik, Melissa Steel made her rise to Number One the old-fashioned way: Gig like crazy, write as many songs as possible and find an A&R who can put you on the right tune. "It sounded like something I would write," she says of that breakthrough hit, "Kisses for Breakfast," a track she loved so much that she recorded her vocals with a horrible infection rather than risk letting it pass her by. Now that it has topped her native England's R&B singles chart, Steel is looking ahead, recording songs for a debut LP, listening to as much music as possible and working, like so many of her generation, to become the next Aaliyah.

She Says: "I make R&B, but I'm putting my album together now and trying to keep the island feel infused as well — plus a little trap and drum-and-bass. I think it has a good vibe — energetic music, real music, very empowering to other girls. The other day I was in Topshop, and these nine-year-old girls came up and asked me for my autograph, which was really cute."

Hear for Yourself: Over handclaps, acoustic guitar and a simple piano melody, "Kisses for Breakfast" casually describes a love so passionate that even afternoon delight won't do. By Nick Murray

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