10 New Artists You Need to Know: August 2017

YFN Lucci, Declan McKenna, Jessie Reyez, Knox Fortune and more

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Jessie Reyez
10
Havard Jorstad3/10

Jessie Reyez

Sounds Like: Heart-on-sleeve ballads meets hip-hop and R&B-influenced Tarantinian pop

For Fans of: Kehlani, Amy Winehouse, Shutter Island

Why You Should Pay Attention: After working with the likes of Chance the Rapper and King Louie, the 27-year-old Toronto singer-songwriter released her debut EP, Kiddo, a collection of seven emotionally raw tracks. Armed with nothing but an acoustic guitar and her throaty voice, she's performed heartbreak anthem "Figures" on The Tonight Show and at the 2017 BET Awards. Other artists have taken notice of her talents too: The singer guests on chart-topping producer's Calvin Harris' Funk Wav Bounce Vol. 1 ("Hard to Love") and bachata king Romeo Santos' Golden ("Un Vuelo a La").

She Says: "We have a crazy hip-hop history that a lot of people don't know about," Reyez says of Toronto, "we have people in our city that were very influential. We've got fucking K-Os, we've got Kardi [Kardinal Offishall], we have some songs that are Toronto anthems. I remember being in the States a few years ago, and when I said I was from Toronto, it doesn't really make a difference. Now you say you're from Toronto and people want to talk to you a little longer. Drake's putting on and bringing a lot of eyes to the city, but I feel like the seed and the flowers have always been here."

Hear for Yourself: "Gatekeeper," and its powerful accompanying short film, confronts sexism and misogyny in the music industry and was based on her past experiences with an abuser. Max Mertens

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