Sounds Like: Hyperactive pop that draws influences from all over the globe
For Fans Of: The softer side of Santigold, the poppier offerings of M.I.A., the inspirational slogans of Nelly Furtado.
Why You Should Pay Attention: Hailing from Norway by way of India, Samsaya isn't beholden to any particular genre or style, cherry-picking elements of hip-hop, ska, raga and EDM, throwing them into her motivational, upbeat pop. The music on her forthcoming Bombay Calling LP thrills as often as it gets the body moving. "Breaking Bad" smashes together militaristic drums and slippery synths in a way that makes its kicking-against-the-grain message even more potent; and the loose-limbed "Beginning At The End" twists the breakup song into something actually hopeful. The New York Times caught her at SXSW and noted her "cheerleader energy somewhere between peak No Doubt and Lady Gaga."
She Says: "I've been told that I sang a lot as a kid. I remember the first song I wrote. When I was around 13 years old, I was really mad at my mother because she wouldn't let me hang out with the older kids at the youth center. So I wrote a song called 'Why Do You Want To Rule Me,' and I even tried to get my two best friends to start a girl group with me. We were big fans of Michael Jackson, TLC, Prince and Aaliyah. I loved how they would accentuate their lyrics and melodies with their moves and style. These [new] tracks represent my emotions, and are full of warmth, heat, and energy – like magma that's building up inside of me."
Hear for Yourself: Single "Stereotype" doubles as a mission statement, a rebuke to listeners who want to place her in a box before turning up their boomboxes. By Maura Johnston