Sounds Like: Minimalist, glitchy anti-pop with the perfect rhythm for any party
For Fans of: FKA Twigs, Banks, Kaytranada, Cashmere Cat
Why You Should Pay Attention: Kiara Saulters has been racking up millions of Soundcloud streams for her moody, minimal, sharp electro-pop. Earlier this year she released her debut EP, Low Kii Savage, which included her breakout hit "Gold," a perfect antidote to more maximalist pop and dance topping the charts. Growing up, Kiiara mostly listened to Eminem, Rihanna and Linkin Park and first began writing at the age of 17 but her music between then and now has shifted dramatically. "I played piano, flute and guitar," she says. "[At 17], I was writing was mostly guitar and acoustic stuff. I started writing to beats when I met [producer] Felix [Snow], and he would send me beats for me to write to." Since then, she's embarked on her first-ever live dates which will include a set at Chicago's Lollapalooza, a festival the Illinois native never attended while growing up. Now, she's wrapping up her debut album which she's hoping to release this fall. "We've been in the studio for the last couple months," she reveals, noting that she'll be working with new writers and producers.
She Says: "The process was that we didn't really try that hard," Kiiara recalls of working with Snow, Campa and her other collaborators, who would all finish a song within a single five-hour session. The inspiration behind her song "Gold" was born of a similar don't-give-a-fuck philosophy. "It came from my feeling that you don't really have to answer to anyone. You don't have to answer someone's questions. That's just how I was raised."
Hear for Yourself: Kiiara's hit single "Gold" drips, drops and shines like nothing else this year. BRITTANY SPANOS