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10 New Artists You Need to Know: October 2017

A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, Moses Sumney, Greta Van Fleet and more

10 artists to watch october keyon harrold princess nokia

Keyon Harrold and Princess Nokia.

Once again, we talked to 10 of the hottest artists who are climbing the charts, breaking the Internet or just dominating our office stereos. This month: New York rapper A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, classic rock revivalists Greta Van Fleet, self-described “social music activist” Keyon Harrold and more.

10 artists to watch october princess nokia

Milah Liban

Princess Nokia

Sounds Like: What would happen if Recess‘ Ashley Spinelli moved to the Lower East Side and started rapping

For Fans of: Junglepussy, Tyler, the Creator, Zebra Katz

Why You Should Pay Attention: Destiny Frasqueri, the 25-year-old rapper known as Princess Nokia, racked up over 4 million views for her song “Tomboy.” Aesthetically she tips her hat to old school rap, but her signature cyber-grit gives her records an edge that makes the rough and tough New Yorker a clear product of the internet age. Most recently, she made headlines for throwing soup at a racist passenger on the subway. Not a surprising turn of events for the unapologetic MC who practices what she preaches: “Ain’t no rap talk/This my real life.”Life imitated art, since she has song lyrics like, “Livin’ in the city you can’t be a xenophobe/This the melting pot/And the soup is never cold.”

She Says: Identity has a lot do with Nokia’s music, especially on her latest album, 1992 Deluxe, where she uses her oppressors as a punching bag, taking hits at everything from your man to the foster care system. “I don’t care that people get inspired necessarily by the music itself, but just the statement that a young 20-something year old girl talks about these things, or has these experiences, or is so fucking ballsy, or has so much moxie,” she says. “I just want people to be like, ‘Yo that shit is dope, like who cares, like who gives a fuck?'”

Hear for Yourself: “G.O.A.T” is Princess Nokia’s rebel anthem, where she has the confidence of the prom queen and the mouth of a delinquent. Daniela Tijerina

10 artists to watch october trippie redd

Megan Sistachs

Trippie Redd

Sounds Like: The slurry emo tunes of a teenager raised on a steady diet of hip-hop and hardcore

For Fans of: Lil Uzi Vert, Young Thug, 6lack

Why You Should Pay Attention: Since releasing his breakout A Love Letter to You mixtape this May, Trippie Redd has gone from a virtual unknown rapper – grinding out a following on SoundCloud while networking within the Atlanta hip-hop elite – to a rising star with major-label distribution and a Top 40 single (“Fuck Love” by controversial rapper XXXTentacion). Signed to the label owned by UMG chairman Lucian Grainge’s son Elliot, the 18-year-old born Michael White IV has seen his biggest song, “Love Scars,” streamed more than 17 million times on Spotify and more than 12 million times on YouTube. Redd, who recently released A Love Letter To You 2, has been championed by the likes of Lil Wayne, Lil Uzi Vert and Chris Brown; has collaborated with D.R.A.M.; and says he’s been talking with Kanye West, Drake and 21 Savage.

Born to a single-mother and an incarcerated father, Trippie’s older brother, who performed as Dirty Redd, turned him onto hip-hop before tragically dying in a car accident in 2014. He first recorded alternative rock music before turning his attention to hip-hop, but no matter the genre Redd says music was always his coping mechanism “I was depressed. I didn’t have nobody,” he says of the years following his brother’s death. “I was on my own type shit. Music took me from a real dark place to a real bright one.”

He Says: “I knew this was going to happen. I just didn’t know it was going to happen so soon. I didn’t want to get no regular job. I worked at Little Caesar’s for about two days, bro. I was out. That’s the only job I’ve ever had. And I just turned 18 so this is my only real job. This is what I do. Making big money. Never doubt yourself.”

Hear For Yourself: On Love Letter To You‘s “Romeo & Juliet” Trippie showcases his signature elastic vocals as he toasts to love’s sweet sting over sexy, New Wave synths. “Baby your love is my medicine/When I’m up bring me down.” Dan Hyman

Giulia McGauran

Alex Lahey

Sounds Like: Part Runaways and part Carly Rae, this is whimsical, frown-proof rock that cuts off slices of life with a razor-sharp blade.

For Fans of: Best Coast, Tegan and Sara, Lucy Dacus

Why You Should Pay Attention: Australian indie rocker Alex Lahey’s punchy early single “You Don’t Think You Like People Like Me” was all over radio in her home country, and streaming services soon followed. On 2016’s debut EP, B-Grade University, her hook-filled songs (and inventive videos) about liking Wes Anderson movies and college life feel direct and personal, yet still unpredictable. “I’m not going out of my way to relate to anyone,” Lahey contends. “I’m just talking about my life.”

Earlier this year, she finished her first full-length, I Love You Like a Brother, and spent a month visiting her brother, Will, in New York City. Though he knew the record’s name toasts their siblingship, she was nervous to play it for him – especially the ebullient, surf-rock title track. On it, she sings, “People say we look the same but I don’t think we do/Maybe it’s a consequence of sharing the same womb.” “It was a full-circle moment for me to talk to him about that stuff,” she says.

Brother tackles heavy stuff like self care, relationship dysfunction and the paralysis of being broke. Levity arrives via self-deprecating humor, shout-along choruses and an impressive sonic range that toys with a different mixture of pop and punk on nearly every song. After opening for Catfish & the Bottlemen, Blondie and Tegan and Sara, Lahey starts a U.S. tour in support of the record in November.

She Says: “I grew up listening to [Tegan and Sara] and learned how to play guitar playing their stuff. Obviously looking up to them as songwriters is one thing, but to travel with them and watch how they operate on the road was another. The way they perform, the way they engage with their fans, the type of gear they use, and the way they shape their band. How conscious they are that their band, their crew and their business at large is a reflection of themselves. There are a lot of people flying the flag of social consciousness, but there are very, very, very, very few people who truly practice what they preach. They’re leaving a legacy, and if I’m a part of that I’m stoked.

“There’s a phrase: Sometimes it’s good to say no. In the context of music videos and photo shoots and presenting myself aesthetically, that’s the one time I’m totally down with saying no. People are like, ‘We want to do this Vanity Fair-style ball gown shoot,’ and I’m going to be like, ‘No, fuck off.’ Have you seen me? Do you know what I’m about? It’s obvious I’m not that kind of person. I’d rather spend my time writing good songs than fucking look better than the next person.”

Hear for Yourself: “Every Day’s the Weekend” is rollicking, unpolished garage rock. Reed Fischer

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