2013 has been a brilliant year for up and coming artists to hit the music industry. When we think of a young artist today, we tend to imagine the same regurgitated style of an artist from five years ago, but just with Dre Beats Headphones on and instead of lyric the use of auto-tune is abused for the sake of talent. However, what we can see from the artists of today is a progressive step in music, breaking the mould and trends of musical style and creating their own. Three newcomers to the music scene have definitely made their mark already which, being less than 25 years-old, has made a statement for their drive and their passions. These rising stars consist of 17 year-old Lorde, 21 year-old Sam Smith, and 24 year-old Shakka. What can be said about these young musical talents?
The success of the New Zealand-born singer/songwriter Ella Yenich-O’Connor, also known as Lorde, has taken the world by storm, and all at the tender age of 17 years old. From the age of 13, Lorde had been part of the music industry; signed to Universal, she began song writing at 14 and has ever since dominated radios and charts worldwide, all whilst being in Year 12. One chart that has propelled Lorde’s career into the sky was Billboard’s ‘The Hot 100.’ Her hit single ‘Royals’ has, at the time of publishing, celebratde its 21st week on the top of the US Billboard charts, towering over the likes of Eminem and One Direction and bringing her new style and sound to the public. Her lyrics in the track are ones that prompt a personal and story-like invitation into a world of obsessed with the material, commenting on the place of the “luxe”, that she sings about in society. If you mix this with the sultry and deep tones in her voice, you really do get the makings of a young star. Her music isn’t the conventional type for a young person; she breaks boundaries with her politically and emotionally charged songs and her voice is one that hasn’t been heard before. She has definitely booted down the doors for teenagers to make a statement in the music industry.
Moving on to the tender age of 21, Sam Smith is a force to be reckoned with. His vocal range is out of this world, reaching high altitude falsettos and coming back down to earth with deep tones. Making his first public debut on Disclosure’s track ‘Latch’, he made his mark on the song and to the people listening to it. Born and raised in Bishop’s Stortford near Hertfordshire, Smith made his decision to get into music during his teenage years and stood out from the crowd of young artists. Catching the attention of producer Naughty Boy, he released a collaboration entitled ‘La La La’ in which he is the main attraction. Not only did this song grab the listeners, but also the MOBO committee members who got the likes of Sam Smith to perform at the MOBO Awards. This big year for Sam Smith has put him in the lime light, particularly through live acoustic renditions of his songs, such as ‘Nirvana’ and ‘Lay Me Down.’ There is something about Smith’s voice that is so subtle and emotional that you can’t help but listen to him. It seems to have hypnotic qualities that are soulful and entice people to listen to his lyrics. Once you’ve listened to Sam Smith, you won’t be able to get enough, and that’s a fact.
Three years onwards, and we get to 24: the age of Shakka Philip (pictured). From just having a mixtape on his SoundCloud account and several hits on YouTube for his “Shakkappellas”, covers of songs which he makes his own by beat boxing, singing and rapping, he has finally made it to the television screen. Born and bred in London’s vibrant Notting Hill, this reggae and RnB-influenced artist has collaborated with the likes of Wretch 32 on his track ‘Blackout’, where Shakka’s vocals are unparalleled. This was also recognised by the MOBO committee, and their track was in the nominations of Best Song and Best Newcomer. Now, having his own individuality in the music industry, he has recently released his single ‘Just Want to See You’ which showcases his terrific voice and amazing arrangements. His voice seems to tell stories so well; he has a tone that is inviting and soulful, even when he reaches louder notes. He is an artist to which you could just sit back, listen and even sing along to his heavy North London accent, which brings such a personal experience to his music; Shakka is an act to watch out for in 2014.
From such a young age, they have really raised the bar for the quality of music. With these three risings stars, it is safe to say that the future of music is in great hands; we can expect new music, new sound and even new boundaries broken by these musicians.