Meet the Talented Emerging Artists You Won’t Want to Miss This Springs

ByQuyen Anne

Mar 13, 2024


Holly Humberstone; Paravi; Luh Tyler; Leon Thomas

Chappell Roan

Chappell Roan (Credit Ryan Clemens)
Chappell Roan. RYAN CLEMENS

If you’re headed to a Chappell Roan concert anytime soon, make sure you prepare a costume.

“My live shows are all themed, and it gives people the opportunity to be silly and dress up as their favorite pop star, or in a prom dress or like a pink cowboy,” the 25-year-old Missouri-born performer, known for her theatrical style, tells newsmoi. “I like burlesque, drag and Bratz dolls, and I’m pretty inspired by their fashion.”

Despite not releasing an album yet, Roan (whose real name is Kayleigh Rose Amstutz) is already selling out shows across the country. Her concerts are true parties, complete with rowdy crowds and local drag performers. Having gotten her start on YouTube and later broken through with “slumber party pop” songs like “Naked in Manhattan,” she’s forged her own path and cultivated a pop star persona to step into — which her fans love.

Behind the scenes, however, she’s still figuring it all out. “I am pretty personally different from the character of Chappell Roan. I feel like the character allows me to be a part of myself I’m normally afraid to express,” she says. “I’m currently actively single and still very nervous about understanding my queerness in general. I just have a lot of work to do within myself.”

Next time you’re feeling a bit emotional, dive into Roan’s latest single “Kaleidoscope.”

02of 25



Sum Sun

SUM SUN is the duo you’ll want to be blasting on your “Stereo.”

The New York-based duo — which consists of Nick Benton and Ilan Pomerance — met on social media and began their creative flow over Zoom. After their first session together, they realized they were onto “something good.”

“After that first session, we bought plane tickets and flew out to Joshua Tree (because where else will you find better inspiration?) to start creating and building out a sound that we knew people would fall in love with,” they tell PEOPLE.

The duo’s artistry traces back to what they call “sun-drenched nostalgia” and “feelings we know and love from our childhood” where they both spent their summers near the shore.

They also say it’s important to make music that feels good: “We want each song to deliver a strong feeling of familiarity that keeps listeners of all ages wanting more,” they say. “With more music on the horizon, we’re here to remind you of the best feelings and enable you to hold onto them. That’s our purpose.”

The band is currently working on writing and producing for an EP that they plan to release later this year. They’ll also be releasing a collaboration with BONNIE x CLYDE in May.

For now, listen to their latest single “Kickin.'”

03of 25




For gigi, music was an escape when she didn’t feel like she belonged — and it now serves as homage to her younger self.

“Growing up, I struggled with my sexuality in an extremely religious environment, so I took to teaching myself piano after theater rehearsals as a form of comfort,” the rising star tells PEOPLE.

She adds, “Teaching myself guitar was the most fun I’ve ever had. I would sneak out of class or skip lunch to write songs—it was an insatiable relationship. I later realized the magic could be harnessed and shared in the same way that I used it to support myself.”

The “When She Smiles” singer writes music with her best friend Aidan, who bond over “how it felt to grow up gay in a Christian environment as a glass wall. Isolated and disconnected. Being able to see through, but not able to be a part of the rest of the world.”

She also says her sound is currently veering to a “grittier and darker” place as she works on music for her debut album.

“I’m taking the time to allow myself the space to understand myself and experiment with who I am becoming as an artist,” gigi says.

Listen to gigi’s mesmerizing single “Sally.” You can also pre-save How to Catch a Falling Knife, which is set for release on April 28.

04of 25


Wesley Joseph

Wesley Joseph (Credit Wesley Joseph)
Wesley Joseph. WESLEY JOSEPH

Wesley Joseph didn’t always know he was going to be a musician.

“I had tried working other jobs — and even twisting passion into a profession as a freelance filmmaker — but realized they weren’t right for me,” the 26-year-old British rapper tells PEOPLE. “I work best when it’s something I love, and whilst that can be a blessing and a curse, it made me double down on doing everything my way until it became a career.”

He hit the ground running with his first singles in 2020 before dropping his debut project ULTRAMARINE the following year, fully immersing listeners into his eclectic sound that blends electronic, R&B and hip-hop elements.

Joseph put out a second project called GLOW in February, and he’s currently working on his first full-length album. A prolific creator, he often looks for inspiration within himself and his surroundings. “I try to find it in life, and that comes in many ways — dreams, conversations, stillness,” he says. “Generally, I make the sounds that reflect those elements, and then the words come.”

Roll the windows down and take a listen to Joseph’s recent song, “SUGAR DIVE (feat. DEAN).”

05of 25


Holly Humberstone

Holly Humberstone. (Credit Claryn Chong)
Holly Humberstone. CLARYN CHONG

There” a good chance you’ve already seen Holly Humberstone live, as she’s opened for girl in red, Olivia Rodrigo and Lewis Capaldi, performed at Coachella and headlined her own sold-out shows — all before even releasing her debut album.

After growing up listening to her parents’ “eclectic CD collection” and uploading songs to SoundCloud as a teenager, the 23-year-old British singer-songwriter hit the scene in 2020 with her first single “Deep End.” She’s since captivated fans with her electro-alternative pop sound and intimate, diary-like lyrics through two buzzy EPs, Falling Asleep at the Wheel and The Walls Are Way Too Thin.

“I’d really just like for people to be able to relate to me in some way,” Humberstone tells PEOPLE. “I’ve always found music to be my safe space, and just being able to provide that for someone else is a truly special feeling.”

Before getting back on the road again this summer, she’s currently working on her debut album. “It’s a pretty scary concept, as I discovered so many of my favorite artists through their debut album,” admits Humberstone. “I feel like it’s always the most iconic one, so I’m just getting my head down at the moment to make sure it’s something I’m going to be incredibly proud of in years to come!”

Put on some headphones, and check out Humberstone’s latest single, “Can You Afford to Lose Me?”

06of 25




Listening to Paravi’s music feels like “Cloud Nine.”

Last year, the Indian-American singer-songwriter was featured on the soundtrack for Baz Luhrmann’s ELVIS where she performed a rendition of the song “Suspicious Minds.”

For Paravi, music came naturally: “I like to say I was born singing Broadway show tunes. I learned how to sing before I could talk. I learned how to dance before I could walk,” she tells PEOPLE. “I learned how to draw before I could write my own name. The sentiment is, this is in blood & in my bones.”

Her father’s singing in Bengali — which was her first language — and her mom’s paintings may have also had something to do with it. Eventually, she began singing in Hindi and Bengali.

“As soon as I got my hands on an iPod, I was screaming ‘Hurricane’ by Bridgit Mendler on the drives home from my lessons. As soon as I got my hands on a karaoke machine from my parents, I was yelling ‘Taking Chances’ by Céline Dion in my bedroom. As soon as I got my hands on the sign-up list for the choirs and musicals at school, my name was first on the page to audition.”

Her dream is “to do it all,” she says, including a headline tour, starring in a Broadway musical and filming a movie. For now, however, she’s working on her debut album and “my people pleasing habits.”

The “Angry” singer — who’s widely known for her powerful covers — finds inspiration from everything around her, including “ants on the sidewalk” and the way the sun hits her window “just right.”

Soak in her latest single “Broken English.”

07of 25


Leon Thomas

Leon Thomas (Credit Renae Wootson)

Most of Gen Z likely grew up watching Leon Thomas play André Harris on Victorious, where he showed off the musical skills he now flexes as a Grammy-nominated artist and producer.

“At 13 years old, I got signed to Nickelodeon on a development deal and was given an opportunity to pursue music professionally,” the 29-year-old New York City native tells PEOPLE. “That was the moment I started taking my songwriting seriously, working towards getting to the next level.”

Thomas first gained major recognition as a songwriter and producer on Ariana Grande’s 2013 debut album Yours Truly, and he’s since worked on music with icons like Drake, JAY-Z, Lil Wayne and SZA, among others. Signed to Motown Records through Ty Dolla $ign’s EZMNY Records imprint last year, the alternative R&B artist is currently working on an album.

“I think what has allowed me to get as far as I have in my career was the fact that I’ve had an undeniable belief in myself, even in times when I didn’t know what was next,” says the musician, who looks to his own life for creative inspiration. “I feel like writing from a true and honest place about personal experiences [makes for] the best songs because they are relatable to the rest of the world.”

Listen to Thomas’ latest single, “Breaking Point.”

08of 25


Lily Williams

Lily Williams
Lily Williams. BRYCE GLENN

Lily Williams’ music feels like a dream.

The London-raised, California-based singer’s love for music stems back to her family roadtrips with CDs like Taylor Swift’s Red, John Denver and The Beach Boys.

“I played classical piano and clarinet from a very young age and was thinking about going to a classical conservatory when I finished school,” Williams tells PEOPLE of her professional journey. “However, songwriting was always my first love and so when I found out about Berklee’s contemporary music programs, I changed my course!”

She adds, “I think it was my time in Boston and collaborating and being exposed to so many amazing musicians that confirmed to me that I wanted to pursue music professionally.”

On March 10, she released her debut album How the Story Ends, which chronicles a person falling in and out of love and she wrote during the COVID-19 pandemic in London.

“[It] feels amazing! I’m so excited for everyone to hear that body of work, I don’t think I’ve ever been more proud of anything! Right now, I am working on my live performances and am starting to think about my next release. I’m excited to get back into the studio!”

She finds her creativity and flow in “so many places,” she says. “I definitely get a lot of inspiration from the things that happen in my own life, but I also find it in my best friend’s heartbreaks, scrolling on Pinterest, in books (I love reading), in the conversations of strangers and in old jazz standards!”

“I love telling a story, so I think in order to be inspired to write I have to be excited by a concept,” she adds.

Get ready to feel the chills with How the Story Ends here.

09of 25


Julia Wolf

Julia Wolf (Credit Mallory Turner)

Julia Wolf’s musicianship was sparked by a high-pressure situation.

“I had been writing music since 12th grade when my music teacher gave me an ultimatum. He said the only way I’d be able to perform in my senior year talent show was if the song was original,” the NYC-based singer-songwriter tells PEOPLE. “As an intensely shy kid, the thought had mortified me. But when I went home to give it a try, I never stopped. It became my sole form of communication.”

Wolf’s artistic skills have since spawned her debut album Good Thing We Stayed, helped her sell out shows across the country and landed her a performance slot on The Late Late Show with James Corden with the electro-pop bop “Hot Killer.” For the musician, connecting with an ever-growing fanbase is a far cry from her experiences growing up.

“I was the kid who ate lunch alone every day, and I was also the kid who juggled having huge dreams with being afraid of her own shadow,” she recalls. “All my music comes from this perspective of betting on yourself because you believe in what you’ve got, while simultaneously second-guessing everything you do because the road to big dreams is discouraging.”

Listen to Wolf’s vulnerable single “Gothic Babe Tendencies (feat. Blackbear).”

10of 25




Zevia turns pain into song and heartbreak into something beautiful.

“My mind took a toll on the way I lived my life, damaging a lot of my happiness at a very young age. I didn’t know what to do with life or if I was even capable of doing it, so I started putting every emotion I felt into every song I wrote,” she tells PEOPLE.

She adds, “Even though music doesn’t 100% overcome my mental health issues, it has definitely shifted my perspective on life a lot.”

Though this escape has propelled her career, for Zevia, mental health is not her defining factor.

“I came from a very rough place mentally before I started pursuing music. Even though I’m troubled and nowhere near the most perfect person in the world, I still managed to get to where I’m at without letting my depression define me,” she says.

“I hope I give a lot of inspiration towards that, and hope people can interpret it for themselves and realize that they are capable of anything and everything if they are strong enough.”

The “Manipulation” singer is currently working on music that she hopes “helps” her listeners through her “unique” sounds.

Listen to her latest single, “Pain Is My Only Home.”

11of 25


Mike Sabath & The Moongirls

Mike Sabath (Credit Oliver Pearson)

Mike Sabath is responsible for co-writing and producing hit songs by the likes of Selena Gomez, Meghan Trainor, Camila Cabello and RAYE. Now, the lifelong musician is preparing to release his debut album alongside his band The Moongirls — a.k.a. Pete Miller, Noah Viklund, John Sterling and Austin Lichtenstein.

“My feelings have been pouring out of me in the form of sound since I was a baby, starting with hitting pots and pans,” the 25-year-old New York native tells PEOPLE, noting that his parents have supported his artistry from the jump. “My mom had a proud moment when she responded to my first-grade teacher’s dislike of my drumming on my desk with pencils all the time with ‘Can you ask him to just drum on his lap?'”

Ever since writing his first song about an elementary school crush, Sabath’s used music as a “response to living” and describes his sound as simply “human” — apt considering his debut album, out April 28, is titled Being Human.

“I’m doing the best I can to be the most honest version of myself all the time,” he says, noting that he strives to spread “love” with his music. “I’m here to inspire, express myself and support everyone else trying to do the same.”

Check out Sabath and his band’s latest groovy earworm, “Sexy!”

12of 25




shye. is like the Backstreet Boys meets Matchbox 20. Either way, his music feels like “Home.”

The singer-songwriter’s journey in music began after he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and OCD at a young age.

“My mom handed me a notebook and told me to write whatever I needed to,” he tells PEOPLE. “That ignited my love for writing. Writing was always the easiest way for me to get out of my head, and I’ve been doing it ever since.”

He adds that once he started, he “never stopped.” shye. (whose real name is Nick Harrison) went on to play with bands in high school and found his identity as a songwriter when he started releasing music as shye.

He’s currently working on music and plans to release singles throughout the year. When creating, his inspiration comes from songs that he loves — and trying to “replicate” the feeling they give him.

“Other than that, I’m often inspired by nature. I find myself writing down ideas a lot when I’m outside, walking through the woods or by the water,” he says as he gives his best friend Tyler Falcoa a shout-out for the “flavor” he adds to his music.

You do not want to miss his latest project Back to Bed.

13of 25



girli (Credit Monika Wilczyńska)

The soul-baring lyrics that accompany girli’s bombastic music are ripped straight from her journals.

“I write about my struggles with mental health, exploring my queer identity, my heartbreaks, my friendships, conversations I’ve had or overheard, books I’ve read,” the 25-year-old British-Australian electro-pop musician tells PEOPLE.

girli began writing music as a kid, but it wasn’t until she started going to concerts at 14 that she decided to pursue artistry as a career. “It was such a huge escape from all the s— I was dealing with — being bullied in school, struggling with my mental health and figuring out my sexuality,” she says. “Music was a lifesaver for me.”

Currently on tour, girli’s also busy crafting songs that she’ll share with listeners when they’re ready. Despite releasing “quirky, explorative, relatable pop music” for a half-decade, she’s admittedly still figuring it all out as she goes — which resonates with fans.

“I’m just as confused about my life and what I’m doing as they are, and to be honest I spend most of the time in a state of chaos and confusion, completely winging it and feeling lost,” says the singer-songwriter.

Add girli’s latest single “Imposter Syndrome” to your playlist.

14of 25


Crash Adams

Crash Adams

Crash Adams will provide the kind of pick-me-up you’ve been longing for.

The Toronto-based duo got their start by posting videos on social media.

“Both of us always wanted to pursue music professionally as kids,” the duo, which is comprised of members Rafaele Massarelli a.k.a Crash and Vince Sasso a.k.a Adams, tells PEOPLE. “Our families were friends growing up so we’ve known each other almost our entire lives. We disconnected a bit to take different career paths, so pursing music together came as a bit of a surprise.”

Their music stems from the artists they know and love like Michael Jackson, John Mayer and The 1975 — though they also draw inspiration from their fans.

Crash Adams — whose name was inspired by the plot of Robin Williams’ 1998 film Patch Adams — is currently working on a new collection of songs that “continues to embody the feel-good energy and positive messaging that we’ve set out to establish in our music so far!”

If there’s one thing to know about the group — it’s that “our music is not only meant to be enjoyable and catchy, but also to uplift and inspire listeners through positivity.”

Watch the music video for “California Girl” here.

15of 25


Madison Rose

Madison Rose (Credit Casie Wendel)
Madison Rose. CASIE WENDEL

Madison Rose is arguably one of the hardest-working rising pop stars in the game, performing nearly every night at different parties and venues — and loving it.

“The clubs are where it’s happening. I’ve found so much inspiration since moving to New York,” says the singer-songwriter, who recently moved to the city from Los Angeles. “Every night out, every subway ride, every bit of conversation with a new person is fuel for my creative life.”

Rose has been her own biggest advocate in the music industry, releasing her debut album TECHNICOLOR independently last year after a record label deal fell through at the last minute. As she prepares her “personal” next album MONOCHROME, the performer has opened up about such experiences on TikTok, where she’s amassed over 1.7 million likes.

Music has been her passion since she was an infant, and learning to write her own songs at 15 was just the cherry on top. “I had always been singing, but feeling empowered that I could tell my own stories really shifted me from music lover to music creator,” says Rose. “Pair that with my love of fashion, theatrics and wigs — who wouldn’t want to be a professional popstar?”

Turn on Rose’s dance banger “Thunder” at your next house party.

16of 25


Genevieve Stokes

Genevieve Stokes

It’s nearly impossible to not fall in love with Genevieve Stokes.

The singer-songwriter taught herself piano at the age of 8 and always dreamed of becoming a musician — though it always seemed far-fetched.

“My now-manager found me through my audition tape for an arts college and he convinced me to take a year off to record my first project,” she tells PEOPLE. “I never ended up going back to college.”

The “Surface Tension” singer describes her music as “vulnerable and nostalgic” — but ensures that she tries to create no “boundaries” when it comes to creating.

“It’s fun to make strange, nonsensical music just for the sake of expression,” she says.

She finds inspiration within her environment. When she’s not near nature, “I like to visualize places that feel like home — [like] the forest in Maine, sitting by the ocean, my childhood backyard.”

Stokes spent most of the past year on the road and released her angsty debut EP Swimming Lessons in 2021. Next, she’ll unlock her inner child in her upcoming body of work.

You can presave her upcoming EP Catching Rabbits, which is set for release on April 7. For now, watch a dreamy live performance of her song “You & Me.”

17of 25




This rap princess is ready to show the world what she’s got.

Enchanting, a Texas native, signed to Gucci Mane’s label The New 1017 in 2020 and has since released her debut album No Luv in 2022. She later released a softer collection titled Luv Scarred.

“I could always sing for real, but I never really showcased it,” she tells PEOPLE. “I started posting cover videos so people knew I could sing and then my friends made me get into the studio and I just recorded a little project. I started pursuing it professionally after I dropped my first tape and boom, I decided that I was gonna stick with it and keep dropping stuff.”

And though the musician is paving a strong path in rap and R&B, she ensures that her music goes beyond it.

“I’m a versatile artist for real. I’m a true artist. I’m not just a singer or a rapper, I am an artist. I feel like I’m creative in all aspects and I explore different things in my artistry,” she says.

Meanwhile, that creativity stems from “real-life experiences” or experiences that her friends have had.

Now, she’s working on getting her next project out.

“I’m doing some traveling and experiencing new things so I can talk about new stuff, I need new inspiration,” the “What I Want” singer says. “I’m about to get back in the studio and work on a new project now after Luv Scarred and get it together.”

Listen to her latest project Luv Scarred and watch the music video to “Love S—.”

18of 25


Bronze Avery

Bronze Avery (Credit Justin Gilbert)

Bronze Avery has Gwen Stefani to thank for his music career.

“Nobody in my family was inherently musical, but I have been singing and writing songs since I was 10 years old. In middle school, my best friend at the time gave me a burned CD of Love. Angel. Music. Baby. by Gwen Stefani, and the rest was history,” the Orlando native, who started learning to produce music just a few years later, tells PEOPLE. “Once you find that first musical spark, it’s addictive, blissful and hard to stop.”

When creating his dreamy, vocoder-drenched pop music, Avery (whose real name is Gabriel Brown) channels somewhat of a pop music psychic mindset. “Sonically, I’m a firm believer in making music that I want to listen to in the next couple of months,” he says. “If I’m feeling like I need to party, reflect, or process something, I’ll make songs that reflect that future mood.”

The musician’s been hard at work lately, having released his debut album SOFTMETAL last year and recently wrapped a tour with Julia Wolf — but he’s not slowing down. “Now, I’m working on a fun summer project that’ll give my fans and friends something to dance to during sun season,” he says. “I spent a lot of time working through tough emotions on SOFTMETAL, and now I’m ready to move past everything and have some fun in my new sense of reality.”

Check out Avery’s recent single “SOFTSHELL.”

19of 25


Cailin Russo

Cailin Russo
Cailin Russo. IVAR WINGAN

Becoming a musician was in the cards for Cailin Russo..

Growing up, the singer remembers playing her favorite board game, The Game of Life, with her family and setting up the life she wanted for herself.

“I would always make the decision to not go to college and shortcut to becoming a fabulous artist. In the back of my mind I had always dreamt of being a musician, but my father is a musician and I didn’t know there could be more than one musician in the family (Even though his brother is also a fabulous metal artist). I didn’t think it could be for me,” she tells PEOPLE.

She adds, “As I got a little older and saw that I could also pursue my dreams, I asked my father if he could mock up some demos for me to write to.”

Fast forward to the present and Russo believes she’s going to be “one of the biggest artists in the world.”

The “Phoenix” singer’s inspiration comes to her when she’s not looking for it: “Forcing myself to be inspired or doing something to derive inspiration usually attracts the opposite. So the moments in between in life give me the most inspiration when I’m creating.”

Russo — who also enjoys fashion and the digital arts — is currently soaking in the release of her debut album INFLUX and is sharing visualizers and behind-the-lyric videos.

Stop what you’re doing and listen to INFLUX now.

20of 25



LU KALA (Credit Thom Kerr)

LU KALA is basking in her “Pretty Girl Era.”

Ever since performing in church as a child, the Congolese-Canadian singer-songwriter has known she’d become a pop star. “I’ve never had a plan B,” she tells PEOPLE. “I started out doing shows locally in Toronto and entering different music programs, and then I started traveling to the States to meet people in the music industry.”

Her lifelong hustle is clearly paying off, as she notched a viral hit last year with “Pretty Girl Era,” which has been used in over 23,000 TikTok videos since its release. She’s since followed it up with her first-ever Billboard Hot 100 chart hit as the featured artist on Latto’s “Lottery.”

LU KALA finds inspiration from whatever’s “on her heart” at the moment, knowing she has to “live life” in order to craft song lyrics.

“During the pandemic it was hard, so I mostly wrote on past experiences, but now I am happy to be back writing about what I am currently feeling,” says the performer, who’s currently working on her second EP. “Lately I have been feeling really pretty, confident and focused on myself — that’s where the inspiration for ‘Pretty Girl Era’ came from.”

Take a mental trip to Las Vegas and give “Lottery” a spin.

21of 25


Luh Tyler

Luh Tyler
Luh Tyler. DILL35MM

Luh Tyler is ready to “Hit the Top.”

The “Law and Order” rapper learned that the music scene was for him by simply taking a shot.

“My friends would always rap around me so I just tried it out one day. All my homies told me I should release the music I was making, so I did it not really thinking anything was going to come out of it,” Tyler tells PEOPLE.

He continues, “But after I put out a snippet of ‘Law and Order,’ s— went crazy, so I just kept making music and posting it. Once I started getting love from real rappers (Drake follows him on Instagram!), I knew that was it from there.”

Looking back on his journey thus far, Tyler is proud of what he was able to accomplish with his resources.

“Some of my earliest songs, the ones that went viral and s—, I didn’t even make in a recording studio,” he says. “I made them on my phone, on an app called BandLab, in my bedroom.”

Now, Tyler finds inspiration for his track in his day-to-day life.

“I’m moving around more and experiencing more things in life. I started watching other people in the studio and seeing how they record, which gives me inspiration to find my own vibe. I never write stuff down —I can’t work like that.”

Listen to the Florida-based rapper’s new mixtape titled My Vision, out Friday, which documents his groovy beats you won’t want to miss.

22of 25


Cub Sport

Cub Sport (Credit Diego Campomar)

Tim Nelson of Cub Sport has been working toward a full-time music career nearly his entire life.

After learning to play piano as a kid, the Australian-born musician learned to write as a teenager and soon recorded his first-ever demos with bandmates Sam Netterfield and Dan Puusaari. The trio then teamed up with Zoe Davis to form Cub Sport — but he still waited to dive in full force.

“I’d always wanted to pursue music professionally but was studying dentistry as a backup. When our debut single ‘Evie’ got added to radio in Australia I dropped out of dental school so I’d be able to go on tour,” Nelson tells PEOPLE, noting that he was still working a full-time job to help fund the band. “Seven years and two albums later, I was able to quit my day job and do music full-time.”

Along the way, Nelson and Netterfield started dating and eventually married, and the band’s lyrics chronicle their relationship over the years. “It’s been a huge journey learning to embrace our queerness and letting the creative vision of Cub Sport grow and evolve to reflect that,” says Nelson.

He describes the band’s music as “beautiful and ethereal but kind of edgy — like, angelic sleazy,” a sound that’ll be reflected on the upcoming album Jesus at the Gay Bar. “I’ve worked on [it] over the last couple of years,” says Nelton. “At the moment we’re working on actually releasing the album and making the live show the best it can be for all of our upcoming touring.”

Check out Cub Sport’s latest single, “Keep Me Safe.”

23of 25


Hayes Warner

Hayes Warner (Credit Danicca Robinson)

Hayes Warner doesn’t want fans — she wants to build a community.

“I hate the word ‘fan’ because I think it diminishes how important people that support my music really are to me. I would not be able to do this without people believing in my music, and really they’re a part of my team,” the New York City native tells PEOPLE. “I want to have a connection with the people that support me.”

Inspired by artists like Avril Lavigne, Pink, Joan Jett and Gwen Stefani, Warner grew up sneaking into concerts with a fake I.D., desperate to be surrounded by music from a young age. After learning to play piano and write songs as a kid, she started taking music seriously in high school.

“It turned into an obsession to the point where I couldn’t see myself doing anything else. I took any opportunity to get into a writing session or work with a producer, and was able to really hone in on who I was as an artist,” says Warner, who studied musical theater in college “because it was the closest I could get to being onstage like a rockstar.”

She’s currently putting the finishing touches on a debut EP featuring her “edgy, sassy, rhythmic, energetic and emotional” sound and will soon hit the road for headlining shows and opening slots for Lewis Capaldi.

Listen to Warner’s latest single “Airport.”

24of 25


Johnny Cocoa

Johnny Cocoa

Johnny Cocoa is a “Free Bird.”

The Texas native’s love for music began as he grew up in church and was “immersed in music” with his family.

“I fell in love with the raw music and instruments I’d get to hear,” he tells PEOPLE. “I dabbled with songwriting throughout school, but I didn’t actually decide to take on music professionally until months after I graduated from high school.”

Since then, Cocoa decided he would seek connection with people through his music.

“I, like many other people, have gone down my own individual path which has led to my own unique story only I can tell — and personal lessons learned along the way which shines in my music.”

He finds inspiration in “the core values rooted in Black power, unity, self-love and the positive progress of society.” He adds that “watching anime” and “painting” also serve as inspiration.

Cocoa — who’s inspired by icons like James Brown, Kendrick Lamar, Drake and J. Cole — is currently working on the first edition to his EP series titled Ghetto Therapy.

In the meantime, watch the music video to “Prayerful Thoughts” — which dropped earlier this week — and listen to his latest EP I Am Who I Am.

25of 25


Victoria Anthony

Victoria Anthony (Credit Anna Baker)
Victoria Anthony. ANNA BAKER

Victoria Anthony is looking to emulate the female pop-rockers she’s loved all her life.

The Canadian singer-songwriter’s music career arguably began when she attended a Pink concert in Vancouver at 12 years old and publicly asked to sing with her on social media beforehand. “She must have seen it because, at the concert, she made my dream come true and let me sing to her,” Anthony recalls to PEOPLE. “The video of me singing to Pink in front of thousands of people went viral, and my social media gained followers and attention.”

Having already taught herself to play guitar and learned piano from her mom, she then started sharing covers online and released her debut album at just 15 years old. Now, the 17-year-old musician is finishing up her second album New Disaster, out May 12.

“With this album, I wanted to capture the more unique emotional firsts that I’d experienced — first infatuation, first time breaking up with someone, first rebound phase and so on,” she explains. “I wanted to write this album as a time capsule for those new, big feelings we all feel in the transition from childhood to adulthood. There’s a little bit of finding yourself, but much more exploring.”

Embody a rockstar mindset and listen to Anthony’s angsty new song “Can’t Hold Back.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *