Sean Brown #2

There is no doubt that this was a big year in music, R&B made a comeback, Rap became Pop, and everywhere you turned, someone was trying to channel their inner orange. There are a few hopeful artists that budded throughout the year, some of which, already have quite impressive accolades behind the scenes. This is a small list of artists on the cusp; artists I presume will become breakthrough stars within the next few hundred days. Time-bombs,  if you will…destined to blow.

Cocaine 80′s: This super-group assembled by Kanye West’s mentor, No I.D.,  is fronted by Singer/Songwriter James Fauntleroy. I’m betting you’re familiar with his writing ability, having penned hits for the likes of Beyonce, Justin Timberlake, Chris Brown, and Rihanna to name a (solid) few. He’s had quite a stand out year gracing the the intro Big Sean’s “Clique“, adding his magic vocal touches to Common’s “The Dreamer, The Believer” album, and even subtle background harmony on Rihanna’s “Get It Over With” (which he also wrote.) After three mixtapes of (original) album worthy music, I’m looking forward the group’s “Flower of Life” LP to drop next year. //

Elijah Blake: You may have heard Elijah’s catchy vocal runs on Rick Ross’ “Presidential“, that gave a preview of what could be expected of him as a solo artist. Just this past week, Elijah released his solo effort “Bijoux,” a project I would be ashamed to call just a mixtape. //

Iman Omari: Pro herbalist Iman Omari’s sound is infectious as it is energy. I’ve had it on solid repeat since it’s release, a download I consider more than worth it. His first solo release, Energy, was followed up this year by a collaborative effort between him and Moruf, entitled “Euphoria.” //

India Shawn: I miss this sound. This was the music that made my high school years so special. India Shawn can fill a void in R&B that would be praised by the genre’s predecessors. Her first album, “Origin” is an inspiring listen top to bottom, and she’;s let you decide what its worth paying for via her bandcamp. //

Lapti: Boogy is back. Not as you know it, though…it’s returned in the form of Russian teenagers, who can probably spot funk samples in today’s rap music faster than you. //

Snoh: Not much is known of young Snoh, other than the fact that she is under the care of No I.D. The Swedish singer/songwriter has an EP on the way, produced entirely by No I.D. Her cover of Frank Ocean’s “We All Try” shows this budding star glows of promise. //

SZA: Because this young lady is my friend, she makes the list by default. SZA (pronounced Sizz-uh), released her “See Sza Run” EP, this past year. The graphic work, branding, styling, and video direction is all independent. In less than a year, she’s already caught the attention of MTV, Aritzia, and major labels. Not only is SZA destined…she’s determined to blow. //