Who will be 2019’s breakout artists? By checking in with our curators, analyzing music industry trends and poring over data from Pandora and Next Big Sound, we’ve selected the singers, rappers, DJs and bands we believe are poised for greatness in the coming year. Whether you’re into hip-hop or R&B, country or K-pop, rock or Latin, there’s a new face waiting to become your next fave.
HOMETOWN: Born in Atlanta, raised in New Orleans.
WHO: Female rap duo.
ESSENTIAL TRACK: “Let Me Down Slowly.”
WHO: Self-described as the “hardest working boyband in show business,” this 14-member hip-hop collective challenges gender stereotypes across four studio albums.
HOMETOWN: San Marcos, TX.
WHO: Rapper who has dropped project after project and performed at this year’s BET Hip Hop Awards. He’s the very definition of a Trendsetter, going to No. 1 on our charts and spending multiple weeks on our Top Spins chart.
WHO: Haitian-American rapper who was catapulted into viral fame when New York Giants player Odell Beckham Jr. posted a video of himself dancing to Dinero’s smash hit “Leave Me Alone.” Dinero is a frequent flyer on our Trendsetters, Top Spins and Predictions charts.
ESSENTIAL TRACK: “Leave Me Alone” peaked at No. 53 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 23 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.
HOMETOWN: College Park, GA.
ESSENTIAL TRACK: “Drip Too Hard.”
WHO: Singer-songwriter who describes his style of music as “TrapHouseJazz.”
HOMETOWN: Born in Kingston, Jamaica, with roots in South Africa.
WHO: Multi-talented singer-songwriter, producer and instrumentalist.
WHO: Country singer-songwriter. His grandmother, Donna Hilley, spent 31 years at Sony/ATV Nashville, working her way from receptionist to president and CEO. Tenpenny credits his grandmother for introducing him to Country Music Hall of Fame songwriters Bobby Braddock and Curly Putman.
ESSENTIAL TRACK: “Drunk Me.”
WHO: Bi-cultural, multi-talented actress, singer, content creator and larger-than-life personality.
HOMETOWN: Caracas, Venezuela-born, Miami and Los Angeles-raised.
WHO: Up-and-coming singer, songwriter and guitarist.
HOMETOWN: Hexham, U.K.
ESSENTIAL TRACK: “Uh Huh.”
WHO: Singer-songwriter and pop-soul-gospel hybrid. Her singles are on fire, thanks to appearances on Ellen and The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and coverage in Rolling Stone.
HOMETOWN: Lafayette, LA.
WHO: Seven-member K-pop and hip-hop boy band. They’re the first K-pop group to perform at iHeartRadio’s Jingle Ball and their newest album, Take.1 Are You There?, peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard World Albums chart.
HOMETOWN: Seoul, South Korea.
ESSENTIAL TRACK: The English version of “Shoot Out,” premiering on American radio this week, is helping the band cross over with U.S. audiences. The Korean version is their ninth top 10 on Billboard’s World Digital Song Sales chart.
WHO: Singer-songwriter and the youngest-ever featured performer on Triple J’s Like a Version. He’s already appeared on our Predictions chart.
WHO: Electronic producer, instrumentalist, composer, engineer and vocalist. He’s had several releases via ODESZA’s Foreign Family Collective, plus remixes for Chvrches, Snakehips, Zhu and Gallant. He boasts huge touring numbers, and is poised to blow up once his album Superdream launches in February.
HOMETOWN: Lancaster, MA, now based in Portland, OR.
ESSENTIAL TRACK: “Joypunks.”
WHO: Singer-songwriter and social media star who independently released her hit single “Medicine.”
HOMETOWN: Ypsilanti, MI.
WHO: Rapper and singer who hit the stage with Kendrick Lamar during the 2018 Made in America festival and recorded an album on the road while finishing her senior year at Temple University.
WHO: 18-year-old alt-pop singer.
HOMETOWN: Germany by way of Canada, the U.K., the U.S. and the Netherlands.
ESSENTIAL TRACK: “Not a Love Song.”
WHO: The experimental solo project of singer-songwriter Lorely Rodriguez.
HOMETOWN: Los Angeles.
ESSENTIAL TRACK: “I Don’t Even Smoke Weed.”
WHO: Three-piece electronic group who are already a preeminent live act in their native Australia. They’re poised to break out worldwide with the release of their new album, Solace.
ESSENTIAL TRACK: “Treat You Better.”
WHO: Singer-songwriter who fell in love with Bob Dylan and moved to Minneapolis at age 20 to pursue music. He notes Neil Young, Damien Rice and Ray LaMontagne as musical influences. Catch him on tour with Lindsey Buckingham.
HOMETOWN: Nairobi, Kenya.
ESSENTIAL TRACK: His debut album, Tales of America, features the single “American Dream.”
WHO: Rock artist known for his highly political lyrics and thought-provoking music videos.
ESSENTIAL TRACK: “Blood // Water,” which cracked the Top 40 on multiple Billboard charts.
WHO: She’s been dubbed the “Dancehall Princess” by fans and was featured on our Predictions chart in 2018. Her song “Loodi,” featuring Vybz Kartel, was a breakout hit at the beginning of last year, and she’s since gone on to release a string of electrifying singles, including crowd favorite “Shen Yeng Anthem.” She was featured on Christina Aguilera’s latest album, Liberation.
HOMETOWN: Kingston, Jamaica.
ESSENTIAL TRACK: “Trending Gyal.”
HOMETOWN: Bauchi, Nigeria.