As 2020 comes to a close (FINALLY), Pandora is looking to next year and the artists we think will own 2021 with their breakout talent. By checking in with our curators, analyzing music industry trends and poring over data from Pandora and Next Big Sound, we’ve selected the acts we believe are poised for greatness in the coming year. Whether you’re into hip hop, R&B, country or afro pop, alt-rock, Latin, Christian, dance or pop, there’s a new face waiting to become your next fave. 

Check out the Artists to Watch 2021 playlist HERE and learn more about our favorite emerging acts below—with special shoutout lists for Latin and country.

Royal & The Serpent: Royal & The Serpent has been killing it right out of the gate. Her breakout track “Overwhelmed” was released late this summer, and is quickly approaching 70 million global streams, over 4 million TikToks created, and just broke into the top 5 on alternative radio. Dubbed by fans as “Lady Cobain” due to her killer on-stage performance, she truly is a diverse and talented artist. 

Los Dos Carnales: Los Dos Carnales have emerged as perhaps the biggest viral stars in Regional Mexican music in 2020. Their audience steadily grew into the new year and exploded with the release of their smash hit, “El Envidioso” in April. Natives of Coahuila, brothers Poncho Jr and Imanol Quezada have made a name for themselves with a sound rooted in the classic tradition of norteñas, embellished with clever lyrics and a modern perspective.

Brittney Spencer: Brittney Spencer moved center stage after years of singing background vocals for the likes of Carrie Underwood and honing her songwriting craft with a lyrical style that blends country music’s recipe of “three chords and the truth” with a dash of clever imagination. The Baltimore native’s new EP, “Compassion,” has received rave reviews from music critics and fellow artists alike. Maren Morris beat Pandora to the punch, naming Spencer an artist to watch in her 2020 CMA Female Vocalist of the Year award acceptance speech.

Iann Dior: Iann Dior, who hails from Puerto Rico, was featured on one of the biggest songs of 2020, so it’s no surprise that he reached #1 on the Pandora Predictions chart and is one of our 2021 ATW. He teamed up with 24K Goldn on their global hit “Mood” that hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 5 weeks and has over 500 million streams on Pandora to date. In June, he released his acclaimed EP that featured collabs with Lil Baby and Machine Gun Kelly. Be sure to check out his latest single “Holding On” and expect big things from Iann in the new year. 

The Kid Laroi: Born and raised in Australia, The Kid Laroi always knew he wanted to make it big in music and at just 17 years old he’s well on his way to being a superstar. He had a close friendship with the late rapper Juice WRLD, who he also considers his mentor. The two teamed up for a song that was released in 2020 on LAROI’s F*CK LOVE mixtape, which also features collaborations with YoungBoy Never Broke Again, Internet Money, Marshmello, Lil Mosey and Machine Gun Kelly. His latest release “So Done” continues to gain momentum and is gearing up to be his most buzzed about song to date.

Giveon: Co-signed by the likes of Drake, Summer Walker, Justin Bieber and Snoh Aalegra, Giveon is well on his way to reaching their level of success. He’s a 25 year old Long Beach, CA native who got his first break with a feature on Drake’s “Chicago Freestyle.” He has since toured internationally with Snoh Aalegra and released two separate EPs in 2020. We’re keeping a wide open eye on him and you should too.

Foogiano: Known as Da Mayor, the Greensboro, Georgia native Foogiano has quickly earned attention for his powerful and honest lyrics which paint verbal imagery of the struggle that encompasses poverty, relationship woes, systemic issues, street violence, and hood politics. In the past year, Foogiano has gained major buzz after the success of “Molly,” which led to Gucci Mane signing him to The New 1017. Foogiano also received a major co-sign when DaBaby hopped on the “Molly” remix. Be on the lookout for him to go to new heights in 2021.

Tate McRae: 17 year-old Canadian singer-songwriter Tate McRae hasn’t let the pandemic stop her from becoming a rising pop star. After having early success with singles “Stupid” and “One Day,” she dropped “You Broke Me First” in April 2020 and the song has over 525 million combined streams on Pandora. Expect a ton of new music and a tour for Tate in 2021. 

100 Gecs: Genre-bending electronic duo 100 Gecs have emerged as one of the most exciting acts in recent years. Consisting of Laura Les and Dylan Brady, the duo creates chaotic yet catchy experimental-pop with influences coming from all over the map.  2019 saw the release of their critically-acclaimed debut album “1000 Gecs” and followed up in 2020 with remix album “1000 Gecs and the Tree of Clues,” which saw the group co-signed and remixed by the likes of Charli XCX, Fall Out Boy and more. Their no holds barred approach to songwriting and sonic experimentation make it so that we can hardly wait for what they have coming in 2021.

Flo Milli : Mobile, Alabama native Flo Milli started her rap career at the age of 11. At the age of 16, she released her first official solo hit in 2015, “No Hook.” In 2018, Flo Milli gained notoriety when she released “Beef Flo Mix,” and then inked a deal with RCA records in 2020. Flo Milli combines her confident persona with witty lyrics and catchy dance moves which makes her an artist to really watch in 2021.

Chloe Moriondo: Detroit singer-songwriter Chloe Moriondo started posting cover songs on YouTube in 2014. Fast forward to 2020, she has 3 million subscribers, a major record label deal and is creating her own lane in the pop music scene. She blends the perfect mix of indie/bedroom pop and her latest single release “Girl On TV” is not only incredibly relatable but also gives off major Avril Lavigne circa 2002 vibes. She’s definitely someone to keep your eye on in 2021.

Toosii: Toosii grew up in Syracuse, New York but relocated to Raleigh when he began taking music more seriously in 2017. After posting some various projects online and gaining traction, Toosii then released the “Why Not Now” EP,  which displayed his unique melodic hip hop sound. The buzz he received off of that EP helped him get a deal with South Coast Music Group, the label also known for discovering DaBaby. Toosii is not only a very talented artist but possesses star-like charisma you can’t teach.

42 Dugg: Detroit rapper 42 Dugg found his calling during an especially dark time when he was locked up. While in solitary confinement, he began writing rhymes to keep his sanity. Once free, he began pursuing music full-time and released his first song, “Mama I’m Sorry.” He gained the attention of Lil Baby and Yo Gotti, and signed to both of their respective labels in a joint deal.  At the top of 2020, 42 Dugg took the rap game by surprise when he was featured on Lil Baby’s “We Paid” track. Be on the lookout for more big things from him in 2021.

Fousheé: TikTok-sensation Fousheé is riding the wave of success with her RCA Records’ debut single “Deep End.” The song first found its way onto the platform after being sampled by rapper Sleepy Hallow. However, Fousheé was not originally credited for months. She then posted a video of herself singing her original song, prompting users and fans to demand justice. Soon after her post went viral, she got a record deal and was able to release “Deep End” in July under her own name. Fousheé deserves this moment and we’re here to recognize it.

Asiahn: Three-time Grammy nominated Asiahn (pronounced Aah-Zee-Yahn) is a prolific singer/songwriter who has penned hits for Drake, Jennifer Lopez, Dr. Dre, Pitbull and Lil Wayne. She’s a self-described “chocolate, melanated, Black girl magic, lesbian, nerd and animé aficionado” who released a top 40 R&B hit “Like You” in 2019. In 2020, this songstress is giving us more heartfelt soul through her latest releases like “Gucci Frames” and “Get Away.” Asiahn’s pen game and vocals must be celebrated.

Binki: Binki is one those rare artists that erases genre boundaries and churns out just good old fashioned fun music. The 23 year old phenom self describes his sound as “packed with equal parts riotous funk, cavalier rap, and bratty rock swagger.” He was recently propelled into the limelight in a big way after being a featured Pandora “Point of Origin” artist along with a major sync on an Apple commercial featuring his track “Heybb!” Needless to say, get used to Binki, he’s super talented, here to stay, and just the right amount of positively we need in our lives right now.

Joel Corry: UK DJ and producer Joel Corry is poised to have a great year in 2021. The hunky one time reality star has been delivering club heat since 2015, but it was his in 2019 his hit single “Sorry” that really brought him to prominence. In 2020 he cemented his place as a dance floor hitmaker with back to back singles “Lonely” and the absolute smash “Head & Heart” featuring MNEK on vocals. After racking up millions spins on Pandora, with no signs of slowing down, we can’t wait to hear what he has in store for 2021.

Terrian: Terrian is one of those rare artists who beautifully bridges the gap between Christian and Gospel music. She’s just about everything we could hope for in an artist – she writes, she sings, she plays, she dances—she’s contagious, in the best possible sense of the word.

Jada Kingdom: Jada Kingdom stormed the entertainment scene in Summer 2017 and immediately had the world standing to attention. The irrepressible 22-year-old Jamaican grew up in 7 Miles, Bull Bay on the outer bands of Jamaica’s capital city Kingston. Bubbling with creativity and self-confidence from a young age, Jada started singing when she was 8, inspired by artists such as Minnie Riperton, Nina Simone & Deniece Williams. She’s channeled those influences into a unique style – her voice can be sweet and soaring or dangerously seductive, often breezing over R&B-influenced dancehall rhythms. Jada is sure to shine brighter than her nickname “Twinkle” – she’s an artist destined for stardom.

Rema: Crossing over to an American market is a slow difficult task that has so far eluded all but a few of the biggests names in afro pop.  Which is why it was impressive when a young rising star from Nigeria with a penchant for Hindi melodies became the talk of the town last year. After making his initial splash with his afro pop hit, “Dumebi’,” Rema went on to release three EPs and a subsequent compilation album, as well as delivering the amapiano-influenced viral dance track, “Woman,” arguably the biggest afro pop anthem during lockdown.  However, 2020 proved to be more of a stepping stone rather than a crossover year for the 20 year-old singer.  That said, if there was any concern that the expectations were premature, his recent work with Alunageorge, KAYTRANADA, and the rumored collaboration with Drake, may finally demonstrate his full potential while positioning him to reach far beyond the ears of his African audiences. 

Ashland Craft: Touting her musical styles as “no B.S. country music,” Ashland Craft storms onto the scene with adventurous, unapologetic lyrics and wildly infectious beats. Her new single, “Two Wildflowers and a Box of Wine” shows her playful, romantic side, while its follow up, “Trainwreck” packs a soulful punch. Discovering her honky-tonk spirit while cutting her teeth singing country and rock covers at a hometown bar in South Carolina, Craft buzzes under the influence of musical heroes ranging from Gretchen Wilson to Def Leppard.

Shy Carter: As a songwriter with a penchant for uptempo love songs, Shy Carter has penned hits for Keith Urban, Charlie Puth, Rob Thomas, Kane Brown and many more. As a producer, his who’s who list of collaborators includes Jason Derulo, Meghan Trainor, Jamie Foxx, and Jennifer Lopez, to name a few. And as an artist, the Memphis native takes the mic to blend his gift for storytelling and love of organic instrumentation with his honeyed vocals – making his first mark in the country world with the euphoric single, “Good Love.” 

BRELAND: BRELAND’s self-titled EP encapsulates his multifaceted talents and influences, bridging country, R&B and hip-hop as seamlessly as his “My Truck” collaborator, Sam Hunt. It also takes you to church with the sky-high vocal range of this New Jersey native, who grew up in a family of gospel singers. As a songwriter, BRELAND is as clever and imaginative as he is introspective. He followed the standout, feel-good EP with a poignant two-song compilation in honor of Juneteenth, Rage & Sorrow.

Elvie Shane: “He ain’t my blood, ain’t got my name / But if he did, I’d feel the same,” sings Elvie Shane in the autobiographical “My Boy,” a tear jerking ode to his stepson. The song was an instant streaming and social media success, thrusting the Gospel-born and Southern Rock-bred singer-songwriter into the country music spotlight. He’ll follow the tune in 2021 with more heart-on-his-sleeve tunes and others that show his fun-loving side – with all highlighting his knack for storytelling.

Priscilla Block: Unfiltered, unapologetic and unobjectionably talented, Priscilla Block makes every fan her BFF with her wildly relatable lyrics. She blew up social media with the equally humorous and empowering “Thick Thighs,” but it’s when she wears her heart on her songwriting sleeve in songs like “Just About Over You” that the North Carolina native proves her country staying power.

Kameron Marlowe: North Carolina native Kameron Marlowe was selling car parts when he got a call from a recruiter at “The Voice” telling him that his YouTube videos were so impressive that he was invited straight to the series’ live auditions. While he didn’t win, his stint on the show prompted a move to Nashville and the release of his debut single, “Giving You Up,” the ultimate silver lining to a real-life breakup.

Alex Hall: Standing out as a southern guy in country music is one of the hardest feats in all of the music industry, and Alex Hall has done it with hard work and authenticity. His vocal stylings range from honeyed to graveled, and his musical style reflects a hodgepodge of influences from Elvis Presley to Keith Urban.  His debut EP, Six Strings, introduces him to the scene with a cool concept: the songs are all collaborations with some of his guitar heroes, including Vince Gill, Brad Paisley and Tenille Townes. 

Heath Sanders: Heath Sanders is an Arkansas oil-worker-turned-songwriter who puts his hard-working life experiences to music. A singer only by hobby at first, he never thought of music as a livelihood – which really shows his humility, as his Chris Stapleton-like vocals should’ve thrust him center stage a long time ago. Sanders’ upcoming EP is full of material that ranges from heartfelt love songs to defiant anthems, combining to make a project that blends otherworldly talent with guy-next-door charm.

Brittney Spencer: Brittney Spencer moved center stage after years of singing background vocals for the likes of Carrie Underwood, and honing her songwriting craft with a lyrical style that blends country music’s recipe of “three chords and the truth” with a dash of clever imagination. The Baltimore native’s new EP, “Compassion,” has received rave reviews from music critics and fellow artists alike. Maren Morris beat Pandora to the punch, naming Spencer an artist to watch in her 2020 CMA Female Vocalist of the Year award acceptance speech.

Alana Springsteen: Virginia Beach native Alana Springsteen began writing songs at age nine and was still a teenager when she landed a publishing deal in Nashville. But there was no rush to score a record deal, as releasing music independently proved she didn’t have to. On the strength of catchy, whimsical songs like “Always Gonna Love You,” Springsteen has amassed millions of streams all on her own.

Ryan Griffin: With a sound that reflects influences from country and pop to R&B and soul, Ryan Griffin has carved his own lane in country music – and it’s quickly becoming the fast lane. The Platinum-certified songwriter, who co-wrote Kelsea Ballerini’s No. 1 hit “Dibs,” put his name on the map as a recording artist with the anthemic “Right Here Right Now” and has since released his debut major label EP, Name On It.

Parker McCollum : Multi-instrumentalist Parker McCollum bridges the gap between his native Texas music scene and Nashville’s slick country stylings. His new EP, Hollywood Gold, is the highest-selling debut EP of 2020 and includes the Top 10 swoon-worthy hit,  “Pretty Heart.”

Meghan Patrick: A back-to-back CCMA Female Artist of the Year winner, Meghan Patrick makes the drive from her native Canada to the U.S. airwaves with “My First Car”- an infectious, country-rock tune that tells her life story in three captivating minutes. “Everything in that song comes straight out of my own experiences,” says Patrick. “I wanted it to be a way of telling my audience about who I really am, about how I was raised and the things that I carry in my heart.”

Chris Bandi: Chris Bandi came out of the gate sprinting with “Man Enough Now,” amassing millions of streams on his debut hit. It was a tough act to follow, but the St. Louis native has done it with songs that blend his influences from country to pop to reggae, including his tearjerking new single, “Would Have Loved Her” from his eponymous EP.

Kelsey Waldon: A proud native of Monkey’s Eyebrow, Kentucky, Kelsey Waldon writes music with her spellbinding live shows in mind. And if you’ve ever seen her play, you’ll get why she has a cult following on the road and the radio with her ruggedly country, incredibly catchy tunes. Waldon was personally invited by the late great John Prine to join Oh Boy Records, the label’s first signing in 15 years.

Katie Pruitt: With her critically-acclaimed debut album, Expectations, Katie Pruitt proves as much of a powerhouse vocalist as a seasoned storyteller who could have a second career writing novels. The LP title is ironic, as the Georgia native themes her writing around letting go of others’ expectations. And when it comes to her musical style, Pruitt’s piano- and guitar-driven melodies never overpower her arresting vocals, as she channels the likes of Brandi Carlile and Bonnie Raitt.

Sean Stemaly: Raised in the river-bottom fields of Southern Indiana, Sean Stemaly taught himself to sing over endless days in the cab of a tractor, channeling his inner George Strait and Alan Jackson. A move to Nashville merged his country-to-the-core roots with a youthful, country-soul sound – making for a sound that stands out on country radio, most notably with the charming earworm “Come Back to Bed.”

MacKenzie Porter: MacKenzie Porter’s eclectic new EP, DRINKIN’ SONGS: THE COLLECTION, both intoxicates and caffeinates with its fresh, upbeat country sound. A multiple CCMA and Juno Award nominee, Porter became the first female artist to have three back-to-back No. 1 singles at Canadian Country radio in 22 years with “About You,” “These Days” and “Seeing Other People” –  following in the footsteps of fellow Canadian Shania Twain. 

Restless Road: With harmonies that might make bands from the Eagles to the Jonas Brothers green with envy, Restless Road blend three distinct voices into a one-of-a-kind sound. Members Zach Beeken, Colton Pack and Garrett Nichols met on the set of “X Factor” as three solo artists, but quickly discovered that their different styles and influences made for the perfect country-pop collision. Their debut self-titled EP earned the band an opening slot on Kane Brown’s tour – and eventually a record deal with Brown’s new label. 

Drew Green: After years of paying his dues – and seeing big success – as a songwriter (Florida Georgia Line’s “Colorado” is one of his many tunes), former honky tonk bar singer Drew Green is finally and rightfully making a name for himself as a recording artist. He saved what he says is his favorite song he ever wrote, the prayerful “Little More Be Alright” for himself, releasing it as his debut single. “Right Where I Be” followed, showing not only his more playful side – but also his skills at merging a touch of hip-hop into a song that’s still unmistakably country.

Los Dos Carnales: Los Dos Carnales have emerged as perhaps the biggest viral stars in Regional Mexican music in 2020. Their audience steadily grew into the new year and exploded with the release of their smash hit, “El Envidioso,” in April. Natives of Coahuila, Brothers Poncho Jr and Imanol Quezada have made a name for themselves with a sound rooted in the classic tradition of norteñas, embellished with clever lyrics and a modern perspective. They have consistently put song after song on the Pandora Top Spins Chart, with their latest, “El Borracho,” debuting on November 30th, making them amongst the most popular Regional Mexican acts on Pandora.

Jay Wheeler: Break-out success in the reggaeton genre is hard to come by and those who do achieve it usually have one thing in common: they’ve been at it for a long time. José Ángel López Martínez, AKA Jay Wheeler is that dude. On the strength of his unique voice and vision, he blew up organically in his native Puerto Rico, and has now established himself in the mainland US, landing on Pandora’s Trendsetters Chart for 23 straight weeks. Look for that growth to explode with the release to remixes this month of his breakout single, “La Curiosidad.”

Kiko El Crazy: Kiko El Crazy, AKA Jose Alberto Rojas Peralta is coming for the crown in Dominican Dembow. Distinguishing himself with a vibrant look and style, Kiko propelled his persona off the island with a clever and relatable modern take on Dembow, a command of viral promotion and a ton of big artist cosigns. In the last year, he’s released music with Ozuna, Jowell Y Randy, Darell, El Alfa, Rita Indiana, Toño Rosario and Steve Aoki, to name just a few. Look for the remix of “Popi” with Farruko and El Alfa to further punctuate his name this month.

Eslabón Armado: Anchored by the songwriting, requinto and voice of Pedro Tovar, and rounded out by the melody and low-end of Gabriel Hidalgo and Bryan Tovar, respectively, Eslabón Armado blew up out of the gate this year with their debut full-length album, Tu Veneno Mortal, quickly followed by, Vibras De Noche, released in July on Del Records. Easily one of the most impactful new Regional Mexican groups to emerge in 2020, Eslabón represents another voice in the new crop of artists changing the direction of modern Mexican music. With none of the members over the age of 19, it’s easy to understand why they have resonated with young fans on Pandora.

Elena Rose: Raised between Miami, Puerto Rico and Venezuela, and now firmly rooted back in the Miami music scene, Elena Rose has already had an impact on contemporary Latin music with songwriting accolades that include Becky G’s “Dollar” and Rauw Alejandro’s “Tattoo,” to name a few. Always enamored with performance, she built on this success as a solo artist in 2020 with a string of singles that show her to be a forward-thinking innovative and edgy artist, the most recent of which, “No Voy a Cambiar,” exemplifies the talent and confidence of this young artist. Check her just R&B-flavored Christmas slap, “Santa Para Que Porfa,” which just released for a taste of what we can expect in 2021.

Rike Music: You already know who Rike Music is. Panamá-born Manuel Enrique Cortés Cleghorn has had his production credits melodically shouted out by Sech in what seems like almost every song. Truly one of the original architects of the laidback Panamá urban R&B/Reggaeton sound that Sech has elevated to astronomical levels, Rike Music, like his compatriot and fellow producer Dímelo Flow, is making a play for the spotlight in 2021 as part of the Rich Music roster. Look for bigger collaborations and a lot more shout outs.

Kevvo: Introducing Kevin Manuel Rivera Allende. You can call him Kevvo, and he is one of the most visible young artists putting the edge back in Puerto Rican Reggaeton. Anything but mellow or overly romantic, Kevvo’s rapid-fire flow and lyricism is chopping heads in 2021. Under the guidance of Pepe Quintana and Interscope Records, he’s had a string of high-profile singles and remixes that have positioned him collaborating alongside J Balvin, Farruko, Myke Towers and Árcangel, amongst others. On the strength of these efforts, Kevvo has landed on the Pandora Predictions Chart multiple times this year, with a trajectory that continues to head upward and his full-length, Cotidiano, releasing in 2021. 

Los 2 De La S: Under the seal of Banda MS’s Lizos label, bandleader Sergio Lizárraga brought together two accomplished songwriters in Johnny Zazueta and Omar Tarazón to form Los 2 de la S, a project that stands out in the banda genre as being poised for success by design. The combination of solid compositions and a natural chemistry between the two front-men came into focus on their second full-length release this past summer, La Barda Me Volé. In a genre that is notoriously slow to warm up to new artists, Los 2 De La S were instantly embraced by audiences on Pandora’s popular Regional Mexican station, RMX. 2021 looks to be a year in which they continue to extend their reach in both the US and México.

Beéle: With Medellín getting a lot of attention in the last 10 years for breeding reggaeton stars, La Costa de Colombia has been reasserting its musical prowess in a big way of late. Born in Barranquilla, Colombia and raised in Marcay, Venezuela, Brandon De Jesús López Orozco, known artistically as Beéle, is one of the first artists to have propelled out of the Barranquilla scene, first with hometown label and hitmaker Bless Music and then with DJ Luian’s Hear This Music. He possesses a voice that seems too mature for his baby face and seemed to come out of nowhere with the “Loco Remix” in 2020, which featured Farruko, Natti Natasha and Manuel Turizo, raising his profile exponentially.

 

El Chulo: Abel Osvaldo Díaz Rodríguez is El Chulo, the Havana-born, US-based artist who is poised to put cubatón back into our vocabulary. Releasing his debut album, El Presidente, this past October, El Chulo flexes over a decade of professional experience into a seasoned and highly stylized effort that pits him at the crossroads of old school and new school Cuban urban music. Judging from the amount of studio photos of him on IG with heavyweights like Farruko and Jhay Cortez, 2021 will see El Chulo breaking out and representing Cuba with a unique and necessary fresh perspective.

Ingrid Contreras: A native Obregón Sonora, Ingrid Contreras follows in a long line of young Mexican singers that have navigated two musical worlds; that of the contemporary and the traditional. Falling firmly into the vein of contemporary pop-mariachi, her debut release, Cu4tro, was a well-calculated balance of power ballads and tightly arranged mariachi-backed dedications of love and heartbreak. With the guidance of the ShowBusiness label, Ingrid continues to release singles to close out the year, most recently, “A Quién Quiere Engañar,” which was featured in the Televisa telenovela, “Quererlo Todo.”

Junior H: Junior H, born Antonio Herrera Pérez, started virally bubbling to the surface on Pandora in early 2019, fueled by his unique take on the corridos tumbados genre that could almost be described as emo, with his introspective lyrics and modern instrumentation.  Fueled by a rabid fanbase, he was a constant on Pandora’s Trendsetters Chart for 36 straight weeks, pushing him into 2020 with big expectations and the backing of the unstoppable Rancho Humilde label. As this year ends, he has three albums under his belt, with Cruisin’ With Junior H debuting at #1 on Billboard’s Top Latin Albums and Top Regional Mexican Albums chart this past September, as well as signing a deal with Warner Latina/Atlantic Records. You could say 2021 looks promising.

Ovy On The Drums: “Ovy On The Drums” is the ubiquitous callout that seems to accompany some of the biggest hits in contemporary Latin music. Ovy is Medellín-born hitmaker Daniel Echavarría Oviedo, and after “Tusa” with Karol G and Nicki Minaj dropped at the end of 2019, his production and songwriting credits keep multiplying. With catchy melodic hooks and a tempo that often sits in the lower BPM range, his production has created earworms for artists like Karol G, Anuel, Maluma and Paulo Londra. Ovy will also continue to develop himself as a solo artist, which shouldn’t be difficult given that everyone already knows his name. Expect new singles in the first half of 2021. 

Llane: After more than a decade with Piso 21, Medellín-born Juan David Castaño, or Llane, began his trajectory as a solo artist at the end of 2019. His Sky Rompiendo-produced debut single, “Más de Ti,” set the stage for a string of releases that established him as a polished modern-day crooner, with a smooth delivery and warm presence on the mic. Falling in between pop ballads, reggaeton and R&B, Llane is the type of artist that can pair well with anyone. His most recent hit, “SERÁ,” with Manuel Turizo is evidence of that, and has helped him to propel his popularity in the US. His full-length debut, Presente, is in production and slated for a 2021 release.

Chesca: Chesca deserves everything that’s coming to her, having overcome huge obstacles to get the point where she is today in her young career. That tenacity is paying off, as she appeared, seemingly out of nowhere, with a string of buzzing releases in 2020. Collaborations with Pitbull, Árcangel and Jon Z landed her on Pandora’s Predictions Chart earlier in the year and her momentum continues to build heading into 2021. Her voice and stage presence show a maturity that comes with experience and natural ability, making her a very compelling artist to watch.

Nicki Nicole: Argentine rapper Nicki Nicole (Nicole Cucco to her parents) has made big inroads this year, as she pushed into international markets, having already become a sensation in her homeland. The 20 year-old battle rapper turned singer landed on Pandora’s Predictions Chart this summer on the strength of the release of her breakout single, “Colocao,” and rode that momentum to a Best New Artist nomination at this year’s Latin Grammys.

Yera: Part of the Trapical Mindz collective out of Santa Marta, Colombia, producer, singer and guitarist Miguel Ángel Ospino, or Yera, has a breezy vibey sound, fitting of his Caribbean roots. Further putting the Colombian Atlantic coast on the map along with fellow Trapical Mind, Lalo Ebratt, Yera’s guitar-led production has captivated his fellow countrymen as well, with collaborations coming in 2021 with Greeicy and Cali y El Dandee to kick off the year.   

Danny Félix: Phoenix native Danny Félix is one of the original architects of the corridos tumbados sound that has swept over Regional Mexican music in the last two years. A composer, producer, singer and one of the standout guitarists in the genre, his production credits include Luis Coronel, Natanael Cano, Tito Torbellino Jr, and many others. With a distinct style that is always evolving and incorporating different influences, Danny is pushing the boundaries of what contemporary Mexican music can do. Expect the full-length, Vuelve, releasing in early 2021.