THIS year has seen a ton of excellent new artists burst onto the scene. Actor-turned-pop star Olivia Rodrigo, British singer/songwriter Arlo Parks, and Los Angeles rap duo Paris Texas are just a few that have lit up 2021.
But 2022 is a new year, and with that comes a whole new batch of artists looking to propel themselves into the limelight. To give you a head start, we’ve rounded up five artists that we think will have a significant breakout year in 2022.
Sad Night Dynamite
British duo Josh Gracean and Archie Blagden form a delicious concoction of hip-hop, dub, Britpop, punk, electronica and more in Sad Night Dynamite. The pair have drawn heaps of comparisons with genre-bending virtual band Gorillaz and had a strong 2021 after releasing their self-titled debut mixtape to critical acclaim in February.
Having finished a UK tour in November 2021, the boys from Glastonbury will be supporting Glass Animals on their North American tour in 2022 and look set to have a big year.
English singer-songwriter Pinkpantheress made a name for herself on TikTok in 2021 (as so many did) and has been touted to have an excellent 2022.
Another artist determined not to subscribe to one specific genre, Pinkpantheress mixes bits of garage and drum & bass with bedroom pop, forming an eclectic, original sound that fits all sorts of moods and occasions. Her to hell with it debut mixtape in October contained short but sweet melodies like Pain and Break It Off, and has built widespread anticipation for what she’ll do next.
Billie Eilish’s brother Finneas Baird O’Connell has spent much of the last two years in the wake of his sister’s meteoric rise to stardom, but 2022 could be the year he breaks off on his own.
After winning eight Grammys for his producing and co-writing with Billie so far and being nominated for Best New Artist at the 64th Awards in January, you could argue that he’s already made it big, but there is definitely more solo work to come from this multi-talented musician.
London rapper Central Cee has quickly become one of the leading voices in the British drill scene. His breakthrough single Loading came out in late 2020 and the rapper has been building hype throughout 2021 with his debut mixtape Wild West and several more singles, but his upcoming mixtape 23, due out in February, has the whole scene on the edge of its seat.
That deep, gruff delivery style that everyone loved about Pop Smoke is why many have Dusty Locane as the holder of the keys to Brooklyn’s drill scene, and he is expected to keep riding the wave well into next year.
Other artists to look out for:
British indie rock ensemble Wet Leg
Kendrick Lamar’s cousin Baby Keem
TikTok-famous Jacksonville rapper Cico P
British rapper, singer and songwriter ENNY
21-year-old Alabama-born rapper Flo Milli
Nashville-based singer Gayle made it big on TikTok in 2021