Artists to watch in May 2022

This month’s list of artists to watch is particularly eclectic and positively fiery. Follow us as we go from vibrant UK afrobeats and the next rapper about to take over, to a looping indie band, real Brazilian shit, and more. These are the artists to watch in May. And it’s on the top.

Obongjayar

The Nigerian-born London rapper focused firmly on Little Simz’s track “Point And Kill” last year. But it’s on the lead single from his forthcoming album, “Message In A Hammer,” (featuring one of the best videos of last year) that we see the menacing, raspy-tongued rapper establish his piercing singular vision. . A dynamic MC, he fuses British rap and afrobeats with a silky vocal delivery that touches on new forms of R&B. On “Try,” the full range of his voice – from a flow of fine-grit sandpaper to his soft coo over atmospheric production – is on full display. His beginnings, Some nights I dream of doorsdue out May 13.

Mom

While Momma’s third album (and first since signing with Polyvinyl Records), Household name, didn’t drop until July 1, the singles the alternative indie band from Brooklyn released before that one should be playing on repeat through your speakers. Led by Etta Friedman and Allegra Weingarten, Momma has strong The Breeders vibes, with the singing duo complementing each other a la Kim and Kelley Deal. They supported Wet Leg on their sold-out tour earlier this year and will join Snail Mail for theirs in August. But we can’t say enough about how sticky Momma’s first three singles are. They channel ’90s nostalgia into a decidedly current bouquet, like on “Speeding 72” when they sing “You can catch us around, Listening to ‘Gold Soundz’. Keep me in your car,” before a riff from harmonic guitar carries the melody into space.

Domi & JD Beck

The future is here. Domi & JD Beck are two jazz prodigies signed to Anderson .Paak’s Apeshit label, who are starting to get people talking. They supported Thundercat and Ariana Grande’s version of “Them Changes” at the 2020 Adult Swim Festival, sat down with the legendary Herbie Hancock at the Hollywood Bowl last year, co-wrote Silk Sonic’s “Skate,” and their debut album is due out later this year on Apeshit and Blue Note Records. Domi, 21, plays the keyboard, is French and sports blonde pigtails that flap in unison with her hypnotic fingers tickling the ivories. At 18, shaggy-haired JD Beck plays drums like he’s possessed by Gregory Coleman and lays down some of the most dizzying snare tracks you’ve ever heard. They just released their first single, “Smile”, which features .Paak, Thundercat and Mac DeMarco in the hilarious video. The visual is a prime example of how they infuse childlike fun into complete and utter mastery of their instruments and they are the ones who will surely continue to spread the gospel of true next level jazz music to future generations.

Sessa

In 2019, the Brazilian singer and multi-instrumentalist has become a unique talent in the form of big names in bossanova and tropicalia like Caetano Veloso, João Gilberto and Antonio Carlos Jobim. His first album, Grandeza, presented beautifully woven poetic expressions of love that only Brazilians are able to articulate. Now he’s signed to Mexican Summer for the June 24 release of Estrela Acessa and the lead single, “Gostar Do Mundo”, is a global spirit statement of otherworldly longing. Alongside soft guitar, Brazilian percussion, and female backing vocals, he sings out, “Chega mais pra cá, moço lindo desse lugar. Vem me namorar, sabe o mundo vai acabar”. (translation: “Come closer, handsome man from this place. Come snuggle up to me, because the world is ending you know.”) That’s the thing here.

Doechii

Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE) has been notoriously insular in advancing Kendrick Lamar’s artist career at SZA. But when the venerable hip-hop label announced a new partnership with Capitol Records last month, Doechii was at the center of it. The Tampa rapper is here to usher in the next move on the TDE roster and she’s come out with a serious bang. The absolutely bonkers (and NSFW) video for “Crazy” feels like it’s floating fiercely to an OG Timbaland beat (it’s actually produced by Kal Banx.) On “Persuasive,” she shows off a silkier side of herself- even, indulgent and timidly extravagant . No word yet on an album release, but don’t sleep on Doechii.

Doechii is a Warner Music artist. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music.

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