First off, there are a lot of artists who we wish we could include on this list but can’t because we already mentioned them in previous years. It’s a testament to how quickly things move these days—artists who were brand new just a couple of years ago are now making major waves, and there’s already a new crop of brand new artists on the cusp of big things. So take a look back at some inclusions from previous years before you hit us up on Twitter like, “This list sucks, you forgot ________.”
Some highlights from 2014, 2015, and 2016’s lists: 6LACK, D.R.A.M., MØ, Jessie Reyez, Khalid, Boogie, Kevin Abstract, Kodak Black, A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, Lil Uzi Vert, Smino, Post Malone, A.CHAL, Ta’East, Night Lovell, Stormzy, AJ Tracey, Jazz Cartier, THEY., Kamaiyah, 21 Savage, Jorja Smith, SAINt JHN, Aminé, Noname, and Maggie Rogers.
Whether they’ve been grinding for a few years and finally had a breakout moment or they launched their career with immediate success, every artist on this list is pushing music in exciting new directions. 2017 brought us pop stars in the making, bedroom producers with DIY mentalities, Asian artists finding crossover success in America, and the widest array of hip-hop styles that we’ve ever seen.
No matter the genre, new artists are breaking at a faster rate than ever before. Some have made their way directly into the spotlight, but many of today’s young musicians are learning that patience is a virtue. It’s an exciting time to be a new artist, and there’s no right or wrong way to launch a career. The diversity in sound, style, and career choices on this list make that point clearly. Here are the best new artists of 2017.