With the likes of Rihanna and Skepta expected to release and album in the next 12 months, things are looking pretty exciting this year. So here are 12 artists to watch in 2016:
Last year, Skepta dropped the massive single Shutdown and proved that raw, lyrical grime could flourish everywhere from New York art gallery MoMA to a massive hotel ballroom in Lagos, Nigeria. In fact such was the world’s thirst for the Skepta live experience that he didn’t get to finish his album Konnichiwa, which was promised last March but is still in the works. Can’t be long now, right?
Chance The Rapper – TBA
Chance The Rapper’s Acip Rap came out in 2013 and the world has been waiting ever since for his first proper studio album. In 2015, he released two collaborative projects, a mixtape with Lil B and Surf, with Donnie Trumpet & the Social Experiment. But 2016 seems like an appropriate time for a Chance album, right? Absolutely right.
Diplo – TBA
Diplo had a dope 2015. Jack U, his project with Skrillex, released an album that included Whare Are U Now, their huge single with Justin Bieber. He also produced songs for Madonna and MO. And his Major Lazer project released Peace is the Mission. Major Lazer is slated to drop Music Is The Weapon in 2016, but here’s a thought: what if Diplo were to release a solo album in 2016 too? He’s only released one studio album, Florida, and that was back in 2004. There have been some compilations and EPs since, and tons of singles and production work, sure, but it might be nice if he put out an album of his own next year.
Drake – TBA
It’s up for debate whether it was Kendrick or Drake who owned rap in 2015. Drake’s If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late surprise mixtape was huge, plus his collaborative project with Future, What A Time To Be Alive, arrived. It’s almost certain that in 2016 we’ll be blessed with his first studio album since 2013’s Nothing Was The Same.
Haim – TBA
Haim, the pop-rock group of LA’s Haim sisters, knocked our socks off with their debut album, Days Are Gone. Believe it or not, but that was in 2013! We’ve been waiting patiently but we cannot remain patient forever, Haim. Now that they’re BFFs with Taylor Swift, will they go full-on pop? We’ll find out soon.
Lady Gaga – TBA
Lady Gaga has been busy with her part in American Horror Story: Hotel but hopefully that hasn’t kept her from working on a new solo album, her first since 2013’s Artpop. In 2014, Cheek to Cheek, her collaborative jazz-pop album with Tonny Bennett confused some people. But that’s what Gaga does. And her new album, probably out in 2016, may well follow suit.
Lorde – TBA
Lorde’s debut album Pure Heroine was filled with glory stories of being young and cool but also an outsider. That was 2013. Now she’s 19 and she’s a pop star and we have no idea how her perspective has changed since she took home some Grammy Awards and became one of the Royals. We will find out soon.
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis – This Unruly Mess I’ve Made
Will Macklemore (and Ryan Lewis) be able to rock the world the way they did with Thrift Shop back in 2012? Wait, 2012!?!?! That was three years ago, when The Heist was released. So far his single Downtown has done very well, but it didn’t grab our attention the way Thrift Shop did. Here’s his chance to correct that.
We thought it would happen in 2015. But Frank Ocean didn’t deliver his follow-up to the Grammy Award winning channel ORANGE.Supposedly he’s been working with Pharrell and Danger Mouse, among other mega-producers, but aside from him saying there’d be a print publication of some sort to coincide with the album drop, we don’t know much. We do know the world is beyond ready for this one.