Independent artists are releasing music at a much higher rate this year. Maybe it’s because of the pandemic and many people stuck at home, without any concerts or live performances to attend. Musicians have more time on their hands to pivot their business, work on their craft and put forth their music to the online world through various ways such as streaming live or uploading new recordings for downloads.
Last year, musicians gained a lot of ground in the independent segment, making their way into the industry without the aid of a label. Here are some great indie artists that we can expect some great things from in the upcoming year for 2020, and even 2021.
Everyone is familiar with this breakout indie artist who successfully crossed over this year into the mainstream and showed everyone just how amazing she is. We’ve already seen amazing things from her because she dominated not only the Pop but also the R&B and Rap charts in 2019. Lizzo was even named Entertainer of the Year by Time magazine, and her breakout song “Truth Hurts” was the longest-running Billboard Hot 100 single at number 1 by a solo female rapper – a feat that would not be expected from an independent artist.
Hard to believe someone who started as a sign spinner for Liberty Tax (check her Twitter if you don’t believe it!) could become nominated for eight amazing honors at the 2020 Grammy Awards. She has tolerated and overcome fat-shaming through the media and established herself as a true artist that will be sure to continue to dominate and impress us all.
If you haven’t heard her yet, you should definitely give her a listen. Expect really big things from this Puerto Rican/Portland-based singer Frankie Simone, represented by Marmoset music licensing agency. As Marmoset put on their site, listening to her music “feels like they’re putting a microphone directly to their heart.” She is an indie artist with a noticeable and fun twist. She has created a new kind of eccentric electronic pop, full of exciting beats and lots of personality with her empowering lyrics.
Her lead single “War Paint” is a bold song on its own, but if you view the music video you’ll see lots of bright colors that accentuate the lyrics “So when we went to war/I saw your colors all over me.” She has many other songs that have evolved with this electronic and dance background, and prove that she is in the right place and time to seriously dominate the pop music field.
This independent singer/songwriter has an awesome ability to connect with audiences with his unique songwriting. Making his own label so that his music could be heard, he quickly sailed through the charts with his latest hit song “Don’t Change”, reaching the number 1 spot. His passion is in collaborations with other artists. He grew up in Canada but now has moved to the metro New York City area to carve out his career, singing soulful guitar tunes and playing in bars. He has a strong drive to have his music heard around the world, and we think he won’t have any problem getting there with his proven track record of success.
An Oklahoma native who moved to Los Angeles to make it in the music industry, Susan has finally been noticed as a newcomer and breakout indie artist this year. Her newest album available now is called Headed for Love, with the single song “Starlight” gaining ground by captivating her audience with interesting melody twists.
Susan has been around and making her music since the 2000s, but has more recently been noticed, climbing charts with this 2020 album. “Starlight” has successfully reached the number 1 spot on the Billboard Charts for AC40 as recent as just last week! She draws not only in the Country and Pop genres but also with Rock, Americana, and Blues, giving her that edge that should bring exciting new music in the upcoming year.
The full name of Abubakar Baker Shariff-Farr, better known to all as the indie artist Bakar is well-known for his indie-rock style of music. He is one to watch as a talented emerging artist, getting nods from the likes of true legends like Sir Elton John, mixing rap, rock, and punk together to create his unique sound, which to some sounds like it is all over the place. Though most of his tracks include rap and hip hop influences, he also demonstrates some Motown and his lyrics give the audience his street smarts, showing everyone that there is much more to him and his unique style. His most recent EP entitled “Will You Be My Yellow?” displays so much potential, we can certainly expect big things to come.
There are many other independent artists to watch you should be sure to watch for, such as Megan Thee Stallion, a huge underground artist and great female rapper, or Georgia, a 21-year-old singer and songwriter with undeniable talent, WebsterX, a master at hip hop, rap and defining beats, and Siena Liggins, another Marmoset artist who demonstrates catchy hooks and fun wordplay.
Independent artists will have their claim to fame with the ability to reach out to a broader, more online-focused audience, and we couldn’t be happier with the potential outcome. Beef up your Spotify, SoundCloud, or YouTube playlists today with new music for the future. Tell us which artists you think will break out with hits by the end of the year.