Summer Walker taught men a very important lesson last year: girls need love. But not in the way you may be thinking. The talented singer-songwriter who is known for speaking openly and honestly about womanhood, love and self-confidence, she draws her inspiration from Amy Winehouse, Jimi Hendrix and even Erykah Badu. We were first introduced to Walker with her debut album, Last Day of Summer, and she’s had us hooked ever since.
Saneit has got now, and next. The Chicago native and Howard University graduate, has already amassed a buzz on the underground R&B circuit, and this year is her time to shine. Her captivating voice evokes memories of a young Monica in her prime, and her songwriting and swag surely make her a star. Check out her recently released Crush EP.
If you don’t know who Jorja Smith is by now, you must be living under a rock. We can all thank Drake for her growing star power as we were first introduced to her on his More Life LP. The English R&B singer/songwriter is heartfelt and soulful, but with a touch of jazz. Smith issued her debut single, "Blue Lights," in 2016 followed by "A Prince" and then the biggest single of them all: "Where Did I Go?" which has been on our playlists all year long.
21-year-old Jayla Darden is redefining what it means to be a talent young artist. She writes, produces and arranges her own records, so it’s safe to say, she knows a thing or two about her craft. Originally from Detroit, Darden calls Atlanta her 'second home' and you can tell from the inspiration incorporated into her music. Darden’s single “Idea 714,” gave us a taste of what her future sounds like, and it’s safe to say — it’s sounding very bright.
Raised across Europe and Asia, Amber Mark draws inspiration from the vibes of Nepal, Germany, Brazil, and even India. She began writing music in 2013 as a way to work through the tragic loss of her mother and her songwriting skills have since kept us captivated. Her album 3:33am that she wrote and produced herself, debuted in 2017 and two years later we’re still wanting more.
Once you get a cosign from Rihanna, you’re kind of a big deal, right? Afro Latina rapper Melii signed to Interscope Records in December 2017, following the massive success of her remix to Cardi’s “Bodak Yellow,” which garnered nearly 2 million views on YouTube. For the Harlem rapstress, you would think her success came easy, but it’s been a slow grind that even earned her a feature on Meek Mill’s latest album.
At just 23, Bri Steves has already seemingly “made it.” While her lyrics and vibe are authentically “Philly,” she even got a public co-sign from West Coast rapper Kendrick Lamar at the 2018 Made in America Festival — so she must be doing something right. We haven’t been this excited for a female rapper from Philly since Tierra Whack and Eve, so that clearly speaks to her emerging talent and her rapid rise to hip hop success.