Last year was great one for Azealia Banks, with the outspoken emcee supplying us with plenty of bangers — but we can’t forget that she has yet to release a full album. In 2013, Banks will likely continue making her brand of raw, gutsy hip-hop for the release of her debut Broke With Expensive Taste on February 13.
Laura Mvula is the latest British import guaranteed to make a splash on American shores. The classically trained singer, songwriter and pianist from Birmingham has a velvet voice that is already earning her comparisons to Amy Winehouse. She released her EP, She, in late 2012 and is working on her debut album Sing to the Moon (out March 4) with one of Adele’s producers.
Newcomer Chadwick Boseman is playing like he’s in the big leagues, literally. The 28-year-old actor will star as legendary baseball player Jackie Robinson in the biopic 42 (out April 14). The film, which hits theaters on April 12, is expected to be his breakout role. Boseman is best known for TV appearances on shows like Law & Order, All My Children and Lincoln Heights.
This soulful Canadian crooner is heating up the R&B charts with the moody (and expletive-heavy) “Wicked Games.” Long considered an indie darling, The Weeknd seems poised to go mainstream, thanks to tons of radio play and a promising Billboard debut (#4) of his first official album, Trilogy.
In an industry dominated by men, 21-year-old rapper Angel Haze is coming in to the music game packing a powerful punch. Born in Detroit and now based in New York City, Haze signed a deal with Island Records in 2012. Her stage presence wows audiences, and she’s not afraid to address taboo topics. Her version of Eminem’s “Cleaning Out My Closet,” in which she details her childhood sexual abuse, has already received a lot of buzz.
Zendaya Coleman is Disney’s latest “It” girl thanks to her role as Raquel “Rocky” Blue on the tween hit show Shake It Up. She’s also a singer preparing to release her debut album later this year. We’re hoping 2013 will bring lots more success to the 16-year-old Los Angeles native.
A seasoned singer-songwriter (and Chris Brown collaborator) who has penned songs for the likes of Brandy, Kelly Rowland, Alicia Keys and Estelle, Sevyn Streeter is ready to take the spotlight with a hot new single, “I Like It,” and a debut album on the way.
Canadian artist Al Spx, 23, leads the group Cold Specks. She describes her sound as “doom soul” with influences steeped in the musical traditions of the Deep South. Cold Specks’ debut album has yet to hit stores, but the group has developed a strong social media following with their single “Holland.”
Valisia LeKae is a Broadway veteran in her own right, and this April she will be playing a role she describes as original, trailblazing and amazing. The actress will play songstress Diana Ross in the hotly anticipated Motown the Musical, which is based on the life of Berry Gordy. LeKae’s other Broadway credits include The Book of Mormon, Ragtime, 110 in the Shade and The Threepenny Opera. We can’t wait to see her shine!
You may remember Jhene Aiko if you were ever a fan of Immature and B2K. At the tender age of 12, she signed a record deal with TUG Entertainment and shared a label with those boy groups. She later decided to put her music career on hold and focus on school and motherhood. Now, nearly nine years later, the singer-songwriter is looking to take the music world by storm. Signed to Epic Records, the R&B songstress is now gearing up to release her debut album Souled Out.
Eric West may be the nephew of soul legend Smokey Robinson, but he’s creating a name for himself with his acting skills and charm. The up-and-comer will star in Tyler Perry’s forthcoming The Marriage Counselor and alongside Brad Pitt and Matthew Fox in the zombie drama World War Z. He’s a man of many talents — he is also a singer Fergie discovered.
R&B singer-songwriter Elijah Blake is best known for writing Rihanna’s “No Love Allowed” and Usher’s No. 1 hit “Climax.” Now he’s stepping out as an artist on his own with his first EP, Bijoux 22. And the 22-year-old is already surrounding himself with all the right people. He is managed by Roc Nation and is mentored by Grammy-winning producer No. I.D.
Her handling of racist reactions to her role in The Hunger Games earlier this year was enough to make us fall in love with Amandla Stenberg. Never mind the online bullying from Hunger Games fans, we have to say the 14-year-old actress turned in one of the most impressive performances of the year. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for her.
This British-born newcomer made a splash in 2011 as the lead in the critically acclaimed film Attack the Block. Next up is a coveted role in the big-screen adaptation of the book Half a Yellow Sun with Thandie Newton and Anika Noni Rose.