Best New Artists

August's best new artists roundup includes rising talent like Babebee, Tony Shhnow, Ice Spice, Dirtybird, dv4d, Issy Wood, Tommy Richman, che, and more.

best new artists august 2022
P&P Original


best new artists august 2022

Every month, we round up some of our favorite new music discoveries. Look back at all of our Best New Artists here and keep up with them all on the Best New Artists playlists on Spotify and Apple.


che artists photo

SoundCloud’s renaissance over the past few years has resulted in a mass proliferation of young artists, each one ready to carve out their own lane while pushing music’s cultural canon further. At the hazy intersection of ATL hip-hop, pluggnb, and rage music is che (FKA cheRomani+), a young Atlanta artist with a futuristic sound. He’s a direct result of a generation of artists born online—a creative spirit fostered by FL Studio, Discord, and limitless aesthetic potential.

Prior to the pandemic che had no interest in making music, but when coronavirus lockdowns led him to download FL Studio on a whim, che (then known as murkio!) found himself hard at work writing songs, making his own presets, and collaborating with others on Discord. Instead of spending time in the studio, che honed his talents remotely by developing his signature melodic sound while gradually learning more about production. In August 2021 he released a remix to Yeat’s “Off Tha Lot” that TikTok would find shortly after, instantly making him an overnight success. Since then he’s been keeping fans fed with near-monthly releases including the viral hit “agenda” and his recent genre-warping track “feel” with jssr.

Though che’s ascendancy into rap’s modern pantheon of upcoming stars occurred alongside many other acts like SSGKobe and Rich Amiri, his music is far more difficult to position within a specific boundary. Tracks like “#RESIDE” and “#hundred” are melodic slices of psychedelia laced with TRGC-esque bass signals and multi-layered vocal hypnotism. “Agenda” and “The Final Agenda,” however, synthesize 16-bit plugg sounds with mechanical production to create something much more bright and energetic. Other cuts like the Specxfic-assisted “007” are behemoths of post-rage iconoclasm with che practically beating his chest as he wrestles with an abrasive and distorted mix.

Whether he’s delivering left-field pluggnb hits like “feel” or nostalgic Atlanta anthems like “hugo,” che consistently provides listeners with an impressive versatility and charisma. Having recently opened for Lucki in Atlanta during the 2 Neptune n Back tour, che’s momentum is still building. With more music on the way, it’s only a matter of time until his experimental style reaches hip-hop’s mainstream.—Carter Fife

View this video on YouTube

Issy Wood

issy wood painting by issy wood

With her work displayed in galleries around the world, Issy Wood’s paintings convey a sense of uneasiness. They’re hauntingly beautiful images that convey their subjects in plain view, but there is always the creeping suspicion that more lies beneath the surface. Until you crack the code, you almost feel like you’re at odds with your own eyes, being watched by an idea that is just barely beyond your grasp. Issy’s music, an experimental amalgamation of indie and art-pop sounds and styles, operates similarly.

Take for example Issy’s newest project My Body Your Choice, released independently and recorded in her kitchen. Every finely-tuned track functions as an experimental pop anthem, complete with distorted vocals lending a sense of uneasiness to complicate the music’s emotional register. Issy’s songs are heavy yet minimalistic, giving the impression that even though everything is immediately audible, there still exists much to unpack. She writes of her own internal turmoil on “Trash,” a relationship gone south on “Monica Lewinsky,” and blunt romantic tension on “I Just Called to Say I Hate You.” 

Issy sings from a place of perpetual melancholy, with lines like, “If you want to feel how I feel for you, / picture a kitchen fire and times it by two,” painting a picture of someone both reveling and languishing under the weight of their own emotional distress. Each of the album’s 12 tracks is an exploration of the human experience, a journey held together by Issy Wood’s candor and affinity for clever writing.

My Body Your Choice is preceded by a handful of EPs spanning back to the end of 2019, making her debut LP her longest and boldest release yet. Between the resurgent success of Kate Bush’s Hounds of Love and Fiona Apple’s pandemic-defining Fetch The Bolt Cutters, Issy Wood simultaneously walks alongside the art-pop icons that preceded her while pushing the envelope forward with every release. If you’re a fan of music that isn’t afraid to make you furrow your brow while pressing the replay button, then Issy Wood is an artist that needs to be on your radar.—Carter Fife

View this video on YouTube

Ice Spice

ice spice press photo credit trinecia

Setting trails ablaze as a powerful female figure in a male-dominated subculture, Bronx-made artist Ice Spice hit the New York drill scene with buzzworthy cuts like “Bully Freestyle” and “Euphoric.” In 2021, the former Catholic school student and daughter of an underground rapper kicked off her career, crafting punchy verses and co-producing gems with sonic architect RIOT. 


“I love drill beats. They’re so hard and can be molded to fit any emotion. The 808s drew me in at first, especially because I was listening to Sheff G, Sleepy Hallow, and Pop Smoke. They helped inspire my early music,” Spice explains.

After going viral with her response to Erica Banks’ “Buss It” social media challenge, the 22-year-old has become synonymous with razor-sharp bars, in-your-face delivery, and ominous beats. Influenced by Cardi B and Nicki Minaj, Spice landed one of the most sought-after co-signs in the game when Drake played “Munch (Feelin’ U)” on his SiriusXM channel, Sound 42 Radio. The Toronto rapper also showed his support for the single via Instagram DM and was spotted alongside the budding star at OVO Fest earlier this year. 


“[Drake] complimenting ‘Munch’ brought even more attention to me and the song. It feels like all the hard work being put in is starting to pay off. My goal is to collab with Drake, as well as artists in the drill scene and beyond,” Ice Spice tells us. The half-Dominican and half-Black MC also plans to permeate the pop and Latin music spheres with a bevy of Spanish tracks in the works.—Andrea Aguilar

View this video on YouTube

Tommy Richman

tommy richman artists photo

I entered the world of Tommy Richman via his music video for “Star Girl.” From the song’s start, there were some obviously retro elements—‘80s-inspired synths, a disco-style drum pattern—but also nods to the future and outer space, as he sings to an otherworldly love interest. 

Tommy aces these juxtapositions across his catalog, always dancing between worlds and genres. On his track “Games,” he melds punk with hyperpop; on “Chrono Trigger” it is surf rock and ‘90s angst. The way he puts modern twists on nostalgic sounds is equal parts comforting and exciting. 

It’s still early days for 21-year-old, who’s been consistently stacking snippets on TikTok and playing DIY shows, but with his evidently innovative spirit and fearlessness in breaking genre bounds, we’re highly anticipating his new music, starting with the Alligator EP, due soon.—Caitlin LoPilato

View this video on YouTube

At any given moment there are easily a dozen new and talented hip-hop acts emerging from Atlanta’s underground, each one varying in cultural impact, sound, and staying power. They are often touted as music’s next big spectacle, when more often than not they serve to showcase a new style or trend that will quickly eclipse them before fading into obscurity. Tony Shhnow is unlike these artists. He’s a tried and true leader of the next class of hip-hop, eager to showcase his undeniable skill without gravitating towards or pandering to a popular style or sound.

Although Tony Shhnow has been making music since the late 2010s, he reached a wider audience through his work with SOS—an underground supergroup alongside fellow counter-culture trendsetter 645AR. In the years that have passed, the ATL-via-LA artist has made a name for himself due to his clever writing style, forward-thinking production, and influences that range from DJ Quik and Ice Cube to D4L and Lil Wayne. Though most known for his work in Atlanta’s plugg scene, Tony’s steadily produced bodies of work that span the hip-hop register from Southern Hip-Hop to Cloud Rap, and even a tape filled exclusively with classic beats from The Neptunes.

This year, Tony Shhnow has leveled up with the long-awaited release of Reflexions, his latest LP filled to the brim with innovative and boundary-pushing rap music which spotlights his effortless versatility. On its opening track, “Summer Off Relaxxx,” Shhnow baits listeners with a nostalgic Miami Vice mix, the perfect introduction for an album that does anything but play it safe. Minutes later, listeners are ensnared in the warped vapor of the Bear1Boss-assisted “Bape ☆,” or the thundering bass of SenseiATL’s “Park My Car.” Between critical acclaim and support from fellow artists (a Brent Faiyaz remix of “Don’t Look At Numbers” was recently released), Tony Shhnow’s music is reaching more listeners than ever before.

The roster of producers involved with Reflexions (Popstar Benny, CashCache, MexikoDro and GeeohS to name a few) not only illuminate the culture that Tony Shhnow is pushing forward, but also highlight an artistry that few other creatives possess. Tony Shhnow may be a pioneer of plugg’s resurgence, but his talents extend far beyond Atlanta’s city lines. Few other rappers could go bar for bar with Zelooperz one second and OJ Da Juiceman the next, and perhaps Tony Shhnow is a harbinger of Atlanta’s next wave of genreless rising talent. Though gone are his days rapping alongside 645AR, JWitDaBeam, and 10KDunkin, Tony Shhnow moves with a deep reverence for Atlanta’s past, present, and future.—Carter Fife

View this video on YouTube


babebee best new artists august 2022

Every month we find some more magic in the Pigeons & Planes Discord. In the June edition of our monthly P&P Radio show where we listen and give live reactions to music from the community, an artist named Babebee wowed us all with a song called “all night long.” It starts slowly with hushed singing over spacey production but hits another level with a beat switch after a guitar breakdown. “all night long” was an instant favorite and on their new album mind over matter, Babebee backs up that magic with a cohesive, expressive full-length project of experimental but accessible songs which they describe as their “cathartic release into the universe.” 

“[It’s] about the concept of time, death, love & healing generational trauma,” they tell us. “It’s honestly therapeutic and meditative making songs because it helps me ground my mind and focus on what matters to me in life, which is essentially using music as a tool for healing and staying alive for my loved ones. I want my music to be a reminder that you are not alone in this universe.”

The 20-year-old singer-songwriter/producer/performer is based in Atlanta and takes inspiration from artists like Imogen Heap, Björk, The xx, Frank Ocean, SOPHIE, FKA twigs, Blood Orange, underscores, and many more. Although they follow what’s going on in Atlanta’s vibrant underground scene, Babebee, like so many others, harnesses the power of the internet to connect and create with other artists from all over the world.

“Through the pandemic, the friends I met on Discord encouraged me to start taking music seriously,” Babebee explains. “Music and creating art has always been my passion, but I used to think that I couldn’t do it as a profession. I started learning how to produce on Ableton in late 2020 because someone on a Discord server randomly gifted it to me. Then, I started my Twitch channel and my own Discord server to build a community The Honeypot. It’s a full circle moment, having these long-term friendships with people over the internet and then meeting them in person years later.”

mind over matter is packed with different sounds and approaches across highlights like “all night long,” “nervous system breakdown,” “this or that,” and “go-stop,” but what might be most impressive about this project—produced, mixed, and mastered by Babebee themselves, no less—is how consistently excellent it is throughout.—Alex Gardner


dfvd photo by Raheem Powell

Nine months ago, David Burke was an avid Fortnite player. He would make montage videos of his own gameplay, but would use other people’s music to soundtrack the videos, resulting in copyright strikes. As a solution, he started making his own songs to use in the videos, recorded them on his phone, and released them under the name d4vd.

Pan to today, and the 17-year-old has over 2.6 million monthly Spotify listeners, 120k TikTok followers, and a rapidly growing fanbase. This is mostly thanks to his viral single “Romantic Homicide,” a surprisingly sophisticated ballad about mourning a past relationship. The song has been used in over 160k TikToks and has tens of millions of streams. 

What’s most striking about d4vd’s story isn’t the overnight success, but rather the immense potential in the songs of a teenager who only so recently discovered his talent. His latest songs, written about heartbreak, losing loved ones, and letting go of expired feelings, showcase his impressive ability to capture big feelings via simple melodies and stripped production. 

With more music on the way, and having recently partnered with Mogul Vision Management (Lil Mosey, Smokepurpp, KennyHoopla) and Darkroom (the label home to Billie Eilish), we’re excited to see his success unfold.—Caitlin LoPilato

View this video on YouTube

Dirty Bird

dirty bird photo by morian thomas

Dirty Bird (formerly known as GUM) keeps busy. The producer, DJ, director, lecturer, and visual artist has released at least 15 projects since 2019, not to mention his mixes, collaborations, and DJ sets. Rooted in dance music and drawing inspiration from the past while creating the future that he wants to see, Dirty Bird is an electronic music alchemist weaving together strands from House, UK Garage, Funk, Soul, Drum & Bass, Hip-Hop, Hyperpop, Jungle, and more across his catalog.

On how he keeps his releases cohesive and distinct, Dirty Bird explains, “I think what’s most important is a sense of intentionality, and focus in the direction you take the music. I knew what I wanted the project to sound and feel like in advance, so the rest just came along as it does. Cohesiveness is achieved by analyzing the interplay of the track list, and making sure things fit together sonically in the mix/master, and thematically in the emotional connotation of the tracks. I think any sort of novel technique or skill I have evidences itself naturally as a result of the work put in, whereas quality control is more of an empirical process.”

Wagenmuzik, Dirty Bird’s new EP, feels like some of his most focused work to date. It’s a warm and inviting 6-track cruise that marks a moment in time. “My Cadillac was totaled and I bought a BMW 3-series wagon! This project commemorates the new lifestyle I’ve started as a result of the purchase, centered around road trips, camping, and modded car culture,” Dirty Bird tells us.

Up next is more music (of course), multimedia content across the board (including an animated series from his own Gum Studio and work on a magazine), and an upgrade of his online store to be more eco-friendly. Not to mention road trips in the Wagen and an online course in Ethnobotany at the University of Alaska. A modern renaissance man, indeed.—Alex Gardner

View this video on YouTube