Best New Artists

Our favorite new and rising artists to listen to in February, featuring Chenayder, 4batz, Kaicrewsade, Hailey Knox, Anycia, and more.

Collage of three artists with text "Best New Artists February 2024" for Pigeons & Planes article
Collage of three artists with text "Best New Artists February 2024" for Pigeons & Planes article

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


Person with braided hair and ribbons peeking through a cozy white sweater, expressing shyness or playfulness

High school is said to be the best years of your life, and this seems to be ringing true for 17-year-old singer Chenayder. With only a handful of singles and one EP under her belt, the Orlando, Florida native already boasts a co-sign from her idol Tyler, the Creator as well as studio sessions with Smino and MAVI. “It was cool to work with such talented individuals in the same room. I can't wait for you to hear what we came up with,” she teases.

Partly thanks to frequent use of her school hall pass to sneak to the bathroom to record TikToks, Chenayder garnered attention for her 2022 indie-pop breakout song “Fall.” Not only is she a junior in high school, she is also a student of '50s and '60s pop music, emulating groups like “The Four Freshman, Anita Kerr Singers, and also Doris Day who were direct inspirations to me,” she says. Borrowing harmonic elements from those artists, Chenayder often personalizes them by stacking her vocals and blending them with either uptempo breakbeats (“Strawberry Perfume”) or reflective piano chords (“Goodbye”). “I wanted to combine that with something that felt more modern, more me,” she explains.

Her debut EP Blue Oblivion was released last year and is a six-song melting pot of her whimsically somber capabilities. Lyrically, Chenayder is wise beyond her years, singing as if she’s lived many lives full of heartbreak and disappointment. She describes her music as “vintage and sorrowful,” and her flirty, latest offering, “For One Last Time,” is a testament to her nostalgia-infused sound. 

As for the future, school is Chenayder’s main priority and she doesn’t seem concerned with a fast-track into the spotlight. “First I need to get through the school year but I’m planning to release an EP for sure,” she shares regarding her plans for this year. “Beyond that, I'm just going with the flow of things, living my life and seeing where creativity leads me."—Cydney Lee

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Person in a bandana, resting chin on hands, tattoo on left arm, wearing a chain

Anycia may be the coolest girl of all time. She first caught my eye with her From The Block performance of her song “BRB.” I heard her say, “Told him I am on the way, but I am bout to take a nap,” and was immediately hooked. After “BRB” and its incredibly nonchalant yet hard-hitting bars began to spread like wildfire, Anycia followed up with the EXTRA EP which featured explosive tracks like “BIG BODY” and “DROP TOP.” Most recently, she dropped a song with Latto titled “BACK OUTSIDE.”

What is it about Big Nene that has us in a headlock? For one, her lyrics are insanely quotable and memorable. Similar to artists like Sexyy Red, Anycia drops clever bars tailor-made for the baddies. Her energy is incredibly consistent and always enjoyable.

Anycia is coming up out of Atlanta and has been getting tons of support. "It’s amazing," she says. "This is my home, so I love seeing how my birthplace goes so hard for me. I been outside for a long time so I love that my peers are supporting me and behind me 100%.” It’s been dope to see her building community alongside other rising women from ATL like Karrahboo, who she collaborated with on "Splash Brothers."

With such a major rise over the last few months, it’s time to see what Anycia has in store for us next. 2024 is looking like “work, work, work," she says. "Touching base with different parts of myself, exploring my horizons. pushing myself to no limit. A lot of new projects, content, and A LOT OF SHOWS.”

Anycia has expressed her openness to exploring new styles and expanding her sound, noting some that as a huge R&B lover, Kelis, Gwen Stefani, and Alicia Keys are significant influences. We can’t wait to watch her continue to evolve in 2024.—Annabelle Kline-Zilles

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Person in black hoodie and beanie against red background

In the past couple months, you’ve almost definitely seen 4batz—he’s the R&B singer in a black shiesty, with gold grills, surrounded by his crew, singing pitched up melodies into a microphone hanging from the sky. 

The omnipresent new act out of Dallas gained worldwide prominence in a remarkably short period, capturing attention with a distinctive sound that doesn’t quite line up with the presentation—but that’s exactly what makes him stand out. It’s almost reminiscent of RMR’s viral come-up in 2020, but a little more subtle.

Between the two songs released on DSPs and videos like his From The Block performance that has been viewed millions of times, 4batz has the internet’s attention, but he’s also earning praise from media outlets, influencers, and A-listers like SZA, Drake, and Kanye West. With all of this momentum on his side, he’s looking like a safe bet for sudden success, but he's not getting caught up in the hype—he's got bigger plans. “I love what’s been happening lately," he tells us, "but the focus is to take the crown.”

After releasing his two-act singles, 4batz doesn't look to be slowing down anytime soon. He’s been teasing “act iii: on god?” across social media, and recently made an announcement in his Discord that it will be released this Friday. Judging by the teaser, the third act pieces all of his three singles into a cohesive narrative, promising an immersive experience.

From the barrage of Jersey club remixes to the major label bidding war, it’s evident that 4batz is destined to become a household name. Viral moments are more common than ever in today’s rapidly changing media landscape, but seeing early attention translate into media buzz, streaming numbers across multiple songs, and high profile co-signs is impressive. The rise of 4batz is imminent.—Marissa Duldulao

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Woman with braided hair and beads, wearing a graphic tee, in front of a background with wooden bird sculptures

I've been wanting to spotlight tg.blk in this feature since late 2022, when I first heard "Love Being Used," but she's been laying low and keeping quiet, at least as far as new music is concerned. The singer, rapper, and producer released two songs in 2021, pulling in millions of plays and catching the attention of artists like Vince Staples, an early and avid supporter. Then, nothing until the end of 2023. But now it's go time: "It's a new me," tg says.

"Honestly its felt like I’ve been stuck in limbo," tg tells us. "But it also felt somewhat self inflicted, which made it easier to step out of that space and feel as good as I do right now. I’ve been working on a lot of music in bits and pieces, trying to blend all my interests together into a sound that feels like me."

Born and raised in Mombasa, Kenya, and based there other than a stint in Maryland for school, tg.blk combines a DIY spirit and a student's mindset with a refreshing point of view. Her songs are based in hip-hop and R&B, combining an old soul with current topics as sly punchlines roll smoothly over lush beats. Each of the four official releases so far creates an entire world in under 2 minutes 30 seconds—tg's way with words is undeniable, her skills sharpened by the poetry and fanfiction that she used to write.

Musically, inspirations include Earl Sweatshirt, Lucki, bsd.u, MIKE, MAVI, and The Alchemist, but based on what we've heard so far, tg.blk could go in pretty much any direction with her future releases. "I’m excited about everything! I like to think of myself as a student of the game so everything is an opportunity to expand my taste and style," she explains.

Her latest release, and first of 2024 is "gin + wine (ginuwine)," a sultry slow jam. I can personally confirm the replay value of "Love Being Used" and "Cap Chornicles," which have been in steady rotation for two years, so the prospect of more music this year is thrilling.—Alex Gardner

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Person posing with hand gesture in front of 7-Eleven, wearing a shiny jacket, at nighttime

As a fan of artists like Smino and Noname, I was sold the second I heard Chicago rapper Kaicrewsade’s latest single “Chickenscratch!” It’s got the jazzy backdrop, agile raps packed with personality, and a chorus that should hit a sweet spot for anyone who grew up on D’Angelo or Erykah Badu.

Where does something like that fit in 2024? I honestly have no idea. But I knew I wanted to share this song, so I reached out to Kai for more information, and one phone call blew me away. There are plenty of great songs in the world (too many, maybe), but Kai has a much more rare ability to move people. After talking about growing up in Chicago during the rise of Chance The Rapper, the impact of Midnight Marauders, and the work Kai is doing for his community, I immediately sat down and started writing. You can read more on that here.

Long story short, it’s still early days for Kaicrewsade, but trust that this is a young artist with a lot more than good music. He’s an inspiration, a leader, and a human being who is going to make an impact by any means necessary. “The world is too fucked up right now to just be dropping songs,” Kai says. “I love this shit, I love this more than anything, but we gotta do a lot more. We need to do more than just drop songs, because we have platforms.”

I hope Kaicrewsade has a much larger platform in the near future.—Jacob Moore

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Person leaning against a wall, wearing a leather jacket, red top, and grey skirt with black boots

“I get a lot of ‘props to you for doing your own thing!’ messages which are very sweet but sometimes feel a little bit detractive maybe,” says the artist who goes by FRIDAY*.

That sentiment from new listeners is understandable. The 23-year-old Ghanaian-Australian artist from Sydney is doing things very differently. He cites indie, bossa nova, punk, “etc.” as some of the styles he taps into, but that “etc.” is loaded.

“I do want people to be a little bit challenged by my sonics at first, and then grow to become addicted to them,” he continues. “I want it to scratch an itch.”

That’s exactly what FRIDAY*’s music does. It might take a minute to sink in, but despite an outside-the-box approach, there’s undeniable accessibility and welcoming pop sensibility in songs like “Radiohead” and “Beaming” off of FRIDAY*’s debut EP Darling.

The part of Sydney that he’s from is “typically depicted in a quite dark and gritty way,” but FRIDAY*’s bold presentation opens the door to a world of sharp contrast and vivid colors. He makes a point to credit his director friends for helping bring that to life through music videos: Rejjie & Ari, Jacinthe Lau, Matt Burns, and Jesse Campos. “After everybody had been stuck inside for two years, I had an urge to make something very bright, beautiful, and ambitious, almost as a response to all the creative limitations we had faced during the pandemic,” he says. “The lo-fi thing has long lost all its novelty for me.”

FRIDAY* says that Darling is only a glimpse into the world he’s building. It’s more than enough to hold us over, and his hometown support is starting to spread—his debut headlining show in Sydney was sold out, DSPs are catching on, and he’s already been tapped to open for Paris Texas and perform at Laneway Festival alongside acts like Steve Lacy and Dominic Fike. He promises that there’s a lot more in store.—Jacob Moore

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Daniel Noah Miller

Musician in motion playing keyboard, blurred artistic effect captures dynamic performance

Time, space, and grace, when treated with care, can prove themselves to be incredibly restorative. Disintegration, Daniel Noah Miller’s debut record, serves as a musical testament to the healing and perspective that can be found following meaningful reflection and experimentation. Conceptualized over the span of four years, amid a period of great change and grief, the Nicaraguan-American singer-songwriter presents to us an emotionally dense and ruminative thirty-some-minute-long soundscape.

Inspired by the likes of William Basinski's album series The Disintegration Loops, an ambient musical anthology realized through the process of recording deteriorating cassette tapes to the ground, Miller executed a similar experimental exercise on his debut. Taking part in his own Kintsugi-esque process, Noah took to the art of splicing cassette tapes into four second loops, which were later on sampled and interwoven into the project. Giving the illusion of time warping and folding onto itself, the rhythmic patterns and intricate ways in which the samples are stitched into its fabric create a sense of continuity that ties the album together.

Exploring the many waves and troughs of life, from the loss of a parent and heartbreak to cross-country moves, the sonic essence of the record remains a trusty compass throughout. Speaking on the way his experimental approach infused depth into the album, he shares, “[it] was also meant to be a sonic representation of the themes of societal and personal upheaval that the album explores; evoking a feeling of being slowly pulled apart or rubbed off like a lottery ticket. There is something about the tape loops that, for me, deepens the context of the writing.”

An impressive debut that speaks equally to the palpable accuracy of his storytelling and his knack for musical experimentation, Disintegration introduces Daniel Noah Miller as an artist who has much to contribute, both to the musical landscape and to our own journeys as we navigate the time warp.—Olive Soki-Kavwahirehi

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Hailey Knox

Person sitting cross-legged on the floor, wearing a sleeveless top and plaid pants, with a contemplative expression

The phenomenon of uploading cover videos to YouTube almost feels outdated, considering the current landscape. Back in 2016, however, recording songs to YouTube was still relevant and for Hailey Knox, it marked her entry into the industry amidst a tumbling array of new sounds.

After being noticed on YouTube, the New York native boldly introduced herself to the world in 2016 with her debut EP A Little Awkward. True to its namesake, the EP was an outwardly self-aware collection of songs, a playful portrait of adolescent innocence and acoustic narratives of her early years. Hailey and her guitar caught the attention of thousands of followers writing songs that felt earnest, and in the eight years since, she has amassed over 600k monthly listeners, endured multiple heartbreaks, and initiated a dramatic rebrand. 

Amidst a slew of singles in 2023, her most recent release “Stranger” introduces a new chapter for Knox, marked by a textured lyrical opulence that feels synonymous with a flourishing maturity. Bridging succinct songwriting and hypnotic, stripped back vocals, Knox captures the growth she’s experienced, marked by a willingness to dive deeper into sincere and careful self-interrogation. “Not enough for you, I'm too reserved... Used to be who I would die for, sorry if you think my honesty's too obvious to you,” she sings on “Stranger.” As though sustained by the darker intricacies of the track, shadowed by sullen chords and romantic uncertainty, Knox puts forth an effortlessly infectious ballad, resting comfortably in the cathartic space between melodramatic melodies and unforgiving honesty. 

Dipping into her psychic interior isn’t new for Knox, but to do so confidently with her heart on her sleeve reveals the artist's unapologetic venture into new territory. “I’m trying to think less when I make something and just do what feels natural in the moment. That plays into the new era of style and look too. Just experimenting and not being afraid to wear something that might not make sense or looks different from my comfort zone” she says.

For Knox, the single is an intriguing introduction to a personal inflection point with where she goes next yet to be determined. Whether she's teasing out an emotional spectrum of alt-pop anthems or grappling with intimate convictions, her unfolding discography is sure to be fleshed out in her upcoming project. “Don’t have a date yet but soon," she says. "Still working out ideas and figuring out the tracklist. There will be stripped back songs that touch on my guitar roots, songs with experimental unexpected production, and everything in between.”—Sundhya Alter

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