Best New Artists of the Month (March)

Some of our favorite rising acts in music, featuring Medhane, Peach Tree Rascals, Mustafa, and more.

Best New Artists
P&P Original
Best New Artists

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.

With so many people around the world unable to go to work because of the coronavirus, a lot of business has come to a screeching halt. The music industry has been affected too, with live shows, festivals, and studio time canceled or postponed. That hasn't stopped artists from making and sharing music. Some are deciding to share that album they've been sitting on, others are setting up makeshift studios and collaborating remotely. When you sign into social media, you're probably seeing a lot of your favorite artists using the downtime to connect with fans through home performances and conversations.

Music keeps going, and it keeps us going too. In times like these it's more than a distraction, it's a little bit of relief from the daily anxiety we're all feeling right now. Here's our latest round of Best New Artists, featuring some new music that hopefully helps you get through the week.



Medhane is a Brooklyn rapper whose versatile releases range from kaleidoscopic, convention-shattering collaborations with the likes of Standing On The Corner and Slauson Malone to slightly more straightforward, but no less compelling tracks like recent single "Dolomeals" and Full Circle opener "Dan Freeman." Medhane has a lot to say, but he's not going to shove it in your face with over-the-top deliveries or generic beats, instead encouraging listeners to come into his world and really concentrate on what's being said.

His 2020 project Full Circle is a great entry point into his discography, but between his solo work and collaborations, there's a lot to epxlore. "Full Circle is essentially a tribute to my ancestors; the ones that came before me. It’s a reflection of the ways in which my peers and I comprehend and maneuver through the hellscape that is 2020, and draw from our surroundings and past experiences to grow and move forward." 

He teases a lot more for 2020 too, namely "a full length project coming this summer, tons of videos and merch on the way as well."

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Oliver Malcolm

Oliver Malcolm

Oliver Malcolm is just 20 years old, but he's already got production credits with artists like MF DOOM, Joey Badass, AlunaGeorge, IDK, Jay Rock, and more. Along the way, he learned the ins and outs of the recording process, including mixing, mastering, and songwriting. The Swedish-born, London-raised artist used to go by Big Kidd, and now he's launching his career as a solo artist. The early start definitely paid off.

His debut song "Switched Up" already has 1.5 million plays on Spotify alone, and it's a great introduction that leaves the door wide open for whatever's next. "Switched Up" is fully-formed, polished and intricate, but keeps things interesting by blending hip-hop roots with a little bit of everything else. Instead of going for the obvious drops and basic hooks, Malcolm goes for jolting switch-ups, stabbing strings, and layers of vocals, bass, and pattering percussion. Extremely ambitious for a debut single, but Oliver Malcolm isn't new to this.

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23-year-old Muslim poet Mustafa has been a celebrated voice of calm in Toronto for over ten years. Addressing the destructive social injustices and growing gun violence in his home city, Mustafa uses public spoken word poetry and other creative contributions to build awareness and hope. He is part of Halal Gang, a collective of musicians including Safe, Puffy L’z, Mo-G and the late Smoke Dawg. More quietly, he’s built an impressive songwriting catalog with Canadian artists like Drake and Daniel Caesar, even sharing vocals on The Weeknd's “Attention.”


On his debut single “Stay Alive,” Mustafa tackles the solemn realities of violence and homicide within his neighborhood of Regent Park. Constructed visually like a street rap video, he instead softly sings a message of peace: “Pride in your hand, a price on your head, you can never let them win.” The song is produced by Frank Dukes and James Blake, and is another excellent iteration of Mustafa’s craft.

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Serena Isioma

serena isioma

With the rigidity of genre losing importance in music today, we’re seeing stylistic cross-pollination more and more often. Neither the listeners nor the artists are conforming to one style of music, which leaves just enough room for acts like Serena Isioma to inhabit a compelling gray area.

One crowning example is Isioma’s “Sensitive.” In the song, Isioma offers boastful enthusiasm over vibrant production, singing, “I’d never sell out for a check you stupid muthafucka / I'll buy a house and on my own, I put that on my mother / My babe's gon' rock Christian Dior, I put that on my lover.”

The best part is, it works. Isioma’s music doesn’t quite fit anywhere; sonically, it tiptoes a line between soul and indie-pop, while lyrically, the Chicago artist is just as likely to offer hip-hop induced boasts (“Cookout”) as she is soulful tales of love (“Valentina”). By framing her broad stylistic ability around a distinctive sound, Isioma has found a home in that gray area between genres, naturally attracting a colorful audience built for today’s day and age.

The Chicago artist’s new EP Sensitive it out now.

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Jensen McRae

jensen mcrae

Jensen McRae, a 22-year-old LA artist, aims silver bullets at the heart of willful ignorance with “White Boy” and “Wolves,” two short stories that lock eyes with trauma and don’t blink. Her voice, deep and elastic, conveys emotion and gravitas—goosebumps guaranteed. Listen to her cover of “Killing Me Softly” and there’s a high chance you’ll walk away wishing your favorite song was sung by her instead, if her own songs don’t top your favorites list already.

Kendrick Lamar and Phoebe Bridgers are both near and dear to her heart, which makes sense: Indie acoustics soundtrack words as straight-from-the-journal personal as they are a pointed indictment of bad actors and toxic compromise. But McRae is already near-peerless in her exposure of micro-aggressions and their lasting impact—from a cold stare at a party to a predator masquerading as an ally. McRae found her megaphone by moving those threats, big and small, into the open.

Look out for a debut project from Jensen McRae, expected this year.

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Peach Tree Rascals

peach tree rascals

Peach Tree Rascals are a five-piece band, creative collective, and extended family of friends who met in high school in San Jose, California. The group is comprised of producer/mixer Dominic "Dom" Pizano, rapper/singers Issac Pech, Tarrek Abdel-Khaliq, Joseph Barros, and creative director Jorge Olazaba. Influenced by music ranging from Kendrick Lamar and Frank Ocean to John Mayer and The Beatles, Peach Tree Rascals' sound is a seamless blend of genres, weaving patterns through dreamy pop, jazz, funk, and rap without ever losing cohesiveness or clarity.

Many of the group are second generation Americans with parents who immigrated from Mexico, the Philippines, and Palestine, and their DIY spirit and unbounded creativity has propelled them from their start in 2018 to millions of streams and a recent label deal with 10K Projects. Their videos are as impressive as their music, with a clear Peach Tree Rascals aesthetic of bright colors, warm tones, and a compelling collective energy. 

Get familiar with Peach Tree Rascals and look out for a new song and video, "Things Won't Go My Way," coming out this week, on March 27.

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Asoh Black!

asoh black

There’s a certain nostalgia that comes through in Asoh Black!’s music. His commitment to delivering tight and calculated verses while maintaining an element of bounce and playfulness calls back to a time when versatility—in both sound and subject—was paramount in becoming a successful hip-hop artist; a time when being able to weave a meaningful sixteen was just as important as making a track for radio play or the club. 

The 24-year-old Brooklyn native demonstrates this multidimensionality with ease on his debut project Black Ocean: Season One, released last month, balancing contemplative tracks about lost love (“Man That Just Needs Luck”) with high energy Tik Tok-ready standouts (“Foolie”). That effortless versatility allows Black!’s music to feel both classic and modern, presenting intricate, poetic storytelling alongside confident melody-driven hooks.

“I’m heavily inspired by the music that is made today because it’s more sonically driven (Uzi, Thug, Carti),” Asoh! explains, “but I grew up on music that emphasized lyricism in the messages that were told throughout vernacular (Kendrick, Cole, Wayne).” Ultimately, for Asoh Black!, the value is in creating a sound that is wholly unique to him. “Whenever I’m working on a project I try not to listen to the music that’s out because I don’t want to taint what I feel is my most authentic sound; the sound that is truly representative of who I am.” 

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Like so many artists, 19-year-old Jordana Nye started off music by learning an instrument at the recommendation of her father, who played the organ at a local church. He encouraged her to take up piano, but she started on violin before picking up the guitar. Also like many artists, she first got comfortable sharing that music through SoundCloud. "I had all these singles and I just wanted a place to put them," she explains.

On March 27, Jordana will re-release some of those songs on her debut album Classical Notions of Happiness, but the project also hints at where things are going. "Crunch," an early favorite and one of the three newer songs added to the project, still has some of that no-frills approach from the early days, but it's a far cry from typical bedroom pop that shows potential but also puts limitations on display. Fuzzy guitar and cracking drums rile up a sense of urgency over a bassline that wouldn't be out of place on a Breeders' song.

“I am super excited about the re-release of my album," Jordana tells us, "especially with the bonus tracks because it shows how I went from my DIY living room recordings to studio time and experimenting with new ideas and genres of music I’ve always dreamt of making.”

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Johnny Goth

johnny goth

Johnny Goth is a walking contradiction. Despite painting his face with a sinister makeup look, the singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist crafts lo-fi bedroom pop with a soft, poignant sweetness. Born and raised in Burbank, California, Johnny was driven to start his own project after discovering DIY artists like Teen Suicide and Alex G on YouTube. “They made me realize that I can [make music] myself," he explains. "I never really thought that I could sing or anything, so I never thought that I could be my own artist.” Writing and recording all of his songs himself, Johnny Goth performs as a 3-piece band alongside his bassist Tino and drummer Damien, who help translate Johnny’s productions into a live band format. 

Since Johnny Goth’s inception in 2015, hushed vocals, dreamy guitars, and swirling synths have all become a staple within the indie-rocker’s creations, best heard on tracks like “Sleep in the Light” and “Ghost Under My Bed.” Yet there’s always been a darker, grittier undertone to Johnny Goth’s singular style as he examines themes of religion, the afterlife, and the occult on songs like “Faith” and “Land of the Evil.” More recently, he’s been channeling his electronic, post-punk, nu-metal and even trap influences within his production as he explores a heavier sound for his upcoming album.

With such a discernable variety of influences within his music, even Johnny himself has  difficulty pinpointing what genre he best fits into. Instead, he explains that his music is best described as a dark, cloudy day. “I feel like I'm trying to not fit a certain genre when I make music now...When people ask what my sound is, one of the keywords I try to push is ‘overcast.’ It just seems like it fits.”

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Jonah Mutono

Jonah Mutono

The first time we covered Jonah Mutono on Pigeons & Planes, we didn't even know who he was. That was years ago, and at that point he was going by Kidepo and avoiding any personal ties, including photos and performances. After a short but impressive run, he went quiet. Now he's back, and he's ready to stand by the music he makes.

"With the amount of myself I put into my music, it’s almost unfair if I don’t stand up and own it," Mutono says. "There was so much self-discovery that got me to this point, and it’s ongoing. I don’t have any regrets. I wasn’t ready, emotionally or mentally, to even call myself an artist. I just loved to create. And it’s time to be accountable for that. I want people to know and experience my music from all angles, and that can’t be done if I don’t appear somewhere."

With his music video for "Circulation," Mutono revisited Uganda, one of his many homes (he's lived in several countries), for a powerful visual left to interpretation. On his upcoming album GERG, Jonah Mutono dives deeper into his story, one that involves sexual identity, immigration, mental health, and self-discovery.

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