21 Rising Artists to Watch in 2021

These are the essential new or rising artists poised to make a major impact in 2021, including Arlo Parks, Teezo Touchdown, Blxst, Serena Isioma, and more.


Image by Sho Hanafusa


When we put together this same feature about artists to watch in 2020, we had no idea what kind of hellride was in store. The year was largely without concerts and shared experiences around music, which made forming a connection with new artists difficult, but not impossible. Many turned to social media and livestreams, others let the music do the talking, and in some ways 2020 was a promising year for more rising artists than usual.

It's impossible to look back on a moment in history and not conjure up a soundtrack in your head. Some of those moments are tied to ubiquitous hits or culture-shifting disrupters, and others are paired with more intimate memories like hearing an unfamiliar voice for the first time or falling in love with a song that feels like it was made for you. In 2020, as we all probably spent more time alone than we'd have liked, those personal memories may end up being the most significant. As time goes by, years start to blend together and we forget the first time we heard our go-to songs or got introduced to our favorite new artists. That doesn't apply to 2020. We'll never forget the music that kept us company in 2020, and (hopefully, please) this year will never blend in with the rest.

These 21 artists provided those moments for us during the worst year ever and are poised for breakthroughs in 2021. Whether it's a brand new artist just getting started or an act who leveled up and hit their stride, all 21 of these artists are worth keeping an eye on this year. It's time to look forward again, and these are some of the artists you have to be watching out for, in no particular order.



Sometimes when you hear a song for the first time, you just know. That was the case with LA-based, Houston-raised artist reggie's unconventional debut "Southside Fade." It wasn't about knowing that reggie was the next big thing, or that this track was a hit single, but there is a weight to this song that feels like the beginning of something important.

We first heard it thanks to Smino, who co-signed reggie after a chance encounter during a studio session, but reggie later told us that by the time of its release, "Southside Fade" was already a couple of years old. He made it when he was still living in Houston, and it shows—the song has the R&B-meets-hip-hop, nonchalant soul of "Devil's Pie" mixed with the Southern charm of "Dirty South," and it comes in a sub-two minute package. "Southside Fade" feels like an intro and that's what it was: "I make so much music and was hesitant to even drop it at first," reggie explained, "but overall I knew it was important to get that specific song out first to properly introduce myself and I'm just thankful that everybody likes it."

Since its release, reggie has received critical love but maintained a pretty low profile. He put out a fitting ChopNotSlop remix and one more single, and he's planning to let go of a few more before a project coming in early spring. Judging by the one full interview he's done, he's in no rush. His reluctant attitude toward fame, eye for elevated visuals, and understated authenticity characterize an artist bound for cultural significance and art anchored by instinct. That's the kind of thing you can't manufacture or force if you try, not that reggie would want to anyway.—Jacob Moore

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Arlo Parks

Arlo Parks

South London-based artist Arlo Parks had a whirlwind of a year in 2020. She released single after massive single, performed at the virtual Glastonbury experience, and was named BBC's Introducing Artist of the Year. At only 20 years old, the poet-turned-musician is coming into her own in a big way as she gears up for the release Collapsed in Sunbeams, her debut album dropping January 29.

Arlo’s work is equally inspired by musicians (she cites Phoebe Bridgers, King Krule, and Jimi Hendrix as influences) as it is by authors like Sylvia Plath and Haruki Murakami—creating an amalgamation of emotionally raw lyricism and intensely moving instrumentals that cut straight through to listeners’ hearts. Now, as we move into 2021, Arlo’s looking forward to finally putting her debut album out in the world. “I just hope that it brings something positive to people, especially because we're putting it out during this time of chaos and collapse and confusion. I hope that it lifts people up somehow,” she tells us.

Whenever she can travel again, she hopes to tour and share these songs in a more “collective human space.” But for now, in all the uncertainty of the world, Arlo is taking things one day at a time. “I've always been somebody who likes to know where I'm going to be, and 2020 taught me to let go of that and let things happen. That was actually very healthy for me.”—Eda Yu

Teezo Touchdown

teezo touchdown

With his uniform of jeans, a beater, and an attitude, Texas troublemaker Teezo Touchdown disrupted the current norm of a TikTok-charged blow-up process when he hit the scene in 2020. Instead, he earned his stripes—while literally dressing up as a large cat—by becoming a one-man garage band and sharing an adrenaline-rush of stadium anthems in the process.

Without a project to his name, Teezo's genre-fluid single catalog, including oddball ditty “Social Cues” and the sucker punch of “SUCKA!,” alongside his friendly persona, have attracted an ever-growing fan base of 20,000 on Twitter and 50,000 on Instagram. But those numbers are nothing compared to the success he’ll see the moment the rest of the world catches on to his magnetic charm.

Back in September, Teezo gave one of the most unforgettably unusual introductory interviews we’ve ever witnessed by answering our questions with enough new music to fill an EP (see the video below). Opting for a single comment this time, he explained what fans can expect from him throughout the new year, after what he considers one of the most productive weeks he’s ever had in mid-January. “If the rest of the year is anything like this week, I want this to be the worst week of the year,” he told us.—Brenton Blanchet

Read more about Teezo Touchdown here.



Mustafa Ahmed, publicly known as Mustafa or Mustafa the Poet, was born to Sudanese immigrants in the Regent Park neighborhood of Toronto. There, he gained recognition around age 12 for his spoken-word poetry—raw and honest pieces tackling messages of racial and social injustice, mental health, love, and community.

Mustafa’s poetry would eventually steer him into songwriting, where he began working relationships with Drake, Camila Cabello, and The Weeknd. He’s also recognized as a member of the Toronto collective Halal Gang (Mo-G, Safe, Puffy L’z, and Smoke Dawg). 

His artistic debut came in the beginning of 2020, with “Stay Alive” (produced by James Blake and Frank Dukes), a somber expression of love as the antidote to street and gang violence. In a similar spirit, his second single “Air Forces” samples a Sudanese tribal chant and has Mustafa softly singing, “I wonder why God keeps us alive?” Both records float through themes of existentialism, mourning, and a poignant plea for peace.

Mustafa has kept his releases precious but powerful, gracefully confirming himself as one of the most compelling artists of the now. As such, his debut album When Smoke Rises is highly anticipated and will continue to spread Mustafa’s message of love and unity. 

"In this project I tried to gather as much truth and light as I could from the last few years of my life, a period of time where that truth and light didn’t feel like it was in reach," he explains. "I’m so excited to release it and I hope that I can help other people realize some truths in their own lives through it, it’s for young project babies who are just trying to be seen differently, more gently!"

Mustafa will release When Smoke Rises in 2021.—Caitlin LoPilato

Fana Hues

Fana Hues

Coming off the release of her debut collection Hues near the end of 2020, R&B artist Fana Hues is ready to take her work to new heights. Last year, the Pasadena, Califonia-based act drew attention from the likes of Tyler, the Creator and Earl Sweatshirt for her immersive, visually stunning videos and soaring, dynamic voice on singles like "Icarus" and "Notice Me." Her debut release, which brought together singles from a period of Fana’s life, wasn’t intended as a complete concept album—rather, it represents a step in Fana’s journey of learning how to trust herself, a theme that’s proven captivating in all of her vibrant work.

“The way Hues has been received genuinely went above and beyond my expectations,” Fana tells us. “The fact that it connects with so many people inspired me to get back to work. I’m in the early stages of a new project, patiently finding the shape that my next self will take.” In the coming year, Fana is dedicated to sharpening her “voice, pen, and design” and continuing to keep bringing her stories to life.—Eda Yu



When Blxst sings, the street lights come on. A half-empty bottle of Olde English materializes in your hand. The temperature rises in winter until you're comfortable wearing a T-shirt or dress outside. And when you look down at your legs, you find yourself in the middle of a two-step as a crowd of people around you watch.

Blxst's brand of emotive singing is warm, fuzzy, and instantly addictive. The Los Angeles-based rapping singer (because that’s probably the easiest way to describe what he does) first made a splash with his 2019 breakout hit “Hurt.” Taking advantage of his moment, he released one of the best projects of 2020 in No Love Lost. Each of its conceptually powerful songs about diseased relationships and perceptions of success had their own unique bounces while features from Tyga, Ty Dolla $ign, and Dom Kennedy on the deluxe version placed Blxst next to established vets and showed that he could easily match their stride.

2021 is here, and Blxst is ready to continue his forward motion. He tells us that he wants to “stay consistent with the momentum” that he established last year. Beyond that, there are plans to release his much-hyped debut album and go on a tour—once the pandemic ends, of course. If one thing’s for certain about this year, if Blxst releases music, the soundtrack for post-pandemic kickbacks will be secured.—Trey Alston

Serena Isioma

serena isioma

Serena Isioma confidently exists in the space between categorizations. Whether it’s indie pop, R&B, or hip-hop influencing the sound, her self-assured personality and sharp songwriting tie the music together. Isioma spent this past year releasing two phenomenal EPs, and each show just how consistent she is.

Isioma’s early 2020 Sensitive EP is an incredible introduction to the Chicago native. The title track achieved viral success many months after it was first released, and that helped expand her audience and lay the groundwork for the follow-up EP The Leo Sun Sets. This project builds on the foundation set by Sensitive and is similarly full of genre-agnostic instrumental choices laced with potent charisma shining brilliantly in every vocal performance. It's still early days, but the two EPs in 2020 signify Serena Isioma's arrival, and at this point it's already clear that she's on track for a long-lasting career.

"My plans for 2021 are to do what I want and have while fun doing it," she tells us. With a breakout 2020 behind her, all signs point to the moon for Serena Isioma.—Tyler Borland

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Following 2019’s Bittersweet Cry, Maryland rapper redveil took things to a new level with the release of his Niagara project back in August, 2020. His most cohesive project to date, the record reflects redveil’s maturing sound and candid lyricism. “Drown”—which Tyler, The Creator later highlighted as one of his favorites of the year—is guitar-led and emotionally charged, while “Grass” offers more introspective ruminations behind soul-influenced production, and musical influences like Earl Sweatshirt are evoked on the lo-fi “5500.” Still a teenager, redveil is emerging as one of the most exciting new faces in the constantly changing hip-hop landscape.

“I can’t wait for people to see what’s coming. The goal is honestly just to put my heart and soul into a body of work that goes deeper than Niagara and I think it’s truly gonna be something special,” he tells us. Weaving between influences while producing as well as rapping, redveil’s experimentation is paying off. With earnest plans to craft a greater project, the young rapper and producer is geared towards a pivotal 2021.—Rani Boyer

Nilüfer Yanya


If you aren't yet up on Nilüfer Yanya, what a treat is is to get to start from the beginning. The 25-year-old Londoner's 2019 full-length debut Miss Universe made good on the promise of early hits like "Keep On Calling," and 2020's Feeling Lucky? EP finds Yanya more confident and experimental than ever.

Her understated, breathy vocals leave room for inventive guitar work and big drums on the contagious "Crash," and "Same Damn Luck" is a gorgeous tapestry of fuzz, chorus, and swells over a deceptively simple backbeat. She has range, too, evidenced by the EP's bouncy closer "Day 7.5093." This last song reveals Yanya's talent for flourishes—a three-note falsetto here, an arpeggio there—that keeps her music a cut above and consistently entertaining.

Looking ahead to 2021 she tells us, "I'm excited to be writing and recording for my next record for the majority of this year! I will be having some vinyl very soon for my Feeling Lucky? EP which will feature the remixes too! Also there will be another special release of my EPs coming and I’m really happy to say that my profits from that will go towards Artists in Transit—a collaborative arts project which brings creativity to those in hard times."

Through all her music, Nilufer's lyrics remain unabashedly honest, asking hard questions and resisting platitudes with each verse. Yanya's music stays evolving, even as she's already writing at an incredibly high level.—Graham Corrigan



Q is unique—his hypnotizing voice flirts with worldwide superstardom whilst still sounding like your little secret. In 2020, the South Florida native blew us away with his EP The Shave Experiment. An evolution in sound from his 2019 debut Forest Green, few new artists are making R&B-inspired music as effortless, enveloping, and refreshing as Q’s. 

On the new EP, Q dives into a diverse range of sounds and topics, from the standout neo-soul single “Take Me Where Your Heart Is” where his falsetto ushers in a sense of love-on-first-sight induced weightlessness, or on “Alone,” where he tackles loneliness and isolation, all the way to the stunning “Garage Rooftop,” where lush guitar solos and his voice combine to paint a picture of blurry adolescent love.

The son of Steven “Lenky” Marsden, an influential figure in the dancehall and reggae scene, Q grew up in and around studios, and started making music when he was just 14. Those years of experience have clearly come in hand, and Q tells us this past year was just the “first piece” of his plans. With that in mind, the 21 year old is definitely going to be one to watch in 2021.

And yes, Q is his real name. He puts it best, “My dad named me the letter Q because he just thought I'd be destined for something good, so he just wanted to name me something weird.”—Ananmay Sharan

Read the full interview with Q here.

Tom The Mail Man

tom the mail man

With an album, an EP, and a handful of singles, Tom The Mail Man made 2020 his best year yet, and there’s no sign that he’s slowing down. His ability to mix caption-worthy verses and fast flows mark him as a skilled rapper, but his vocal delivery and talent for penning earworm melodies make him equally compelling as a singer. His album Liephas Evil encapsulates this versatility and broadcasts the 22-year-old artist's unwillingness to be put in a box. Tracks such as “My Storm,” “No Convos,” and “Hero” display Tom's adaptability over a wide range of instrumentals that would render any one-dimensional artist hopeless.

The Atlanta artist has been putting out music at a prolific rate, but he does not sacrifice quality. If you’re a new fan, you’re in luck. There’s no shortage of music in his constantly growing discography, and while the standouts might reel you in, it's the deep cuts that will keep you hooked. His recent singles “Nightmare” and “Faceless” forecast Tom’s continued ability to innovate and surprise.

“My plan for 2021 is the same as it’s always been," Tom The Mail Man tells us. "I want to continue to grow my fan base, grow as an artist and eventually become the greatest artist of my generation.” It’s unclear what form the young artist's upcoming releases will take, but this next phase will likely be defined by a departure from whatever you expect of him, and surely a bigger audience paying attention.—Tyler Borland



2020 was Fousheé's year, despite initially being uncredited for her mega-viral hit "Deep End" that took hold of TikTok after being sampled by rapper Sleepy Hallow. After joining the platform to stake claim to the mysterious song that created a life of its own without her knowing, the platform fought for her to get the recognition she deserved. She released a proper full length version, going viral again with her name attached. It's a testament to Fousheé's talent that her music has persisted through a tumultuous year and countless Internet trends. 

The singer's equally addictive year-end anthem "single af" shows off her penchant for earworms, giving her space in the new age of powerful R&B songstresses and neo-soul crooners. "In 2021, I’m focusing my energy into my debut album," the New Jersey-born singer-songwriter tells us. "I have a lot of ideas both visually and musically that I finally have the means to make tangible. I plan on pushing my limits and seeing what ideas I can think up and how I can outdo what I’ve done already." 

Fousheé's story is as rare as she is, so it only makes sense that the possibilities are endless for a proper introduction to her. This time, it will have her name on it.—Jade Gomez 



BERWYN is a Trinidad-born singer, rapper, writer, and self-taught producer who grew up in England. He had a breakout 2020, first appearing on Richard Russell's Everything Is Recorded album FRIDAY FOREVER, and then introducing himself as a solo artist with debut singles "GLORY" and "TRAP PHONE." These led up to the release of DEMOTAPE/VEGA, a project originally made in 2017 during a period of intense uncertainty in BERWYN's life, written and produced in two weeks on an old laptop and broken headphones.  

BERWYN pulls no punches in his lyrics, articulating nuanced feelings and speaking with unflinching honesty about his life and experiences between soulful singing and sudden spoken or rapped sections. Intimate, personal details bring you into his world, whether he's describing living in his car, explaining that government red tape stopped him from continuing his education, or avowing, "I know I was destined to be more that just another dealer / And this is God's plan, he's just testing me out." There's humor too, as on "GLORY" when he says with a smile, "How could I be the shortest man in every single room I walk in, and yet consistently the closest to God ... maybe 'cos I'm always high."

Nowadays, things are looking up for BERWYN. His music is connecting, he has an apartment and studio to call his own, a UK TV appearance under his belt, and widespread support. "I cant believe what 2020 was like for me despite all the madness," he tells us. "It makes me feel like anything is possible in 2021, in a good way."—Alex Gardner

AG Club

AG Club

When we first heard AG Club in the first half of last year, we described it as Brockhampton meets A$AP Rocky. That was based solely off their early hit "Memphis," but since then the East Bay group has demonstrated that a simple comparison doesn't do them justice. Their 2020 project Halfway Off the Porch offered heartfelt vulnerability on "Hngover," restraint on "Snæks," and anthem-making capability on "Fight!!!" They haven't allowed themselves to be pigeonholed by their viral introduction, but their most recent single "Columbia" is confirmation that they still have the off-kilter rap hit formula on lock.

The collective's debut album FYE (FUCK YOUR EXPECTATIONS) is set for release in early 2021, and AG Club is in an interesting spot. They're right on the cusp of mainstream success, but they still roll with a DIY spirit and an alternative mindset. They could go either way, but then again, maybe those things aren't mutually exclusive.

“2021 for AG Club is about taking over everything," says group member Jody Fontaine. "We wanna be the true leaders of the new generation, changing how people absorb media. We have so much planned, from more music, to crazy new videos, to insane movies and series made by us starring us. Last year was about being discovered, this year we’re gonna dominate. Glad y’all can be along for the ride!”—Jacob Moore

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Molly Payton

molly payron

Teenage artist Molly Payton released two EPs in 2020, turning the aspirations of a shy teenager simply hoping to find a creative community to be part of into the reality of being a rising star from London's indie rock scene.

Molly's debut EP Mess was a collection of acoustic guitar-rooted singer-songwriter expressions of growing up, having fun, and getting your heart broken. Molly's clear-eyed lyricism and poignant songwriting were on clear display, but her second EP Porcupine, released in October, was the breakthrough moment. Her songs are supercharged, with a full band sound that makes "How To Have Fun" and "Going Heavy" feel like modern rock anthems driven by confident self-expression.

Molly Payton moved from New Zealand to London when she was 16 years old and met artists like beabadoobee and Oscar Lang, who helped encourage her songwriting and recording. Molly's music—from the raucous rock songs to the slower moments of "I'm Too Smart" and "Rodeo"—feels perfectly primed for the live setting. As live shows eventually return, new music is released, and she keeps growing as a person and a musician, Molly Payton's rise is primed to continue in 2021 

"I escaped back to New Zealand at the end of 2020 for a much needed dose of normality, but before I did I finished up writing the bulk of my next project," Molly tells us. "It’s a coming-of-age project, about growing and learning about yourself through your relationships with others. To me many of the songs feel like they belong at the end of a film as the heroine drives off into the sunset. These days my goal with my music is to provide people with comfort, and I have faith that these songs are going to be able to do that."—Alex Gardner



There are no rules to being a great artist—they come in all forms—but leadership is a quality that can set some of the best apart, and Houston-based rapper HVN has already proven he's a born leader. With his brand Don't Die, HVN sparked a local scene built around parties, fashion, music, and like-minded creatives, and he's landed support from artists like Kevin Abstract and Virgil Abloh because of it.

The decision to name the brand Don't Die was inspired by HVN's battle with sickle cell anemia, a diagnosis that came after he suffered two strokes before the age of 15. After his second stroke, he had to have brain surgery and focus on relearning the basics like walking and talking. While at home doing rehab and being homeschooled, he made a decision: "I had a bunch of extra time to just talk to myself and told myself basically either get off yo ass n stop crying or keep crying and go nowhere," he explained in an Instagram post. "About a week later I made DONTDIE."

Dark times often fuel artists' best work, and HVN is living proof. We've been following him since early 2020, but toward the end of the year he dropped "Demon," and it's a clear sign that evolution is happening in real time and the best is yet to come. It's raw, but HVN's still figuring things out on the fly—he only started taking music seriously about a year ago—and he's still peeling back layers as he opens up to the world. "I've been through a lot of dark times," he told us last October, "so honestly, I don’t know how to put into words how I’m feeling about everything."

HVN is currently working on an album set to drop later this year, and at the same time he's thinking about the world-building around his art and his brand. On what's next, he doesn't have much to say but he explains it like this: “Trey Songz had females calling him Trigga. I feel like anything’s possible in 2021.”—Jacob Moore

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In a year filled with anxiety, 347aidan is providing temporary solace in his stripped-back production and buoyant demeanor. 2020 was a critical year for the rising talent: at the start of the year he had less than 3,000 monthly listeners on Spotify and now has amassed over five million, with October’s single “Dancing in My Room” reaching mass TikTok popularity thanks to its infectious, feel-good energy.

“I use my music to get to a better place,” the 17-year-old sings on “Elevate,” and it's happening for him. In December he told us that music’s become a full-time gig and he’s determined to uplift his fans and reach this elevated point together. As 2021 commences, the Ontario-based artist’s affable nature and dedicated fan base is undoubtedly bound to lead to new heights.

If there is a box, Aidan exists outside of it. Recent tracks like “Dancing in My Room,” “Demons and Monsters,” and “Live How I Want” demonstrate Aidan’s multifaceted sound, drawing on rap, alternative rock, and a DIY ethos. He represents a generation raised by the internet, where genre lines are blurred and emphasis is placed instead on the emotions evoked. While he grows as a person and an artist, Aidan’s world is quickly beginning to take shape.—Rani Boyer

Read the full interview with 347aidan here.



The good stuff never happens overnight. We were excited about guitarist-turned-singer/producer Mk.gee's future when we interviewed him in 2018, and songs like "I Know How You Get" and "Untitled" have stayed in rotation over the last years. He's shown steady growth and unflinching consistency, so including him in an artists to watch in 2021 list almost feels inappropriate.

But behind the scenes, pieces are falling in place to ensure Mk.gee really thrives this year. After a couple of years in a deal between IAMSOUND and Interscope, he's a free agent again and looking into the next moves. At the same time he's done a lot of growing and according to his manager, he feels more comfortable with who he is as an artist. Musically, he's already established himself as a masterful songwriter and instrumentalist, able to land funky California pop jams and electronically charged downtempo tracks with equal confidence.

The bedroom pop of a few years ago is still going strong, but its most promising stars are pushing forward with more lush soundscapes and complex arrangements, and that's where Mk.gee's edge lies—he's been moving in that direction for a while and he's already two steps ahead. To us, it seems obvious that Mk.gee is slated for a big 2021, but to him, it's all just a natural part of the process, or so it seems. “I’m evolving, but I don’t really believe in big yearly goals," he says. Sometimes, the less pressure the better.—Jacob Moore

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2020 was a year of moving targets and changing plans for Jenevieve. The Miami-raised, L.A.-based singer started off the year strongly with her first release as a musician, the bewitching "Medallion," and kept building momentum with "Baby Powder," a smooth and timeless feeling slice of R&B. Next on the horizon were touring and live shows, including Pigeons & Planes' SXSW show, but then... a pandemic.

So, with only two songs out, Jenevieve returned to the studio with her producer and creative partner Jean Benzi and kept working, setting the stage for a big 2021. "I’ve been fully locked in on this album putting the finishing touches on it with my brother [Benzi]," she tells us. "I just can’t wait to put my debut out into the universe. I hope it makes someone's day or year better. Rosier." 

When we were first introduced to Jenevieve, she mentioned legends like Michael Jackson, Aaliyah, Whitney Houston, Quincy Jones, Prince, and The Beatles as influences, looking to the past for inspiration while crafting a sound that is all her own. "I do believe that music heals. A lot of healing has been going on for me while I've been working on this album," she says. Healing is much-needed right now, and with new music and videos from Jenevieve on the horizon, 2021 just got a little bit brighter.—Alex Gardner

Read Bittersweet 2020: How 5 Artists Navigated a Breakthrough Year here.

Channel Tres

channel tres

Compton native Channel Tres is at most six degrees of separation from any corner of music, whether it be remixing Tyler, the Creator, collaborating with Disclosure and James Blake, touring with Robyn, or bringing along JPEGMAFIA on his acclaimed 2019 EP Black Moses. In 2020, the producer, singer, and rapper transcended even the tightest of lockdowns with his appropriately titled release I Can't Go Outside.

Utilizing the sparse body-moving heartbeats of Detroit techno and Chicago house music mixed with his hometown's distinct g-funk swagger, Channel Tres unravels the smallest of passing memories into luscious soundscapes to get lost in. Next up, he's "working on a new project which is a pure house music project." As it becomes more possible for the world to gather together once again after the pandemic is over, the 29-year-old producer will have just the soundtrack for it.—Jade Gomez

Read Channel Tres' 2019 guest editorial, What It Means For A Black Man To Dance, here.



Morray only has a handful of songs out, but the North Carolina rapper's releases put his hit-making ability on full display and have already earned him co-signs from artists like Tierra Whack, Jay-Z, and fellow Fayetteville rapper J. Cole. With his radio-ready, impossibly catchy debut single "Quicksand" still spreading, Morray has the potential to be one of 2021's true breakout artists. It's easy to imagine Morray making the jump from a relatively unknown newcomer to a chart-topper in a matter of months.

His trajectory is still to be determined, but his path so far reminds us of Roddy Ricch right as "Die Young" was gradually making its way around the world—it was an undeniable hit, but it didn't rely on a single viral moment or a TikTok dance. That type of slow-burning hit is the best kind, because it gives fans a chance to feel like they're in the know at the ground level, and it gives Morray time to plot his next moves.

Before we know it, Morray might just have a whole arsenal of hits, and he's got the voice, charisma, and hooks to pull it off. Only time will tell, but his debut album is on the way, and Morray knows what's at stake. "I've been working nonstop on putting together my album," he tells us. "It will be my first real album so I want to make sure it's the best possible representation of me.”—Jacob Moore

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