23 Rising Artists to Watch in 2023

23 of the best new and rising artists to look out for this year, featuring Eem Triplin, Ethel Cain, Hemlocke Springs, TiaCorine, Destroy Lonely, and more.

artists to watch lead image 2023
Image by Elijah Justice
artists to watch lead image 2023

In some ways, 2022 felt like one of the most unpredictable years for music in recent memory. Sure, there were some obvious bets: Kendrick would drop a universally acclaimed album, Taylor would dominate the charts, Beyoncé and Drake would own the attention of the world. But outside of the elite class of superstars, everything is up in the air. Who would’ve thought that Steve Lacy would land the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 or that Yung Lean would end up with the most popular song on TikTok?

And then on the ground level of emerging artists and aspiring at-home musicians, it’s an absolute free-for-all. Fans are segmented into ultra-niche pockets scattered across the internet and the world, and it seems as if, at any given moment, some bedroom producer in Idaho could create a new subgenre of a subgenre and wind up with a billion streams in a week.

The unpredictability of it all is exciting, but it can also be frustrating. With over 100,000 songs released on DSPs every day, it can feel impossible to filter through it all, so most fans are left relying on algorithms and leaving music discovery up to computer calculations and chance. And for artists, it’s disheartening to put in years of work in exchange for a modest following, then to see some newcomer with a solid demo and a knack for 15-second videos getting all the opportunities this industry can offer.

But that’s the music world in 2023, and it could be worse. In addition to witnessing Steve Lacy’s rise to fame and Yung Lean’s unlikely TikTok explosion, we get an endless supply of new artists with unlimited potential, and they’ve got more tools at their disposal than any other time in history. The instant hits will come and go with greater speed and numbers than ever, but in the long run, the really great artists will leave a lasting mark, whether it happens overnight or not. 

Here are some artists we hope will do just that.

When you’re done, revisit 2022’s Artists to Watch list featuring Paris Texas, Bakar, PinkPantheress, SoFaygo, Wallice, SSGKobe, Terry Presume, Yeat, Dora Jar, and more here.

Hemlocke Springs

2023 P&P ATW Hemlocke Springs

Last year, 24-year-old Hemlocke Springs was at Dartmouth getting a master’s degree in medical informatics. Her plans changed dramatically in 2022, and ever since her debut single “gimme all ur luv” took off on TikTok, she’s been on a roll. 

Hemlocke only has three songs out at the moment, but she’s already established a one-of-a-kind sound. DIY indie pop sensibilities, ‘80s flair, and eccentric charisma all meld together in ways we’ve never heard, especially from an artist who just started uploading songs to SoundCloud a few years ago.

Things are picking up quickly for Hemlocke. She already has co-signs from artists like Steve Lacy and Grimes, and she’s in the midst of label meetings and figuring out next steps. But for now, she really just wants to focus on her debut album, which she’s aiming to put out in 2023. Her take on why she deserves to be named an artist to watch in 2023: “Whoa whoa whoa, I’m still trying to reconcile the fact that I’m an artist!”—Jacob Moore

Read our full interview with Hemlocke Springs here.

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Eem Triplin


They say when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Despite its overuse and aura of corniness, this mantra is one that Eem Triplin routinely puts into practice, especially when considering how he turned a 13-person turnout at Rolling Loud New York into a viral moment. It doesn’t take a sold out show for this Johnstown, Pennsylvania native to make the most of an opportunity, but following co-signs from Drake and Tyler, the Creator on top of an already successful 2022, it’s safe to assume that sold out shows will be a feature of Eem’s 2023. 

Following years of sharpening his skills as a producer alongside artists such as $not, Eem finally stepped out from behind the scenes and onto center stage. Releasing a stream of successful songs in 2022, Eem’s fan base grew exponentially with each passing month. Pairing commanding drums and delectable melodies with calculated raps, Eem’s ability to craft music is innate. “I’m coming with a newly refined sound that nobody is comin’ with outchea. Folks don’t sound like Eem,” he tells us. As he continues to unearth new entries in his discography, each becomes instantly ear-binding—something which resulted in tens of millions of streams in 2022.

Eem Triplin shows immense promise as we enter a new year. Fans are still hungry for a long-awaited full-length project and he’ll also be taking his talents from coast to coast as a part of LUCKI’s United States tour. As time unfolds and word spreads, listeners from far and wide are eager to know what the 21-year-old has in store. If his current trajectory is any indication, the sky is the limit for Eem in 2023.—Shamus Hill

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Ethel Cain


The opening track on Preacher’s Daughter ends with the eerie lines, “The fate’s already fucked me sideways / Swinging by my neck from the family tree.” It’s a foreshadowing of what’s to come on the rest of the album—the story of runaway Ethel Cain’s escape from home and subsequent death-by-cannibal. It’s a haunting coming-of-age tragedy framed by sexuality, the Deep South church, and the American Dream. 

Ethel Cain is the brainchild and nom de plume of Hayden Silas Anhedönia. Like many great alter-egos, Cain is rooted in a foundational truth, one that arises from Anhedönia’s upbringing and persecution as the openly queer daughter of a Christian woman and a “country boy” in the small town of Perry, Florida. 

The Artist To Watch title is more prescriptive than predictive—from her experiments as White Silas and ΛTLΛS to her breakout EP Inbred, Anhedönia is years overdue for her flowers. In 2022 alone, she dropped her critically acclaimed debut album, shared the stage with her personal hero Florence and the Machine, appeared in many a year-end list (including a certain former president’s!), and walked the Miu Miu SS23 runway. Still, Preacher’s Daughter feels like the heralding of another chapter in the lore of Ethel Cain. She revealed in a Tumblr Q&A and in various interviews that Preacher’s Daughter is more than a single album: it’s the first of a trilogy, the soundtrack to an accompanying movie, and a precursor to a book about Cain’s origins.

She told us earlier this year, “As I continue to delve into this story and upwards into the family tree, exploring a new character in the trilogy will bring a whole new visual and sonic landscape. As for what that landscape looks and sounds like, it will most likely surprise me as much as everyone else.”—Madeline Quach

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Fred again..


British multi-hyphenate Fred again.. had already experienced huge success behind the scenes as a producer and songwriter on charting pop music with the likes of Ed Sheeran, Rita Ora, Stormzy, Demi Lovato, and George Ezra (whose 2018 song “Shotgun,” co-written by Fred charted at No. 1 in the UK) before his explosion into the wider consciousness of music fans in 2022.

The tipping point was Fred again..’s Boiler Room performance in July of that year, a sweaty, high-octane joyride through his own productions and collaborations with Skrillex, Romy, Four Tet, and Swedish House Mafia. The hour-long set, which now has over 13 million views on YouTube, connected with listeners far outside the dance music community, who were enchanted by the accessible, melody driven music and Fred’s evident joy at sharing these moments with the crowd. Later that week Fred released his single “Turn On The Lights” with Swedish House Mafia, featuring vocals from Future’s 2012 single “Turn On the Lights,” and his fall/winter world tour quickly sold out.

Fred again.. first started releasing solo music in 2019, taking a scrapbook-like approach as he built songs around voice notes from friends, found sound, and samples of songs or Instagram videos that he likes. These warmly human, vocal-heavy dance songs are collected in the Actual Life series, which now includes three albums spanning moments in Fred’s life from April 2020 through September 2022. Alongside this series, Fred’s collaborations with peers have continued at a rapid pace, from 2020’s excellent collab album with British rapper Headie One, GANG, to his most recent single, “Rumble” with Skrillex and Flowdan.      

Although his rise in 2022 was spectacular, an accumulation of years of work, collaborations across genre, and connections (Fred’s godfather is Brian Eno, who he has described as a mentor), provides Fred again.. with solid foundations to keep up his momentum in 2023. Expect more entires in his Actual Life audio-diary, more shows (good luck getting tickets), and more serotonin-boosting dance music for the good times and the bad.—Alex Gardner

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Ben Reilly


If you’re old enough, you probably remember what it was like hearing Kendrick Lamar in the Section.80 days, or A$AP Rocky around the time of Live. Love. A$AP. We’re not talking about the music or the ability, just that realization that you’re hearing an artist on the cusp of something bigger—one with focused vision and so many ideas in motion beyond a hit song or a great moment. That’s where New York-raised, Atlanta-based rapper Ben Reilly is at right now.

His Freelance project showcases layered lyricism, impressive versatility, and attention to detail that doesn’t come along too often in a time when quantity sometimes outweighs quality in the this algorithmically driven industry of art and entertainment. Times have changed since the rise of blog-championed artists like Kendrick and Rocky, and who knows what that means for an artist like Ben Reilly, but what he’s doing is working—his song “Maytag” even caught a viral moment on TikTok.

Regardless of the status quo, it seems that Ben Reilly can’t help but stay true to his own way of doing things. He grew up on comic books and Nas, and he’s a deep thinker whose every move is by design. “I love when I read a story and there’s something that was all the way in the beginning that comes back at the end,” he told us last year. “It’s like, damn, if you really paid attention, you would’ve caught that.”

Reilly killed it at Pigeons & Planes’ No Ceilings concert in Brooklyn last month, and in 2023 he’ll be working on an album called SAVE, which he describes as his “superhero origin story.” But in the meantime, expect new music throughout the year.—Jacob Moore

Read our full interview with Ben Reilly here.

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King Isis


King Isis knows how to make a great first impression. Back in November, the LA-based songwriter captivated us with their debut single “4leaf clover”—a raw acoustic ballad about the purgatory of waiting for someone who’s giving you nothing at all. Its stripped down arrangement highlights the incredible emotional range of King Isis’ voice, reaching from guttural lows to desperate highs.

Music has been in King Isis’ blood for generations. They were classically trained on a piano passed down from their great-great-grandmother Omega King, who was one of the first Black opera singers in Chicago. As time went on, Isis drifted away from the rigid confines of their classical training and began to explore new worlds of counterculture music.

On that note, anyone expecting another ballad for single number two should lower the volume before hitting play because King Isis is turning up the energy in 2023. “It’s refreshing to see rock-adjacent music getting a new light, but we definitely need more black queer femmes in the alt world,” says Isis. “I’m here to keep exploring these alternative realities through sound and keep carving that space for us to shine however we choose.” 

As they begin the new year, King Isis is finally opening up the vault: “This year I’m excited to be releasing a bunch of music I’ve been working on over the years. My next single, ‘In My Ways,’ comes out on February 1 and my first ever EP called scales is coming this spring.” Not one to pump the breaks, Isis is already thinking about what’s next. “I’m currently finishing up my second EP that I aim to release this fall, and look out for some shows too.” Until then, we’ll put “4leaf clover” on repeat and count down the days until the song has some company.—Nico Tripodi

Ed. Note: King Isis releases music with No Matter, an independent label founded by two P&P employees.

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Chase Plato

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Despite possessing a rare veteran sound and a laser-like focus, chase plato is just getting started. The Detroit iconoclast is only four songs in and is the self-proclaimed progenitor of “6th Wave Emo,” expanding on the emo revival of the late 2000s and early 2010s in his own unique way. Armed with a wisdom only overshadowed by his candor, chase plato is a young multi-hyphenate who doesn’t give a fuck about expectations.

“I’m reinventing what it means to be a Detroit rapper,” chase plato explains. “I was in the scat pack and I was scamming like everybody else. The difference is I was the kid trying to learn Modern Baseball songs on the guitar. I taught myself how to play guitar for this album and I taught myself all my methods. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you don’t need to.”

With every release, chase plato finds himself venturing further into uncharted territory. Throughout his first handful of releases, chase consistently demonstrates unpredictable versatility while showcasing a wide range of influences that vary dramatically depending on which track you’re listening to. His latest song “SET YOU FREE” is packed with that Modern Baseball energy, with chase’s electrifying delivery woven into every moment of hard-hitting vocals. “STRANGER THAN FICTION,” however, is more downtempo and melancholy—though it feels just as disarming.

The moment that fans were treated to chase plato’s debut “RIP KOBE” last February, it became apparent that he was a rare type of artist. “RIP KOBE” isn’t just a banger after all, it’s an experimental synthesis of pounding bass melding in harmony with aggressive, heart-on-sleeve delivery. How many artists have dared to combine emo’s roughneck abrasion with an infectious house bounce? The result is chaotic and addictive, and when paired with the Pharrell-inspired energy of “ICE CREAM MAN,” it’s hard to not be excited for what’s in store this year. He tells us that this year he’s “going to drop a classic emo album,” but knowing chase plato, it may be wise to expect the unexpected.—Carter Fife

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“I’ve never felt so unworthy of loving,” Samia sings on “Kill Her Freak Out,” the opening track on her upcoming album Honey. “I hope you marry the girl from your hometown, and I’ll fucking kill her / and I’ll fucking freak out,” she continues, dark humor vying for space with emotional vulnerability. As that first song suggests, the feelings Samia faces up to throughout this album are big and bold, and she pulls no punches as she shares her highs and lows, her relationships and her heartbreaks, her personal growth and the moments of wonder that can be experienced simply by living life.  

The Nashville-via-NYC songwriter impressed us in 2020 with her debut album The Baby, following which she toured with indie rock favorites Lucy Dacus and Courtney Barnett, and spent time at North Carolina studio Betty’s—owned and operated by Sylvan Esso’s Nick Sandborn and Amelia Meath—where Honey was recorded. Samia describes it as “a real community record” with previous collaborators and close friends involved, as well as some new faces like Rostam, who produced one of the most buoyant moments in “Mad At Me,” featuring Papa Mbye. 

“We tried to be as honest as possible and keep the songs as raw as possible,” Samia says of the album. “We talked a lot about zooming out and zooming in, giving a lot of weight to the small moments and considering them as part of a big picture, how they factor into everything else that’s happening in the world.” There are no wasted moments on the concise 11 tracks of Honey, while tattoo-worthy lyrics are weaved throughout every song as the album arcs through moods and moments—drum machines and dancing shoes here and gentle folk guitar and hushed singing there. 

Samia’s new album Honey is set for release January 27 and the supporting tour starts in February. This indie rock rising star is ascending quickly and making magic along the way.—Alex Gardner

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JELEEL! might not yet have the support of Serious Art Critics, but he’s winning over kids around the world, and for good reason. Go to one of his shows and you’ll see it with your own eyes—he’s one of the most electric live performers on the rise right now, and the frenzied reaction of hundred of fans only amplifies the experience.

Let’s get the obvious out of the way: JELEEL!’s popularity is in large part due to some things outside of the music. He does backflips (like, extreme backflips), he’s built like a military weapon, and one look at his TikTok or Instagram page will suck you into a world of character development. At this stage, it’s almost like being a fan of a professional wrestler. All of that Real Raw Energy© translates in the music—even if it’s not the deepest connection through song that you’ll ever feel, it’s fun.

But there’s more to JELEEL!, and that’s where things could get really interesting. In person, JELEEL! is soft-spoken, thoughtful, and kind. Just a handful of years ago, he was houseless in Los Angeles, busking and relentlessly trying to catch a break. By all accounts, he remains one of the most disciplined, hard-working artists in the industry.

“There’s so much more to me musically and as a human than what I’ve become known for and I’m excited to show the whole Jeleel to the world,” he tells us. “I’m actually a really shy and compassionate person. People see the viral videos and think I’m on drugs, or steroids, or I’m just crazy, but there’s a lot more to me than my build and my antics and I plan on showing those other sides of me more in 2023.”

Those antics may be what initially draws so many people to JELEEL!, but it only works because his music keeps them coming back. Lyrically, he mostly sticks to the script, but he’s making some interesting choices musically—high voltage production, sticky hooks and melodic flows that stretch the boundaries of his voice, and sturdy songwriting that would work even if taken out of context.

In 2023, JELEEL! is planning to release his debut album and go on tour. All signs point to a breakout year. If JELEEL! is able to reveal some depth beyond his persona and integrate that into the songs he’s making, he could evolve into one of the most magnetic superstars in music. But even if he continues cranking out adrenaline-inducing anthems about rocking, vibing, and riding the wave, he’s making this world a little more entertaining.

“I just want to make a huge impact on people and leave the world better than how I found it,” he says. “Whenever I am able to do that, I feel whole, like I’m fulfilling my purpose.”—Jacob Moore

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aldn’s music is a window into an alternate universe where a rock band has five pieces: vocals, guitar, bass, drums and some kid in the corner on Ableton. The Virginia native first started making music during the pandemic and gained popularity on Discord and SoundCloud in the hyperpop community. After his debut EP greenhouse in 2021, aldn reinvented his sound as a futuristic take on alternative music and hasn’t looked back since.

Last year, aldn released two EPs that combined more traditional live instrumentation with hyper-modern sounds. good grief is a conceptual journey from denial to acceptance that marked the beginning of alternative aldn. Then post spring, self destruction doubled down on the new sound with features from Tom The Mail Man and Riovaz. Amid all the distortion, aldn cut through with rockstar coolness to cement himself as the kind of artist who isn’t scared to do a full 180 and change styles from project to project.

Fresh off tour with glaive and midwxst, aldn is already thinking about his plans for 2023: “I want to get more into mixed media like painting and fashion and incorporate it into my music.” On the topic of music, he says to “look out for more singles, secret SoundCloud releases and possibly a third EP that ties the last two together.” As aldn solidifies his plans for the new year, nobody can be certain what’s coming next… but that’s the fun part.—Nico Tripodi

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Babyface Ray

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Babyface Ray is no stranger to the Detroit scene, but his recent momentum forecasts that the veteran rapper is set for a star-making turn in 2023.

With a bevy of mixtapes under his belt, the former member of Team Eastside careened into the popular consciousness when his Unfuckwitable EP landed on the Billboard charts in 2021. After a decade in the game, Face finally earned a spot on the elusive XXL Freshman Class list in 2022 and churned out a pair of long-awaited offerings, his studio debut, Mob, and follow-up, Face, by the year’s end.

Veering away from the dark intensity so common in his work, his nonchalant flow and melodic motifs adorn his smoothed-out singles “Spend It” and “Nice Guy.” Often freestyling his songs, Face offers a rare and refreshing display of unsparing honesty draped in commercial sheen. 

Co-signed by venerated collaborators including Future, Pusha T, and Moneybagg Yo, it’s safe to say that Babyface Ray’s full-throttle entry onto the global stage is just moments away.—Andrea Aguilar

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Jim Legxacy


Jim Legxacy’s name speaks for itself. In an older interview for Equate, the South East London native describes the entwining of legacy and empowerment: “I think something about the name reminds me that I’m here to leave something bigger, you know?” 

Legxacy spent the past few years developing his distinct sound, making a formidable impression with Citadel, a 10-track album exploring self-expression, identity, and self-discovery, followed by an eclectic stream of singles throughout 2022. Each song creates its own world, with Legxacy’s knack for amalgamating genres, meditative storytelling, and addictive melodies making the young artist a standout for 2023.

Recent single “dj” finds Legxacy’s sound elevating. Fusing midwest emo with Afrobeats, R&B and Jersey Club stylings and slick sampling, “dj” captures a mixture of beauty and grief in its soulful sounds. Not one to be self-contained, his discography is varied, ranging from emotionally charged drill to indie and electronic. The rapper, singer, and producer isn’t afraid to take risks, with “candy reign (!)” cleverly flipping the Soul For Rain hit, and “eye tell (!)” an exploratory venture. 

After spending 2022 working on a mixtape behind the scenes, Legxacy is gearing up for another year of elevation. Spotlighting the UK underground whilst staying true to himself, Legxacy is quickly becoming a dynamic artist to watch.—Rani Boyer

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At around 9:20 PM on December 2, 2022, Boyish took the stage at our No Ceilings show before headliner Wallice. I’d heard their music before on Spotify, had posted about them leading up to the show, and remembered them from our October Best New Artists list. But, I had never experienced Boyish like this. Vocalist India Shore and guitarist Claire Altendahl made the polished Brooklyn venue feel like a Friday night basement party with your closest friends.

They simply had fun. And in turn, we had fun too. Their performance was unabashed, raw, and not short of guitar-hero moments. At one point everyone joined the band in screaming “f*ck you” to an otherwise unknown “Heather.” It was the type of show where you leave and end up in a YouTube rabbit-hole hours afterwards, trying to find everything the artist has ever done. 

Fair enough to say, Boyish has me in a chokehold. The indie-rock duo met in their first few weeks at Berklee College and have been making music together since. Perfectly situated in between classic rock and high-spirited indie, Boyish makes music to soundtrack everything from a bad breakup to late night drives and rainy day adventures. They have music to scream to and music to cry to and music to relax to. Yet all of it feels distinctly their own.

Boyish have already released an EP and two albums, and they’re kicking off 2023 with a new single “Girls Are Mean,” out in February. The band tells us, “We have so much new music coming, and it is truly the best music we’ve ever written, I’m so excited to share it. This year we’re eating, sleeping, and breathing rock and roll.” 2023 is the year to tune into Boyish, if you haven’t already.—Sabine Adorney

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Destroy Lonely

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Though last year was dominated with high-profile records and collaborations from modern music’s titans, few artists held 2022 in a chokehold like Atlanta’s Destroy Lonely. His presence in music’s cultural canon is just as ubiquitous as it is shrouded in mystery, and the release of his debut studio LP NO STYLIST last summer cemented Destroy Lonely’s potential for consistency and staying power. Weaving together plugg, rage, and cloud rap sensibilities with an affinity for risk-taking, Destroy Lonely is not a symptom of hip-hop’s newest cultural shift—he’s the harbinger of a new and futuristic sound taking shape in front of our eyes.

Destroy Lonely is the embodiment of a cultural zeitgeist forming in real time. He first made headlines in 2019 following the buzz of hypnotic banger “Bane.” After a series of EPs, mixtapes, and singles, Destroy Lonely was signed to Playboi Carti’s equally mystifying imprint Opium in 2021, earning a co-sign that made the anticipation for his debut LP soar to new heights. Despite the pressure, songs like the album opener “JETLGGD” showcase a young trendsetter that has no intention of staying hidden comfortably in Playboi Carti’s shadow. From ominous synth arpeggios to Destroy Lonely’s delivery that levels energetic recklessness with painstaking precision, NO STYLIST introduces listeners to an artist ready for the spotlight.

Though some may draw comparisons between Destroy Lonely and his fellow Opium-affiliates Ken Carson, Summrs, or Izaya Tiji, he is carving out his own lane. The virality of “NOSTYLIST” (NO STYLIST’s eponymous single) is not just a testament to Destroy Lonely’s knack for clever songwriting, but it is also a unique and transcendental musical style resonating with a new generation of rap fans. Whether lost in the lead single’s dreamlike synth melodies or the booming bass signals of “CRYSTLCSTLES,” it is hard not to appreciate Destroy Lonely’s individuality amidst a sea of artists trying to emulate him at every turn.

“I’m doing something that I feel like is truly me, something that nobody else is doing”, Destroy Lonely relays to us. “I feel like this is good music and everybody needs to hear good music.” With his next album If Looks Could Kill slated for release later this year, we’ll be watching on as Destroy Lonely rises further into the hip-hop stratosphere.—Carter Fife

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Montell Fish


Montell Fish’s music takes a philosophical plunge into love, with an emphasis on explicitly rehashing moments of a past relationship. Opening up his heart and leaving nothing behind, Montell spares no details on 2022 album JAMIE, his return to music after laying low for three years. With his captivating persona expressed through every medium from music videos to Instagram posts, Montell never spares a moment to flex his creative ability.

Montell Fish is as raw as it gets, with the songs generally consisting of Fish’s first take on a verse, untouched vocals, and the occasional use of acoustic guitar still managing to emanate a sense of embrace with every line. On Her Love Still Haunts Me Like a Ghost, his most recent EP, Montell introduced more distortion and industrial electronic textures, but the emotional weight of his voice remains the centerpiece. He brought a new intensity to his performance on the EP, before delivering his forthcoming album CHARLOTTE, which is set to be the second project of a planned trilogy.

2023 will no doubt be a big year for Montell Fish, and with plans to release more music this year his reach will only continue to grow.—Jack Sperling

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2023_P_P_Artists-to-Watch_Interstitial-Tia Corine

TiaCorine should be taller. She also should be one of the biggest new stars in music—but that’s what 2023 is for. 

When answering a few questions for this year’s Artists to Watch feature, Tia revealed that she broke her growth plate three times (“back to back”), so she should realistically be much taller than she is now at 5’4”. But her height doesn’t matter here. We aren’t drafting an NBA team. And if we were, Tia would probably play every position anyway. 

The Winston-Salem, NC musician calls her sound anime trap, but really it satisfies all types of needs. Her initial breakout single, 2018’s “Lotto,” is an addictive earworm worth gambling on, while in contrast, a track like 2022 single “FYK” (aka “fuck your kids”) is a punk clap-back that she wrote after drinking a Mike’s Hard. 

Even Tia’s latest stroke of genius, “Freaky T” off her September album I Can’t Wait, is a certified late-summer anthem that’s lasted well through the winter. With the steam it’s earned her on TikTok, the song is a testament to her consistency in creating memorable moments again and again. 2023 will probably make that clear once more, with music videos expected for standout tracks like “Paris Hilton” and “Boogie,” and more tour dates to reel it all in. 

“I am a breath of fresh air,” she says. “You’ll never guess what I’ll do next. I have so many sounds and flavors which allow me to create something for everyone.”—Brenton Blanchet

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Trying to classify skaiwater is no easy task, even for them. “I spend a lot of time making sure that I can’t define my music,” they share with us over Zoom. “I try to make sure that every song is one that I haven’t heard before.” Fusing a variety of elements from EDM, R&B, Pop, and Jersey Club into a sound that is distinctly their own, the Nottingham, UK native is unrelenting when it comes to their craft. Though last year proved to be their biggest yet, it’s only the tip of the iceberg.

While the foundation of skaiwater’s success in 2022 may be attributed to viral hit “#miles,” which amassed tens of millions of plays and earned a remix featuring Lil Uzi Vert, they also dropped a handful of singles, music videos, and a project that solidified their stature. “I think last year I showed a lot of growth,” they say, “being able to influence certain circles of music and work with some of my favorite artists.” skaiwater is in a promising position at the start of 2023, and the 22-year-old’s sights are set on continuing their impact and developing into an even more eclectic artist. 

Releasing towards the tail end of 2022, skaiwater’s 12-song project rave was one of last year’s most exciting listens. Centered around the theme of love and dance, they mix ethereal vocals with full-fledged, electronic-drenched production while delving into anecdotes about promiscuity, heartbreak, and desire. The direction that skaiwater took with this body of work is one that highlights aspirations to make “the best version of EDM for the next generation,” something which stems from their affinity for UK garage as a young person. Taking bits and pieces of their favorite genres and repurposing them has been an integral part of skaiwater’s work up to this point, and more of this experimentation certainly remains on the horizon.  

When it comes to 2023, skaiwater aims to keep this momentum going, with both a debut album and touring around the globe at the forefront of their mind. When asked about why they are an artist to keep an eye on, skaiwater shares: “You should watch me in 2023 if you want to see music change in real time.”—Shamus Hill

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While MARCO PLUS speaks on 2023 and his path up to this point, he tells us that people describe his sound as “something they needed or something they’ve missed.” We couldn’t agree more. 

The 24-year-old Atlanta native and self-proclaimed Soufside Villain makes music with a style that is confident and bold. Rapping since the age of 5, MARCO PLUS has “never been more ready to take [his] spot.” His lyrical ability alone is impressive, and he delivers with a high-impact flow over any beat. MARCO regularly raps over elegant production with jazzy intros and mellow lo-fi indie instrumentals, but he brings an edge that cuts through and takes charge. In JID’s own words, MARCO PLUS is a “real spitta.” 

MARCO proudly represents the southside of Atlanta, paying homage to the area with Tha Souf Got Sum 2 Say and Tha Soufside Villain LP. The latter, which dropped in October 2022, had features from fellow ATL artists including Kenny Mason, Grip, and Deante’ Hitchcock. There’s a deep, soulful side that MARCO lets us see on songs like “Painkiller,” which delves into the struggles of the come-up and the questions of mental health, faith, and family that come hand in hand with it. “Dawg!” featuring Kenny Mason, weaves a rolling, didactic story of being the ones who want to make it and the sacrifice it takes. These echoing themes throughout MARCO’s work make it a slow-building story with many more chapters yet to unravel.

In late January MARCO will be joining Token and See You Next Year alum Ben Reilly on tour. An album and an EP are also in the works for this year according to MARCO, along with a “ton of feature verses” to keep your eyes out for. With so much more to say, MARCO PLUS assures us we “don’t gotta worry about missing this anytime soon, I’m here to stay.”—Sabine Adorney

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Back when we first featured Babebee as one of the Best New Artists of August, they were a quietly emerging artist we discovered on the Pigeons & Planes Discord, captivating us with “all night long” off their entirely self produced, mixed, and mastered sophomore album mind over matter. Fast forward six months and an opening slot on RIZ LA VIE’s upcoming tour alongside the likes of Johan Lenox and Ayleen Valentine is the perfect encapsulation of the exciting success they saw over such a short period of time.

“2022 has been one of the wildest experiences for me, especially being named as one of the Best New Artists for August,” the Atlanta native told us over email. “It's surreal, seeing my name highlighted alongside so many artists who inspire me. This year feels like the continuation of everything that I've been working towards ever since I was a child: my passion for creating art, my dream becoming a reality, and hopefully making my immigrant family proud. It feels like I'm finally finding a home for myself, my sound, and community because truthfully, this wouldn't be possible without the support of everyone.”

A stretch of three singles to close out the year saw Babebee begin a new era alongside producer simon m, highlighted by the electronic-rock fusion of “stranded” which would later be remixed with ascending artist angelus. A collaboration with RUNNER BOY for “BACKWARDS” led to their most successful track to date, while two placements on Spotify’s Lorem playlist among a flurry of other editorial support brought further attention to Babebee’s name.

Despite the year just getting started, they have already released their first track “sunset blvd,” a short but incredibly sweet sign of what’s to come. “I just finished my EP tainted in our memories, featuring my recent singles,” they tell us. “It's dropping on my birthday, February 1. The first half of the EP is about the relationship I have with myself and others, breaking myself free from unhealthy cycles. The second half of the EP talks about my addictions, where I'm trying to move past old wounds and trauma in order to find comfort with being alone again. The feeling of being alone is scary, but at the end of the day, I know that I'm not experiencing this alone. Using music as a tool for healing, and I hope people are able to find solace in this project and the universe.”

2023 is destined to be the year of Babebee, and with a third full-length album in the works, a strong community behind them, and a catalog to back it up, the sky’s the limit for what they will accomplish.—Freddie Fine

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2022 took a meteoric turn for 17-year-old gamer turned viral musician d4vd. The Billboard-charting high schooler soared to popularity on TikTok and unexpectedly signed a major record deal with Darkroom/Interscope Records.

“I don’t even know how I got here. I made all my music in my little sister’s closet on my iPhone. I’m so grateful to be on this list nonetheless,” he tells P&P.

Initially aspiring to become a professional gamer, the Houston-made artist began constructing his own soundscapes in the form of colorful, yet heart-wrenching offerings like “Romantic Homicide” and “Here With Me” to accompany his gameplay videos. Channeling indie bands he discovered while playing Fortnite (The Neighbourhood, Arctic Monkeys, and Wallows), he emerged with a self-described sound called “genre dysphoria.”

After garnering millions of streams and peaking at No. 33 on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Romantic Homicide,” d4vd continues to craft billowy mood pieces on his iPhone and still prefers to use his sister’s walk-in closet as a studio.  

The rising star shares what’s next on the horizon: “Definitely new music. My first show ever plus more shows.” d4vd also looks forward to producing orchestral compositions and hopes to showcase an on-stage replica of his sister’s closet in 2023.—Andrea Aguilar

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Wet Leg


2022 was Wet Leg’s year. After the world was introduced to the duo when 2021’s “Chaise Longue” unexpectedly went viral, Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers released their crafty self-titled debut album in 2022. Picking up four Brit Award nominations, five Grammy nominations and preparing for an international tour with Harry Styles, 2023 is poised to be an even bigger year for the band.

Teasdale and Chambers first met as teenagers studying music at Isle of Wight College, and years later, Wet Leg was born—supposedly whilst the duo were sitting atop a Ferris wheel. Since then the duo have been on a rollercoaster. They’ve been joined by several touring band members, placed at No. 1 on the UK albums chart with their debut, and toured across the world.

Self-deprecating, witty, and whimsical, Wet Leg are authentically themselves in their debut album. “I feel like someone has punched me in the guts / But I kinda like it ‘cause it feels like being in love,” Teasdale reflects in “Being in Love,” with commentary on “Too Late Now” detailing, “I don’t need no dating app to tell me if I look like crap.” Their deadpan delivery, inside jokes, and wry humor is infectious, with off-kilter stylings fleshing out a world you want to be a part of. Whilst the indie rock band was catapulted into the mainstream and brought abruptly face-to-face with navigating all that brings, they’ve made evident that they’re going to have fun along the way. 

Wet Leg’s journey has been unpredictable, and whilst we don’t know exactly what the year holds for the band, this element of surprise feels fitting.—Rani Boyer

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KayCyy, formerly known as KayCyy Pluto, may have dropped the planet from his stage name. But he’s still only headed upward. 

Last year was something of a welcoming year for the Minnesota spitter who was named a XXL freshman, dropped a few features alongside Fivio Foreign and other big players in music, and released a 9-song introduction Get Used to It in June. Before that, he was tapped for Kanye West’s Donda (having worked on, and earned Grammy recognition for, “Hurricane”). After strengthening his solo pen game, he’s showing that he’s capable of more than just supplying the hits. Now, he’s keeping them for himself. 

In 2023, all eyes are on where KayCyy can take his solo career. He’s proven himself as a worthy collaborator, and his 2022 project TW20 50 alongside Gesaffelstein shows what he can do in just three songs with one producer backing him. The epic melody-laced “The Sun” and adlibbed-out banger “OKAY!” live in a different world from the smooth, nostalgic love song “Hold You Up” or the spacey “Rain,” featuring 070 Shake, both from Get Used To It. It has become more clear with each release that versatility is not a problem for KayCyy. 

Now his sights are set on completing a full body of work this year, and he promises fans won’t be disappointed. “I really took my time with every detail of my music in 2022 so the creative direction, the sound, the vibes; it’s all going to be next level this year. 2023 is the year where everything will come together and make sense. It’s the true unveiling of KayCyy and everything I’ve been working on, and it’s going to make an impact.”—Brenton Blanchet

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Back in December, brakence released his major label debut hypochondriac. The 13-track album is a magnum opus from Ohio’s glitch pop perfectionist, melding together influences from nearly every genre under the sun. In an era of fleeting snippets and singles, hypochondriac is a rare album that demands your attention and rewards you for listening front to back. The album is laced with recurring motifs and intricate production courtesy of brakence himself, along with some help from Wyatt Otis, Gabby Start, and Danny Rakow. The instrumentals swell and bend around each lyric, and as you reach the end of one song, it morphs seamlessly into the next. Beyond the standout production, brakence is writing incredibly introspective songs that could stand on their own with all the stimulus stripped away.

Brakence has been at the forefront of experimental pop for a while now. His 2020 album punk2 has become an online cult classic and his face reveal in the “fuckboy” music video made waves across Discord servers far and wide. Most impressively, brakence is one of the few artists of the next generation who can actually move with Frank Ocean-esque mystique. He released his first single in 2017 and gradually attracted a diehard fanbase who rally behind every release. Earlier this winter, brakence set off on his first US headline tour, packing rooms across the country and delivering a show that put each venue’s sound system to the ultimate test. 

After a turbulent 2022, brakence is ready to change gears: “I think I’m going to take some time off… Maybe I’ll volunteer in a local community or something. I want a fresh perspective when I come back.” As brakence steps into the shadows, we’ll be busy unpacking each layer of hypochondriac and waiting patiently for whatever comes next.—Nico Tripodi

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