Best New Artists

The P&P best new artists round-up for May 2021 features SoGone SoFlexy, JDM Global, Lucy, KA$HDAMI, thomTide and more essential rising talent.




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.

SoGone SoFlexy


Of all the artists featured on BROCKHAMPTON’s album ROADRUNNER, SoGone SoFlexy probably had the most people wondering who they were listening to. He first appears after A$AP Rocky as an unannounced feature on “COUNT ON ME,” then opens up the six-minute posse cut “WINDOWS” three songs later.

With his Texas drawl and rugged flows, SoFlexy shows up like he’s been doing this for years, and he has. He’s been dropping mixtapes since he was a teenager and he’s known fellow Texas native Kevin Abstract from before BROCKHAMPTON’s SATURATION days. When he was recording his verses with the crew, he didn’t even know they would make the album, but now he’s signed to Kevin Abstract and Romil Hemnani’s new record label, Video Store.

SoGone SoFlexy’s first release with the label is “Big Wide Body,” a song that sounds like a woozy Texas classic and proves that he can hold his own without any help on a track. Despite the time he’s put in, 2021 feels like just the start, and since his introduction to the wider world, he hasn’t missed yet.—Jacob Moore

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Lucy makes a strong introduction with the title of his new album, The Music Industry Is Poisonous. The experience only gets more compelling from there across this patchwork of bizarro pop songs where ideas and sounds are sewn together like a mismatching but still comfortable quilt. It shouldn’t work as well as it does but Lucy (aka songwriter and producer Cooper B Handy) ties the experience together with dramatic, heartfelt singing and a unique way of constructing lyrics that feels like part philosophical musing and part free-associative word game.

All the songs are short and the album clocks in at 16 minutes, but highlights like “Rock, The,” “Believe,” and “Standing Room Only” have heavy replay value. There’s a lot more music to explore, too, if you like what you hear. The Music Industry Is Poisoinous is Lucy’s ninth record and second release of the past year, but his first with a label and our introduction to the prolific talent. Of working with a label, Handy explains, “This time was different because I recorded vocals in a studio and more people were involved in the mixing process. It’s also my first album to be professionally mastered.” 

“The title is less of a personal statement and more about the way the industry can tamper with an artists creative vision,” he adds. “The most poisonous part to me might be the idea of having to make sacrifices in order to succeed. Mostly I like the way the words in the title sound together.” Although descriptors like “outsider” or “experimental” seem to be most commonly attached to Lucy’s music, presumably because of the unexpected combination of sounds, the overall result is surprisingly accessible without ever losing its edge.—Alex Gardner



If the algorithms have us in their crosshairs, ready to replace us all, thomTide might be the last one standing. Best of luck training a dataset to rival his pump fake vocal take at 0:32 on “aintNew,” his hit-and-dip atomized echoes at 0:44 on “neverAlone,” his ear-magnet melodies at 1:17 on “simmerDown,” his performance of the word “chances” at 0:55 on that same track. Godspeed going head-to-head against lasers like “the years chip away at boulders” (“clockWise”) and “it’s a different drum than all my kin move to” (“aintNew,” again). Anyone who deploys “cuckoo” as a superlative flex is doing something right. 

Look, maybe I just gave the AI a map to its missing links, but the point is, while most of us are in our fifth consecutive year of calling songs movies and collabs crossovers and making hooks hit sooner to keep skip rates low, this incognito writer-singer-rapper-producer-composer has released mini-epics every two weeks for the past eight months that toss convention out the window. He has no intention of slowing down and a visual series to follow the music is in the works, starting with the “Spring” video on June 1.

Each alt-pop experiment is a chapter in a seasonal story (see how the cover art for each single tells that story too), like an audio-only television arc that might one day hit the silver screen. The magic trick: all of his unexpected turns still flow like water, each sound like a marionette puppet doing his story’s bidding. Whether you want to feel like you’re falling in love or falling through a tesseract, thomTide’s got a song for that—specifically, a song within a song for that.—Alex Siber

JDM Global

JDM Global

JDM Global is 22-year-old Josh Mehling, who just graduated from Syracuse University. At school, he met two of his best friends and influences—indie favorites Clairo and Claud—and went on to produce and collaborate with them both on projects like Toast and Shelly.

His three-song SUMMER 21 PACK wasn’t the result of some master plan to follow in his friends’ footsteps as a solo artist. When the pandemic hit, he moved back home to Houston and tried out recording vocals over one of his own productions for the first time. “I just thought it’d be fun to try to write over this one instrumental I had and send it to friends almost as a joke, and that became ‘Cake,’” Mehling explains. “I recorded the vocals literally in my car in a parking lot at Eleanor Tinsley Park, using my built-in laptop mic. I was so embarrassed by the idea of my family hearing me sing at home, so I had to go as far away as possible and just sang straight into my computer. I had to stop every time someone walked by my car.”

Speaking to Mehling, he seems simultaneously surprised that people actually like his music and also determined for a worldwide takeover, hence the name. His first batch of songs lean into slightly sour, addictive indie rock, but he works in all genres and plans to show off that versatility in the future. “I want people to feel youthful and carefree while listening to these songs. These songs are definitely not perfect, but they were so fun to make, and I hope younger producers and songwriters know nothing is stopping them from making and putting out their art.”—Jacob Moore

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With his own clothing line, millions of streams, and his first project with a label out soon, KA$HDAMI has a lot of momentum right now—all at only 16 years old. Born and initially raised in Las Vegas, his family moved to the DMV while he was still a child.

KA$HDAMI started making music and popping up on SoundCloud, Instagram, and TikTok as he released projects in 2020, but Epiphany, out June 2, feels like his breakout moment. Singles “Look N The Mirror!,” “50!,” “Reparations!,” and “Dior” see KA$HDAMI rapping over woozy beats, switching between punchy, direct bars and catchy melodic sections. With a feature from fellow rising star ssgkobe and a production credit from Lil Tecca, KA$HDAMI’s bringing new collaborators into his world and is poised to take his still young career to the next level this year.

“I woke up, and I heard the word Epiphany,” KA$HDAMI explains. “When I looked it up, it perfectly explained how I’d been feeling. I came to a realization. I cut a lot of things out. I decided to chill on the dumb shit and try to go mainstream. As much as the project is an epiphany for me, it’s an epiphany for the rest of the world; they’re going to come to the realization they’ve been sleeping on me.”—Alex Gardner

Tiberius b


Singer and producer Tiberius b recently announced their signing to Mark Ronson’s label Zelig Records and upcoming debut EP Stains. Born in London and raised on a remote island in Western Canada, Tiberius relocated back to London in 2017 and, at the onset of the pandemic, moved temporarily to the Welsh countryside to care for an elderly relative. When the relative was moved to hospital, they found themselves in her house, alone, for six weeks. 

The Stains EP was born out of that period of isolation, reflection, and exploration, and no-punches-pulled lyrics burst through the guitar-led production with confidence and poise. “Stains is a marker which will remind me that I never need to be any different than what I am or know a certain amount of things to be able to make songs that I feel proud to share,” Tiberius b tells us. “By intuitively learning how to have more fun with my voice and trusting myself with the production I was able to articulate myself in a pure yet dirty way, culminating all the passion that exists inside me.”

Of the experiences that shaped the EP, they add, “The Welsh countryside closely resembled where I grew up in Canada. Not necessarily in landscape per se, but in its isolated wet energy. Being deeply alone there made me really nostalgic, and caused me to revert into this teenage version of myself. A self that needed to scream into a void looking for answers. Doing that messy work of joyful and morbid scream-searching would not have been possible without that space. There was this simultaneous sense of freedom (in not having as much responsibility) but a lack of autonomy that I figured being a teenager and living through a pandemic have in common.”

Tiberius b has released two songs so far, “No Smoke” and “Big Deal,” and the rest of the EP doesn’t disappoint either. Stains is due for release on June 25.—Alex Gardner