New Gen is HYPEBEAST’s biannual series highlighting some of the most promising up-and-coming voices in the music game. Every season, we spotlight talented and buzzworthy names you should have on your radar.

Each generation of artists has its own industry problem to deal with, but our batch of new names all face an issue that seems almost impossible to prevail: a worldwide pandemic. Despite disrupted plans and unprecedented delays, however, these fresh faces and their music have continued to prove to be adaptable.

As the new season gets underway, this special group is heading into a period of unpredictability and finding their rightful place in an industry that is heavily rocked by the pandemic and sociopolitical issues. Take a look at 13 of the most promising up-and-coming figures of Spring 2021.

AUDREY NUNA


For fans of: REI AMI, Rico Nasty, Tierra Whack

Audrey Nuna is setting the tone for young female artists like her who are breaking into the industry. With fresh takes on rap, soul, and R&B, the Korean-American artist’s versatility is best heard not only through energetic bops such as “damn right” and “Comic Sans” featuring Jack Harlow, but also in soft tunes like “Time” and “Party” to name a few. Her unabashed and fierce individualism will continue to fuel her spark as she carves out her own lane and changes the face of music. — Isabella Chon

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

JAHMED


For fans of: André 3000, JID, Kendrick Lamar

Los Angeles has bred some of hip-hop’s finest artists and JAHMED proves this point. The West Coast rapper recently put the pedal to the metal and dropped his sophomore EP ARMANI which served as a follow-up to his debut project THEBOOFMOBILE. This time around, his amped-up delivery, ability to grasp onto hooks and flows, and features from both Freddie Gibbs and Suga Free are where he really shines as a rising star. — Isabella Chon

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

JOYCE WRICE


For fans of: Aaliyah, Brandy, SZA

In a period where the current phase of R&B is often met with skepticism, Los Angeles-based songstress Joyce Wrice provides a breath of fresh air. Having just released her debut album Overgrown, the independent artist has fans harking back to the golden-era of the genre. Think of silky vocals reminiscent of icons like Aaliyah, Ashanti, and Tamia’s, but paired up with today’s industry legends ranging from Lucky Daye, Westside Gunn, Freddie Gibbs, KAYTRANADA, to many more. With a trajectory like this, it’s easy to see Wrice continue to take center stage. — Isabella Chon

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

Q


For fans of: Childish Gambino, Orion Sun, Steve Lacy

Q, whose actual legal name is Q Steven Marsden, once claimed that his father gave him such a unique name because he thought his son was going to do something big in this world. He was right. The South Florida native dropped his major label debut The Shave Experiment in late 2020 and delivered five full tracks of innovative and soul-searching music, leaving listeners to wonder what Q will deliver next. — Sophie Caraan

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

DEB NEVER


For fans of: Grimes, Princess Nokia, Kevin Abstract

Deb Never’s music is nothing short of inviting. She first hooks you with a beautiful selection of honest and genuine lyricism, then reels you in with her fusion of warm vocals and sharp instrumentation. Following the release of her debut project House of Wheels in 2019 and appearances alongside the likes of Dominic Fike, BROCKHAMPTON and Kenny Beats, the Korean-American artist embarked on her biggest adventure yet: temporarily relocating to London in mid-2020. The move across the pond delivered a refreshing new track entitled “Someone Else,” proving that the change in scenery is good for Never and her creative energy. — Sophie Caraan

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

TEEZO TOUCHDOWN


For fans of: Jean Dawson, JPEGMAFIA, slowthai

It’s not hard to label Teezo Touchdown as one to watch. Hailing from Texas, the multi-hyphenate musician’s eccentric cowboy looks and nail twisted hair are a lens into his equally unorthodox yet fluid artistry. With his versatile and shining personality, Teezo straddles the line between goth, emo, pop, punk, trap, hip-hop, and everything in between, proving he cannot be pigeonholed as he creates a universe of his own and invites you to do the same. If you thought you’ve missed out so far, here’s what he likes to say: don’t worry you’re early.  — Isabella Chon

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

ENNY


For fans of: Little Simz, Noname, Rapsody

With currently just six tracks to her name, ENNY has already been able to show the world what she is about. It didn’t take long before the South East London rapper quickly shot to the forefront thanks to her breakout success with the remix of “Peng Black Girls” alongside Jorja Smith. The soulful lyricist’s strength also lies in her hard-hitting wordplay and sharp commentary over boom-bap and jazz-infused beats. Big things are on the horizon for ENNY as she leaves fans both enamored and eager to hear more. — Isabella Chon

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

LO VILLAGE


For fans of: GoldLink, Smino, Spillage Village

Lo Village remains steadfast in being the voice of a new generation. Made up of rappers Kane Tabiri and Charles Tyler alongside vocalist Ama Tabiri, the Maryland trio effortlessly blends anthemic tracks with bouncy hip-hop hooks, neo-soul melodies, and funk-inspired production. The group’s most recent EP Lost in America lends itself well to the unprecedented times and today’s affairs with a conscientious take that provides solace amongst frustration. As they make their mark, Lo Village isn’t afraid to push for unequivocal change at a time when it is needed the most. — Isabella Chon

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

SAINTÉ


For fans of: Giggs, Loyle Carner, Knucks

UK hip-hop newcomer Sainté takes pride in his ability to blend American rap sounds but still stay uniquely British. Having burst into the scene with his hit “Champagne Shots,” the Leicester rapper sets himself apart from other rising UK rappers with his polished flows, mellow cadence, and beat-heavy instrumentals. His debut EP Local Waves that dropped earlier this year is just a small preview of what is yet to come, but it will be no surprise as he crafts his sound further and makes waves beyond his city. — Isabella Chon

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

LOONY


For fans of: Charlotte Day Wilson, Ella Mai, H.E.R

A new voice is emerging from Toronto in the form of LOONY, a captivating singer-songwriter who already has a co-sign by Elton John himself. A global superstar in the making, the neo-soul and R&B vocalist has consistently served up tender tunes backed up by smooth and groovy production. Her most recent single “raw” captures just this with heart-on-sleeve lyricism that best fits the genres she excels in. Be on the lookout as she continues her hot streak with her third EP soft thing — which includes a guest appearance from Mick Jenkins — later this year. — Isabella Chon

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

REGGIE


For fans of: Choker, Isaiah Rashad, Pink Siifu

reggie is as smooth as they come. Born Reginald Helms Jr., the Houston-born artist made his explosive entrance in 2020 with his debut single “SOUTHSIDE FADE” — a track that makes it difficult for listeners to put him in a specific genre. As he captivated listeners with breezy instrumentals and a lighthearted voice to match, reggie pushed the envelope with the raw and introspective lyrics of his follow-up single “I DON’T WANNA FEEL NO MORE,” setting up a space for him to further explore the magic in his music. — Sophie Caraan

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

TEMS


For fans of: Odunsi (The Engine), Olamide, WizKid

Rising R&B/Afrobeats star Tems is on the frontlines of Africa’s booming music scene. Born to Nigerian and British parents, the 25-year-old entered the spotlight with her 2019 hit “Try Me,” an anthem that preaches self-confidence, followed by her debut project For Broken Ears. Her rich and deep voice adds a complementing texture to the bopping instrumentations and introspective themes of self-love and self-realization, creating a sound that is uniquely Tems’. — Sophie Caraan

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

PIERS JAMES


For fans of: J. Cole, Dave, Kojey Radical

Piers James is a born storyteller, and the evidence lies in his ability to tell a compelling narrative regardless of whether it’s in song or a rap. No substance or talent is lost when the British artist switches styles — just listen to “Young Black British,” a strong entry from his 2020 project A Dying Breed, Pt. 1. Backed by fierce instrumentation, James is armed with an equally calm flow, a strong head on his shoulders and powerful lyricism at a time when it’s needed the most. — Sophie Caraan

Listen: Spotify | Apple Music

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