Everyone loves to be one of the first to discover a new up-and-coming artist before they make it, but with thousands of thriving artists out there launching new music daily, discovering the next big musical breakthrough isn’t easy. Google Play Music has you covered! After hours of listening, analyzing and discussing who you should keep your eye (or ear) on this year, our team of music experts put together a list of the top 10 “Ones to Watch” in 2017—and a new playlist featuring top tracks from these rising stars.
Google Play Music’s ‘Ones to Watch’ for 2017
- Lost Kings
- Kodie Shane
- Bishop Briggs
- Allison Crutchfield
- Maggie Rogers
- Rag'n'Bone Man
So, how did we select our “Ones to Watch” list? Our Google Play Music editorial team locked themselves in a room (well, sort of) and considered everything from track performance on Pop Before It Breaks and Blogged 50 to Google search counts and social media reach, to just pure, inalienable music expert gut instinct. Then, by way of committee, lots of strong coffee, some heated debates, and even more coffee, the final 10 artists were chosen.
Listen now so that when one of their singles hits the radio, you can say with confidence that you heard it first.
Learn more about the 2017 “Ones to Watch” Artists:
EDM duo Lost Kings scored an Internet hit in 2015 with the Carl Carlton via Chris Brown “Bad.” Their latest single, “Phone Down,” with singer and hit songwriter Emily Warren shows how they could follow in the The Chainsmokers’ footsteps from the blogs onto the pop charts. For fans of: The Chainsmokers, Classixx, Matoma.
Atlanta’s Kodie Shane opened her debut mixtape with “Drip In My Walk,” one of the best do-it-for-the-Vine,Travolta-in-white-polyester swagger anthems we heard in 2016. “Baby, you know I’m a star!” Here’s hoping 2017 is the year that becomes incontrovertible. For fans of Lil Yachty, Dreezy, D.R.A.M.
Bound to be a festival favorite this year, Bishop Briggs brings energy and an almost manic array of beats to her dark synth-pop. With a soulful voice that packs a punch, Briggs snagged an opening spot on Coldplay’s stadium tour, a long way from the karaoke bars she performed in growing up. For fans of: BANKS, Alessia Cara, St. Vincent.
Gracefully nodding to ’70s and ’80s country with a modern twist, Texas trio Midland are poised to bring back traditionalism to the country airwaves. Their harmonies and classic steel guitar evoke the Old West erasing the bro-country invasion of recent years. For fans of: George Strait, Dwight Yoakam, The Eagles.
Twin sister and erstwhile bandmate of Waxahatchee’s Katie Crutchfield, Allison Crutchfield is a powerful indie rock singer-songwriter in her own right. “Dean's Room” is a propulsive and buoyant power-pop number from forthcoming the album “Tourists in This Town,” which showcases Crutchfield's softer songwriting. For fans of: Angel Olsen, Mitski, Courtney Barnett.
If Clipse and Pharrell wrote a love song, it would probably sound like “Caroline,” the off-kilter and impossibly catchy debut song from Portland, OR native Aminé. We’ll be eagerly anticipating his debut album this year. For fans of: Rae Sremmurd, The Neptunes, Tarantino movies.
Hand-picked and boosted to viral fame by no less powerful a taste-maker than Pharrell, young singer-songwriter Maggie Rogers is bound for big things in 2017 and beyond. "Alaska," the song that started it all, is an infectious, alternately frosty and thawed-out blend of electro-pop, R&B, and Rogers’ roots in indie folk. For fans of: BANKS, Tove Lo, Låpsley.
This Bay Area MC has already held her own against Drake and Y.G., when she released a critically acclaimed mixtape and rhymed her own name with “please retire.” When that flat, unflappably boss flow of hers rolls by, you will sit up and pay attention. For fans of: Lil Yachty, Young Jeezy, D.R.A.M.
Listen to this Oakland R&B singer’s cooing confession about needing a “Gangsta” on the “Suicide Squad” soundtrack. If you prefer your slinky, intimate soul sans the Jared Leto association, there was also the commanding, ubiquitous 2016 single "CRZY" to get you hooked. The first tracks off her major label debut (out Jan. 27) suggests an even wider range. For fans of: Jhené Aiko, PARTYNEXTDOOR, Tinashe.
Rag’n’Bone Man has already scored a top 10 hit in Germany and his native U.K. with the hip-hop meets blues stomper “Human.” Expect this aggro-tender song to turn up in every “gritty” movie trailer after his debut album drops in February. For fans of: Hozier, Imagine Dragons, impressive beards.