The New Faces of: Pop (2018 Version)

To continue the “The New Faces” series, started a little while ago, I’ve compiled a new lists of Pop artists you should keep an eye out for. Because pop music is such a broad term, I’ve compiled 3 lists (Alternative, Electro-Synth, R&B Fusion) for you to get a better understanding of what theses artists sound like. To ensure that you understand these artists, each list is accompanied w/ a playlist full upcoming artists breaking into each sub-genre 🙂


1. Alternative (click here)

Notable Artists:

  • Lana Del Rey
  • Lorde (International)
  • Bon Iver
  • Amber Run (International)
  • Coldplay

Up & Coming Artists:

  • Billie Eilish
  • Astrum
  • The True Blue
  • Donna Missal
  • Dream Harlowe
  • Jessie Reyez (International)
  • Cassie Marin
  • Kat Dahlia

2. Electropop/Synthpop (click here)

Notable Artists:

  • Marina and the Diamonds (International)
  • Charli XCX (International)
  • ASTR
  • Tove Lo (International)
  • Oh Land (International)
  • Shura (International)

Up & Coming Artists:

  • Luna Shadows
  • Maty Noyes
  • Rina Sawayama (International)
  • Saphir
  • Goldmyth
  • Mona (International)

3. R&B/Pop (click here)

Notable Artists:

  • Yuna (International)
  • Tinashe
  • Zayn (International)

Up & Coming Artists:

  • Mariami
  • Wafia (International)
  • Liv Dawson (International)
  • Danelle Sandoval
  • Ansel Elgort
  • MAAD


The New Faces of: R&B (2018 Version)

I don’t know if this post marks the start of a new series, or if it’s more of a once in a blue moon – but I wanted to share with you, some of my favorite upcoming artists. R&B is a genre I have gravitated towards since young, especially once I began songwriting. Since 2011, the genre has really picked up thanks to artists like Jhene Aiko & The Weeknd (who are also pioneers of the Alternative R&B genre: PBR&B). Although this list is relatively short (4 artists) these are the ones I’ve noticed making their name known in the R&B lane in the last year.
Hopefully you check out these artists & enjoy them as much as I do!


1. SiR

SiR is an American singer-songwriter and engineer based in Inglewood California. Known for his association with Top Dawg Entertainment as well as his projects such as HER and HER TOO, I decided to put him first on the list because although he is known throughout the industry, personally I feel that his talents are underappreciated. Since the start of his professional career in 2012 he has worked with artists such as Jill Scott, Tyrese, Melanie Fiona – and even with all of that prestige behind him, he is still relatively unknown.

On January 19, he released his second full-length album (first under TDE) November. The album has been reviewed by sources such as Highsnobiety and UPROXX, sources describing it as “dream-like” and “avante-garde rap”.

I had the chance to listen to the album the day it released and I would highly recommend listening to Dreaming of Me and Better (simply because they’re my favorites as of right now).

If you happen to listen to his sound and enjoy it you can find most, if not all of his projects on Apple Music and Spotify.

Phe (1)

2. Phé

Phé is a Canadian-born R&B singer/songwriter currently based in Los Angeles. I came across her around late 2016 when she released her debut song Incredible. In a time where most artists in general are accustomed to singing over trap beats it was somewhat refreshing to hear someone who identifies as an r&b artist sing over a contemporary r&b beat – (think: Beyonce’s Dangerously In Love or Maxwell’s BLACKsummers’night).

Now, I love (and I mean love) listening the every genre that have come out of R&B (neo-soul, pbr&b, etc.) but something about contemporary r&b just feels . . . comfortable – at least to me.

Phé is one of those artists that I would throw into the conversation if I were talking about artists like Sabrina Claudio, H.E.R, Janine, etc. I got the chance to interview her (that interview will be released soon) and talk about her music beginnings, and how she personally felt about the state of R&B saying:

“I’m really f*cking with R&B right now. There are so many powerful young woman in the genre that have so much to say, and I find that super inspiring. . .”

Out of all the artists on the list, I’m most excited to see what the future has in store for her. 

Make sure to listen to her songs:

. . . and be sure to follow her on: Instagram, Twitter, and SoundCloud


3. K-Si Yang

K-Si Yang is an American singer based out of Florida – most known for his song “Real” which has accumulated over 89,000 plays since its release in 2016. If you enjoy listening to artists like Jacquees, Austin Lam, Jordon Hollywood (they also have a collaboration together) then you should add K-Si to the list.

Make sure to follow him on Instagram & SoundCloud.

LOLO4. Lolo Zouaï

I’ve mentioned Lolo more than enough times for you guys to have an idea of what her music sounds like but I’ve never gone into detail about who she is. Lolo, originally from France, is an upcoming singer/songwriter currently based in New York City.

According to her interview with Valfre she’s been writing music for over half her life so it makes sense that all of the music she’s released thus far is beyond exceptional. She also mentions that her lyrics are mostly based off personal experiences and that she hopes to be empowering for young women all over the world.

Her music has been described as “authentic”, “melancholic” and Songwriters Hall of Fame has even described her as having the “uncanny ability to convey her vulnerabilities while showing equal amounts of fearlessness”.

Make sure to listen to her latest song “Blue” released last week.

To stay updated be sure to follow her on: SoundCloud, Twitter, and Instagram



2018 pt. III: Artists to Watch

If you read “2017” part one and two then you will already be familiar with some of these artists. Since this is an “Artists to Watch” list rather than me just exposing you to underground/independent artists, I will be listing artists that you may have heard of although they have yet to attain mainstream success. It’s Friday which means that I’ve already posted artists based in America (part i) and international (part ii) separately. To make it easier for both you and I, this list will include musicians from all over the world. Of course I will let it be known where they are from/based, and any other information I feel is useful.

If you have any recommendations, feel free to comment at bottom of page), send me an email, or whatever you feel is necessary. AGAIN, this list is based off of personal opinion so please don’t give me a paragraph about why you do not believe an artist will make it or anything along those lines because within the first three words I will stop reading.
In order for you to enjoy and get the most from this website you honestly have to be really open minded to the music I share. If you are looking for one specific genre of music or the same type of music to be shared I am sure you can find other sites that fit your personal criteria. But, if you are interested in being exposed to people either in or looking to get into this industry (from all over the world) – I hope that you enjoy and take a listen to the music.


Photographer: Matt Moram

Rina Sawayama (singer/songwriter) – London

Rina is an Japanese-born, English pop singer from London. If you enjoy artists such as Sky Ferreira (think: Everything is Embarrassing), Solange (think: Don’t You Wait) then Rina is the perfect artist.

The first time I heard about Rina, it was for the series “i-D meets” on YouTube a few days before she released her self-titled debut project RINA. In this series, they have a habit of playing the artist’s music in the background and one of the songs that grabbed my attention was Cyber Stockholm Syndrome (Genre: Pop). Besides it being an amazing song, the visuals were just as pleasant – which is ultimately why I ended up looking at of her music videos.

If you listen to her songs: Afterlife (Genre: Synth-pop), Where Are You (Genre: Synth-pop/R&B), even if we go even farther back into her music history Tunnel Vision (Genre: Alt. R&B) – you’ll understand why I cannot categorize an artist such as her. Her voice has the ability to sound perfect over any genre or type of beat and honestly, as a songwriter myself – I was in awe. I personally feel that if more artists made music from the heart and experimented with their sound as much as Rina does, we would be taken back to the nostalgic late 90s-early 2000s era in music (if you were alive during this era then you know what I am talking about).

Make sure to follow Rina on: Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

To listen to Rina’s debut ep RINA click here.




Millic (producer) – South Korea

Millic is a South Korean producer known for his affiliation with Club Eskimo (members include: Dean, Crush, and Miso – all S. Korean acts) as well as his debut album VIDA [supported by lead single: Paradise (Genre: KR&B)]

Before I say anything, I must say that this album is an amazing debut and although not EVERY song is in english, everyone who truly loves music will appreciate this project. When I initially decided to share this album, I was a little hesitant because I was not sure how receptive people would be toward it. I already have the reputation of listening to music that nobody listens to so I didn’t want this to be another thing that got overlooked – especially not with the amount of talent that was showcased on this project.

From the artists that were featured on VIDA, I get the impression that Millic also listens to music that has yet to be accepted by mainstream media. (such as his features: Rejjie Snow, Han, and TA-KU – which I will admit, all artists I had not heard of until this album.)

When I shared songs from the project I was pleasantly surprised to see such the positive reception it got specifically to the song You (ft. TA-KU) (Genre: Pop/R&B). If you don’t listen to any other artist that I recommend in this article, I would suggest that you give Millic a chance because he has music for literally everyone.


Photographer: John Ahn

Satica (singer) – Long Beach, California

If you enjoy artists such as Billie Eilish or are influenced by any indie pop artists,  I would strongly suggest that you begin listening to Long Beach native, Satica. With over four years of music released, two projects, and over a 2.9 million streams under her belt, it’s hard to imagine why she hasn’t taken over radio airwaves yet. Listening to her sultry vocals, it is easy to see why her musical inspirations include artists such as Swedish dream-pop artist Lykke Li and American alt. r&b musician Frank Ocean.

Although her songs may be more known than her face, seeing the response she’s received on her latest project Drippin’ (which has garnered over 292,000 streams in total since its release in October) makes me think that she has a busy year ahead of her.

To listen to her latest project Drippin’ click here.

Make sure to follow her on social media: Instagram, Twitter, Soundcloud


Hayley Kiyoko. (singer/songwriter) – Los Angeles, California

The first time I heard Kiyoko, it was around 2010-2011 when I had come across a group she was in called The Stunners. Honestly, at the time I did like her voice but I gravitated towards one of her band-mates, now known as Tinashe.

When the group broke up in 2011, I followed up on Nashe’s music but I never made it a thing to follow up Hayley’s. If I could go back I wish I would’ve continued listening to them both rather than just focusing on one BUT things came in full circle in late 2017.

I was roaming across YouTube as I tend to do and one of her older songs Girls Like Girls” (Genre: Pop) (yes, she’s gay – anyways) was in my recommendations. I don’t know if I listened to it at the time but I know that a couple weeks passed and then I noticed her name again, this time for her newly released song called “Feelings” (Genre: Pop/R&B) which is a single from her debut album dropping this year. In an article with Flaunt Magazine Kiyoko explains the meaning of the song saying:

“I wanted to write an anthem celebrating these ‘feelings,’ as opposed to suppressing them like society often makes people do in today’s dating scene. We have feelings, we get involved, and sometimes we can’t control it. After all, we’re human.”

Kiyoko creates music that is relatable, and honest. She dabbles in synth-pop, r&b, indie, and many more genres which means anyone could probably find at least one song in her whole catalogue that they enjoy (even if it’s just a tad).

To follow her on social media: Instagram, YouTube, Twitter

Honorable Mentions


  • Name: Croosh
  • Genre: R&B, Indie, Rap
  • Similar Artists: Eli Sostre, Don B
  • Notable Songs: Ziba, Vibrations, Zeus

Brandy Haze (4)

  • Name: Brandy Haze
  • Genre: R&B
  • Similar Artists: Chayse, Taliwhoah, Shanell, Candice, Natasha Mosley
  • Notable Songs: Conditional




Abi Ocia (2)

  • Name: Abi Ocia
  • Genre: R&B, Alternative
  • Similar Artists: Lyves, Jones
  • Notable Songs: Running



  • Name: Janine
  • Genre: R&B
  • Similar Artists: Jhene Aiko, Sabrina Claudio, Alina Baraz, Sinéad Harnett
  • Notable Songs: Hold Me, Never the Right Time

Lolo Z.

  • Name: Lolo Zouai
  • Genre: R&B, Alt. Pop
  • Similar Artists: Sofi de la Torre, Alyana, Raye
  • Notable Songs: High Highs to Low Lows, IDR


And with this we conclude the 2017 series as well as the first week of Arcane. Thank you to all the readers who have emailed me or contacted me through social media complimenting the music that I’ve shared so far.

If you go to our official soundcloud you will notice that there are two playlists. These playlists have music from all artists listed throughout the 2017 series as well as music that has come out during the week of 1/01-1/05.

It is still undecided whether the playlists will be weekly or every other week but since the response this week was so encouraging, I created two (with the help of 2 of my music-oriented friends).

See You All Next Week,


2017 pt. II

Before I start, I just want to thank everyone who has visited the site since it’s launch earlier in the week. If you’ve read the first part of this 2017 series, you already know what to expect (if you are new to the site click here to read part one). Although I have yet to receive any negative feedback, it was pointed out to me that out of all the music I shared, only four of them were from guys (yes, it was a guy who pointed this out). Unfortunately, that may be a reoccurring problem since 90% of the music I listen to are females who have yet to be acknowledged by the industry BUT – fair is fair. . .

I’ve decided that I will in fact, give both sexes the same amount of attention on both this site and my real life and make sure everyone has something (or someone) they can gravitate to.

NOW! Before I start, I will note, it is Wednesday therefore the artists that are being posted are not (currently) based in the United States.

Category I : Favorite Debuts



Blessed (South-East London)

  • Genre: Pop
  • Similar Artists:
  • Notable Songs: Howlin’, My Yute, Pride
  • Debut Project: See Through the Colours (released August 17, 2017)
  • Latest Project: Howlin’ (released December 8, 2017)




  • Genre: R&B
  • Similar Artists: Ty Dolla $ign, Kalin White
  • Notable Songs: Twenty Ten


Category II: Favorite Projects


Millic (South Korea)

  • Title: VIDA
  • Released: July 10, 2017
  • Genre(s): K-Pop, Alternative, R&B
  • Standout Song(s): Paradise (Korean), You (feat. TA-KU)



Villette Dasha (Auckland, New Zealand)

  • Title: Drip Crimson
  • Released: December 15, 2017
  • Genre(s): R&B
  • Similar Projects: Sabrina ClaudioAbout Time, Janine – XXEP
  • Standout Song(s): Stronger


Category III – Favorite Singles



Avelino (North London)

Only Love

Wafia (Perth, Australia)

  • Song Title: Only Love
  • Released: December 14, 2017
  • Genre: Pop, R&B
  • Off the Project: VIII (to be released 1/18/18)


2018 pt. I

Before I begin this article I would just like to thank everyone for giving this site a chance. I don’t recall the exact moment I decided to create Arcane, but I know that once I began pitching the idea, the reception was beyond imaginable.

The sole purpose of this website is to help aspiring creatives (as of right now it’s just musicians) gain exposure. As a musician myself, I already know how difficult and competitive this industry is, which is why I want to help everyone I possibly can.

In early 2017 I made a conscious decision to step away from songwriting – not because I wanted to, but because I needed time to evaluate who I wanted to be as someone in the field, and what impact I wanted to make in it. In taking this break I not only discovered who I wanted to become as a musician, but I was able to evaluate what state the music industry was in as a whole and if I could see myself in it.

In this short break, it was not only refreshing to see the outpour of new (at least to mainstream radio) talent, but it was needed. Throughout my year off, I was able to see the careers of artists like SZA, Kehlani, Jaden Smith take off while simultaneously appreciating artists like Kendrick Lamar, Tyler the Creator, and Jhene Aiko reconstruct what it is to be a true artist.

Yes, it was an amazing time for music.

Of course I would love to explain every artist that I listened to and give an in-detail explanation of why you should listen to them to but I’ve never been one to ramble. I’ve compiled three lists:

  • Favorite Debuts 
  • Favorite Projects
  • Favorite Singles

All of the artists on the list are relatively new so if you are not familiar with them, it is completely understandable – that’s kind of the point of this website. If there are artists you feel deserve more recognition, feel free to contact me (via. the contact page) or through Arcane’s social media: Twitter, Instagram, and SoundCloud.

Category I: Favorite Debuts





Category II: Favorite Projects

Perception - EP


  • Released: October 13, 2017
  • Genre: Pop, Alternative
  • Similar Projects: TraceLow EP, Lorde – Pure Heroine 
  • Standout Song(s): Perception, Confessional



DouniaIntro To


Thursday Night

Niqa MorThursday Night

  • Released: March 13, 2017
  • Genre: PBR&B
  • Similar Projects: TinasheAquarius, Tory LanezChixtape 4,  Asiahn Love Train EP
  • Standout Song(s): Night Swim



The True BlueOther Summer

  • Released: June 28, 2017
  • Genre: Pop, Indie, R&B
  • Standout Song: O.O.C



Category III: Favorite Songs


LuleFix Me

  • Project: POV
  • Genre: R&B
  • Released: August 28
  • Similar Artists: Croosh, 


Used To

LexUsed To

  • Genre: Pop
  • Released: March 24, 2017
  • Similar Songs: Maleek Berry – Flexin, Pia Mia What A Girl Wants



Lolo ZouaiHigh Highs to Low Lows

  • Genre: PBR&B, Indie Pop
  • Released: September 27, 2017
  • Similar Songs: Alyana – Bliss, Stalgia – In the Trees




  • Genre: R&B. Hip Hop/Rap
  • Released: September 17, 2017
  • Similar Songs: Darci – Come Around, 


Honorable Mentions

DREAMGIRL - EPQuinDreamgirl EP

  • Genre: R&B, Pop
  • Released: September 1, 2017
  • Standout Song(s): BB



AsiahnLove Train EP

  • Genre: Contemporary R&B
  • Released: January 7, 2017
  • Similar Projects: H.E.R – Vol. 1 & 2, Niqa Mor – Thursday Night, Tinashe – Reverie, Jhene Aiko – Souled Out
  • Standout Songs: Faded, Time



Denny Lanez –  Dominate (Single)

  • Project: ’96
  • Genre: Hip Hop/Rap
  • Released: April 8, 2017
  • Similar Songs: Meek Mill – Litty



Hadar Adora

  • Genre: Pop, Reggae, Indie 
  • Notable Song: I Can Do Anything
  • Similar Artists: Naomi Wild, Satica, Melody Reyne



CadenceTake My Time (Single)

  • Project: Summer’s End
  • Released: September 22, 2017
  • Genre: Pop
  • Similar Songs: Jessica Jarrell – U Remind Me, Mila J – U Remind Me


Although this is not all of the artists and music I enjoy throughout 2017, these are the artists and projects that stood out to me the most. To hear more music from these artists  as well as those who aren’t included there will be a playlist uploaded on our official SoundCloud (click here) and Instagram (click here). Be sure to follow all of Arcane’s social media platforms to be notified when a new article is posted or in case anything major is happening to or on the site.

** On Wednesday, 2017: Part II will be uploaded. If you have seen our schedule (click here) you know that Wednesdays are dedicated to international artists (artists who are not based in the United States).