2019 / pt. III / Artists to Watch

To close the our first week, I have compiled a small list of Artists to Watch for the rest of the year. I have been keeping an eye of these artists and see potential for them to breakout within the year. If you recall, last year I mentioned artists like Rina Sawayama and Dounia, who both exploded on the music scene last year so hopefully we get the same luck with these candidates!

1. Isaac Dunbar

ATW, Issac Dunbar

Although he’s relatively new, Isaac Dunbar has already found moderate success with his songs “Freshman Year” & “Blonde”. At only 15 years old, the Barnstable native has found his niche in the industry, following the footsteps of indie pop artists like Billie Eilish and Bülow. His songs, which are more or less like the diary of someone raised in this social media era, are created in a way that (for the lack of a better word) document how he’s been dealing with growing up. Speaking on subjects such as high school, peer pressure, first heartbreaks, I think it’s only a matter of time before his music catches on.


2. Joy Crookes

ATW, Joy Crookes
Photographed by: Grace Rivera


As an English vocalist coming out of United Kingdom, I’m already prepared for sources to compare her to R&B vocalist Jorja Smith, luckily OA isn’t that source. Although she’s been active for around 5 years, the South London native, whose voice has been compared to the late Amy Winehouse, has been gaining traction overseas since her performance on COLORS in 2017. Listening to her delivery and cadence, you can tell that she’s an artist who’s practiced and mastered her sound. Throughout 2018, Crookes remained consistent releasing a 7-track ep named Influence in July and a single & visual for her latest song “Don’t Let Me Down” in November.


3. Lolo Zouaï

ATW, Lolo Z (by Sara Khalid)
Photographed by: Sara Khalid

If you are a regular OA reader, I’m sure that you already know know Lolo Zouai is. Since the start of the site, I’ve been an advocate for the French-American songstress. Most known for her song “High Highs to Low Lows” released in 2017, the singer/songwriter has been featured on sources like Complex and i-D for being an artist to watch among upcoming R&B singers. Outside of writing her own music, the lyricist who tends to write in both French & English, has penned for artists like H.E.R (she co-wrote “Still Down” off H.E.R’s Grammy nominated album H.E.R). I think she is rising at a gradual pace and hopefully with the amount of music she released in 2018 (Desert Rose, Challenge, …) we can prepare for a debut project within the first half of the year!

Make sure to follow OA on social media platforms: Instagram, Twitter, and Soundcloud to stay updated

2019 / pt. II / 2018 Rewind

To celebrate OA turning 1, I would like to dedicate the first post of the New Year to the artists who contributed to the site in 2018. Most readers don’t know this, but many of interviews featured in the first quarter of ‘18 (Jan-March) were completed BEFORE the site was even created. For whatever reason, the very first artists on the site believed in my vision for OA and were willing to help me out before the platform was even accessible. These artists will forever be embedded in my heart, because they believed in my hopes for the site, justs as much as I did.

I will probably never be able to pay them back, but I figure the least I can do is providing you with a link to all of their new music (songs & projects that were released after their time on OA).

Those who have new projects:


Those who’ve released new songs:

Make sure to follow OA on social media platforms: Instagram, Twitter, and Soundcloud to stay updated.

Meet Indie Pop Artist: Cassie Marin. “. . . Music saves me everyday.”

In today’s interview I had the pleasure of speaking with pop artist Cassie Marin. Some of you may remember her from the article Artists You Should Know as well as having the Video of the Week with her song “Remember You” – off her latest EP S.O.S. I got the opportunity to speak with her about what it will take for her to feel successful, finding her sound and much more!

Read below for full interview:


Q: Hello, for the readers who are discovering your music through this interview – would you like to introduce yourself?

A: Hi hello hey! My name is Cassie Marin 🙂

I’m from Miami, Florida and I started my journey with music when I was 4! I began by playing piano until it evolved into composing and songwriting, and that became my way of life. My birthday is on Valentine’s Day, my favorite color is yellow and music saves me everyday.


Q: How would you describe your sound for those who have never heard your music?

A:  I always feel weird trying to describe my own sound, just because I feel like I hear it so differently than everyone else, but a close friend of mine wrote this after listening to my music recently and I was very touched :,) So I’d like to share that:

Listening to Cassie Marin’s music is like entering a blooming secret garden of deeply personal experiences. Refreshingly unique, Cassie combines the best parts of Moody R&B, Pop and House to elicit a distinct emotion while maintaining airy, ambient and unassuming currents of bottomlessly dense sound. Slightly secretive and delicately feminine, every song Cassie releases is a single intricate flower plucked from her consciousness and added to her verdurous display.


Q: When you initially decided to become a musician, did you know the type of music of music you wanted to create / the message you wanted to convey?

A: I was never sure which direction to turn in terms of a genre of music, but I always had a message buried beneath every piece of music I created. I listened to all genres growing up, sort of just finding every CD I could in my house and pick apart my favorite tracks. I just knew I wanted the music that I made to feel real to me forever, it’s meant to be as honest as finding an old journal and reading it again.


Q: Growing up, were there any artists that you were influenced by?

A: SO many. I would say my earliest influences that are still with me to this day are: Lydia, Britney Spears, Brand New and Justin Timberlake
Cassie Marin 02.JPG

Q: Music is one of those career paths people specifically family/close friends are skeptical of – especially in the beginning. How did your inner circle react to the news of you becoming a musician? (Were they supportive?)

A: I think the most difficult part about watching someone pursue their dreams is being afraid for them, or worried they’ll be disappointed, and maybe that’s why it often feels like skepticism, but I think at the end of the day, when you’re really passionate about something, you know the most important person that needs to believe in you is yourself.

I can’t say people have always been supportive in my life, but I can say that their lack of support only made me learn to be there for myself. With time and patience the people who have been supporting me all along reveal themselves, and I can’t thank them enough these days.



Q: Do you remember their (family or friends) reaction the first time they heard one of your songs?

A: My parents? The first full song I ever showed them was actually my very first single “All Along”. I remember my mother was full of smiles and my father was tearing up when I finished singing it for them. It’s a very sweet memory to me.



Q: One of the first songs you released was  “Baby Girl” – What was the inspiration behind that song?

A: Baby Girl was a song I wrote dedicated to my father actually. I wrote it as a birthday gift for him. At the time my father and I weren’t very close so it was my way of reaching out and showing him how much love I had buried inside.

My first full song release however, was “All Along” in 2011, and I wrote that song about my very first serious crush on a boy at my school. I was homeschooled for a huge chunk of my childhood, so when I started public school my freshman year of highschool, it was a big change.

A boy named Carson inspired the song.


Q: Were you nervous about releasing something so personal for the world to hear?

A: I always am. Every song is like ripping a page out from my diary and reading it on a podium. It’s never easy but it’s worth knowing someone might listen and relate. I’ll never forget the first time I heard a piece of music and thought to myself “Wow, I’m really not alone.” It’s always worth the chance to be there for somebody.


Q: There are actually a lot of artists – whether mainstream or upcoming – who don’t have the courage to write (& release) something as personal as you have. With this being said, do you think who you are as a person and who you are as a musician are similar, exact, or polar opposites?

A: I would say they’re very similar if not identical. I’ve always had a difficult time putting my personality in a box and I think with time I’ve learned it’s because I wasn’t meant to. I think a huge part of being an artist is embracing everything that you are and allowing yourself to evolve and change without holding onto things out of fear. My music is an extension of myself, and with it, I invite my listeners to discover more.


Q: It has been some time since your official debut, do you think you have evolved as an artist?

A: Yes, haha. My ideas are always changing, and I’m excited 🙂



Q: As of 2018, you have 3 projects, 20+ songs, 200,000+ listens – did you ever see yourself attaining this amount of “success”?

A: As flattered as I am by the phrasing of this question, I suppose everyone’s definition of “success” is different. I’ve always had extremely high expectations of myself and that’s led me to be an introverted kind of person, so I attribute feelings of success and joy more so with performing for people, and being able to interact with them as much as I can. I like being there for them in person, singing live makes me the happiest.

Of course plays and streams are wonderful and I’m extremely thankful for the people listening from miles away, but what really touches me is when I get to interact more closely with a fan, and I’m able to talk with them about their experiences and how they relate to my music. A part of me will be waiting and longing for the day I get to sing for everyone live. I think I’ll feel successful when I’ve made the world a happier place.



Q: In January, you released your latest project, S.O.S – was the process in creating it similar to the ones released previously?

A: “S.O.S.” (Spoonful of Sugar) was honestly a whole different monster. I wrote the songs over a 5 month time period, while going through some really tough moments. Bringing my fears to life in order to face them directly was one of the most liberating things I’ve ever done. I wrote every song differently and they bloomed at different times, but ultimately putting it together was such an incredible process.



Q: Do you have a favorite song off the project? (If so, which song and why)

A: My favorite song off of the EP would have to be “Weigh”.

It was actually the first song I wrote for “S.O.S.” and it took me the longest to finalize and finish. It’s one of my favorite songs I’ve produced as well as lyrically written because I feel like I really let go when writing it. I wasn’t overthinking the words or trying to overindulge in my emotions. Sometimes when I’m listening to music on shuffle and it comes on, I forget I’m the person singing it haha.



Q:  The video for your lead single “Remember You” has already garnered over 20,000 plays on YouTube – can you explain what the song is about for those who have not heard it yet?

A: “Remember You” is a song about nostalgia and how certain memories can almost take you back to a feeling so vividly, you’re almost there again. I like to leave room for the imagination to wander with my choice of lyrics, but I will say that this song was inspired by the idea that waiting for true love is an everlasting concept, and that people won’t ever stop doing it, nor will I.



Q: Since the project’s release you have become one of the Artists to Watch in 2018 for sources like Rbeatz and Fashionably Early (no pressure) – what are some of your plans for this year?

A: Hehe, well I have some new visuals coming soon and plans for live performances! Aside from that, I have a few secrets up my sleeve that I can’t share right this moment, but I promise they will surely be a wild surprise 🙂



Q: Last but not least, is there anything you would like to tell your supporters?

A: I can’t thank you enough for being with me and for listening. There are so many moments throughout my day where I daydream about singing for each and every one of you, to you, for you. Your encouragement and kindness lifts me up when I feel like sinking. Your presence means more to me than you could possibly imagine and I promise one day I’ll find ways to show you how much your light has guided me.
Your presence inspires me every day.
TYSM for being here,
I love you,


To stay updated with Cassie, make sure to follow her on: Instagram, Twitter

To watch her video for “Remember You” click here.

To listen to her latest project S.O.S click here.

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).