What do Bobby Darin, The Beatles, The Carpenters, Cyndi Lauper, Mariah Carey and Adele have in common? All are Grammy winners in the “Best New Artist” category. While the Grammys are notorious for out of this world fashions, mind blowing performances and memorable acceptance speeches, nothing is more exciting than seeing a blossoming artist stake their claim in the Grammy history books. This year, as always, the category is filled with a variety of talented and interesting performers that you may or may not know. Not to worry! Literally, Darling‘s Entertainment team has put together a list to introduce you to the talented “Best New Artist” hopefuls.
Twenty-five-year-old British singer, songwriter and producer James Blake has released two albums, “James Blake” and “Overgrown.” His debut album was nominated for the 2011 Mercury Prize, while “Overgrown” took home the award in 2013. In the summer of 2011 he collaborated with Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon on a project called “Fall Creek Boy’s Choir.” In addition, Blake does remixes and works on the mixes that makes his unique electronic sound.
Song You Know: “Retrograde”
Song You Need To Know: “Wilhelm Scream:
Raised in the Compton, California neighborhood of rap greats Dr. Dre and MC Eiht, Kendrick Lamar is currently at the top of contemporary hip-hop. He’s touring with Kanye through the end of February and is the only featured collaborator on Eminem’s “The Marshall Mathers LP 2.” His first major label record Good Kid, M.A.A.D City is a poetic tour de force notable for its profound, multi-layered narrative and powerful autobiographical storytelling. He’s nominated for an insane seven Grammy’s this year (two nominations for collabs), and Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City is competing for both “Best Rap Album” and “Album of the Year.” Hot damn.
Song You Know: “Swimming Pools (Drank)”
Song You Need To Know: “Sing About Me, I’m Dying of Thirst”
Kacey Musgraves is only 25, but her music packs a big punch. With a genuinely country voice minus the annoying twang, she brings a liveliness and style back into female country music that’s been lacking the past few years. The Bitter Southerner listed her at No. 8 on their “Best Southern Albums of 2013” list. She co-wrote the song “Undermine” from ABC’s hit show “Nashville.” She’s tied for most Grammy nominations for a female this year with Taylor Swift and Lorde. It’s safe to say Musgraves is taking the music world by storm, and doing it quick.
Song You Know: “Merry Go ‘Round”
Song You Need To Know: “Dandelion”
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
While Macklemore & Ryan Lewis blew up commercially in the last two years, it’s important to recognize their success did not come overnight. In the last 13 years, Macklemore has released two albums, three EPs and one mixtape… independently. Producer Ryan Lewis, while the lesser known half of the duo, is an integral talent and force behind their success. The pair crashed onto the scene with “Thrift Shop” in 2013, following up their debut with their second No. 1 hit “Can’t Hold Us,” making them the first duo in history to chart #1 with their first two singles. More impressive than their Billboard stats, sick verses and bad ass beats is the way Macklemore & Ryan Lewis have paved the way for independent artists. With seven nominations this year, it’s safe to say some Grammys will be headed home with these two this year.
Song You Know: “Thrift Shop”
Song You Need To Know: “Neon Cathedral”
It’s no secret that we LOVE British boys here at LD, and Ed happens to be one of our favorites. This Halifax born singer-songwriter has somehow managed to dominate with more than 15 million albums sold worldwide yet remain relatively unknown to a large portion of commercial American music lovers. Aside from being nominated for “Song of the Year” in 2013 with his hit “The A Team,” Sheeran spent the majority of last year on tour with Taylor Swift, but proved he’s far more than a support act by headlining three sold out shows at Madison Square Garden in November. His year popped off to a great start as Oscar buzz has already begun regarding his song “I See Fire,” which was written and recorded in one day for Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.” With his much anticipated second album set to be released sometime this year and a huge UK/Ireland tour recently announced, we’re eager to see him reach new levels of success in 2014, but simultaneously a little upset we can’t keep this handsome and uber talented boy all to ourselves. *Swoon*
Song You Know: “The A Team”
Song You Need To Know: “Give Me Love” (The Live Room Session)
Quite a category to beat, eh? Fingers crossed the Grammys pull a first and give awards to all five of these fabulous performers. Unlikely? Maybe. But we can dream, darlings.[divider][/divider]