The road to superstardom can be long and bumpy. Emerging artists need a strong support system to get there. Spotify aims to provide such support. For the last five years, the company has strived to be a major part of artist discovery and development through an annual campaign spotlighting the Best New Artist category. While Spotify will always champion proven chart-toppers, newcomers are just as vital to its fabric. All this is part of Spotify’s commitment to highlighting rising talent in every genre. These are, after all, the performers who will become legends, and who, in time, will inspire tomorrow’s newcomers. Spotify helps artists tell their stories while connecting them to listeners around the world. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship in which musicians deliver true artistry and Spotify fulfills its ongoing tradition of recognizing talent at every level of success. Spotify’s Best New Artist campaign is a cornerstone of that tradition. It highlights all the nominees, both on and off the platform, through social media, playlists and — when there’s nothing stopping people from gathering — a special event honoring the category’s contenders and celebrating their status among their peers as the brightest and most promising. Meet the class of 2021.
A visionary empath for the woke generation, the lyrical gangster and proud dog mom is using her rapid-fire rhymes for the greater good. Fans are hanging on her every word in droves, and she’s already secured a spot as one of hip-hop’s brightest and most talented young stars. The rapper’s second EP, “Industry Games,” has garnered her a nomination for Best New Artist and over 5.1 million Spotify plays. But who’s counting?
This former California high school Spanish teacher is as skilled with instruments (he plays several of them) as he is with languages. But it’s his rapping skills on his album “Black Habits” that turned this poignant rhymer and advocate for Black excellence into a Spotify star. “Since I dropped ‘Inglewood High,’ Spotify has been behind my projects. To be able to grow with a platform is a pleasure for an independent artist like myself.”
The empress of e-girl beauty is the Best New Artist nominee most likely to become a one-woman empire. The top of the charts may be new territory for her, but she’s already made a mark as a dance video muse and fashion curator. Now the singer and rapper has evolved into a true triple threat; she has become Spotify’s 24th most-streamed artist of the year.* And just like that, a dance and fashion star is reborn as a new pop star.
The queen of feeling things keeps crossing accomplishments off her to-do list. In addition to making power suits hot again, she’s a Best New Artist nominee for her first album, “Lady Like,” which became Spotify’s highest-streaming debut by a female country artist. “It’s really special to see so many different genres of music all being acknowledged and embraced,” Andress says. “I’m happy country music gets to join the party this year.”
Anyone who has heard the Haitian Canadian musician’s work knows he’s no ordinary talent. He’s a wunderkind producer and a self-taught beat technician with the talent to help shape the sound of music in the coming years while cranking out big hits for himself and others. He appears on a whopping 185 official Spotify playlists, a feat of ubiquity that ensures his dance grooves will continue to keep listeners on their feet into the future.
Megan Thee Stallion
The talented rapper is living up to her equine moniker, galloping from one career high to the next. Right now, she seems unstoppable. She’s both hot and smart: Besides being a high-impact rapper, the H-town savage is also an academic scholar studying health care administration. She has more than 2.78 billion streams and over 27 million monthly listeners* on Spotify, and now is up for a Best New Artist award. That’s a lot of hotties.
Musician, singer-songwriter, introspective podcaster and mental health advocate, Noah Cyrus continues her winning streak, having been added to 4.15 million Spotify user playlists. “I am so excited and honored to be nominated for something that recognizes my artistry,” the “July” singer says. “It shows people are not just looking at you, but they’re really listening and hearing your words. As a songwriter, that’s the most rewarding thing.”
She’s a prolific storyteller and Goth zealot whose work has landed her a spot on 231 official Spotify playlists. Now she is nominated for Best New Artist. Audiences are clearly moved by her artistry, but she’s not just going to rest on her performing laurels. If the musical-artist thing somehow doesn’t continue to work out (doubtful), she is already a record label CEO. Soon, she may be launching rising stars as well as being one.
*As of March 3, 2021
Neither Spotify USA Inc. (“Spotify”) nor Variety Media LLC (“Variety”) is affiliated or associated with the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences (“NARAS”). Nothing contained in this article (a) is intended to imply, or (b) is to be construed to imply, any type of endorsement by NARAS of the business, products, or services of (i) Spotify or (ii) Variety.