Nothing moves a person more than great sound. From flooding a room with tears to getting a stadium to shake with the fevered energy of an overflowing crowd, music is a potent instrument, and those who wield it are naturally nothing short of phenomenal.
2021, like the years before it, introduces a new era of these phenomenal, moving music artists. Whether emerging or established, these talented powerhouses have dominated the charts and staked their claim on award shows.
Out of the thousands making their voice known over radios and streaming platforms, here are this year’s Top 20 music artists:
1. Justin Bieber
Photo courtesy: Mike Rosenthal/Getty Images
Multi-faceted singer and songwriter Justin Bieber is the world-renowned artist behind the Billboard Global Excl. US number one track “Peaches.” The song continues to reign the chart after four weeks, attesting to the popularity of Justin’s latest album Justice.
Released on March 19, 2021, Justice is the musician’s sixth studio album, following the success of his debut work My World 2.0 in 2010 and subsequent collections: Under the Mistletoe, Believe, Purpose, and Changes.
In his eleven years in the entertainment business, Justin Bieber has received countless awards and accolades. Justin has earned two Brit Awards, one Bambi Awards, numerous voters’ choice awards, and two coveted Grammy Awards for Best Dance Recording for “Where Are U Now,” and the Best Country Duo/Group Performance with Dan + Shay in “10,000” hours.
To celebrate his gold-laden career, Justin has recently announced a 2021 World Tour for “Justice,” which will traverse through over 40 venues.
2. Demi Lovato
Photo courtesy: Kevin Mazur/Getty
American singer, songwriter, and actress Demi Lovato first shot to fame after being cast in the beloved children’s television series Barney & Friends. She appeared on the show from 2002 until 2004 and later returned to the screen as Mitchie Torres on the 2000s teen classic Camp Rock.
In the Disney film and its sequel Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam, Demi showed great acting chops and powerful vocals, with her character’s song “This Is Me” peaking at number 9 on Billboard Hot 100.
Following her raving success, she recorded her chart-topping debut album Don’t Forget. Her subsequent critically acclaimed work cemented Demi Lovato’s reputation as a master musician. Demi’s seventh album, Dancing with the Devil…the Art of Starting Over, was launched last April 2, 2021.
3. Rod Wave
Photo courtesy: Rahim Fortune
Rodarius Marcell Green, better known as “Rod Wave,” is an American rapper, singer, and songwriter. At only 21 years old, the multi-talented music artist is proficient in numerous genres such as hip-hop, R&B, trap, and Neo-soul, and is a well-loved frequenter of the music charts.
He first gained international recognition for his 2019 viral hit single “Heart on Ice,” which trended on YouTube and TikTok. The track peaked at number 25 on Billboard Hot 100 and helped propel Rod’s debut album “Ghetto Gospel.”
“Ghetto Gospel” and the second studio album “Pray 4 Love” sat tenth and second, respectively, on the US Billboard 200. Furthering his catapult to fame, Rod Wave’s latest masterpiece “SoulFly,” released last March 26, 2021, is currently climbing the charts.
YouTube Channel: RodWave
As a completely independent and self-managed artist Ric-a-Sha has been breaking barriers. He’s managed to co-produce his own tv commercial on BET and VH1 for his latest single #BlackLatina, which he released 11 months ago has over 100k streams on Spotify! He’s also managed to co-produce a radio commercial on Wild94.1 Tampa Bay’s party station. Ric-a-Sha’s been offered multiple deals from distribution to publishing; however, he’s strong in faith and believes in independence. It’s rare to accomplish these feats being completely indie; this is why he’s earned a Top 5 Spot of 2021.
5. Nick Porcaro
Nick Porcaro is from the same family name as Jeff Porcaro, former drummer and co-founder of the six-time Grammy Award-winning band Toto. Nick is a rock and metal drummer in Los Angeles and Orange County, California. Nick’s drumming experience spans four decades.
Nick’s drumming honors include the following: Music Observers’ Top 20 Artists of 2020, Music Observer’s Top 25 Rising Musicians of 2021, and Collision Drumsticks VIP Backstage Artist of the Month for March 2021.
Nick has over 10,000 followers on social media.
Nick is an artist for SJC Drums, Collision Drumsticks, and Soultone Cymbals. He is also an ambassador for Destroy A Drum clothing. Nick is in two bands and is also an instructor, who teaches people how to play the drums.
Instagram: @nick_porcaro_drums _
6. DJ GQ
DJ GQ was born and lives currently in South Florida, and was raised in Kingston, Jamaica. He dropped his first EP album Is It You? on October 9 2020, which charted #1 on the iTunes Reggae charts in its first 2 hours, and #10 on the Billboard Reggae charts in its second week. DJ GQ was the first Top40 Mixer on Y100, and also does shows on Bob Marley’s Tuff Gong Radio (SirusXM), and Remix Top 30 (iHeart) with Hollywood Hamilton in 150 cities. He’s affiliated with Akon, DMX, Mr. Vegas, and Kevin Lyttle.
7. Willie J
Internationally known CEO Artist Willie J, a native of East Saint Louis and Belleville Illinois, is riding high off the global success of his music and international company (Pure Mission Entertainment). He recently dropped his highly anticipated EP (“Sunshine with the Rain” vol.1) this past Valentine’s Day. This project features many amazing artists, producers, and musicians. With crazy production from his LA/Illinois Team, the (MuzicDortorz).
The EP already has over 1.4 million streams in over 50 countries on SoundCloud alone. This project features several of his hit singles “Sunshine with the Rain” ft. (NAACP Winner) Arthur Flash Johnson with 2 million SoundCloud Streams and “We Love You Puerto Rico” featuring various artists. The song is dedicated to the Hurricane Maria victims and has now over 3 million streams.
Willie J has topped the European Top 200 Indie Charts with multiple hit singles and has been featured on the Hollywood USTOP20 Charts hosted by Grammy winner Al Walser. Now with his biggest hit yet “In the Morning,” climbing above 5 million streams via SoundCloud—A dedication to all of the Covid-19 victims with proceeds being donated to The United Way of Greater St. Louis.
8. Daniele Valenti
Daniele Valenti is a 23-year-old singer and musician from Sicily, Italy. He came to the States in search for better opportunities as a singer and to make his musical career prosper. Last year, Daniele auditioned for Vocal Star World and met George Caceres who became his inspiration and support. With George, Daniel was able to co-write a song with Grammy-award winner producer Damon Sharpe. In March 2021, he flew to Los Angeles to record his first song “FOOL.” The heartfelt song is about how Daniele met his wife on a cruise and will be released soon.
9. Sorry It’s Over
“Sorry It’s Over” is a pop and alternative rock band formed by musicians Sam Adgate and Louis Petrella, with Gus Adgate on bass. The duo first met as high school bandmates before deciding to pursue music together. Initially launched in a garage, the authentic SoCal band has made its way to streaming charts, striking gold after working with renowned punk rock producer Geza X.
Under Geza X Records, “Sorry It’s Over” has displayed their songwriting and vocal prowess. With a masterful blend of classic and modern rock, the band has attracted a formidable and growing following—achieving over 250,000 listens on the leading streaming platform “Spotify.”
“Sorry It’s Over” currently has five well-received singles: “Sunflower,” “Ghost Inside,” “Am I Better,” “Where’d My Mind Go,” and “Is It Cool?” available on all major streaming platforms. Get a free download of “Is it Cool” at www.sorryitsoverband.com. The band’s upcoming single “Time Moves Slow” is scheduled for release this May 15, 2021.
10. El Bosso
El Bosso is an independent artist from Florida who was inspired to do music in 2011. His love for music runs deep which was also influenced by his grandmother who used to always play music as a child. El Bosso didn’t really get into it until being around fellow friends who were also musicians.
In 2015, he got his first musical breakthrough after getting noticed in a local club. Four years later, he had to stop his musical journey because he suffered from a heart attack. Eventually, he dropped his first single “10 AM,” which depicts a horrific ordeal involving him and his son in a home invasion.
In 2020, he followed up with the single “F%#k You,” then later dropped a visual video alongside the videographer Benny Flash. This year, he dropped a self-titled “EP BOSSO” and was later followed by another EP “abundance.“ He is currently working on his next project “IN BOSSO WE TRUST.”
Bryan Jones, aka El Bosso, was born February 7, 1989 in the heart of Miami Florida; a father of four kids—two boys and two girls. He spends his time mostly recording and rekindling moments with family members.
Spotify: El Bosso
11. Dave Lovett
Dave Lovett is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, orchestrator, recording engineer, music producer, and entertainer who lives in Austin, Texas. His vast array of projects spanning nearly two decades encompass a variety of musical styles including electronic, pop, singer-songwriter, and film scores.
Between solo projects and collaborations with various artists and bands, he has recorded and produced albums, EP’s, and has also toured much of Europe and the U.S. One of his projects, “Red Planet Empire,” won an award for their Music Video “Feet Back on the Ground.” Another track on their EP, “Jodie’s Last Ride,” received Honorable Mention in the Billboard World Songwriting Contest.
Dave has enjoyed performing internationally, on cruise ships, and across the United States from private shows to large events. When Dave is not in his studio, you might catch him performing at Rockey’s Piano Bar in Round Rock and Houston, Darwin’s Piano Bar, or Moonshine & Ale.
American singer/songwriter Zaé is the perfect blend of powerful pop vocals and melodic R&B roots. Zaé was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA, but currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia. Currently working on his debut EP set to release this summer, Zaé is certainly an upcoming talent to keep on your radar! His debut single “By My Side” along with TikTok viral sensation “Beautiful” is out now on all music platforms!
13. Keith Milo
Keith Milo, a powerhouse of a musician, singer, and producer, grew up in Dallas, Texas, where he discovered his love for music at an early age.
After studying at the most prestigious music schools, Milo had evolved into a well-rounded artist and later moved to Los Angeles to work among creatives like Akon, Solange, and Tyler Perry.
Milo is said to be teaming up with some incredible colleagues, including famed trumpeter Arnetta Johnson, who has toured and played with Beyoncé, for his upcoming project, set to release this spring.
Emoedagreat, born Eric Lattimore from Gaffney, South Carolina, has always had a thriving passion for music. “Music is my way of life,” he said. Recently moving to Los Angeles to pursue his career, Emoedagreat achieved partnership with Facebook in 2020 and is now on the rise with his music. Emoedagreat is also working independently with his own team making things happen. Dropping his single “No Kap” one of many hits off the upcoming album Bugatti Truck Music, which will be set for release later this year. “I am going to shock the world. This will be the best album ever.”
Emoedagreat does a combination of hip-hop, R&B, and pop with a soulful vibe on banging tracks. “I can create any type of music and I have no limit to my style. “I am here to start a new trend in music.”
15. Matthew Wyatt
Matty is an R&B singer, songwriter, and entrepreneur, releasing an array of hot singles throughout 2021: “Had Your Love”, “Comfortable” (collaboration), and “Get To Know You” to name a few. Atlanta is a primary place of choice for executing and creating a good portion of his works.
16. Jay Chavez
Jay Chavez is a renowned music artist and performer who first launched his career on the big stage. After spending 35 years on the bus, performing alongside the industry’s greats and becoming a veritable master of multiple genres, Jay took a break from the road. He compiled his music into his official debut album and founded the Jay Chavez Band.
Out of the unreleased piece came the single “All By Ourselves,” which established itself as a must-listen, chart-topping hit. The track was written and composed by the versatile artist himself and opened the curtain for his next song, “Change” which is currently performing well in Europe. Jay’s third single, the title track from his upcoming album “Plain Brown Wrapper” is set to drop at the end of this month.
At present, Jay Chavez spends most of his time in his recording studio, (Thistle Dew), where he is working on material for future albums and anticipating hinting at the road as soon as possible. We can look forward to music from this family as Jay has hinted that his 15-year-old musically gifted daughter, Olivia, is following in his footsteps.
Official website: www.jaychavez.com
17. Malik Lambert
Malik Lambert found passion in writing and performing songs by the age of 9. He is inspired by Drake, J Cole, Mac Miller, Big Sean, Cordae, Juice WRLD, Childish Gambino, along with many other talented artists who have effective messages. “When fans approach me reciting my lyrics and telling me how my music helps them get through the day, it makes me love my journey even more. I want to impact the world and create music that has a feel-good, raw, and relatable vibe.”
Malik Lambert is already an established Wilhelmina model who has been in numerous campaigns, magazines, and billboards across the globe. In addition to those entertainment accomplishments, Malik Lambert is now being sought after for his talent in music which he is excited to release and share with the world.
Spreading his love to the masses, Chi’Kairo is an international singer from the Caribbean, born and raised on the Island of St Croix in the US Virgin Islands. He is not just known for his positive vocal range and versatility but also for his caregiving role for the elderly and continuous involvement with the youths of his community. His grandmother, who gave Chi’Kairo the musical influence he carries till this day, was a very well-respected lead singer of a Caruso band. She was the tradition and cultural bearer of the people of the Caribbean.
The past few years he has made headlines performing with the legendary reggae band Steel Pulse from the UK, Actor/Singer Ky-Mani Marley, son of Bob Marley, and reggae superstar sensation Maxie Priest. Unlike any other, Chi’Kairo brings his own sound and style to music embracing love for self and others. He plans to continue his grandmother’s legacy through his music until, as he said, “we manifest services for the elderly and foundations for the youths. It’s music for your mind, body, and soul.”
Xandor & Will Jay; Photo by Alyssa Pascucci
XANDOR is a producer and DJ igniting the current and future deep house music scene with his silky, sensual soundscapes. He serves as an inspiration to fellow millennial artists pushing against the tide to succeed in a rapidly evolving music industry climate.
The son of a renowned saxophone player, music has played a big part in Xandor’s life. After attending a JAUZ show, Xandor’s inspiration to make electronic music—kickstarting a passion led to professional training and over two years of focused dedication. He has performed at some of the hottest venues in Boston, including Royale, Whisky Saigon, and many others. In 2020, Xandor released his hottest single, “Meet You There,” an exhilarating pop EDM summer song streamed in over 100 countries worldwide with over 125k streams in all platforms.
XANDOR’s influences range from ZHU’s seductively smooth sounds to the aggressive electronic jaunts from JAUZ and other associated acts, including The Chainsmokers, DJ Snake, Tame Impala, Madeon, Skrillex, Rüfüs Du Sol, and ODESZA.
XANDOR has also become a popular live attraction, regularly playing venues in Boston, Massachusetts, with plans for an upcoming album released very soon.
20. Molly Payton
Photo courtesy: Ava Marks
Rising from London’s indie rock scene, artist Molly Payton sings of growing up and coming of age. She is a lyricist who knows how to take listeners to a journey and a world which she sees. Last year, Molly released 2 EPs, “Mess” and “Porcupine,” that became a testament to how well she can write songs and entice listeners to her vocal prowess. 2021 is such a big year for Molly, and she expects to create more projects that she hopes would provide comfort to her listeners.
YouTube: Molly Payton