Mari Nordén aka Maja Skillz can be classified into many categories but at the end of the day, she is an all-around creative. The Olso-based singer, producer, artist and designer, who has morphed the sound of pop, electronica, trap and more, is creating truly exciting and brilliant music. Having been a part of the band Shy For Shore, her latest project finds her experimenting with vocal styles and textures like brush strokes on the palette, forming vivid pieces of fine art. The latest Maja Skillz release ‘FALL APRT’, is a documentation of a relationship gone awry, yet musically decorated with beautiful sonics of alt-pop, lush and rich. Expect a tidal wave of artistry in 2016 from the Norwegian mastermind.
Singer, musician and composer Sofia Härdig is considered to be one of the leading acts coming out of Sweden with a sound organic and raw, explosively bursting out of the seams with energy. No stranger to the music industry, Härdig has worked with the likes of Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon and Julia Crafitz of Pussy Galore, not to mention Grammy Award winning group The Hellacopters and more. In a sense the Swedish artist reflects the very idea of what a true rock star looks, feels and sounds like. Whilst her native country has maintained a tradition of pumping out pop acts, Härdig’s music is experimental, racing, unafraid and unapologetic. Her visuals are performance art, something that was a staple in New York’s East Village punk and new wave scene or West Berlin in the 70s and 80s.
Cocovan represents everything that is sexy about pop music. The ever so stylish French stunner, who also divides her time in Los Angeles, creates a form of glam pop that is sensual and sparkling, making it the ultimate soundtrack for the beautiful and fashionable.
Having already built her brand a few years ago in her hometown of Paris, 2016 began the re-transformation of Cocovan, establishing a bolder and brighter sound, alluring and infectious. Sharing her latest track ‘Mirage Of Us’, the seductive pop bit topped with an 80s sprinkling, proved that Cocovan is also a force to be reckoned with on the production front. The song could also be considered the perfect bridging of Parisian chic and Los Angeles glamour, ultimately culminating into one solid delivery.
There is a distinct electricity that flashes within the music of London outfit Whistlejacket. Hitting you like a tidal wave with no warning, hazy shoegaze mixed with at times, raging psychedelic rock have made the five-piece collective utterly exciting and dynamic. It’s no wonder that the band has been supported by the likes of BBC 6 Music presenter Steve Lamacq and more.
To say that Conrad Kira represents the musical diversity that continues to bubble throughout England wouldn’t quite do the emcee full justice. In fact, the South Londoner operates more from a global perspective incorporating styles ranging from grime to electro, all the way to Japanese pop. It can be safe to say that Kira is far from a follower, but rather an artist who chooses to paint on a bigger palette than many.
Comprised of Swedish-Canadian couple Simon and Erika Angell, Montreal-based Thus Owls are one of the most exciting bands in music today. Skillfully crafting rhythms that blend alt-rock, post-classical, punk, noise, folk, jazz and pop, all meshed into their distinct and cinematic sound, Thus Owls’ recordings are like pieces of art that jump straight off of the canvas, landing directly into your psyche.
Eliza Shaddad is the face of a bold, now Britain. With a voice that travels like the alarm of awakening, Shaddad possesses a fearless approach to music, using a varied yet appropriated style and sound to deliver content that is gripping and unquestionably unforgettable. Like the legendary artists that exist in her Sudanese/Scottish heritage, it was destined for Eliza Shaddad to help contribute to and mold the direction of music as we know it.
Soul lives and breathes in the body of Essex singer Beverley Ely. With a voice that has been compared to heavyweights such as Emeli Sande, Ely has a slew of industry mainstays talking about her including super producer Rodney Jerkins. Her vocals can be heard on house records such as DJ Anna’s ‘Secret’, as well as Long & Harris’ ‘Vicious Games’. Ely released her debut EP ‘War’ in 2013 to raving reviews, capturing the feeling of what many considered a core sound of R&B that has been sorely missing. With her sophomore EP entitled ‘Second Chance At A First Impression’ out November 12, Beverley Ely has created a wave with her songs ‘So Dumb’ featuring grime emcee Mercston, ‘Back To The Start’ and the fiery ‘Me First’.
Consisting of Sanna Kalla and Rebecka Digervall, The Pajala-raised singers have captured the ears of audiences globally, becoming faves at The Great Escape Festival in Brighton as well as SXSW in Austin, Texas. Known for their powerful vocal ability, The Magnettes released a batch of polished recordings such as ‘Who We Are’ and ‘Sore Feet & Heartbeats’.
LeVant is the musical project of Bucharest-based producer, composer, sound-designer and scholar George D. Stanciulescu. A musical alchemist, Stanciulescu’s work defines the very meaning of foward-thinking, having built a body of music that emits sounds of post-classical, downtempo, jazz, pop, experimental electronica and even post-punk. Having released his debut album Beyond the Masque of Eden in 2011, as well as the Knock, Knock, Ginger LP in 2014, Stanciulescu’s music has been featured in various theatre performances and films. With contributions from various artists such as Cristina Padurariu, Mihnea Vilceanu, Anca Belciu of Dutevino and more, LeVant’s overall sound can be described as sheer artistry.