Vevo continues to unveil its 20 Artists To Watch for 2018 in partnership with MBW.
Today (8 November) we present two from the UK list, IAMDDB and Superorganism, and two from the US list, Billie Eilish and J.I.D.
Label: Union IV
Management: Union IV
Manchester’s IAMDDB (pictured, main) was taught jazz by her father during a six-month stay in Angola, and she returned to the UK with a fascinating, scattershot approach, best displayed on latest project, Hoodrich Vol. 3.
You can hear the tripped-out bliss of Frank Ocean’s recent work, the pained emotion of Miles Davis, and the absorbing free flow of SZA.
Claudia de Wolff, Vevo’s VP, creative content & programming, UK & international, says: “IAMDDB is a convention shunning jazz, R&B and trap artist from Manchester. After the success of her EP, Hoodrich Vol. 3, and some much hyped live shows, she felt like a natural pick for our 2018 list.”
Management: Verdigris Management
Stupidly fun, sample-happy and eight members strong, Superorganism are a force for good. Their story starts on different sides of the globe. Six members shared the same house in London after meeting in New Zealand, while singer Orono – a Japanese-born 17-year-old studying in Maine at the time – recorded hushed vocal parts while her roommate was in the bathroom.
Debut single Something For Your M.I.N.D. proudly boasts the collective’s skill in making saccharine, sense-zapping pop without the cheese. Uploaded at the start of 2017 with zero info on the band, it was met with serious intrigue. Many wondered if it was an under-the-radar comeback track from fellow synth-huggers Gorillaz – it was that good.
De Wolff says: “There is a lot of excitement around this sample-happy, international indie 8-piece, who are now all based in London. Their colourful debut show at Village Underground had us really excited for what 2018 has in store for them.”
Label: Darkroom/Interscope Records
Management: Working Group Management
Billie Eilish may only be 15 years old, but the feelings she evokes her debut EP, dont smile at me, are relatable to people of any age. Mixing careful poetry with a sly drawl, she brings an emotional heft to songs like the 21st-century murder ballad, Bellyache, and the crumbled-relationship chronicle, My Boy. The LA singer-songwriter’s beat-based yet ethereal grooves are intimate, engaging and rich with detail.
JP Evangelista, Vevo’s head of music & talent, says: “The LA singer-songwriter is a piercing storyteller, and her ethereal grooves, sculpted by the 15-year-old’s inspired co-producer and brother Finneas O’Connell, can really catch you off guard.”
Label: Dreamville/Interscope Records
Management: Fab 5
The 26-year-old Atlanta rapper brings major skills to the table, sliding his verses across stark, catchy beats. J.I.D meditates on poverty, balancing self-confidence with fears of worthlessness. He sings, too, adding swoops to tracks like Doo Wop. But his sharp tongue is the true thrust of his appeal (don’t miss Hasta Luego), and rhyming is a talent he wields with enough command to impress all who catch him with a mic in his hand.
Evangelista says: “Signed to J. Cole’s Dreamville label, you can add J.I.D.’s name to the list of Dirty South rappers with massive skills and plenty of bars. A spin through The Never Story will make you an instant fan.”
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