It's a new year, and a new crop of artists are poising themselves for musical supremacy. They are a collective of badasses, creatives, mavericks, and trailblazers ready to make you move, turn you on and get you over. CentricTV.com names the 15 Artists You Should Know in 2015
15. Jaye Nicole
The former American Idol finalist has long ditched the often stifling cachet of the talent competition and has found her stride as a singer/songwriter working with the likes of Carl Thomas, Vanessa Bell Armstrong, and popular Houston rappers Propain and Delorean. After spending the summer performing in Japan, she is now back stateside and gearing up for the release of her debut EP Say It Like You Mean It.
14. Kenyon Dixon
The Los Angeles native has built a solid career singing background for the likes of Nick Jonas, Usher, Kelly Rowland, Tyrese, and Faith Evans. But now he's making moves into the spotlight with a brand of R&B music that is "less of a sound [and] more of a feeling." Need proof? Download his latest EP Twenty Four HERE.
Three years after being signed to Atlantic Records, the 19 year old Houston native is finally ready to introduce her talent to the world as a mature artist who isn't afraid to stay true to herself. “I’ve grown into feeling secure about being 100% sincere about what I sing and how it comes across, from start to finish," she shares. "Sometimes it’s vulnerable, sometimes it’s raw—or sharp; sometimes it’s illogical…My music is a genuine extension of where my head is, so it’s a journey.” Her debut project Still Down is slated for release later this year.
12. Sharaya J
Rocking a Smurf-blue gumby and brandishing a braggadocious around-the-way-girl swag that you can't help but feel, The New Jersey based artist and protégée of Missy Elliott is unapologetically "Banji"---the name of her breakout single that seems so appropriate. Give this girl a pair of door-knocker earrings, a mean Alexander Wang ensemble; hand her a mic, and you officially have a party.
11. Wynter Gordon
Four years ago, Gordon was burning up the clubs with a string of cheeky top ten singles, including her 2011 chart topping Billboard Dance hit "Dirty Talk." Now, she is back and is exploring new musical territory as the front woman of the alternative-soul band Wynter Gordon and The Righteous Young.
If you frequent any clubs and lounges in New York, LA, Miami or Canada, chances are you have heard or shaken your ass to at least one of Kaytranada's remixes. Born in Haiti and raised in Montreal, the 22-year-old DJ and producer has remixed the music of Beyonce, Teedra Moses, Azealia Banks, Janet Jackson, Disclosure, Jill Scott, and Ameriie, creating soulful electronic music that in many cases is better than the original recordings.
After his debut album PartyNextDoor Two debuted at number one on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip Hop Album chart, it was clear that the 21-year-old Canadian rapper was definitely one of music's new power players. Catapulted by his top ten single "Recognize" featuring his OVO Sound label head Drake, he is gearing up to hit the road with his PND World Tour, set to kick off in late January 2015.
8. Eric Bellinger
The grandson of 1950s crooner Bobby Day ("Rockin Robin", "Little Bitty Pretty One"), Bellinger is following in the footsteps of his late grandfather and is set on making his mark on music. Known for his catchy and slickly produced R&B songs, the Los Angeles based Bellinger has forged a successful career as a songwriter, penning songs for the likes of Chris Brown, Selena Gomez, and Cali Swag District.
7. Mila J
If you get past the lazy comparisons to the late Aaliyah, it becomes clear that MILA J is a talented entertainer that has an obvious West Coast hood swag that makes her more than a carbon copy of an artist past. Mila, the oldest sister of Jhene Aiko, released her debut single "Smoke, Drink, Break Up" in the summer of 2014 to positive reviews, and soon followed it up with the club hit "My Main"---that has now become an anthem for best girlfriends (#MyMain).
6. Terri Walker
It's been nearly 12 years since Walker released her debut album Untitled in her native UK, and while mega-success has elluded her, she posseses an artistry and soulful sound that is worthy of praise. Her recently released EP Untitled to Entitled, the set-up for her upcoming studio album Entitled (March 2015), is the perfect introduction of "Mz. Walker" to unfamaliar listeners.
5. BJ The Chicago Kid
Whether singing background for Usher, Mary Mary and Kanye West or penning lyrics for some of R&Bs biggest names, this young Chicago native has created quite the track record. The end of 2014 saw the release of his mixtape THE M.A.F.E. PROJECT, and news of his first Grammy Award nomination for his collaboration with Schoolboy Q ("Studio").
When your father is New Jack Swing legend Al B. Sure! and your "stepdad" is Sean 'Diddy' Combs, it's safe to say that music is your life---hell it's in your DNA. So it makes sense that 23-year-old singer Quincy is gearing up for the release of his debut album. Take that.
3. Stacy Barthe
After releasing a string of critically acclaimed EPs, this Grammy-nominated artist signed with John Legend's Homeschool Records, and is now gearing up for the release of her debut album BEcoming, marked for release in March 2015.
2. Antonique Smith
The BET Music Matters artist, who gained wide-spread attention for her portrayal of Faith Evans in the 2009 biopic Notorious, is set to make some serious moves in 2015, thanks in large part to her breakout single "Hold Up Wait A Minute (Woo Woo)," which has been nominated for a Grammy Award.
1. Lion Babe
The New York based Alt-soul duo, comprised of Jillian Hervey (the daughter of veteran actress and singer Vanessa L. Williams), and producer/musician Lucas Goodman, caught some buzz back in 2012, thanks to their infectious debut single "Treat Me Like Fire." And now, they have returned with their self-titled debut EP led by the intoxicating singles "Jump Hi" featuring Childish Gambino and "Jungle Lady"---both of which are garnering critical acclaimed and heavy rotation of VH1 Soul. Simply put, they are Lion Babe, hear them roar!