The Purple List: The Artists On Our Radar For 2022

Presenting the Purple List, a list of stars on the rise gearing up to dominate 2022 and beyond.

Spotlighting upcoming talent is something that remains at the core of everything we do. Limiting our selection to just 20 artists was a particularly tricky task with there being so many talented musicians to shout about from across the world. For that reason, our list is not only multi-genre but cross-continental opening your sonic palette to a variety of new sounds.

While we’re sure that you’ll know a few people on the list, being a platform that champions music discovery you’ll also be guaranteed to come across some new favourites.

So, without further ado let’s get into it.

Ray Sang, IndustryMe Editor

Contributors: Kirsty Dolby, Jade Morris, Tara Folkes, Aaliyah Facey, Tessa Altman.

Emiko

Location: London

Star Power: The London-based singer has built up a huge repertoire during his career already since 2018 when he was co-signed from Masego, including festivals, gigs, and interviews. His latest venture, starring in the feature film Navy, premiered in Birmingham this November. Emiko is unafraid to lyricise the human experience but offers a positive and encouraging approach. 

Sound: Emiko’s sound is mellow, soulful, powerful, and unafraid to tap into truth.

Standout Track: R U Down

Kali Claire

What’s their sound? RnB with a dash of soul, an ounce of pop and an embedded element of softness in a perfectly executed vision. 

Location: South London

Star Power: Kali Claire is a name you will be seeing a lot more often in years to come. The South London-based singer/songwriter and producer has 81,850 monthly Spotify listeners and her third EP, A Man’s World, was released on 19th November 2021. Kali has worked with some big names in the industry such as Not3s, Alicia Keys and even supported Mabel on the European leg of her tour. 

Standout Track: So Sweet (feat Not3s)

Ni/Co

Location: Los Angeles

Star Power: The Los Angeles residing duo, Dani Brillhart and Colton Jones, have only been a band for three years, and they have been busy! With a YouTube channel that has 250K subscribers, releasing superb covers, the pop band bring heart and musicality to each song they take on. They’ve been featured on Spotify’s ‘New Music Fridays’ and their music has been used in World of Dance, The Today Show and ads for Ralph Lauren and Spotify. 

Sound: A harmonious pop band with an easy vibe and fantastic unity. 

Standout Track: Bleeding Love

Joy Crookes 

Location: South London

Star Power: Joy Crookes’ recent album release Skin has put her in the musical limelight, and it is very much deserved. She has 2,455,505 monthly Spotify listeners, was nominated for the ‘Best Newcomer’ MOBO Award, has been a Spotify radar artist and Skin was a top five debut album in the Official Charts (October 2021).

Sound: Unique and undeniably brilliant with an appreciation for instrumentation and an original sound. 

Standout Track: When You Were Mine

Kwaku Asante

Location: London

Kwaku Asante isn’t afraid to try new things. Combining soul, jazz, and some funky sounds, his willingness to experiment makes him one of a kind. Happy sounds (the kind you can’t help but dance to) are coupled with almost deceptively deep, serious lyrics, à la Outkast.

Sound: Soul, jazz, and everything in between

Standout Track: Angel

Jaz Karis

Location: South London

From singing in the choir to writing and recording her own music, Jaz Karis has been making moves. When you listen to her music, expect to be taken on a journey that only raw and real songwriting can take you on. As an artist, Jaz Karis is impeccably versatile, making use of elements from soul, R&B, reggae, and Afrobeats.

Sound: Smooth, rich, emotional soul

Standout Track: Motions

Bellah

Location: London

Bellah is beginning to make waves in the UK music scene, and it’s no surprise why. From her debut EP, “Last Train Home,” to subsequent releases, “In the Meantime,” and “The Art of Conversation,” R&B Iisteners have had no choice but to pay attention. Not only are her lyrics relatable, but when she sings them with such smooth and beautiful vocals, it’s impossible not to listen.

Sound: R&B

Standout Track: Evil Eye

Odeal

Location: London

Odeal is proof that hard work pays off. When he first began making music as a teenager, pairing Afrobeats with alternative R&B, Odeal was ahead of the curve. Now, however, with the release of OVMBR: Roses, he is finally able to find the right (and receptive) audiences for his unique brand of music.

Sound: Afro R&B

Standout Track: 24/48

Ayra Starr

SOUND: Innovative and versatile merge of Afropop & R&B

LOCATION: Nigeria

STAR POWER: Nigerian singer, songwriter and model Ayra Starr is a trailblazer. Her unique style and sound make her standout among her fellow artists as Afropop’s new bold leader. Her music explores themes of: Love, Relationships, Empowerment, and Freedom – proving she is not afraid to speak her mind and address topics which really matter to her.

STANDOUT TRACK: Bloody Samaritan

MORGAN

LOCATION: London

STAR POWER: Major Toms artist, MORGAN, continues to make her presence known in the ever-growing UK R&B scene. Since her debut on the Rudimental track – “Mean That Much” in 2019, MORGAN has released a number of tracks collaborated with a number of artists; experimenting with genres such as House – establishing herself as a versatile artist.

SOUND: Musically diverse sound combined with a sleek, edgy style

STANDOUT TRACK: ADCT

MEET ME @ THE ALTAR

SOUND: A nostalgic trip down early 00s Pop-Punk lane

LOCATION: USA

STAR POWER: This all-female band is described as the new face of Pop-Punk. Since forming in 2015, they have released one album and four EPs. Earlier this year, the band received praise for their non-album single – “Hit Like a Girl” – which was described as “the perfect pop-punk anthem to celebrate Women’s History Month”.

STANDOUT TRACK: Garden

KHAZALI

LOCATION: London

STAR POWER: Emerging singer-songwriter Khazali is best known for his soft, dreamy, versatile vocals. He combines this with a unique indietronica production style – making him stand out amongst his peers. His style has been described as having an approachable aesthetic – all while not being afraid to experiment with a variety of sounds.

SOUND: Soulful vocals – creating therapeutic musical moments

STANDOUT TRACK: Comfort

Nippa 

Location: Tottenham – North London, UK

Star Power: Nippa is an emerging artist and is making his mark as one of the UK male artists in R&B, his sound is a mixture of R&B with a hint of drill. Nippa has a talent for expressing his feelings and bringing in a traditional sense of the R&B genre. Singing about love and combining it with the more gritty side of music is what makes him different to listen to and can be heard on his self-titled EP.

Sound: Hood-R&B 

Standout Track: Pay The Price

303

Location: London, UK 

Star Power: 303 is a new and youthful girl group trio. It’s been a minute since the UK has birthed a pure R&B girl group and that’s part of their attraction, 303 are young and exciting to listen to but they still pay homage to that 90s vibe like in the music video to their first single “Whisper” It’s intriguing to see how they will continue to develop their sound on latest releases like “Right this Time”.

Sound: 90s R&B, Soul

Standout Track: Whisper

Hamzaa

Location: London, UK 

Star Power: Hamzaa is a songstress whoscollaborated with artists like Wretch 32, Mahalia and Mira May. Her voice is soulful and melodic and perfectly partnered with classic R&B beats. Hamzaa has been making noise musically since 2018, but more than ever her powerful voice is being noticed like on her breakout song “Breathing” and her new EP “Full Circle”.  

Sound: Soul, Pop, R&B

Standout Track: In Between

JVCK JAMES

Location: East London, UK 

Star Power: Singer-songwriter JVCK JAMES has been making a name for himself since his appearance on COLORS. Musically, JAMES is another artist who understands how to make good R&B, reminiscent of artists like D’Angelo and Frank Ocean, the influences are apparent but his style is all his own and lyrically he’s very strong.

Sound: Soulful, Fresh, Emotive 

Standout Track: No Drama

MIC Lowry

Location: Liverpool, UK

Star Power: The four-piece vocal group will blow you away with their incredible harmonies. The music MIC Lowry create is quirky and fresh blending multiple genres together and constantly experimenting with different styles and tempos.

Sound: Contemporary R&B

Standout Track: Brand New

BEKA

Location: London, UK

Star Power: BEKA creates soulful, atmospheric yet thought-provoking songs. The Pop princess fills us with hope and positivity through warming sounds filled with love and joy.

Sound: Pop

Standout Track: Thorn

James Smith

Location: London, UK

Star Power: singer/songwriter James Smith creates smooth, contagious ballads that are elegant and full of emotion. His music incorporates hints of jazz and blues drawing inspiration from the likes of Johnny Cash. Each track includes personal lyrics that are relatable to love and heartache.

Sound: Guitar driven pop

Standout Track: My Oh My

Amber Mark

Location: New York

Star Power: Songstress Amber Mark produces funky soulful tunes that give off pure emotion and raw energy, her sound is inspired by her roots giving us stunning vocals and a mixture of melodies.  The songs she creates are honest and from the heart, the words speak from past experiences which make them both relatable and unique. 

Sound: R&B, Jazzy pop

Standout Track: Softly

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