On Spotify's 'RADAR': 6 Emerging Artists to Watch Out For

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Merci, Mercy / Spotify

In the music world, there’s always an incredible amount of young talent making noise in the industry. These artists have generated buzz and made their presence felt. Their work certainly hasn’t gone unnoticed by fans and prominent figures in the music industry. Spotify, in particular, has a new program called RADAR, an emerging artist initiative focused on highlighting rising talent from across the world. The program has been extremely successful, receiving two billion streams and counting and continues to expand globally.

For Episode 7 of the For the Record Podcast, Spotify spotlighted six up-and-coming artists from the RADAR program: J.I. the Prince of N.Y, Lous and the Yakuza, Young T & Bugsey, Merci, Mercy, and Rina Sawayama. The young talent also had an opportunity to speak with one of the key members of Spotify’s International Music Team: Andy Sloan-Vincent.

Check out these emerging artists below.

1. J.I the Prince of N.Y

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J.I the Prince of N.Y / RADAR

A friend of ONE37pm’s, J.I. the Prince of N.Y. appeared on the Monday to Monday podcast earlier this year to talk about his come up.

This 19-year-old from Brooklyn is known for his success with the 2019 breakout single ‘Need Me.’ Signed to Interscope Records through G*Starr Entertainment, “Prince” has had a gift for writing and music since his childhood. He was first introduced to the public via The Rap Game (a reality competition show hosted by Jermaine Dupri) and gained traction with his Hood Life Krisis mixtapes. “Prince” released his new single ‘Spanglish,’ which featured rappers Myke Towers and Lil Durk earlier this year. The artist has come a long way since once being booed off the stage, telling Spotify that he’s grateful for his new success.

“You lose once you give up, I feel like. Life is a whole challenge. You’re never going to win if you give up, and you stop trying.

You gave me a billboard in my own city like I flew in from Miami the next day just to see the billboard because it was just like, wow, like it’s crazy seeing your face up there and your own city.”

With significant streaming numbers already, there’s undoubtedly more to come from J.I the Prince of N.Y.

2. Lous and the Yakuza

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Lous and the Yakuza / RADAR

With a passion for expressing herself through the music, Lous and the Yakuza is a multi-talented, all in one artist. With the ability to sing, rap, and write, the young artist from Congo is the modern-day Lauryn Hill. With the success of her debut single ’Dilemme,’ the singer is currently working on her first album entitled Gore. Also known for her grace and elegance (which transpires in her music), the singer/rapper told Spotify that it’s been a long time coming.

“I never lost hope. And that kept me alive and kept me away from heavy drug dealing or prostitution and all the things you come across when you’re in the street - you don’t have money, you don’t have anything. 

I waited for my whole life to deliver this piece of art. My music is very hard to describe dash—Hip-Hop is predominant because of my flow, the way I carry myself, my background, and my culture. But the next single, ‘Amigo’ is based on Latin and Spanish chords, and at the same time could be totally Congolese. It’s a big mix of everything. It reflects my personality.”

Lous and the Yakuza’s debut will be highly anticipated.

3 and 4. Young T & Bugsey

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Young T & Bugsey / RADAR

Riding high on the success of making it onto President Obama’s summer playlist, Young T & Bugsey are definitely a force to be reckoned with. Representing the United Kingdom (Nottingham, to be exact), this Hip-Hop duo is known for their single ‘Don’t Rush,’ which sparked a trend on social media. The song gained traction on TikTok and Instagram, making it one of the more popular challenges of 2020. The duo told Spotify that this year has been a game-changer.

“We were literally just chillin’ in the studio. And then [President Obama] just posted it. No one on our team knew about it, so I just saw it when everyone else was. I was like wow, big Barack, yeah? It was sick to be acknowledged on that kind of scale. It was crazy. We haven’t performed it since.”

If 2020 is any indication, we’ll be hearing a lot more from Young T and Bugsey.

5. Merci, Mercy

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Merci, Mercy / RADAR

Wanting to heal listeners through her music, Merci, Mercy is a name that will be around for a long time. Hailing from Australia, she has just released her new single ‘Something You Like’ from her upcoming album No thank you, No thanks

The artist, who made her official debut this year, has established herself as one known for creating self-reflecting anthems challenging the status quo. The singer/songwriter told Spotify that it is something she has been doing since her childhood.

“I showed my teacher, Miss Blazey my song and she was like, yeah, this is like this is a banger, like you’re going to be a pop star. And I was like, oh, okay; I’ll take that.

I’ve definitely shed a lot of tears hearing that my song has helped someone get through something because that’s what I wanted to achieve with my music. It’s like, oh, yes, I have a purpose in life. I’m not just going to be a failure.”

With an already growing fan base, Merci, Mercy has a bright future ahead of her.

6. Rina Sawayama

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Rina Sawayama / RADAR

This singer from London is a diverse artist known for experimenting with multiple genres and styles of music. Born in Niigata, Japan, Sawayama released her debut album Sawayama to excellent reviews this past April. The album received critical acclaim, drawing comparisons to Avril Lavigne (which happens to be one of her idols), and touched on Sawayama’s life experiences and Japanese heritage. The singer spoke to Spotify about her album’s success so far.

“It’s a whole crazy mishmash of pop and alternative pop and rock and RB and every single song has some sort of different genre going on. But the overall theme is me talking about my identity as a Japanese person growing up in the West and all the things that come with that.

“I think the sound of the record wouldn’t have happened if this was my first album, and I was much younger. So I do feel like artistically, I’m a little bit more progressed than someone who is maybe starting out a bit younger. So maybe I have skipped ahead some, some stages!”

With her remarkable debut, Sawayama’s fans look forward to what she has in store for the future.

These six artists’ have done their part in changing the 2020 music game so far. With all of them now working on new projects, the music industry certainly has a lot to work on. For now, stay tuned as Spotify continues to highlight emerging talent through its RADAR program.

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