Listeners gravitate towards artists who know exactly who they are, what they do and their musical goals. Whether new or not, it is undeniable that the entertainment industry is an extremely competitive arena. Often, the artists who have unique sounds and have something new to offer will be the ones who will surely thrive. Music Observer features 20 of these individuals. With their determination and a clear idea of who they are and what they want to do musically, they are among the individuals who deserve recognition and attention this year:
- Travis Scott
Houston-born rapper and hiphop artist Travis Scott is a famous name within the entertainment industry and abroad. Travis’ road to stardom started in the early 2010s after working with singer-songwriter Kanye West for GOOD Music and T.I.’s Grand Hustle. For many years, Travis has closely worked with other famous artists like Rihanna, Quavo, Drake, SZA, and many more. He’s released several award-winning albums like the hit debut album Rodeo (2015) and number one full-lengths, Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight (2016), and Astroworld (2018). His 2019 Astroworld Tour grossed at $53.5 million.
- Davonte Akins
Davonte Elijah Akins (Born December 24, 1995), known professionally as Yung Genesis, is an American rapper, singer, and songwriter from Deland, Florida. He rose to attention in 2019 when he released his Album (All or Nothing). He is best known for his singles, Throw It Back, Bestie, Must Be In Love, Attention, Facetime, and more. He was five years old when his father left, leaving his single mother to raise him on her own with the help of his grandmother and uncle.
While he was not struggling academically, Akins would spend a lot of after school hours teaching himself how to produce, engineer, and to become one of the World’s Greatest Hit Makers. After years of investing in new equipment, learning and focusing on his craft, he began his rap career independently, building his brand and fan base all throughout his school year in Jacksonville Jobcorps Center, where he landed his biggest break and hit singles Bestie and Throw It Back.
Yung Genesis is on a mission to uplift, motivate, and inspire people in his community. The Prince of The South is passionate about fighting for the rights of the African-American community. Being a young African American male growing up in the deep South, he has experienced many atrocities and is not new to struggle.
Spotify: Yung Genesis
YouTube: Yung Genesis
- Justin Bieber
Photo Credit: Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images
With the hit songs like Baby, Sorry, Despacito, What Do You Mean, Love Yourself, Boyfriend, and many more, Justin Bieber’s name is impossible to miss. The Canadian singing sensation has always snatched a spot in Billboard’s Top 100 charts and has tons of accolades to boast. Since his debut in 2009 with hit song Baby, Justin Bieber’s rise to global fame in the music industry became smooth. Bieber’s received recognitions and awards from the most prestigious award-giving bodies like the GRAMMY, MTV, American Music Awards, and other local and international bodies.
The singer-songwriter is rumored to have a net worth of $265 million, from his album sales, tours, concerts, endorsements, and successful attempt to start his YouTube series.
- Keith Nelson
Keith Ross Nelson is a 30-year-old veteran comedian/actor. He has played all fifty states and been on every continent but Antarctica. He has been on Entertainment Tonight and Evening at the Improv. He plays clubs, colleges, and cruise ships. He is a former winner of the Portland Comedy Competition. He has been featured in the LA Times and New York Weekly. His films include the independent hits Mobsters and Mormons and the R.M. He co-produced, wrote, and stars in Not for Nothing, which is on Amazon Prime. Keith is also a three-time National Champion in the Masters High Jump and finished second in the Master’s World Championship in 1998. Keith recently got his third-degree black belt in Kung Fu.
- Dina Preston Band
The Dina Preston Band has quietly performed in 43 countries and 26 world tours. Led by Dina’s signature vocals, and Don Ortiz’s passionate lead guitar, their music is crafted around the band’s eclectic global experiences, providing a unique, but truly American sound. On the WEAA artist roster, CEO John Regna has coined them as the Most Famous Unfamous Band in the world.
Their latest single, Give My Broken Heart A Break, is off their Field of Blue album. With a #1 Amazon book release, 31 Cents to 43 Countries, their story offers a unique perspective to success in an often difficult and closed industry.
- CJP; New York City Rap Star
CJP: New York City Rap Star has proven to be a growing phenom for mainstream and underground hip-hop fans. A gifted writer and Rap Star, C.J.P. presents for his Rap Star imprint a promising future. To date, he has independently released two singles: Spanish Girl From The East Side and Champagne ‘El Trappe’ which earned 300,000 streams in a month. Videos for both projects also earn over 100K on YouTube.
C.J.P. is currently working on his EP ‘El Trappe’ which has a smash hit, Holy Water – Block Boyz, featuring his independent label mate Mafi_@, rapper Grafh, and rising Hip Hop star Benny The Butcher.
- Steven Kronick
An instant hit with NFL Cheerleaders, Miss America Contestants, and the United States high school and college markets, Christian-American singer-songwriter Steven Kronick premiered in 2018 above Nicki Minaj on the ReverbNation Top Charts with millions of musicians. He also received Gold & Platinum Awards, played and featured in RollingStone, Billboard, MTV, VH1, Country Music Television, SPIN, Album of the Year, iHeartRadio, TIDAL, Genius, and many more. Staying on the Top 10 list for years, trending musician Steven Kronick became one of The Nation’s Most Inspiring Artists, the #1 Malibu Singer Songwriter, an “Essential LA Singer Songwriter and a Most Played Singer Songwriter.
Voiceveray is an independent music artist hailing from Columbus, Ohio. He is not the typical rapper as this artist specializes in gospel rap and clean, positive music. He has a strong dedication to creating sounds that will spiritually touch and awaken listeners. He also possesses a unique and versatile sound while touching on different genres, including R&B, soul, rock, country, pop, reggae, and more. The talented musician is skilled in mixing, mastering, and engineering music. He established Voices Choices Studios, which caters to gospel musicians. His music label strives to provide high-quality music that leaves a lasting impact on the listeners.
At only 24 years old, Voiceveray sits as the CEO of his music label, Voices Choices Studios, and has amassed over 27,000 supporters across different social media platforms.
- Ryan Hagan
Ryan Hagan is an indie-pop artist and songwriter from Nashville, TN. Ryan’s 2020 has been explosive, with his single, “You Deserve Better,” debuting on the radio in March and quickly becoming a hit. The record soared to #7 on the Pop, Club and Black Music charts on “Music Week” in the U.K. and European market.
Ryan’s infusion of R&B, soul, and pop make him a standout in the industry. The early support for his newest single, “Reset,” demonstrates Ryan has carved out his place in Pop music and, once again, proves this rising star is easily one of the Top 20 artists of 2020.
- Christine Heath
Christine Heath has been writing poetry for the past thirty years. She was born in Tampa, Florida, in 1972 and grew up in the small town of Plant City. Christine is a writer of the moments that seem to overwhelm her. Pouring out emotions, she can be so overwhelmed that she sits, and within fifteen minutes, she has written and recreated the feeling she just encountered for a poetry story. Journey of Seasons is full of poems and poetry that have been written in her moments for emotion overload.
Christine’s survival of the journeys is incredible. She has survived many trials, such as battling domestic violence, physical, mental, and sexual abuse. She has two beautiful children and two miscarriages that were too beautiful for earth. Along with her brain tumor in 1993, she is currently battling another brain tumor diagnosed in 2016. She has survived cervical cancer and a life-threatening car accident with her youngest daughter. Through all of this, she has always found herself writing or praying that God helps her find the way back to him.
- Nick Porcaro
Nick Porcaro is from the same family name as Jeff Porcaro, co-founder of the six-time Grammy award-winning band, Toto. Nick is a Rock and Metal drummer in Los Angeles and Orange County, CA. He is an artist for SJC Drums, Soultone Cymbals, and Collision Drumsticks. Nick’s experience as a drummer spans for over 30 years and has since been playing for a Worship band at their Church and teaches other drummers how to play the drums as well. Now, Nick plays live on his Instagram account.
Photo Credit: Fenty Beauty
Currently considered the Richest Female Musician of the World, Robyn Rihanna Fenty, or popularly known as Rihanna, is an entertainment and a musical powerhouse. She owns and runs her company, Fenty Beauty, an inclusive luxury fashion brand she started only three years ago.
The 32-year-old singer-songwriter does not fall short as a musical artist as well. She’s released chart-topping songs since her debut in 2005. Rihanna is the genius behind the songs Umbrella, What’s My Name, This is What You Came For, Wild Thoughts, Work, and many more. She’s awarded and recognized by many bodies like the GRAMMY, Teen Choice Awards, People’s Choice Awards, MTV, iHeartRadio, Brit Awards, Billboard, BET, American Music Awards, etc. Rihanna sports an outstanding $600 million net worth.
- Amanda Marie Wilkinson
Amanda Marie Wilkinson is a woman who wears many hats while focusing on her core value, “Unity with Community.” She is living passionately through her branches in music, film, writing, business, healthcare, and, most importantly, humanity.
In her debut pop music single Spiritual level, she upliftingly describes the truest, deepest, strongest connection and love between others and a place where physical barriers do not exist. Spiritual Level is a modern contemporary pop song with instrumentals as a dance foundation that intensifies and carries you through leaving a lasting impression. To produce the single, she worked with songwriter and producer Grant Woell.
Amanda wants to always remind people of those who bring them to a higher level of life, unity between others, and how this is needed more than ever, especially in times of crisis. She wants to create songs that describe finding love and connection, especially in unconventional times, and keeping listeners connected on that Spiritual Level, no matter the distance.
After a successful 2019 with the release of his well-received singles, I’m a Lover and Teach Me How To Love You, Stee is gearing up to finish 2020 strong. As there are many low points brought in by 2020, one of the highlights for the singer this year is catching the attention of R&B singer and Empire cast member, Mario.
The two singers sat down in an Instagram live show where they spoke about each other’s music, real R&B music, and the future of their releases. With the support of Mario, Stee will release the dark-themed Ghosted on October 30th. Investing your heart into someone who never intended to take you that seriously is a story many have experienced and Ghosted tells the story with such a vibe. Dive into Stee’s world to get to know the silky voice and original infectious songs by visiting his page.
- George Gerard Lott
It’s safe to say anything that George Gerard Lott touches turns to gold. Popularly known as George Lott, this entertainment industry newcomer is the epitome of a true artist. The singer-songwriter, actor, writer, director, and producer carved out a lane of his own, making history in more ways than one.
Hailing from Plant City, Florida, George is the first from his hometown to hit the movie screens internationally, starring in Universal Pictures’ international comedy Little, produced by Will Packer.
George Lott is also the CEO of T8FLIGHT Entertainment, which is now planning to produce its first romantic-comedy entitled F-Boy Free, starring Greenleaf’s Jennifer Sears. George is also using this platform to open doors for more actors through his interactive “BRANDING SESSION MASTERCLASS.”
- Wavy Voya
This 24-year-old musical artist is from Central Kansas. Wavy Voya wishes to spread his music throughout the nation and use his incredible voice to uplift and encourage others to use theirs as well. Hutchinsons KS’s very own Wavy Voya is using his voice and music to lead the fight in ending racial injustice in Kansas. Aside from being a voice in the community and an artist, Wavy is a great father to his two kids, Anesionna Gamble and LaTavius Gamble. To him, his children are his inspiration.
Wavy Voya also hosts huge College parties and splashes immense energy pouring out of him through his music. He said, “When you listen to my music, you can imagine going through it.” You can follow Wavy Voya on all major streaming platforms.
- Natalja Sticco
Proving what’s old will be made new again, pop-culture has entered a renaissance of Opera with Natalja Sticco, a sultry mezzo-soprano, as its new face. With a purity of talent, passion, warmth, and authenticity not seen since the 2007 passing of the legendary Luciano Pavarotti, Natalja’s unpretentious and unapologetic love of the 400-year-old art has made her the standout artist of her generation; challenging audiences to forget stereotypes of Opera as an elitist indulgence and explore it as a cultural experience, without having to feel like you should be jamming to arias with friends in order to enjoy it!
- Carrie Able
Carrie Able wrote her first song in 2017 after picking up the guitar and continues to write her own music and lyrics. Able has made a name for herself performing at SXSW showcase in March 2019 and has since performed at various locations, including NYC’s Bowery Electric and Mercury Lounge. Referred to as a “haunting singer-songwriter and guitarist,” Able is often compared to PJ Harvey, Sonic Youth, Bjork, and Fiona Apple. As a Brooklyn-based multidisciplinary artist, she combines and expands the practices of painting, music, performance, virtual and augmented reality. Her newest pandemic inspired releases have delighted her fans as interactive music videos on her YouTube channel and Spotify.
- Danielle N.B.
Danielle N. B., born Danielle Nicole Baker is an up-and-coming artist from Riverside California. The dance choreographer, professional model, and performer is currently searching for a new audience, collaborators, and a place to express her musical prowess in Los Angeles. The Virginia-native is adept in several musical styles like alternative Rock, R&B, Dance, Electro Pop, and many more.
Danielle’s passion for performing in front of large crowds started early on in her life. At 17, she conducted live streams, creating music and dance choreography, and eventually amassing over 10,000 followers in the live streaming app, LiveMe. Today, she’s producing her first mixtape MAGIC, LOVE, & DESTINY. She works as a World of Dance fitness instructor and as a professional model in Los Angeles.
- Akeem Mair
Photo Credits: Greg Doherty
Akeem Mair is the next big thing in the entertainment industry. The California-native is an up-and-coming actor who has had several experiences in front of the camera, including two lead roles at the Columbia College of Hollywood Productions for the films All About Money and A Wonderful World. Akeem was also booked for lead roles at the University of Southern California for Spotted and Born Fourth of July remake. He went on to snatch several roles at the University of California and, most notably, at the New York Film Academy for The Kidnap and Fine Line.
Akeem’s positive attitude and exceptional work ethic make him a talk among directors and film staff who he’s worked with. Working with Commercial Talent Agency under Sarah Angeli, Akeem continues to pursue his dream career. He’s also signed with Minc Talent under Mariko Ballentine.
Akeem recently appeared on The Ellen Degeneres Show, which has amassed a total of more than 5 million views.
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