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People’s Choice: Must-Listen-To Indie Artists Of 2021

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From vocals to bars, these independent artists are recognized for their musical abilities, songwriting, and overall distinct image they radiant. With unique sounds and identities, their stories resonate throughout their music. Whether it’s a new release, hit single, or upcoming music, these creatives stay creating. Selected and recognized by top entertainment professionals, A&Rs, media personalities, and industry executives, each artist possesses what it takes to be one of the must-listen-to rising artists of this year. 

2K Ponce Juno: 2K Ponce Juno is back with another hit single! Go Pretty Girl has a positive feel good vibe which is danceable and an infectious that highlights beautiful women everywhere. IG: @2kponcejuno

Akash: While opinions are divided on whether the hip-hop scene is stuck in a rut with the lack of fresh ideas and innovation, Akash Ahuja proves that wrong. Hip hop is thriving, and Ahuja breathes fresh air on the genre. Ahuja’s originality and passion, paired with his influence of Indian Bhangra flavors, prove he stands out in a crowd. His 2020 hit, “Aaja Soniye,” is one of his most bold statements yet. Remaining faithful to his roots and musical background, Ahuja incorporates more of his personality and spice. “Aaja Soniye” is a track that should not be missed, especially for fans of Diljit Dosanjh, Drake, Mac Miller, and Travis Scott. IG: @AkashLife 


Ali (SomeArabGuy): This international hit-maker not only made history with his single “Monalisa” feat. French Montana, but continues to “do the numbers.” Featured on major media outlets like The Source and Hollywood Unlocked, it is safe to say that the Arab-American talent is capturing both the ears and eyes of those worldwide. These next coming months will reveal even greater momentum and hit new releases, once again, going worldwide. With roots in Dearborn, Michigan, the Los Angeles-based talent resides in the home of the entertainment industry and aims for dominating music in each avenue this year. IG: @somearabguy


Annamation: Entering the new year rebranded and renewed, Annamation is a female artist with a trap-soul sound to her. Vocals speak for themselves. This month, she dropped her newest hit “Want You” and plans on releasing several new projects early this year as well. The singer has it all: the image, the drive, and the talent. IG: @annamation


Arigon: Arigon just dropped a hot new project titled “State Of Mind 1:21”, which is centered around mental health and is really just a story being told through deep thought and self reflection of the highs and lows that come with life. It’s a conversation for whoever needs to hear it. So whether you listen because you feel the vibes, or just stick around to the end for the artistry, this project is one to truly relate to.

IG: @Arigon121

Bettie Gang Twins: Big Homie is a song about how well you are living and doing and being able to help others as “the Big Homie”. IG: @bettiegangtwins 

BlessedUpChucc: BlessedUpChucc just released a hot new single titled “Rocket Power” that has the streets buzzin! Check out this dope joint now and keep an eye on him in 2021 as he’s quickly rising to the top! IG: @BlessedUpChucc

Blu3ch3w: Blu3ch3w continues to impress with his new single “Tonight”. This is a perfect mixture of smooth and uptempo energy about the average male or female that’s outside having a good time with their friends drinking and smoking, while feeling themselves and is lowkey looking for any reason to start a problem. Check it out now! IG: @blu3ch3w

Cadillac Muzik: Cadillac Muzik continues to surprise us by keeping the momentum going with their 6th independently released EP titled “Fleetwood Blues.” The band teamed up with the talented multi-platinum producer & multi-instrumentalist Moonshyne Brown from Miami, Florida. “Fleetwood Blues” can best be described as a mixture of Southern Hip Hop, Funk, Psychedelic Soul, and Rhythm & Blues with a modern-day twist. The EP is inspired by Johnny Guitar Watson, Willie Hutch, Isaac Hayes, and Curtis Mayfield. This project literally sounds as if Outkast, UGK, & Eightball & MJG had a hybrid child together. Caddy Muzik’s smooth vocals & southern soulful style paired with Brown’s stellar production has provided a real treat for the fans. IG: @CadillacMuzik

Choir Boi Cartier: Popularly recognized as Detroit’s King of R&B, Choir Boi Cartier is an inspiring, talented musician, songwriter, singer, and rising star. Solidifying his name and image in the community, he rose to the next level upon his radio release of his fan-favorite “Ferrari” on Hot 107.5, a top hip hop station based in Michigan. His newest featuring release “Can’t Wait” by Detroit Lou, Millie Bandz, and the Detroit King of R&B himself is capturing the attention of fans. Like with every song, Choir Boi Cartier blesses the beat with his vocals. Stay tuned for more music on the way. @choir_boi_cartier 


C.T. Rising artist C.T. just dropped a hot new video titled “The Goat” ft. La Chat. This joint is str8 fish and definitely something you want to play at full volume! Make sure you check out this dope joint now and follow C.T. on IG for his new release. IG: @CT_ChrisTerry 


D. Denzel: Rising artist D. Denzel is back with a hot new single titled “Love You AnyWays”. His new single is about being in love despite what’s happened. D. Denzel continues to always impress and 2021 is definitely his year! Make sure you listen to his hot new single “Love You AnyWays”. IG: @D.Denzel38 


D’NME: Canadian rapper D’NME lives up to the title of “phenomenal lyricist” with his track “Untouchable”. D’NME has never been shy about calling himself “The greatest rapper”, but on “Untouchable” he takes that proclamation to a whole other level. Backed by an old school rap beat, D’NME is in rare form, spitting braggadocios bars, and flowing flawlessly to the dark synths and hard hitting drums of Atlanta producer Jon Bonus. In one scorching rap verse, D’NME shows us why he’s one of the illest lyricists in the game today. IG: @DNMEOfficial


GinoThaPharaoh: Also referred to as Gino Giovanché, the talent has toured dozens of cities, performing live from the west coast to the east coast. Gino Tha Pharaoh always makes an impression. The release of his new single Ring had an interesting inspiration. “The way “Ring” came about is actually such a pun, to be honest,” Gino tells us. “I remember sitting down with myself like, I need to focus on making a song that just has that hype feel about it, being that I had been in a melancholy mood.” The rising talent has a promising new year ahead. @ginothapharaoh


Groovyie’: Through his love for soul and funk samples mixed with bone crushing percussion – Groovyie has showcased his talent to evolve that of both fresh and retro, old and new school, and something out of a hip hop archive. From self recording, producing and writing his first album, ‘Celebrate’ to working with the likes of The Game, KXNG Crooked, Audio Push, Scott Storch, and more – Groovyie has stuck to his own sound and created his own lane. By honoring his upbringings in Southern California’s Inland Empire Groovyie exercises his fascination with lyricism and story-telling to captivate those who can identify with the struggle, while also exposing the same audience to different realities. It’s all love. Check out “Sierra Ave” now! IG: @Groovyie


Harmini: This year is one of great influence and achievements for the Texas-based Christian artist. With surprises on the way, Harmini is currently in the spotlight in his category. He has gained his fame from his master singing and rapping skills, acting, and impact in the entertainment industry. Releasing a new single each month, his impact is becoming a global movement. His latest release “All I Want” is now available on all platforms! In current news, his single “This Changes Everything” is the main soundtrack in Laurence Fishburne’s Hollywood film ‘Under the Stadium Lights’ releasing this summer. Be on the look-out for Harmini this fall at God’s House of Hip Hop Summer Fest where he takes the stage in a crowd of over 22,000 attendees. IG: @harmini731

Haze OPC: Loyalty over royalty is more than just words, It’s a lifestyle based on principles and one of the core values Official Paper Chasers Records is built on. Love is the reason and driving factor behind a lot of things. It makes it easier when going through difficult times and makes good times merrier when celebrating with people that help you pull through it. International Haze is back & harder than ever dropping off his newest single to the world “You Smile I Smile, You Cry I Cry”. IG: @mr_paper_chaser_opc

Josh Scottt: New number who this? Haven’t we all at some point said this or felt like this well josh scott has put this term into words over some smooth yet uptempo summer pop sounds mixed with some 808s makes this song different and refreshing josh describes how everything is new and refreshing around him putting it in simplest terms who this his lyrics go on to describe the past and where he believes he’s headed as a person in this music thing. Check out “Who Dis?” now! IG: @IamJoshScottt

Killa Caine: Straight out the 828 artist Killa Caine is makin moves with his first full length project and it’s finally catching steam. Killa Caine is putting Hickory, NC on the map! Check out “The Feast” now! IG: @official_killa60caine

L Boogie: L Boogie, a female rapper for the bronx side of Detroit at the age of 19, is one of the youngest and hard-working female rappers from Detroit. Since signing to Chulo Productions, a music video director from Detroit, in just six months she was able to work with artists who are on the rise including: Rocky Badd, Sasha Go Hard, and Mahzi. L Boogie’s versatile sound and real, raw bars are assets that make her one of the most promising rising female artists in the city. Be on the look-out for her EP ‘Boogie Fever’ to release soon. IG:  @reallboogie


LXS Trevino: Making his debut as a music artist this year, LXS Trevino is a rap/hip hop artist that is creating a new avenue in the new wave rap scene. Sifting through his music leaves fans wondering how one individual can pull off any genre and make it look easy. With a promising start, LXS Trevino will turn heads and enter the rap scene with advantages: his lyrical skill and dedication. IG: @lxstrevino

Mark Universe: Mark Universe implores listeners to get “Familiar” with him in his new single. Believe it or not, the bouncy trap beat that you hear on “Familiar” was initially made to be a ringtone. As for the lyrics that you hear in the song, they should make Mark’s haters crumble. Throughout his verses, the Alabama rapper reminds folks that he is someone that praises Jesus but knows about the street life. Mark raps with a level of confidence that is glaring in “Familiar.” and hits us with witty punchlines and relentless flows in the song. You can tell that Mark is getting better and better as the years go by. IG: @MarkUniverse

Meech Icewood: This rising music artist and actor built a name for himself in 2020, but this year, he reaps the benefits of his dedication, skill, and love for music. Giving a glimpse of his upcoming EP ‘MotorCity Animal 3’ his recent release “Facts 2” was only a teaser to the other tracks. The Detroit-based talent made “Hottest Indie Hits of 2020” by People’s Choice featured on The Source, and captured the attention of many other media outlets. With all eyes on him, 2021 is a promising year. Stay tuned for ‘MotorCity Animal 3’ and much more. IG: @meechicewood


Mikey Dinero: Rising artist Mikey Dinero is back with a banga! Check out his new hit single “Foreign” now. It’s a dope track with a melodic hip hop chill type of vibe. IG: @badguys_good_intentions

Mista Epik: Mista Epik drops off a hot new single titled “Wasting My Time”. His new release is about the grind of the music business and juggling a relationship while you’re chasing your dreams. Mista Epik reflects on how people won’t always support your dreams or stick it out when you’re on the road to get heard and provide for your loved ones. Check out “Wasting My Time” now!   IG: @MistaEpik

Omen44: The Plug International and vetted national and international hip hop artist Omen44 announce the release of “Hate” the remix ft. Chelsea Reject. The single is taken from Omen44’s latest critically acclaimed album ‘Hentai.’ “There is no enemy outside our soul. The real enemies live inside us. Anger, Pride, Greed, and Hate.” Omen44, who is on a mission to display the positive side of cultural creativity and uplift American souls through music enlists Chelsea Reject for a tag-team, impeccable lyrical flow. Check out this dope joint now! IG: @omenfourfour

Otto Kash: Otto Kash is back with more heat! The rising artist just dropped a hot new album titled “Gumbo”. Make sure you check it out now and follow him on social media for his new releases. Otto Kash is taking over the rap game! IG: @OttoKash

Plots: Rare musical sensation trapped in the 90’s with his dangerous melodies and rhythmic baritone blues voice. This kid came from muddy pits of Stop,6 Texas and has stamped himself prince of the city with his smashing radio hit “Black Range” and his new single “Faded” IG: @plots_

Rashad B: Rashad B is an R&B artist and Native Detroiter, and up next from a city that has developed some of the greatest musicians and singers to ever record has done it again. The singer/songwriter has a very unique sound that the world needs to hear. Rashad B is also a Native Detroiter and graduate of Michigan State University. He’s opened for Day 26 (Atlantic/Bad Boy Records) and also made it pass first 2 rounds on “The Voice” and was just added to Detroit River Days. With a range that’s eye opening and a look that women love he’s impossible to deny! IG: @4RASHADB


Relo Hodari: Rising artist Relo Hodari needs no introduction. The talented rapper gives his fans a hot new single titled “Lud Bihh” ft. Ant Bomb. Make sure you play this joint at full volume! IG: @ReloHodari1120

Rich Hxxdie: Rich Hxxdie is next up outta Atlanta. Make sure yall go check his latest single “Spending Addiction” out now. This joint is str8 fish! Keep an eye on him in 2021 as he’s quickly rising to the top! IG: @Richhxxdie 

Sickemore: Sickemore just dropped a hot new EP titled “Brute Force”. His new project was written and performed by him featuring production By Cashmere Brown. It’s a mix of feel good music and lyricism. The artist is taking a different approach to what everyone is usually offered nowadays in their playlists. Sickemore wanted this release to stand out and be different, while keeping it hip hop. The beat selection is fire and so are the bars. Check out “Brute Force” now! IG: @Sickemore

$Lim: Hailing from Chicago’s south side, $Lim has a unique approach to music. Speaking on what makes his music stand out from the rest of the industry he states, “no one else can bring music to the industry that relates to anyone no matter the age, race, color, or creed.” $Lim’s newest release is titled BDE (Big D*ck Energy) produced by Mike from Michigan, which is off of his latest project, ‘SlimWithThePackk EP Vol 1’. 2021 is a promising year for the independent artist, with many more surprises on the way. IG: @slimwiththepackk

Skrills Hunned Mils: Rising artist Skrills Hunned Mils just dropped a hot new project titled “Sponsored by the Drought, Vol. 1”. produced by TrapHustleBeats and shot by RoxxCityStudios. Make sure you check it out now! IG: @SkrillsHunnedMils

Sleepy Santana: Hailing from Chicago’s west side, Sleepy Santana aims to bring together two worlds: the culture and the streets. Known for his hard-hitting bars, the rising talent has more to offer to the culture, especially hip hop culture. Inspired by Meek Mill and Juelz Santana, Sleepy Santana also rose up from his roots in the streets. Continuing on influencing his fans, these coming months will present new music, greater momentum, and real rap the industry is missing. Be on the look-out for his come up, and as the artist states, #DontSleepOnSleepySantana IG: @sleepy14_12

$onny XL: In this brand new fiery and heavy hitting hip hop track, Massachusetts very own $onny XL delivers pure aggression through his razor sharp lyrics. $onny XL showcases his lyrical ability on this thunderous beat to create a hard hitting welcome to his project and future projects to come in his career. Liked by Styles P & Jadakiss, “Born Aggressive” is the second track off of his debut mixtape “Before It’s All Said and Done”. IG: @spfldsonny

$tephon Broadway: Stephon Broadway has risen to heat up the streetz with his newest freestyle “Run It Up”. Check out this dope joint now and follow him on IG for his latest releases. IG: @StephonBroadway

Sun Down Charlie: Sun Down Charlie is back with something “Special.” The Lago’s native “Becca” and source’s rising artist to watch “Mista Epik ” collab is sure to set yawl post covid spring breakers off and keep the clubs lit all summer. “Special” is the first single from Sun Down Charlie’s forthcoming “The Black Card” project and offers fans the sexiest vibes. Enjoy “Special” and get ready for “The Black Card” fam. Sun Down is about to make the summer go crazy!!!  IG: @SundownCharlieMusic

TayJer: TayJer is back with a hot new joint titled “Livin Different”. The rising artist drops off a hype banger for the haters! Make sure you check out this dope song now and get familiar with TayJer because he’s here to stay! IG: @TayjerOfficial 


Tony $huffle: Tony $huffle just released a hot new single titled “Blessed”, which he wrote, produced, recorded, and mixed himself. This is one of the hottest joints of the year and definitely a song you want to check out! Keep an eye on Tony $huffle as he’s quickly rising to the top! IG: @Wolsent1 


Tribe Mafia: Tribe Mafia is an American hip-hop duo originating from Austin, Texas formed by two friends, Chinasa Broxton and Carlos “Dashawn Daniels” Moore. In 2019 they signed a single distribution deal with Sony Music’s The Orchard. Debuting their first international track “Like Cola” drawing over a million hits on YouTube. In March 2020, the duo released their debut studio album Teepee Gang, which was deemed a “Certified Texas Anthem” by the central communities of Austenite listeners — Electric Lady Bird, a music library. The duo does well with teasing their fans by dropping unanticipated singles from their highly anticipated dancehall album ‘It’s a Tribe Ting’. Together, Broxton and Moore have continued to advance in their musical profession along with paving the way for other local acts in their immediate social network to succeed. “Tribe Mafia is a breath of fresh air for Austin’s urban rap scene.” – Tino Cochino & Pablo from iHeart Radio, 102.3 The Beat ATX. After being selected as an official SXSW artist, the group commenced their own live showcase production “Tribe Mafia Listening Party,” a platform for upcoming artists to network, receive income, and exposure by showcasing their talents with individuals with a common interest. Recent releases include “Hurt” and “Testify”, with music videos soon to be released in the coming months. Fans are eager to hear and watch the single and video to “I Wanna Know”. Also on the way,  the Afro-European sound Tribe Mafia will present this summer will make you want to “Move Your Body”. Stay tuned! IG: @tribemafiamusic


While there are more talents to discover, the above artists have their well-deserved spotlight on the stage. Connect, discover, and watch for them in 2021. The upcoming year will be one of growth, heightened momentum, and new projects for listeners, both current and new, to listen to. It is a must. 

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