As a music blogger, I feel that it is my duty to keep all of you aware of the up-and-coming artists in the industry. The list of rising stars, the up-at-bats, the talent on deck, if you will. So started the monthly feature on Sunset in the Rearview called Artists on the Dashboard, which shines light on three artists to keep on your radar for the month; artists who have shown the talent, the drive, and the willpower to be a star. Keep your eye out for these features, and next thing you know, your friend will be telling you about this amazing new artist, and you’ll be able to say, ‘Dude…I knew about them almost a year ago.’ No more worrying about taking the time to seem cool, we’ll do all of the work for you. Check back every month to see which three artists made the cut.
2011 has been churning out some killer artists. I’ve been posting a lot of hip hop music, because that genre is really throwing some curveballs my way. Two curveballs are included in this episode of Artists on the Dashboard. All together, this month I present to you Childish Gambino, J Roddy Walston and the Business, and Odd Future (aka OFWGKTA).
Continue reading for more information on the artists and free MP3 samples
Childish Gambino was born with the name Donald Glover, which at this point in time, more people likely know him as. Not because he was necessarily the most popular kid in his class or because he may have a lot of Facebook friends, but because Donald Glover is a rather well known actor and comedian. When he isn’t busy starring in NBC hit show Community or writing for 30 Rock, he might be caught performing music under the name Childish Gambino. His biggest fans have been following his musical path ever since he started releasing freestyling music videos on YouTube and likely downloaded his early mixtape releases, but his name really hit the scene when he released Culdesac in 2010, and even more so with his latest single, “Freeks and Geeks.” His sound is different than most; his voice may at first come across as annoying in its nasally tone, but once you get beyond that and hear what he actually has to say, you will likely find yourself addicted. This young man is incredibly talented and is certainly a force to keep your eye on in 2011.
J Roddy Walston & The Business
J Roddy Walston & The Business will likely seem like a breath of fresh air if you’ve been longing for some southern rock music that’s rooted in the classics but sprinkled with a hint of modern rock ‘n roll. J Roddy features a strong piano presence that seems to be influenced by jazz music – lots of fast chordal movements and finger slides up and down the keyboard. It’s fun, it’s incredibly energetic, and I have a feeling they’re going to make quite a splash when they take SXSW by storm this month.
Odd Future (OFWGKTA)
When I first heard of Odd Future, the LA rap collective led by frontman Tyler, The Creator, it was in the context that they are violent, really like to swear in their songs, and are rebellious. Nothing about that sounded too appealing to me, so I ignored them. What whoever wrote about them failed to mention, though, is that these kids are incredibly intelligent, all between the ages of 17 and 20, and in trying to be rebellious and violent, they’re trying to break the norm and make all of us uncomfortable intentionally. They rap about rape, murder, and kidnapping and are often seen donning face masks that only reveal their eyes and mouths. So why, you may ask, am I interested in them? Because rather than trying to convince people that these things are the right thing to do, it seems that they’re just talking about it because nobody else does and it’s scary and part of reality – we should be scared and paying attention to it. Watch out for these guys – if they sneak up on you, don’t say I didn’t warn you!