- Words Notion Staff
For this special edition of Undiscovered, get to know the emerging artists you should be keeping a firm eye on for 2023. You heard it here first.
Shifting the boundaries of pop, Ray Laurél’s ability to repurpose DIY sounds with mainstream sensibilities is rapidly gaining fans. Few can boast a debut project as accomplished as ‘MANIC PIXIE DREAM BOY’, which amassed millions of streams last year. “COCONUT PERFUME’” grabs the headlines, but the title track is an infectious moment of surfer-indie goodness.
Bawo is organically rising through the ranks, evading ambiguous algorithms thanks to a cultish following who appreciate his laidback lyrical style and flexible flows. Last year, he dropped his debut EP, ‘Live and Let Thrive’, which explores the dichotomy of success and self-doubt with an unrivalled assuredness. A new project is set for release early next year, meaning Bawo’s stocks will only continue to rise in 2023.
Multifaceted guitar and vocalist BINA. is swiftly becoming a one to watch with her mesmerising neo-soul compositions. Luxuriating in dulcet tones, her previous projects layer elements of trap, R&B and indie to craft a sound representative of the country’s musical diaspora. After releasing ‘This Is Not A Film’, her most recent EP, she’s gained momentum with a slew of singles in 2022. 2023 could be the year we receive a longform project.
Artists always want genre non-conformity, but very few can genuinely live up to the label. Jim Legxacy is one of the rare cases that can. Spreading his autotuned Midwest emo vocals over everything from afrobeats to balitmore bounce, the producer is still in an exciting faze of experimentation. Refusing to confide with the vogues of modern British music, Jim's leaving an everlasting impression on everyone he blesses the ears of. With a new EP finished and ready for release soon, make sure to ride with him next year.
Casting a spell on her listeners with whimsical tracks, planet girl’s soulful vocals and dreamy instrumentation make for a meditative listen. Standout song “daylily” uses bossa nova guitar work and the artist’s silvery voice to establish a global bedroom pop sound. She’s been releasing music since 2019, and after a host of single releases, fans will be hoping 2023 brings a more fleshed out project.
A wise head on young shoulders, Feux’s music shows a level of sophistication that surpasses his age. With two full-length LPs under his belt, he’s quickly mastering a format that many artists struggle to comprehend in the entirety of their career. ‘Opal Blues’, which came out last year, sees the artist hanging up his trademark, hip-hop boots to create something far more personal. Promising to expand his arsenal of sounds further in 2023, Feux’s entering an extremely exciting period of his career, which is likely to propel him into the mainstream.
Gaining notoriety for his two-step infused productions, es.cher’s coming through the ranks alongside equally electronic-minded artists like PinkPantheress. His shapeshifting tunes, which feature chopped up vocal samples, live guitar loops and elements of nu-garage, have an ethereal edge that underpins his instantly recognisable sound. Recently releasing a collaboration with hyperpop artist Senses, and with a performance at INTRO23 lined up in January, es.cher’s an elusive but notable figure on the map of 2023’s ones to watch.
Riding for his streets with poetic portrayals of North West London, cityboymoe’s progression continued to accelerate in 2022 with introspective releases. Reflecting on both London’s beauty and its underbelly, the wordsmith uses his being as a young Muslim Somali immigrant to bring a new perspective on British music to the table. With production credits from Joy Orbison and StayFleeGetLizzy already, 2023 will surely see cityboymoe further in the spotlight.
Signed to RULESTHEWORLDRECORDS, the imprint ran by Clint alongside Corteiz, dexter’s gen-z tales of life in London have resonated far beyond the capital. The multifaceted musician and vocalist is known for her candid, self-expressive tracks that lean towards indie and bedroom pop. Dexter’s dreamed big and manifested her career up until this point, and if she keeps making tracks with the contagiousness of “Blue Skies”, there will be no limit to her success next year.
With a poignant vein of thought running throughout all their music, kid apollo are the three-piece bringing vulnerability back to music. The Brixton-based group released a dazzling EP in 2022, called ‘u the real star here’, which stood out with its stripped back R&B sounds. Trusting their talent instead of binding to TikTok trends, the trio are set for a big 2023 as they quietly solidify a sound intrinsic to them.
British-Chinese singer and songwriter Cathy Jain writes about topics like identity and friendship from a place of true authenticity. Constantly on a search for self-discovery, the artist’s hopeful tone gives something for everyone to find faith in, especially with potentially difficult times ahead. Thanks to last year’s ‘spacegirl’ EP, she’s imprinted her psychedelic pop sound on every relevant young millennial playlist. If this backing continues, 2023 will undoubtably be a big year for Cathy.