I’m so excited we’re finally here! I started Symbiosis Music Blog just under a year ago after toying with the idea for much longer. One of the main reasons I wanted to start a blog was in reaction to the major tip lists that crop up at the end of each year. I always love finding new artists through them, but the more time I spent seeking out new music, the more disappointed I became when some of the artists I found most deserving were left off. It seemed fitting, then, to make my first set of posts about my Artists to Watch in 2017, a list I plan on revisiting before the end of the year in more detail, but overall, I’ve been really happy with it. But now with 2017 coming to an end, it’s time to look forward, so I have formed a new list of artists I’m excited about going into next year and beyond. Over the next two weeks, I’ll be sharing two artists a day to count down the 20 acts I’m most excited about. They’re not predictions of who I think will have mainstream success, or even necessarily who will release albums; they are simply the artists I’m most looking forward to hearing more from. So, before we get into it on Monday, a few things about the list:
Every tip list seems to have its own criteria for who is eligible. For example, the BBC Sound Of… list (one of the biggest out there) avoids artists who have a top charting album or track. In addition, they can’t have placed in the top few of reality TV singing competitions. Even with those stipulations however, some artists who I would already deem well established make it through. To counteract that, my rules tend to favor newer acts. Artists appearing on my list have not yet released a full-length LP, and would not be recognizable to the general public. So, if they’ve had a song anywhere near the top of the charts either in the US or the UK, they’re not eligible. Of course, that’s not going to stop me from covering acts on the blog that don’t meet those criteria, but I don’t feel a tip list is the right place for them.
Now for a quick tease of this year’s list. If you’ve been following the blog at all this year, there are a few picks that shouldn’t come as a surprise at all as I’ve covered them repeatedly and in some cases explicitly stated they’d be here. Although I hope there will be a few surprises, including an act I haven’t posted about before. While I know by picking 20 artists I’m forming a longer list than most, it was extremely difficult for me to get it down this low. I started with a longlist of over 100 potential acts and have slowly been whittling it down for the last few weeks and what I’m left with is 20 artists I’m really excited about. In general, this year’s list looks pretty different from last year. I feel like I’m taking more “risks” this year by including less established artists. Last year Saya was the act with the fewest songs released with three. This year I have several acts matching that number and one with even fewer. That being said, based on the output of these artists and the trajectories they seem to be on, I feel very confident that 2018 is going to be a big year for each of them. This year’s list skews towards female vocalists compared to last year which was pretty even. Part of that is an artifact of me tending towards them anyway, but also it just seemed like this year there were so many extremely talented singers popping up. There’s also more solo acts than not, a trend which seems to be more and more common across music in general, but I tried to include as many groups as I could.
Altogether, I’m so excited for music in 2018 and these artists hopefully give you a glimpse of why. Hopefully it goes without saying that I plan on covering a lot more artists than these twenty going into the new year, but I’m particularly looking forward to seeing where these guys end up. Most of all I hope I’m able to introduce people to music they enjoy that they haven’t yet come into contact with and also help new artists on their journey even if it’s only in small ways. I can’t wait to share with you my Artists to Watch 2018, starting Monday December 11th and I hope you enjoy!
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