In our company Slack we’re always sharing memes, stories that we find funny, what artists we’re listening to, and even TV shows we’re binge-watching. It’s always refreshing to get a feel for what is keeping our creative juices flowing. Instead of sharing what we’re listening to, we’ve decided to tap in with artists we feel are on the rise to get a feel for what’s inspiring them musically.
Artists and their inspirations often have somewhat of a symbiotic relationship. For instance, $NOT, a buzzy rapper out of Florida shared via email that he’s currently listening to Pink Floyd, Deep Purple, and The Rolling Stones. Ethereal, his latest full-length, proves he’s comfortable existing in a blended realm made up of alt, hip-hop, and punk which is heard on tracks like “Doja,” a single boasting a feature from A$AP Rocky. “I’ve been listening to older rock music because it helps expand my mind,” $NOT adds.
As for the rest of the artists we’ve handpicked that believe are worth paying attention to in 2022, their music choices vary. Keep scrolling to take a look at what they’re listening to.
“[I’ve been listening to] a lot of the new music I’ve been working on, always a lot of jazz, anything that Carlos Niño and Miguel Atwood-Ferguson work on together, Vashti Bunyan, and always my dear brother Earl Sweatshirt. Mike, and Boldy James [too], they are my peers, and without bias, a few of my favorite artists. There is a common theme amongst them all, that is truth and experience. I enjoy learning and exploring new ways to share my experience. These men have poignant perspectives and incredible stories to tell.”
“There’s so much good music being released by my peers, sometimes it takes me a while to sit with them as I’m working on my own projects. I’ve been a supporter of the Chicago music scene since INNANETAPE dropped, so when Candid shared release week with Saba’s newest album, it felt like divine timing. Other folks from the Chi who I find to be masterful are Mick Jenkins, Jean Deaux, Green Sliiime, Qari, Ravyn Lenae and I’m definitely looking forward to whatever Noname decides to release next because “Rainforest” is one of the most important songs of our generation. Dijon’s Absolutely and Mach Hommy’s Balens Cho are two albums I haven’t been able to stop listening to.
“Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of R&B [and] rap. I’ve been especially drawn to Brent Faiyaz because his music is so toxic but the delivery is so beautiful. It makes you feel like everything is going to be okay.”
“I’m always listening to music and all different kinds of music. The message and the feeling supersede genre to me. Rap, R&B, reggae, classical, indie rock, jazz, electronic, experimental, ambient, emo, etc. and the list goes on. I love singer-songwriters, folk, country, and gospel. I think you can get so much from being open. I’m inspired by sounds and how they make you feel. I usually keep my favorite songs close to my chest because there is an intimacy there that I don’t feel the need to have to explain, and I like to keep them all to myself. However, when I do feel like sharing, I put the songs I’m listening to on a Spotify playlist called ‘o.s. picks’. Check it out if you’re curious. I update it frequently because I’m always digging and it’s genuinely fun to find new music and/or rediscover songs that used to and still have a hold on you.”
“I’ve been feeling very inspired lately and some artists that have currently been on repeat and are a source of inspiration for me are Tone Stith, Christian Kuria, Pink Sweat$, and always Kehlani. Not only does their music feel good and lift my mood but their songwriting inspires me in my own work. Their ability to paint a picture and tell a story keeps me constantly excited about the future of music and how I can leave my mark in it.”
“My favorite artists are currently Gunna, Nicki Minaj, Stunna 4 Vegas, Strawberry Guy, Flo Milli, Lakeyah, and Bree Runway. They are uniquely, individually, unapologetically themselves. It’s inspiring and motivating.”
“Recently, I’ve been really vibing to a lot of rock n’ roll music. I’ve been going back to what I used to listen to when I was younger and learning to play guitar. Bands like Queen, Eagles, The Beatles, Bee Gees, [and] Prince. I guess I’m just reliving my younger years when I used to listen to their music a lot. I’d love to see if I can use [this] as an inspiration to create a whole new sound.”
“I’ve been listening to a lot of music coming out of NYC, just staying locked in to what’s going on. My favorites are Meek Mill and Nicki Minaj. They do it for me every time. I also love seeing fans in my city go crazy right now for Fivio Foreign. I love the energy and being from the same place, you just feel every word. Lil Baby is definitely becoming one of my favorite overall artists as well, his flows are out of this world. I also can’t wait for Cardi to drop.”
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