Every month at HumanHuman tons of discoveries are added, but only a handful, are labelled as promising. These artists are agreed upon by our users as ones to watch and are well on their way to becoming the next big thing in music. What you see below, are the top five promising artists, as decided by the HumanHuman community.
Whilst compiling the top five Promising Discoveries for August, the first thing we noticed is just how close all these came in terms of agrees from our community of music enthusiasts, and the second thing is how unconvention is key. Whether it’s Suzi Wu’s nonchalant indie songwriting and brash beatmaking, Zanski’s underdog grooves that combine electronics with pop and R&B, the multigenre styles of singer/rapper Appleby, the isolated blues of Oldham’s Jordan Max or JSPH’s super fresh R&B and progressive soul.
Yet again, Melissa Jimenez from MusicalHeartBeat has shown that she's something of a soothsayer. Seven months ago, she decided that Suzi Wu was destined for great things and added her to HumanHuman. Just last month, the London-based songsmith was labeled promising by 25 of our expert users, topping August's most promising discoveries chart. Speaking about Suzi Wu’s music, debut single “Teenage Witch” was a tour-de-force, a masterclass in nonchalant indie songwriting. It opens with Wu giving us a little bit of contemporary fuckboi poetry - which is welcome, at all times. This willingness to do away with conventional arrangement allows Wu to explore an expressive and experimental alt-pop soundscape. Her unique brand of production is continued on her most recent record “Taken Care Of”. A gloriously raspy vocal sits on top of a punchy, brash beat. It's catchy and filled with flecks of aural intrigue; a disco boom here, a wet tom there. Don't take your eyes off Suzi Wu, she'll be sky high before you know it. - AT
Tom Probizanski has been creating lush electronic soundscapes to enthrall and uplift as Zanski for quite some time now. First appearing with a number of delectable remixes for tracks such as The 1975’s “Chocolate” and Childish Gambino’s “3005”, Zanski showcased his eclectic production skills by giving each of these originals his own unique and refreshing twist. Since then, the Canadian artist (who was found by prolific discoverer MusicalHeARTBeat a year ago) has been churning out a slew of utterly intoxicating electronic pop gems such as “Hesitate” and “Satellite”. With an ever so gentle and dreamy voice to accompany those sensationally vibrant and groovy beats, Zanski continued to impress with his Collapse EP from earlier this year and most recently with singles “Don’t Say Later” and “What Have You Done?” The latter, is a groove-inflected cut which perfectly soundtracks the remaining summery days as those ethereal vocals float atop the funky guitars. Offering the complete package, Zanski is undoubtedly one of the most exciting artists around! - DS
You’d struggle to find a more diverse rapper-singer than Chicago’s Appleby, who was picked up by Lunatic Entertainment’s Missy Scheinberg three years ago, a whole year before his debut track “Spit On Me” made it’s way to the good people of SoundCloud, and why extensions HumanHuman. Working with long-term friend, collaborator and producer Elias Abid in Chi-Town’s Classick Studios, the faceless artist who prefers to be referred to by his mother’s maiden name, has spent the past two years cooking up a tasty collection of tracks that dip into dance, R&B, trap, hip-hop, blues and soul. For example his Down Dance EP, simultaneously features murky, fractured experimental electronics in “99” and an infectious caribbean rhythms in “Castles”. Post-EP, we haven’t heard all that much from Appleby, aside from a realist’s birthday song called “25”, which offers up not only a new sound from the studio duo, but also an honest account of immaturity, the painful process of growing up and major respect for his mother’s strength. Whether he pushes forward with the bold minimalism or something entirely different, we can’t wait to hear what else Appleby and his production counterpart Abid have been busy creating all this time. - HT
We’ve been tracking the steady rise of Jordan Max since Selfblown tipped this discovery two years ago with the original release of “Hell”, a brooding piece of modern blues that showcases the best of Max’s vocal abilities. That debut also introduced us to the gritty backdrop behind the music in a slice-of-life music video directed by London filmmaker Hector Dockrill, in which we’re led behind the scenes of life in Max’s hometown, Oldham in Lancashire, UK. That first dark saga has since been followed up with Only One Is King EP and a double-side featuring singles “Closer” and “Out Of Luck”. The latter of these releases, as with all of Max’s work, studies the pitfalls and struggles of life, particularly for young men. On “Out Of Luck” we hear the potent combination of bluesy piano chords, contemporary production and that impossibly rich, soulful voice as Max explores the “problems we go through in our lives, and how we overcome them.” Inspired by dark times and yet resoundingly hopeful, this songwriter is a powerful talent is reminiscent of early Rag’n’Bone Man and we’re betting with an equally impressive breakthrough. - HT
Keeping with the theme of progressive soul with a contemporary edge, here we have JSPH, a young crooner from Cincinnati who was discovered by Bastien two years ago. With each release, JSPH has drawn in more and more listeners with an affective R&B vocal atop crisp, minimal beats. Such noteworthy fans include Pharrell who featured “Breathe” in his Othertone playlist on Beats1 Radio and NPR who compared the neo-soul sounds of track “lifeLESS” to D’angelo, Frank Ocean and James Blake. Of course, support of this emerging artist has been found among the HumanHuman community as well, Purple Melon who uncovered JSPH’s love for Sam Cooke and Prince and a promise for more music following latest single “Better” in an interview with the Ohio talent. A favourite with critics and casual listeners alike, JSPH makes the kind of music you can put on whatever mood you’re in, floating up to the lofty heights of his falsetto or staying down with the bassy synths and staccato trap. - HT