2016 brought together a melting pot of artists...
...new and old, that together presented a year full of genre fusion, versatility, and a new direction for hip hop and contemporary sounds.
The same can be said for our local artists. To all of our UxU soldiers that have been faithful to our weekly J.A.M.M. sessions, you’ve taken note of all of the game-changers and fresh faces that hail from the very same neighborhoods that YOU do.
As we ride the wave into the new year with anticipation of the next BIG thing in music, let’s take a moment to examine the greatness that dominated 2016 and who we can look forward to see thriving in 2017. With that being said, take a look at OUR top picks for the new year:
April + Vista are dynamically one of the greatest duos of our time. April— a phenomenally talented vocalist, pianist, and violinist—sets a vital tone for the group. On the other hand, Vista’s producing craft has a keen appeal for giving sounds of soulful waves, delivering spontaneous vibes and a fusion that has become popular in music’s new trend. Together as a local DMV group, April + Vista make an eclectic pair as they craft vibey and quirky music for the open-minded music junkie. Be sure to follow them going into the new year.
Cozz has proven to show major promise going into 2017. Signed to J.Cole’s Dreamville Records in 2014, Cozz is a monster on the mic, bringing the intensity that balances out the label’s new recruits. Hailing from South Central, Cali, his words reflect the cause & effects —no pun intended—of overcoming the negatives in a world meant to keep you down. Cozz gives you that needed feel good music backed by clever lyrics with a soul. now that’s something that’s rare with newer artists. Don’t sleep on him this year. He’s making waves, and you definitely don’t want to be left behind. Check him out.
Being supernatural is what UxU (Unique and Uncontemporary) is all about, so we certainly had to rise to the occasion when presented with an opportunity to interview Mr. Supernatural himself: Nature Boi. Now we aren't talking about ghosts, goblins and unearthly beings when we say "supernatural." The name for his debut project, SPRNTRL (pronounced "supernatural" of course), came from the belief that everyone should just be themselves and be natural...on a super level! Nature Boi combined his skills in writing, rapping, instrumentation, producing and mixing to deliver an album that's as versatile as his musical abilities. SPRNTRL is where old school meets new school, and where turn up meets sit down and think. Whether he's spitting about dropping his phone and cracking the screen or the tragic loss of his mother and finding a way to cope, Nature Boi makes real, relatable, enjoyable music just by being super natural. Look out for his new projects and collabs with the Dope Music Village collective in the coming months.
The flower child Ari Lennox is a force to be reckoned with. The Dreamville Records label-mate has grown a following of thousands with her indie-tinged voice and vibey melodies. This DC homegrown sensation is deep—snap, snap!—and the best part is that she isn’t afraid to be. Her music is A R T and the transparency within it pairs well with the feel-good sounds that listeners are dying to hear. She’s quirky, BRAZEN, and full of promise going into 2017. Be on the lookout for more of her beautifully-crafted masterpieces riding into 2017.
Last but certainly not least is the local gem Marlee in the Mixx. It wouldn’t do them justice to call them a crowd favorite because they are so. much. MORE. Very rarely do you find local talent, let alone a GROUP, that has tenure in the music realm and doesn’t disappoint.This local, LIVE band screams soul and talent, and if your eyes and ears are open long enough, you’ll find them jamming out in the city at some of the best known intimate music venues. This is definitely a group that you have to see live at least twice in your life to truly appreciate their craft and beauty as a band and as a family. Mixing soul, jazz, R&B, and a splash of indie, Marlee in the Mixx is the G.O.A.T. Enough said. Don’t miss out on their DOPE-ness this year and any year after.
Going into the new year, we can be sure to expect more greatness to flood our speakers. But just in case you’re not woke…take this article as your personal crash course, UxU style. Happy New Year Uncontemporaies! We made it to another milestone year. Cheers to many more.. *clink clink*