The start of a new year is filled with endless possibilities, and it's fun to predict what the next 12 months of music will look like. We've gone to the cupboard to get our crystal ball, and used it to look ahead into the future. Ok, so maybe we don't have a crystal ball, but it'd be great if we did, right?
It's always fun taking a look at what artists we think will become big names in 2022, and we've put together some names that we think you should keep an eye on. These artists make music in a variety of styles and genres, but they're all doing things in new and exciting ways. If you're looking for a cheat sheet on the next 12 months of music, then read on - we hope you discover your new favourite artist!
Melbourne crooner Olive Amun has been a favourite of the Melbourne music community for a while now, but 2021 saw him take the next step. Taking influence from Mac Miller, Dominic Fike and Odd Future, Olive's music is at-times self-deprecating, and always relatable, featuring melodies that are instantly captivating.
He released his debut EP, Don't Leave Yet, in mid-2021, featuring tracks like Blues and Bad Dreams. The new music hasn't stopped since then, following up the EP with the release of singles Dead Weight and Sell My Soul, and he's poised for a big year ahead.
Melbourne artist R.em.edy really does it all. She's a singer, rapper, producer and songwriter, and brings together elements of R&B, hip-hop, soul and pop. She's worked with a range of fellow Melbourne artists, and Burn City's behind her all the way.
She's already released her first single of 2022, Questions, co-produced with Melbourne's Balaram. It's an exploration of toxic relationships and the accusations that fly around in such situations, and R.em.edy's vocals will hold you from the very first note.
It's easy to relate to the emotions present in GAYLE's modern pop-punk anthem abcdefu - after all, who hasn't wanted to get back at a shitty ex? It's a song designed for singalongs, preferably at the top of your lungs, surrounded by your closest friends.
Heading into 2022, we're hoping that GAYLE managed to scare off the ghosts of exes past with abcdefu. After all, it's one hell of a musical exorcism - and if you're finding yourself spooked by ghosts of your own, this should scare them away.
Lebanon-born, Western Sydney-based artist Chirine's only has a trio of songs available on streaming services, but they all speak to her undeniable ability. You Could Never and Need It are darker, more hip-hop-driven tracks, while Love You Better is more upbeat, and more influenced by R&B.
You Could Never speaks to Chirine's multitude of talents. The track is entirely self-produced and self-mixed, with the music video featuring elements from the different cultures that have been instrumental in Chirine's life to date. Stay tuned for more from Chirine in 2022.
Sarah Saint James
Adelaide's Sarah Saint James kicked off 2021 by sharing a sketch of what would become mad at god, a song that draws from personal experiences. The caption for the TikTok says the song's “about growing up fat n queer in a Christian house”, and it connected with countless fans around the world - it now has over a million streams and counting.
The song is proof of the power of social media, but perhaps more correctly, it's proof of the power of Sarah's songwriting. mad at god sounds like a hit, because it's 100% her. No one else could write this song, and we expect that to hold true for future releases.
Isle Of Wight duo Wet Leg (aka Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers) aren't afraid to write guitar-driven songs that (jokingly) take aim at both themselves and the world around them. Each single they've released to date has been tons of fun, including Chaise Lounge, which was accompanied by a self-directed music video full of Mormon fashion.
They're gearing up to release their debut album in 2022, and they already have fans like Iggy Pop and Hayley Williams in their corner. We're excited to hear what Wet Leg have been working on, because it'll be very cheeky, and very fun.
If you're a fan of 2000s R&B, then we want to introduce you to BOY SODA. After travelling to the US to support Dominic Fike thanks to Converse, Boy Soda's thrown himself into his music, and he's already reaping the rewards.
We heard a pair of singles from BOY SODA in 2022; LOVEU2BITS and WELCOME TO THE GLOW UP. Both songs radiate with positivity, and you'll get swept up in BOY SODA's velvety vocals. Get on board for his glow up in 2022 - he's only going to shine brighter and brighter.
Canadian artist EKKSTACY's music feels like an aberration in time. It sounds utterly current, but there's a hint of artists like The Cure and Joy Division - even if, according to his interview with Pigeons And Planes, "A lot of people will ask me if I like The Cure and Joy Division and stuff and I’m like, 'No, I’ve heard no songs from either of those bands.' So people always get weirded out, but I just do what I think sounds cool."
His debut album, NEGATIVE, marries staple elements of SoundCloud rap with the rip-roaring energy of post punk. Just don't ask EKKSTACY whether he's drawing influence from the artists of yesteryear, because he's just channelling the sounds that come to him.
Sydney artist BLESSED has been involved in the success of countless other artists (including being heavily involved in The Kid LAROI's debut EP 14 With A Dream), and the time seems right for BLESSED to make a name for himself as a solo artist.
2021 saw him release Lockdown Tapes Vol.1, a mixtape full of tracks recorded throughout the year. It's a project that showcases BLESSED's ability to weave through a myriad of genres with ease, and we're excited to hear what he drops in 2022.
English singer-songwriter Maisie Peters writes music that is instantly relatable. Her debut album, You Signed Up For This, is full of songwriting that explains exactly what it's like to be Maisie Peters. However, you'll find that the stories she tells might just have played out in your own lives.
Fans of Maisie include Taylor Swift, Lewis Capaldi and Ed Sheeran, who signed her to his label, Gingerbread Records. We're looking forward to watching that partnership continue to unfold, and we're excited to hear the stories Maisie will tell on her next project and beyond.
Mysterious Wadawurrung producer MOSS is one of our favourite discoveries of 2021. If you're fan of slightly left-of-centre EDM that still hits as hard as any drop you're likely to hear, then you'll dig the stuff MOSS is making.
MOSS rose to prominence after entering triple j Unearthed's DIY Supergroup competition with his track SABRE TEETH, sampling both Genesis Owusu and a didgeridoo. It's a track that sounds just as innovative as the first time we heard it, and we don't think that's going to change.
Sydney musician Carla Wehbe returned in late 2021 with her single hurts to love you, after releasing her debut EP Half Past Nine in 2020. It's a track that draws from synthpop, and sounds timeless - it could have been released in any era of music.
Speaking about the track, Carla says that it's a song about “losing someone that you care deeply about." She encapsulates the emotions that are associated with needing to let someone go for the good of both you and them, and you'll feel the heartbreak that emanates from it in your core.
Nigeria-born, London-raised MC Darkoo spent 2021 in overdrive, releasing her debut EP, 2 in 1. It's a project that sees the gender-fluid, androgynous musician turning the hypermasculinity of hip-hop upside down, and as she tells Vogue, “My team are used to me always switching it up. People are definitely confused about it, but it just shows that I’m comfortable in myself, and anyone who wants to be can be comfortable in themselves.”
Recent single Slow Down features UK star Tion Wayne, and it's a great track to listen to while enjoying the hotter days of an Australian summer. If you're looking to get lost in the groove, then you'll want to check this out.
Perth pop band Dulcie have some of the best harmonies and melodies in Australian music. If you don't believe us, then listen to their debut EP Sake Of Sound, which sees the band pulling out all the stops.
They're already beloved in their hometown, and we expect the rest of Australia and beyond to be on board by this time next year. Don't let the name of the EP fool you - it may be called Sake Of Sound, but nothing on there is done for the sake of it. There's not a note that's out of place.
Sydney artist Charley's debut single Hard For Me made waves from the moment it was released in March last year. If you're a fan of Australian pop, then you'll want to keep a close eye on Charley's music - both Hard For Me and following single Arizona are polished, glittering tracks that sit comfortably within the global pop landscape.
Her most recent single, Arizona, is an important discussion about mental health, one that isn't always prevalent in Australian music. Talking about the track, Charley wrote, “I’ve struggled with social anxiety, BPD and depression for as long as I can remember. Coming out of lockdown… I knew it was time to create music about how I’ve felt for years." Arizona gives a voice to those that might not have had one previously.
You could easily make the argument that Thomas Headon is the most charming artist on this list. Splitting his time between Australia and the UK, Thomas's music is reminiscent of artists like The 1975 and Harry Styles (not surprising, given that he has a life-sized cut-out of Harry Styles).
His recent single Nobody Has To Know speaks of a romance that exists in the shadows, and it sounds like a step-up for Thomas. Stay tuned for more in 2022 - Disco Tony (as he's known to his fans) has all the ingredients needed for a rise to stardom, and it's only a matter of time before he's done cooking.
Teenage Perth-based MC Hoodzy is the antithesis of the stereotypes that surround Australian hip-hop. As she writes on triple j Unearthed, she's a "female, gay, brown skin" MC that turned heads with her appearance on triple j's Bars Of Steel series back in 2019, and hasn't let up since.
Tracks like Hardcase pack a serious punch, with Hardcase serving as an ode to her musical journey, as well as the people around her. While 2021 was a quiet year for Hoodzy, we heard enough from her in 2020 that we're tipping that 2022 is going to be a big year.
Tamil/Swiss artist Priya Ragu released her debut mixtape, damnshestamil, in 2021, and it's a project without any peers. Counting MIA as a fan, there are elements of R&B, garage, Western pop, hip-hop and more sprinkled throughout her discography to date, but that could all flip on its head with her next release. She's constantly ahead of the curve.
We spoke to Priya about the range of sounds she grew up with, and she explained that she was influenced by a variety of artists. "Growing up, I was listening to a lot of Tamil music, a lot of Kollywood songs. But I listened to a lot of hip hop, a lot of The Roots, Common, Mos Def, because my brother was listening to that and he owned all the CDs. So he introduced me to hip hop, actually. But then I discovered Brandy and Lauryn Hill and Boyz II Men. I was really into new soul music and I'm somehow merging all these influences today in my music." It's hard to pigeonhole her music - instead, you'll just have to have a listen for yourself.
Sydney rapper Kobie Dee exudes wisdom beyond his years whenever he hops on the mic. As he told triple j, "There’s been so many times I could have died, or I could have been in jail. And I think I have survived so much that whatever gets thrown at me now, I feel like I can get through it." He's making music for the next generation.
His 2021 EP Gratitude Over Pity features a quintet of songs that speak to his ability to build vivid worlds with every bar. Songs like About A Girl and Jody stick with the listener long after they're finished, and it's impossible to deny his talent.
Having spent a lot of time shaping the sounds of those around him, Dallas Woods is ready to step into the spotlight on his own times. 2022's looking like the year that's going to happen, and we couldn't be more excited.
His new single, Grime, was produced by Jerome Farah, and is an ode to the UK genre of the same name. It's bouncy and upbeat, and it's hard not to have fun when you're listening to it. We're looking forward to more music.