In this week’s instalment of What’s Going On, I’ve got 5 more Black artists that you should be listening to. From a dope New York singer-songwriter doing hip hop/soul to a one-man garage rock band, there’s something here for everyone and more importantly, 5 incredibly creative Black artists for you to champion and support.
M.A.G.S. – Hailing from Buffalo, Elliott Douglas is the multi-instrumentalist behind M.A.G.S. Douglas grew up listening to punk and hardcore bands like Coheed and Cambria and Circa Survive. You can hear the subtle influence of those bands in the punchy guitars that feature heavily in his music. His track ‘My Love’ has been played during episodes of hit shows The Flash and Shameless. Now based in L.A., his style of garage rock is a breath of fresh air.
Listen to ‘Demons’ from M.A.G.S.’s self-titled 2017 album.
Tish Hyman – Bronx-born singer Tish Hyman initially got her start as a battle rapper before breaking into the music industry as a songwriter. After landing a publishing deal with Universal Music, she would go on to write songs with the likes of Kelly Rowland and Alicia Keys. Hyman’s vivid storytelling & soulful delivery on her 2015 debut single ‘Subway Art’ drew the lofty comparison to Lauryn Hill. Her most recent song ‘Black Magic’ was in response to the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and was in her own words “a love letter to my people”.
Listen to ‘Subway Art’ from Tish Hyman’s 2016 album Dedicated To:
Shamir – Las Vegas-native Shamir Bailey burst onto the music scene as a teenager with his debut EP Northtown. Critics were immediately drawn to the colourful teen and hailed him as one to watch in pop music. Not one to be tied down to any one particular genre, Shamir’s music spans from house-influenced electro-pop to ’90s inspired indie rock. His signature song ‘On the Regular’ features his witty wordplay & playful raps over ’90s dance beats. Shamir’s latest single ‘On My Own’ is a self-reflective break-up anthem and leans into Shamir’s pop sensibilities.
Listen to Shamir’s 2020 single ‘On My Own’.
Dope Saint Jude – “Skip train, don’t got a ride. All I got is my heart and my pride”. Queer rapper Dope Saint Jude has got something to say. The former drag king infuses a riot grrrl attitude in her confident & self-assured tunes. Equally influenced by the bands of the riot grrrl movement and hip hop greats such as Tupac, Dr. Dre & Lauryn Hill, Dope Saint Jude is winning fans over with her fresh sound. On her latest single, she raps about feeling powerless when she was younger, being an underdog, and how she never stops fighting for her dreams.
Listen to Dope Saint Jude’s 2020 single ‘Go High, Go Low’.
VINCINT – Sometimes all you need is a big glittery pop song to make everything feel better. Enter Vincint Cannady. Best known as just VINCINT, the openly gay singer was introduced to the world as a contestant on the first season of the reality singing competition show The Four. Despite what he felt were negative pressures that he experienced on The Four, VINCINT struck a chord with the audience, particularly with his remarkable cover of Radiohead’s ‘Creep’. His empowerment anthem ‘Be Me’ was created for the 5th season of Netflix’s Queer Eye. There’s a thread of self-love & positivity that runs through most of VINCINT’s dance-pop output.
Listen to ‘Save Myself’ from VINCINT’s 2020 EP The Feeling.