2021 is already off to a good start when it comes to pop music and these ten promising artists will make it even better. Here are the pop acts you should keep an eye on in 2021! Scroll down for a playlist with some of their greatest tunes!
Swedish pop artist Kadiatou had her big break in her home country when she participated in talent show Idol in 2018, reaching the second place. Her version of A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera’s ‘Say Something’ became a hit the same year. In 2020 she released the beautiful ballad ‘Best I’ve Had’ which she co-wrote, showing that she knows how to craft hit worthy original material too. In 2021, she will open the first semi final of Melodifestivalen, the hugely popular Swedish preselection for Eurovision, giving her massive exposure for hopefully another great new single!
Dutch singer and songwriter Maxine started to make waves in the past year by writing for other Dutch artists such as Maan and Roxeanne Hazes. While the 22-year-old artist writes in Dutch with them, her own work is contemporary pop in English. She showed her potential with excellent singles like the breezy ‘I Like U, But I Love Me’, dance banger ”95′ and radio friendly ballad ‘DON.T’. She went to a Swedish music school to perfect her craft, so no wonder her sounds reminds me of Scandinavian pop powerhouses like Zara Larsson and Astrid S.
08. Alfie Templeman
Just 17 years old (turning 18 later this month), Alfie Templeman is one of the youngest artists in this list, but also one of the most productive. There is already four EPs to be found on his Spotify page and numerous singles too. His talents really came together on the insanely catchy ‘Happiness In Liquid Form’. His melodies are outstanding, his productions surprising and his vocals pop star worthy. If you haven’t heard his work yet, dive into his EPs, they are sure worth it!
07. Son Mieux
Dutch band Son Mieux have been around for a while, releasing their debut record back in 2019, but they are just getting better and better. After last year’s beautiful and relatable ‘Luxury of Quarantine’, they are treating us to an absolute bop at the start of this year with their latest single ‘1992’. The letter frontman Camiel Meiresonne wrote to his younger self is one the most catchy and swinging things I have heard in a good while. This needs to blow up internationally!
06. Zoe Wees
German teenager Zoe Wees surprised last year with her slow burning hit ‘Control’. The haunting power ballad, written about her struggle with epilepsy, became a hit in Europe and has already gained more than 100 million streams on Spotify. Wees kicked off the new year by showing she certainly ain’t no one-day-fly, as her new single ‘Girls Like Us’ is equally strong. This more upbeat tune has a powerful chorus with hooks for days. That’s 2 out of 2 so I’m excited what she will bring next!
20-year-old London based pop artist Griff dropped her debut EP Mirror Talk back in 2019 and kept on releasing excellent singles throughout 2020. ‘1,000,000 X Better’ is an excellent bop with a hook that can compete with the strongest pop songs out there today while ballad ‘Good Stuff’ shows off her vulnerable side. ‘Black Hole’, her first single of 2021, shows that she is meaning business. BBC also included her in their list of the Sound of 2021 too and rightfully so, because her precious voice is one we are going to hear a lot this year.
04. Kara Marni
With two EPs and a handful of singles to her name, Kara Marni already showed her potential. The British pop and R&B singer is destined for even bigger things in 2021 though. She just dropped her single ‘Trippin’, which samples one of my absolute favorite tracks from the noughties, Amerie’s ‘1 Thing’. It is a tricky move for sure, but it works perfectly, giving the melody of the tune a completely new vibe. The track doesn’t fully lean on the sample, but breathes new life into the classic. A brilliant pop move that shows this lady is one to watch this year.
03. JC Stewart
Singer-songwriter JC Stewart from Northern Ireland has been steadily working his way up in the music industry in the past few years. 2020 certainly was the most successful year so far for the 23-year-old as his stunning ballad ‘I Need You To Hate Me’ charted in several countries, including the Netherlands. Stewart shows no sign of slowing down as he dropped his upbeat and oh so catchy new single ‘Break My Heart’ right at the start of this year. This tune is tailor made for radio and could well bring him even more success in 2021.
02. Holly Humberstone
Holly Humberstone is widely seen as one of pop’s biggest promises for 2021. This 21 years old British singer-songwriter supported Lewis Capaldi on tour and already performed at Glastonbury. In 2020, she released her first EP titled Falling Asleep At The Wheel, named after the phenomenal single she dropped in the same year. If we were to compare her sound to established artists, she is in the same lane as acts like Maggie Rogers and HAIM. She has a great ear for memorable pop hooks and her lyrics are drenched in emotion. Her mix of electronic pop and more traditional singer-songwriter elements is ready to take over the world.
01. Olivia Rodrigo
Olivia Rodrigo doesn’t really need introduction anymore at this point. Just a few weeks ago this 17-year-old was known as an actor in High School Musical: The Musical – The Series, but in the first month of this year she stormed the world with her debut single ‘drivers license‘, breaking multiple records on Spotify. She co-wrote this stellar heartbreak anthem about getting her drivers license and driving to the street where her ex-lover lives. The build up is phenomenal and her belting vocals are to die for. With such an outstanding debut single, all eyes will be on her to see what she will do next.