Black History Month: 10 underrated artists

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Top (from left to right): Vagabon (image by Ebru Yildiz), Nadia Rose (image by villunderlondon via Flickr) and Kelela (image by Valentinostarz via Wikimedia Commons). Bottom (from left to right): Lizzo (image by digboston via Flickr), Little Simz (image by GeorgeMichaelBaker via Wikimedia Commons) and Denai Moore.

In celebration of Black History Month, SCAN would like to recommend some musicians who really do not get enough credit in today’s very saturated music industry. Here are 10 of the best!

Sampha

As the winner of this year’s Mercury Prize, more and more people are being introduced to Sampha’s brilliant music. His debut album ‘Process’ is a modern masterpiece and his voice is brimming with emotion.

Try: ‘Blood on Me’ and ‘(Nobody Knows Me) Like The Piano’

 

Kelela

Kelela is preparing to release her debut album ‘Take Me Apart’ this month and it really deserves our attention. Since we first heard the stunning single ‘Rewind’ back in 2015, we’ve been excited to hear a full length record from her and after touring with The xx, she has truly honed her craft. Now, she’s ready to impress the whole world.

Try: ‘Rewind’ and ‘LMK’

 

Ray BLK

After winning this year’s BBC Sound of 2017 poll, Ray BLK has spent the summer touring relentlessly, with notable performances at Glastonbury and on the NME/Radio 1 stage at Reading & Leeds. Her live performances are so fun and she has such a sassy stage presence!

Try: ‘My Hood’ and ‘Doing Me’

 

Denai Moore

Back in June, Denai Moore released her stunning second album ‘We Used To Bloom’ to critical acclaim. She sounds exactly like she does on record if you watch her live performances – a truly underrated artist!

Try: ‘Blame’ and ‘Does It Get Easier?’

 

Little Simz

The Islington rapper Little Simz is finally starting to get some of the credit that she deserves… Recently, she has been featured on the new Gorillaz album ‘Humanz’ and is set to support them on their UK arena tour this December. Her latest album ‘Stillness In Wonderland’ also features Chronixx, Syd and Bibi Bourelly.

Try: ‘Gratitude’ and ‘Picture Perfect’

 

Lizzo

As one of the most energetic performers on the live circuit, Lizzo has been spreading joy to cities all over the USA but her music has not yet captured the attention of UK audiences. Her 2016 ‘Coconut Oil’ EP is fantastic and she’s been putting new music since then, such as the incredibly catchy single ‘Water Me’.

Try: ‘Good As Hell’ and ‘Water Me’

 

Nadia Rose

Nadia Rose is sure to steal the limelight and follow in the footsteps of her Mercury-nominated cousin, Stormzy. She has a cheeky persona and her live shows are so engaging and sometimes hilarious! You may even recognise her from the 2016 smash hit ‘Crank It’…

Try: ‘Skwod’ and ‘Tight Up’

 

NAO

Her über cool debut album ‘For All We Know’ was one of the best releases in 2016 and now she’s in the process of writing her second record. From featuring on Mura Masa’s ‘Firefly’ to performing with Bon Iver at this year’s Coachella Festival, NAO is en route to superstardom.

Try: ‘Girlfriend’ and ‘Get to Know Ya’

 

Shamir

This Las Vegas prodigy makes hyper, sass-filled pop music and his high-pitched vocals are incredibly unique – like Marmite, he’s not for everyone, but he certainly makes music that’s fun to listen to.

Try: ‘On The Regular’ and ‘Call It Off’

 

Vagabon

Lætitia Tamko makes inspiring, DIY indie rock – and she’s caught the attention of major music publications such as Pitchfork and NPR. Her debut album ‘Infinite Worlds’ is out now!

Try: ‘The Embers’

 

 

For more information about Black History Month, please visit: http://www.blackhistorymonth.org.uk/