Entertainment Music Meet the Talented Emerging Artists Making Their Mark in 2022 Check out the artists PEOPLE will be watching this year By Daniela Avila Daniela Avila Instagram Twitter Editorial Assistant, PEOPLE People Editorial Guidelines Published on February 18, 2022 10:35 AM Share Tweet Pin Email Trending Videos 01 of 20 Thuy Thuy. The Forefront Group This singer is all about the hustle — and in the process, she wants to make music that feeds the soul. Thuy, a 29-year-old R&B singer from the Bay Area, is known for her smooth beats and powerful vocals. What some don't know about her, however, is where she picked up the grind. "I actually use to wrestle competitively," she tells PEOPLE. "Being a wrestler, and having that training helped me a lot as I am doing music professionally because being an athlete, I developed mental toughness." She also developed that tough mindset from her parents, who immigrated from Vietnam as refugees — and whom she considers her biggest inspiration. "That immigrant mindset of never giving up is definitely instilled in me," she says. When reflecting on her music, Thuy assures she doesn't want to put herself in a box — she simply "loves making music that feels good." Wondering where to start? Thuy says her single "In My Bag" is a good introduction, "I am usually not very boastful, but when I made the song, it was definitely an anthem for myself and for anyone who needs a feel-good source of inspiration and a confidence booster," she says. The "Universe" singer has new music on the way, but for now, check out her latest album, i hope you see this. 02 of 20 Noa Kirel Noa Kirel. Jimmy Fontaine Noa Kirel is for the girls. This 20-year-old pop queen tells PEOPLE she's "all about embracing yourself, being an independent woman, owning what you got and working hard to achieve your dreams." Born to Israeli parents and growing up in Tel Aviv, Kirel's first language was Hebrew and released her debut single at 14 years old. In 2018, she joined Israel's Got Talent as the youngest judge in the show's history. Her female empowerment inspiration comes from icons like Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez and Rosalía, "They dance, they sing, they write, they do it all," she says. A few fun facts about her are that she loves to cook, she started when she was just 3 years old, and she's "forever a Belieber." Check out her latest single, "Thought About That." 03 of 20 Kalan.FrFr Kalan.FrFr. Courtesy Roc Nation Kalan.FrFr is "Right Wit It." The rapper, who draws his creative inspiration from artists like Pharrell and Kanye West describes his sound as "new and different." Known for his fun beats and emotionally inspired rap lyrics, Kalan tells PEOPLE that he'd like people to know "I'm human too." "Just because I rap doesn't make me invincible. I think a lot of times rappers are held to a higher standard," he says. He's currently working on an EP that he anticipates will drop this year — but for now, he suggests people listen to his track "Never Lose You," a song that "means a lot" to him. Check out his latest project, TwoFr 2. 04 of 20 Mckenna Grace Mckenna Grace. Gus Black You may recognize Mckenna Grace, 15, from Hulu's hit show The Handmaid's Tale — but beyond her acting skills are her powerful vocals. Though she is still fairly new to the music industry, her single "Haunted House" has garnered over two million streams. She also tells PEOPLE that though the music she's "most proud of" hasn't come out yet, she's been working on a "ton." "I cannot wait to share all of it! I'm also working on a lot in the acting world as well. I've been working out six days a week with a personal trainer for my next film and I'm also filming [The] Handmaid's Tale season 5 right now," she says. Despite her busy schedule, Grace says she "really loves what I do and put my all into it." Her "hope" is to "create something that people can enjoy/relate to." She also draws inspiration from artists like Diane Warren, Conan Gray and Lady Gaga. While on the lookout for her new tunes, make sure to check out her latest single, "do all my friends hate me?" 05 of 20 Jamie Miller Jamie Miller. Jessica Spohr Jamie Miller is embracing the "sad boy" vibes. The singer behind "City That Never Sleeps," his debut single that gained thousands of streams after it became a TikTok trend tells PEOPLE that he believes "anyone" can make their dreams come true — if they just "believe." "Four years ago, I was working in a call center and now I'm in the studio with A-list songwriters and producers, writing, recording and releasing my music to new fans all over the world," he says. Now, following a "difficult heartbreak," Miller, 24, is gearing up for the release of his debut EP — and to head on tour with Jesse McCartney in May. Listen to his latest track and watch the music video for "I Lose Myself in Loving You" — but grab a tissue box first! 06 of 20 Wet Leg Wet Leg. Hollie Fernando In need of the perfect indie music fix? Wet Leg is the duo for you. Consisting of Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers, Wet Leg tells PEOPLE that their sound is, "Sad music for party people. Party music for sad people." The British duo behind the hit single "Wet Dream" is currently promoting their self-titled debut album, set for release on April 8. In the meantime, if checking them out for the first time, the duo suggests people start with "Chaise Longue," a song they consider "the purest representation" of their "friendship." Their rebellious lyrics and sound are what make the band them, and they agree. "When adolescence hit we started to rebel I suppose and started listening to pop and rock music," Wet Leg tells PEOPLE. Musicians they look up to, however, range from Aretha Franklin, to David Bowie and PJ Harvey. Teasedale also hilariously adds that, "People think I'm a Hufflepuff but I'm actually a Slitheryn [referring to the four Hogwarts Houses in the Harry Potter series]" — and if you think that doesn't say something about them, you're wrong. 07 of 20 Kang Daniel Kang Daniel. KONNECT Entertainment Kang Daniel is here for the vibes. What many don't know about the 25-year-old K-Pop star is that aside from his work as a singer, he's also a CEO for his record label: Konnect Entertainment. At the end of the day, however, he says he's just a regular guy. "I think that I'm just a normal kid from Busan, Korea that likes to do normal things like playing video games, hanging out with friends, watching movies," he tells PEOPLE. Daniel is inspired by bands like Linkin Park because "their music got me through some tough times." But his biggest inspiration is his mom. "She taught me everything I know," he says. Listen to his latest EP, Yellow. 08 of 20 Ayra Starr Ayra Starr. Jolaoso Wasiu Adebayo This star is celestial. Ayra Starr, the 19-year-old singer behind "Bloody Samaritan," which already amassed over 12 million streams is taking the industry by storm. The Nigerian Afro-Pop and R&B rising musician describes her music as "Powerful, futuristic and absolutely celestial." For now, she also tells PEOPLE she's working on new music that she "can't wait to put out." When first checking her out, listeners should turn to "Fashion Killa" and "Bridgertn" because "it shows how experimental I am — experimental with my sound, shows my personality, and cuts across." In terms of who inspires her, she names both Rihanna and 2face. Watch her latest music video to "Beggie Beggie. CKay." 09 of 20 LAIKIPIA LAIKIPIA. Charles Watson Take a trip to the sonic universe and check out LAIKIPIA! LAIKIPIA, the eccentric duo which consists of members Taylor Harrison and Xander Rawlins, released their album All Hail Hyperion in November. "Our videos are filled with family members, friends, local villagers and lunatics, and it's been our ambition to create epic visuals and stories on tiny budgets to support the music we make," they tell PEOPLE of their creative process. Before they became a band, Rawlins was a captain in the Grenadier Guards and says music has given him "purpose and direction." Meanwhile, for Harrison, it's about making music "that can enhance people's lives well beyond my time on earth." Describing their sound, the duo says, "If The Lion King had a baby with Enya and a robot, you'd get the sound of LAIKIPIA." Check out their latest album, All Hail Hyperion. 10 of 20 UPSAHL UPSAHL. Aubree Estrella This Lady Jesus is worth the hype. Taylor Cameron Upsahl, a 23-year-old singer who goes by UPSAHL, is known for her unapologetic lyrics in hit singles like "People I Don't Like" and "Drugs." If there's one things she'll like for you to know about her, however, it's that, "If we're gonna be friends, they have to be down to go on sushi dates." Growing up, the rising star was inspired by Gwen Stefani's energy — something that still influences her music today. When checking her out, the star suggests listeners start with "Lunatic." "That song is definitely the most intense and unapologetic song I've ever written, so if people f--- with that, they can work their way back into the others from there," she tells PEOPLE. For now, she's working on new music and says that there's "seriously cool s--- coming soon." If there's one thing consistent about it, it's that "it's meant to make people feel like the hottest and most badass version of themselves." Until then, check out her latest album Lady Jesus. 11 of 20 IV 4 IV 4. Meech A fashionista and musician wrapped in one! Though considered a rising artist, IV4 recently released her first project Get Rich & Cry Trying, and she's collaborated with established rappers and musicians like Trippie Redd and Jeremih. "I would love people to know how involved I am with my artistry. I listen to every beat and write my own music. I also style myself and help direct my videos," she tells PEOPLE. "I think that it's important for all artists to be true in their art and be involved in bringing their visions to life." Her inspirations, however, "come from life experiences and the people that are close to me: My mom, my Nana, my brother, my friends & my boyfriend," she says. "They inspire me to be the best version of myself and give me things to write and sing about. I definitely wouldn't be here without them." Be sure to check out her newest EP, which released on Friday, titled, Get Rich and Cry Trying. 12 of 20 Chris Ruediger Chris Ruediger. Donny Evans Chris Ruediger is not a "Kid Anymore" — and he's ready to take the country music scene by storm. The Vanderbilt University graduate, inspired by musicians like Jordan Davis, Sam Hunt, Randy Travis, John Mayer and Ed Sheeran — has gained much of his success off the social media app TikTok. He tells PEOPLE, however, that his dreams of becoming a musician trace back to a time when he was 12 years old. "My dad signed me up for a local open mic without telling me. I only knew two songs, but somehow mustered the nerve to sing publicly for the first time –– and that was when I fell in love with live performance," he says. Now, he considers his musical career a "fever dream." Although, he also spends his time as co-founder of The 615 House — a content creation TikTok hype house. Check out his latest EP, Kid Anymore. 13 of 20 Emilia Emilia. Vivian Arthur This Latin pop-diva is giving fierce and confident. Emilia, 25, is a singer from Argentina who has begun to make her mark as a solo artist by adopting fierce reggaeton sounds. "I want people to know that I'm going for what I want and what I feel in life. That's the essence of my songs," she tells PEOPLE. Though she won't reveal too much, she says she's currently working on her first album that's coming out "really soon." Check out her latest single, "De Enero a Diciembre." 14 of 20 Alix Page Alix Page. Dillon Matthew There's something nostalgic about Alix Page. Speaking to PEOPLE, Page describes her sound as "confessional songwriting," with "production inspired by coming-of-age movies and huge '80s soundscapes" — and she's so right. Backed by calming guitar and drum beats, her single "Stripes" feels very her, she says. "It's not just about being sad after a breakup, it's about grieving and growing up and healing from it." Currently on the road with Gracie Abrams, Page, who draws inspiration from songwriters like Phoebe Bridgers, the production of Imogen Heap and Brandon Flowers' voice and emotion, is quickly paving a way for herself. Listen to her latest project, Old News. 15 of 20 JEVERSON JEVERSON. KT Wolf JEVERSON's music will make you want to "Move." JEVERSON is a Grenada-born musician who dabbles between the soul and funk space — with a "splash" of Caribbean vibes. The singer tells PEOPLE that his track "Somethin' in the Water" is a good introduction to his music because it's a "great balance of a cool island vibe." Despite his funky beats, JEVERSON turns to classical music when he's under frustration. "It calms me down," he says. For now, he's gearing up for the release of his first EP, releasing on March 25. Check out his newest single "Somethin' in the Water." 16 of 20 Scarlett Dream Scarlett Dream. Ethan Krant This musician will make listeners feel like they're in a dream. Scarlett Dream, a musician with an ethereal, infectious sound takes her fans to a euphoric state. Speaking to PEOPLE, Dream says she has a lot of exciting things coming up — and often takes "different ideas that don't seem to go together and finds a way to connect them." One of her upcoming releases, titled "Tell Me," is "a love song that started as a voice memo where I just dumped every tumultuous emotion I was feeling that day." The "Sunday" singer dreams of going on tour and writing music for movies. Otherwise, she also cares deeply about issues involving animal advocacy, climate change, veganism, mental health awareness, racial equality and LGBTQIA+ equality. Listen to her latest single, "Out Til Dawn." 17 of 20 Sorana Sorana. Brian Ziff This pop singer is truly electric. Sorana, a musician who one day packed a single suitcase and moved to London to pursue music has been credited for her songwriting in hit songs like "Takeaway" by the Chainsmokers, and "Heartbreak Anthem" by Galantis — and she's ready to be heard. "Singing has been my passion since I was 3 and it has been a long journey of hard work and determination since then," she tells PEOPLE. She draws inspiration from personal experiences, though Lana Del Rey "sparked" her love for lyrics. "I thought that if it was possible to write songs like poetry." Listen to her latest single with DJ David Guetta "redruM." 18 of 20 LÉON LÉON. Sandra Thorsson This Swedish singer's music will touch your heart. Lotta Lindgren, a 28-year-old musician known by her stage name LÉON is currently gearing up for her newest album Circles, releasing on March 4. "When listening back to it now I can hear how up-and-down I was while making it," she tells PEOPLE. "And of course it's a lot about love, I can't seem to get away from writing about it!" She draws inspiration from classics like Fleetwood Mac and Abba, and newer musicians like Kacey Musgraves and War on Drugs. Though her biggest inspiration comes from "stepping outside of myself," through watching TV and reading books. Listen to her latest single, "Wishful Thinking." 19 of 20 BiBi BiBi. 88rising & Feel Ghood Music Did someone says K-Alt queen? BiBi, a 23-year-old South Korean R&B musician has gained massive attention after the release of her single "The Weekend," earning over 15 million streams. Although BiBi tells PEOPLE she recommends fans listen to "Binu," considering "it's written from a genuine, honest place" and fans can get a "better sense" of who she is. "Like many of us, I'm a multi-faceted person with many layers - and you can say the same about my music and performances!" she says. "I hope people keep that in mind when checking me out and not judge me based on a single performance or a particular song." When she describes her sound, she says, "Classic yet brand new. Out there but relatable. Weird, cute, and raw!" Check out this fashionista's music video to "The Weekend." (responses translated from Korean) 20 of 20 Kevin Quinn Kevin Quinn. Randall Slavin Kevin Quinn's sound is a feel-good moment. You may recognize Quinn, 24, from his roles in the Disney channel show Bunk'd and most recently, the musical film A Week Away, where he stars alongside Bailee Madison. On whether he considers himself more of an actor or a musician, Quinn says, "In all honesty, I see myself as fully both. I never wanted to sacrifice one side of my career for the other, nor have I felt that I had to." He adds, "If, for example, someone like Justin Timberlake can balance acting and music, then I guess he would typify my mentality about the matter." Quinn released his first EP It's About Time last month and says his second is on its way. Meanwhile, he's also balancing life on the Winter Jam tour, and is excited for his yet-to-be-announced thriller film. Check out his latest project, It's About Time.