Meet the Talented Emerging Artists Making Their Mark on the Musical Landscape This Summer

Check out the artists PEOPLE will be listening to all summer 2021

Remi Wolf, Domenic Haynes , Ambar Lucid
Photo: Sam Leviton; Dylan Warmack; Keith Bennett
01 of 20


Niki Fletcher

This teen pop singer is far from "Overrated."

Brye, a 17-year-old songwriter from the suburbs of Chicago, has recently got a major boost in her musical career after her hit single "LEMONS" went viral on TikTok in 2020 and has racked up over 40 million streams to date.

"Without TikTok I don't think I would have gotten that first jump in audience that helped launch the rest of my career," Brye tells PEOPLE. "I will forever be so grateful for LEMONS and all the traction it got, because without it I don't know where I would be!"

The rising star describes her music as "confessional pop" as she shares that she likes her sound to act as a "spotlight" for her lyrics. Brye says she's always expressed her love for music as she grew up starring in theater productions and posting acoustic covers on her Youtube channel.

"I grew up surrounded by music. Something about it has always made sense in a way nothing else has," says Brye. "I use songwriting as a way to cope with life and all its struggles.Without it, I think life would feel a lot scarier and overwhelming."

While she writes, produces and records all her music alone, American Songwriter says Brye channels the "artistic prowess of Lorde and Billie Eilish."

Watch the music video for her most recent single, "I'd Rather Be Alone."

02 of 20


Darren Tieste

This multiplatinum songwriter and producer is now making a name for herself as a standalone act.

HAYWOOD, also known as Leah Haywood, is a Australian-raised songstress that has written and produced for big names like Justin Bieber, Katy Perry and Selena Gomez. Now with her debut single, "Cheers to Us," she's ready to ride solo.

"It's been such an incredible journey being able to write and produce for superstars like Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Blackpink, and more," Haywood tells PEOPLE. "But turning back to my own story and doing this project has probably been the most creatively liberating, yet challenging project I've ever done. No one else to fall back on, no comfort in having another producer or writer in the room…just me."

She also shares that within in a heavily male industry, she takes a lot of pride of being able to create her album on her own.

"Collaboration can become a real security blanket and I had to break out of that," says Haywood. " It's also important for me, being a woman, to produce and write my album alone since it's still such a male dominated industry. It's inspiring to see people connecting with it."

Be on the lookout for her next record "Backbeat" dropping on June 11th.

03 of 20


Nesrin Danan

Jack Johnson is ready to "Step Up" and create his own lane in the music world.

Moving away from his pop duo, Jack & Jack, which he founded with childhood friend Jack Gilinksy, Johnson is now JVCKJ.

"I think (Jack) G and I really wanted to detach and not be so co-dependent on one another," said Johnson. "Of course, it's great what we can bring to the table as a unit, but I think it was really important for our own personal growth to dive into these worlds. I'm really proud of what we've accomplished, but now is the time to really showcase my lyrical ability."

With the release of his debut EP, PASTEL: The Early Days, in December of last year, Johnson shares that while his sound is rooted in hip hop, his music blends various genres.

"I think my tone is the glue that keeps my sound consistent from record to record, although I am definitely a genre-bending artist," Johnson tells PEOPLE. "Some records I won't even be rapping at all, some records it's just straight-up bars."

Check out his most recent single, "Money Memories," track that Johnson says people will be " making summer memories too."

04 of 20

Riley Clemmons

Riley Clemmons
Connor Dwyer

We want to listen to Riley Clemmons' music "Over and Over" again!

The 21-year-old singer takes inspiration from her upbringing in church music and combines it with her love for pop to create vulnerable anthems like her debut single "Broken Prayers."

For new listeners, Clemmons shares that her song "Headspace" is a great introduction into who she is as a growing artist.

"It's a great song to start on," Clemmons tells PEOPLE. "It sets the melodic and lyrical tone of the new sense of confidence I found when writing this record and this song in particular. If you've ever found yourself giving the space in your head to people and things that are no longer good for you, this song is for you."

Since she was 14-years-old, Clemmons has been working in writers' rooms all over Nashville and continues to garner streams where her most recent single, "Keep On Hoping," is her most successful launch to date with nearly 5 million global streams

Listen to "Stuck In My Head" off her sophomore album Godsend.

05 of 20

Tai Verdes

Tai Verdes
Angelo Kritikos

Tai Verdes is an artist to watch as he continues doing what he loves: making "feel good" music!

"I've been doing things I hate for a long time, so finally doing something I love is kind of a breath of fresh air," Verdes tells PEOPLE.

Three months into the pandemic, the LA-based singer was working a normal job at a Verizon Wireless store. Everything changed thanks to his breakout song "Stuck In The Middle" which paved the way to his ascent into the spotlight.

The New York Times hailed it as one of the "Best Songs of 2020" and it has since amassed more than 80 million streams and over 2.6 million TikTok video creations since the song's release in late May 2020.

Verdes has received applause from the likes of Rolling Stone, Billboard and more as Lyrical Lemonade called him a "name you need to get familiar with."

Listen to "A-O-K" off of his recent album TV.

06 of 20

Abhir Hathi

Abhir Hathi
Pablo Alzaga

This next artist is repping his homeland with his music.

Rising R&B singer, Abhir Hathi, hails from the Canary Islands and hopes that new listeners will take a chance to discover where he's from.

"I'm from The Canary Islands, which are 8 small islands next to Africa, not many people know about us and the amazing music scene that exists here, but I hope people will be inspired to learn about us," Hathi tells PEOPLE.

With the release of his debut album Lazos y Nudos, the young indo-canarian singer blends melodic rap and contemporary R&B to create smooth ballads about love and heartbreak like "Habibi" and "Una Bala Con Mi Nombre."

He shares that his inspiration for his album came from many experiences he's had in his own life with love and relationships.

"Most of the songs I wrote for my album Lazos y Nudos are inspired by relationships that have affected me for better or for worse, long ones and short. I'm thankful for all of them," says Hathi.

Watch the music video for his song "Mil Días" off his album Lazos y Nudos.

07 of 20

Cameron Hardy

Cameron Hardy
Louisa Meng

Cameron Hardy says he finds his inspiration when surrounded by other creators.

"Having been surrounded by such talented writers and producers, I'm really most inspired by seeing other people create," Hardy tells PEOPLE. "I'm always learning and growing through collaboration, we all do."

The LA-based singer is making a name for himself in the music industry upon the release of his debut single, "I Thought You Were Lonely." The song is a "pop, R&B and electronic-infused" track about a love gone wrong.

He shares that his overall sound is a "smoked out, electronic pop feel" and that there is a lot to come in the future music wise for the fans.

Watch the intense music video for his single, "I Thought You Were Lonely."

08 of 20

Domenic Haynes

Domenic Haynes
Dylan Warmack

We're absolutely "Crazy" about Domenic Haynes!

Haynes is carving his own path in the music industry with original tunes.

While Haynes began his musical journey at the age of 16, he found his unique sound to be rooted in "blues, gospel, soul and funk."

"My sound is very raw and intentionally unrefined, it kinda cuts through to the essence of what's being conveyed or the emotions expressed," Haynes tells PEOPLE.

He adds for new listeners tuning in, "I'd say check out 'Lose It.' I feel like that track showcases the faces of my sound out of all the ones to date thus far, but this next batch will be very potent."

Inspired by artists like Jimi Hendrex and Muddy Waters, Haynes unique voice makes him a stand out act and certainly one to watch.

Listen to his track "Crazy."

09 of 20

Ambar Lucid

Ambar Lucid
Litsa Sursock

This next artist has a "Story To Tell."

For Ambar Lucid, growing up she never thought achieving her dream of becoming a professional musical artist would become a reality. Born to a Dominican mother and Mexican father, Lucid faced hardship during her childhood after her father was deported.

However, the inspiring young songwriter found healing and joy through music. Now with a scope on her sound, Lucid wants to give the same gift she found in music to her listeners.

"Something about myself and my music I would like people to know is that my music genuinely comes from my heart and soul," Lucid tells PEOPLE. "I always put out music with the intention to heal and inspire myself and others."

Her 2020 album, Garden of Lucid, transports listeners to a "rainbow-hued cosmic" soundscape with songs like "Universe" and "Questioning My Mind." Her soulful vocals fill each of her trippy psych-rock-tinged tracks that make way for an unearthly experience.

Watch Lucid's new music video for her most recent single, "Get Lost In The Music."

10 of 20

Masked Wolf

Masked Wolf
Brayden Smith

This next artist is finally having all his hard work pay off.

Masked Wolf, aka Harry Michael, is an Australian rapper who's making waves thanks to his smash hit "Astronaut in The Ocean." The song has garnered over 140 million views on its music video and 350,000-plus TikTok videos.

Masked Wolf first dropped his independent debut, "Speed Racer," in 2018 and continues to grow in popularity. The rapper shares that his emotions are a big influence on the music he creates.

"I just think the thought of writing about personal feelings like pain and triumph is always an inspiration," Masked Wolf tells PEOPLE. "The fact that I can look into my own self makes it so much more inspiring to be creative."

The rapper describes his sound as "authentic." Upon graduating from high school, the upcoming artist worked in sales to fund recording his music. After taking out a loan to build a home studio, he crafted hundreds of songs and logged thousands of hours to become the artist that he is today.

"Everything [listeners] hear is about me, something personal in my life and how I lived and learnt from it," Masked Wolf says in regards to what people should know about his music.

Listen to his new single, "Gravity Glidin."

11 of 20

Maisie Peters

Maisie Peters
Lillie Eiger

Maisie Peters says she wants to make "trying hard" cool and we are totally here for it.

The West Sussex born singer has gone from singing in the streets of Brighton to being one of the youngest musicians in history to curate an entire soundtrack for a show with season two of Apple TV's series Trying.

The young star has received praise from the likes of Sam Smith, Phoebe Bridgers and Taylor Swift, whom she shares is one of her musical influences.

"Taylor Swift, forever and always," Peters tells PEOPLE in regards to her inspirations for music. "I like to consider myself a narrator of sorts for my friends and I feel like songs are a perfect way to do that."

Peters has amassed over 3 million monthly listeners on Spotify and continues to grow in popularity as she teamed up with Grammy-nominated artist James Bay for her latest single, "Funeral," which is featured on Trying's season 2 soundtrack.

Watch the music video for her song, "Stay Young."

12 of 20

Jake Wesley Rogers

Jake Wesley Rogers
Se Oh

"You Should Know" about this next artist!

Jake Wesley Rogers is a Nashville-based emerging artist who is set to be one of the next queer artist to break into the mainstream. He describes his music to have a "70s pop-rock" sound and that new listeners should listen to his hit track "Middle of Love" to get a feel for who he is as an artist.

"I'd love to let people know that whatever they are hearing in my music, my lyrics are absolutely the truth," Rogers tells PEOPLE. "Songwriting has always been my net that catches all the different parts of my life. I'd also like to let people know that I'm the same height, weight, and sexual orientation as Abraham Lincoln."

With taking inspiration from the likes of Stevie Nicks and Nina Simone, Rogers hopes that with his music he can tell his personal queer stories to worldwide audicence as he has already recieved nods of becoming a future queer icon.

"I'm humbled every time someone compares me to an LGBTQ icon—I mean, those people are legends," says Rogers. "They paved the way and made it possible for me to share my story so honestly. I owe them so much, so getting compared is the absolute highest compliment."

Watch his new music video for his track "Momentary."

13 of 20

Madeline the Person

Madeline The Person
Joelle Grace

We will "Gladly" introduce you to this next artist.

Madeline the Person is a 19-year-old star on the rise as she has racked up a following a TikTok for her outstanding covers of music from artists like Frank Ocean, Harry Styles and more.

The Houston native shares that she wants her music to serve as a safe space for listeners as her songs like "As A Child" and "I Talk to The Sky" have been influenced by her own life experiences with grief as she had to grapple with the death of her father at a young age.

"I want people to know that my music is a safe space for grief and healing and all emotions, big or small," Madeline tells PEOPLE. "It's a place in which you can sit down and acknowledge the weight you've been carrying for so long, but to also be reminded that you are never alone."

She's also giving space to share about her identity as her most recent single, "Haunted," tells the story of her coming out.

"My songs are inspired by my super urgent feelings that I can't fully express elsewhere," says Madeline. "I am empowered when I'm inspired and I feel the most inspired when I'm emotional. Whether I'm joyful or grieving, I just have to write it all down."

Watch the music video for "Haunted."

14 of 20

Lizzy McAlpine

Lizzy McAlpine
CJ Harvey

You won't be "Bored" listening to Lizzy McAlpine.

She has already been recognized by the likes of Shawn Mendes and Tori Kelly at the beginning of her bright career. The talented young singer has also recently released her debut album Give Me A Minute.

"When people listen to my music, I just want them to relate," McAlpine tells PEOPLE. "I write my songs about my life experiences to try and understand them, and I hope that when people listen to my songs, they can see themselves in me. And maybe it will help them through whatever they're going through."

McAlpine, who's signed to Apple's Platoon label, says that she often uses her environment for inspiration during the creative process of songwriting.

"When I create, I am inspired by the things that I'm surrounded by. When I move to new places, I find myself writing a lot more than usual," says McAlpine. "When I go through significant changes in a relationship, I'm inspired. it's all about the environment I find myself in, and the songs I write during that period of time."

Listen to her hit sweet song, "Pancakes for Dinner."

15 of 20

almost monday

almost monday
Cole Ferguson

Meet the trio that's providing some California sunshine to listeners during the pandemic.

Almost monday is an alt pop band made of San Diego natives Dawson Daugherty  (vocals),  Cole Clisby (guitar) and  Luke Fabry  (bass). The band shares that three is definitely not a crowd and are excited to be back together since being isolated in quarantine.

"Being in a trio is nice in general to be able to bounce ideas off each other,"almost monday tells PEOPLE. "Honestly after this past year in quarantine we had too much time to ourselves so it's actually nice to be back to work with each other."

After releasing their debut EP, don't say you're ordinary, in 2020, the band created a hit with their first single "broken people." It granted them a  Top 20  spot on  Alternative Radio and led to a collab with Grammy-nominated duo  Sofi Tukker.

With their sophomore EP, til the end of time, set to release July 9, the band is staying busy as they plan to make their first appearances at major festivals like Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo.

Check out their most recent single, "this is growing up."

16 of 20

Frances Forever

Frances Forever
Lani Parrilla

This next artist is sure to be "Famous."

Frances Forever is an upcoming artist that describes their music as "an emotional brain dump in the form of bedroom pop." The Boston-area singer is stepping in the spotlight after their song "space girl" blew up on TikTok.

As this soon-to-be star is ready to shine, they want to make sure that they also state the importance of their identity as a non-binary artist.

"I don't know of too many non-binary musicians in the industry, so I think bringing attention to it is really important!" they tell PEOPLE.

Set to release their next EP, paranoia party, on July 9, the pop singer recently released the title track as they invite listeners to "share their troubles" on this upcoming project.

"I wrote the song after actually going to a party and realizing I didn't know anyone there and I just didn't feel like myself," said Frances about the single in a press release. "This EP is all about feeling alone in a crowded room. I'm hoping that listening to these songs will help you realize that everyone in that crowd feels the same way."

Watch the video for "paranoia party."

17 of 20

Remi Wolf

Remi Wolf
Sam Leviton

Say "Hello Hello Hello" to this next artist!

Remi Wolf is a major popstar-to-be as she found major success with her smash hit "Photo ID" which gained over 10 billion views on TikTok. The singer shares the experience of having artist Dominic Fike hop on the song with her.

"Honestly, creating this new version of 'Photo ID' with Dom was so much fun," Wolf tells PEOPLE. "It was the first time I collaborated with someone like this and for it to be Dom, an artist whose music I love, was the best feeling."

With over 3 million monthly listeners and counting on Spotify, Wolf's first EP, You're A Dog!, got her praise from NPR, TIME, Pitchfork, The Los Angeles Times, Billboard and more as she continues her fast-paced rise to stardom.

The 25-year-old shares that new listeners need to "expect the unexpected" when it comes to her music as she creates it "organically" and says the sound of it is as surprising as "an explosion of candied sardines!"

As Wolf is set to perform in her first festivals this year at Bonnaroo, Outside Lands and Life Is Beautiful, take a listen to her latest release, "Liz."

18 of 20

Sofía Valdés

Sofía Valdés
CJ Harvey

Sofía Valdés can be described as one of the best hidden "Gems" in music right now.

With her debut EP, Ventura, Valdés has crafted emotionally honest tracks like her hit ballads "Lonely" and "Handful of Water." Her soothing vocals make it hard to resist from being entirely encapsulated by her soft-pop soundscape.

Born in Panama, the 20-year-old singer shares that as she begins to see the pathway to fame, she feels a responsibility to not disappoint the people of her country.

"I do feel a responsibility in a way that I don't want to let people in my country down," Valdes tells PEOPLE. "They've been so incredibly supportive and loving throughout this entire journey."

She adds about her music, "I write all my songs. Writing has been my passion since I was a kid. Everything I write about is a real thing that has happened to me or someone close to me. I hope people can feel like they relate to my music."

Listen to her track "Silhouette," off of her EP Ventura.

19 of 20

Sara Kays

Sara Kays
Christian Sarkine

"No Matter the Season," Sara Kays' music has something to offer for everyone.

The upcoming alt-pop singer uses her music to cope with her day-to-day struggles, speaking on topics ranging from mental health to body image. Kays has captured the attention of many with her raw and honest lyrical ability as she shares that many listeners find solace through her music.

"A lot of what I write about are things that I've never talked to anyone about: writing just happens to be my way of coping," Kays tells PEOPLE. "Since I started releasing these songs, I've realized how not alone I am in all of this, and I've felt so grateful over this past year to reach people who feel the same way I do."

The singer began her musical career by singing in local restaurants while she was in high school, and after the release of her single "Rich Boy" in 2018, she has amassed a following of 1.5 million fans on TikTok and has claimed her place in the spotlight with her smash hit "Remember That Night?"

"I started writing 'Remember That Night' the same night I got a text from someone who I had gone through a breakup with a few months prior," Kays says about writing the single. "Hearing from him brought back some memories and made me a bit sad which is what inspired me to write about it... By the time I released it, it was only nine days from when I started writing it!"

Watch the music video for her single, "Chosen Last," off her EP Camera Shy.

20 of 20


Eric Williams

TMG FRE$H is "Still In The Game" and he's not going anywhere.

The Oakland native first stepped on the music scene when he released his hit track "Champagne Cry" with rapper Tee Grizzley in 2020. Now, TMG FRE$H is ready to claim his spot in the limelight with the release of his debut album, Margiela Language.

The LA-based artist shares how the album will give listeners a chance to "dive headfirst" into his world.

"I would describe the sound of Margiela Language as melodic vibes with some trap beats," TMG FRE$H tells PEOPLE. "One of the main themes of the album is duality. It's about showing both sides of things, the good and the bad, the glitz and glamour as well as the pain and heartache."

He is certainly a jack of all trades as he not only creates music but is a director and producer with an award-winning short film called Sins of the Father. TMG FRE$H says that much of his artistic influence comes from his birthplace: the Bay Area.

"It's one of the most diverse places I've ever been to and what's special about the Bay is that everyone rocks with each other," he says about the Bay Area. "There's a lot of creatives in the Bay, from music to filmmakers to visual artists. For me, I always had the blessing of growing up around art in an authentic way."

Listen to his most recent single, "Late Night," featured on his album Margiela Language.

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