Today’s legends were once newcomers on the scene too. We’ve compiled a list for you introducing you to the newest names in the music business who’ve broken that glass ceiling separating the indie sphere from mainstream media. Some of them you might already be familiar with, but the big majority – you’re not. And yes, we’re doing your homework because we know many of you indie artists are overloaded with your calling and surviving at the same time so you have little to no time left to keep up with the industry. The following Top 10 New Artists Dominating 2021 Mainstream Charts is ordered based on the current Billboard position as of October 18th, 2021.
The remix of Whole Lotta Money is currently sitting pretty at the 52nd position on The Billboard Hot 100. Also known as Bianca Miquela Landrau, BIA is an American singer, rapper, model, and songwriter who made her debut on the reality TV show Sisterhood of Hip Hop. BIA was born in 1991 in Boston, Massachusetts. BIA is best recognized for her feature on Safari –the 2016 single track by J Balvin. She also appeared on Best on Earth in 2019 by Russ. She is best known for her unique slowed-down-mixed-with-drill-add-some-Spanish rapping style and for anyone who’s blind, she dead serious looks like Cardi B’s twin.
9. Baby Keem
family ties featuring Kendrick Lamar has Baby Keem claiming the 46th position on the Hot 100 chart. Born in 2000 in Carson, California, Hykeem Jamaal Carter Jr. is known for his Classic and Trap Hip-Hop combination in music with the help of simple instruments. Keem has recently gained global attention via YouTube and TikTok but has been working with major names for a good while being credited on his cousin Kendrick Lamar’s project, Black Panther: The Album, TDE member Jay Rock’s Redemption, Schoolboy Q’s Crash Talk, and the song Nile from Disney’s The Lion King: The Gift. He quotes Kid Cudi for being his main inspiration, “I was inspired by Cudi’s cadences and sh*t like that. Kid Cudi’s one of my favorite artists.”
8. Elvie Shane
Elvie Shane’s debut single, My Boy, is now 42nd on the Hot 100. Shane was born in Caneyville, Kentucky. Supposedly 32 of age, the man is a highly appreciated new Country music singer that’s here to stay and make waves. He is renowned for having signed to the reputed BBR Music Group in 2020. He had first gathered a fan base in 2016 after being on American Idol and although eliminated in the first round, the singer has achieved more in the few years since than many of the finalists of that edition.
7. Capella Grey
Curtis Anthony Jackson II was born in 1995 in Westchester, New York. He is also known as a successful producer and songwriter. Capella Grey has the industry’s stamp of approval being skilled in playing the drums, piano, guitar, and bass. He mainly got traction for Gyalis, currently sitting at no. 38 on Hot 100, thanks to TikTok. New York might have put him on the map in US, but worldwide people discovered him via the TikTok sped-up version focused on the “it’s just a vibe, I’m that guy” part.
Going by the real name Chukwuka Ekeani, CKay was born in 1995 in Kaduna State, Nigeria. CKay is the artist and producer of the popular Chocolate City Music and Warner Music in South Africa. Under the imprint of Chocolate City Music, CKay has generated several famous music tracks. His debut studio album was Boyfriend. In 2020, under the same imprint, he released his single Felony. But… Love Nwantiti is what the entire world knows the guy for. It’s everywhere and it feels like a more romantic version of the Gangnam style phenomenon, currently sitting at position 35 on Hot 100. Thank TikTok for this one too.
5. Moneybagg Yo
DeMario DeWayne White Jr. was born in 1991 in Memphis, Tennessee, United States. Although he’s been doing music for a long time and was even signed to Yo Gotti’s label, Collective Music Group, he didn’t really spark mainstream media attention until after he’s become associated in public with Megan Thee Stallion. Moneybagg released his fourth studio album, A Gangsta’s Pain, on April 23, 2021. It features guest appearances from Kaash Paige, Big30, Future, Polo G, Lil Durk, Jhené Aiko, and Pharrell Williams. The album became his first number-one project, debuting with 110,000 units on the Billboard 200. Wockesha has currently claimed the 27th position on the Hot100.
4. Lil Durk
Going by the real name Durk Derrick Banks, Lil Durk was born in 1992 in Chicago, Illinois. Durk garnered a cult following with the release of his Signed to the Streets mixtape series (2013–2014). The man is the founder of Only the Family –his collective record label and made his first appearance on the Billboard Hot 100 with the single Viral Moment. He released his latest album The Voice in 2020. He was also featured on Drake’s 2020 single –namely, Laugh Now Cry Later. The Voice of the Heroes in 2021 became Durk’s first-ever release to debut on top of the Billboard 200. If you ask us, his music is okay but his story is great and everyone loves a rags-to-riches success. Sharing Locations featuring Meek Mill and Lil Baby sits at position number 23 on Hot 100.
After winning The Eurovision Song Contest in 2021, Maneskin went on to achieve global popularity and marking their name in the entire Italian Rock history. In the past few months, the Italian band has become one of the most famous music groups on YouTube, Spotify, and TikTok. The singles I Wanna Be Your Slave and Beggin cover rendition have recently ranked amongst the 20 most popular songs across the globe in over 30 countries. Maneskin bets on controversial visuals, fluid identities, organic music, and Damiano’s stupidly palpable sex appeal.
2. Olivia Rodrigo
Born in 2003 in Murrieta, California, Olivia Isabel Rodrigo is an Indie Pop-Rock American songwriter and singer. While also an actress, we feel like she almost doesn’t belong on this list because the girl’s crossing heavily onto mainstream land and her name is notorious compared to most on this list but considering that not until long ago many weren’t familiar with her music, we’ll concede her the second spot. Of course, drivers license is what made Olivia famous and has garnered a whopping 300 million views for its visual. Her current chart-topper is good 4 u sitting at number 6 on Hot 100.
1. The Kid LAROI
Charlton Kenneth Jeffrey Howard was born in 2003 in Waterloo, New South Wales, Australia. He initially received recognition for his friendship and association with Juice Wrld. Inspired by the likes of Fugees, Erykah Badu, and Tupac, kid LAROI is like Gen Z’s Justin Bieber with more Soul and updated sound drivers, probably why the two made STAY happen. Smart move by the way as all of Bieber’s fans are now tuning into kid LAROI’s music because his stuff slaps while Bieber keeps landing gossip columns for treating his wife appallingly. STAY is THE song of the moment and possibly THE song of 2021. TikTok made this one happen as well.
If you want to make the world a better place by helping 50 arduous indie artists working 24/7 to give you authentic music, stream the playlist below.