Remember the discovery of Justin Bieber via his viral YouTube videos? Now, take the VCR, (that’s old school video tapes for you millennial babies…) then skip the DVD, and head straight for Netflix. As far as analogies go, this is the best way we can depict the rise and rise of the Insta-Musician. The industry is being yet again switched up, albeit quietly, by the equipment and outright authority handed to musicians when utilizing social media for their music and self-management.
Finding ways to break free of contracts and robotic pre-packaged branding is nothing new for musicians. The use of Social Media platforms allows for the fans to have an unfiltered (at times…), raw and personal insight into artists early days, something so often jaded by labels and their requirements. This alone presents us as the audience, with a whole new era of musician, finding their following and fame solely from hash tags, reposts and influencer collaborations. This kind of organic fan-base has always been built by touring, but who’s to say Instagram isn’t a stage in itself. The almost instantaneous, literally live access to your fans is not something we’ve seen before in the history of music, and it seems artists are at the tip of the iceberg when harnessing this magic. New material, secret gigs and surprise announcements straight to your fans without any middleman, creates a new personalisation between musician and listener that can’t be beaten.
We’ve delved into this brave new world of music, using our HOI radar to discover some of the most captivating new artists of our time, all with a little help from Instagram. We implore you to give the following, a good long listen. Hashtag – have a break, have a kitkat .
There is something virginal, yet wise about this voice. Prepare to let your jaw drop and soul become captivated by his melodies. Initial hair raising feelings convey the spirit of Jeff Buckley coming for our weary hearts when hearing Gracie for the first time… but this boy has his own tricks. He’ll have you contemplating the meaning of life in one tune, and celebrating everything little feeling you’ve ever felt in the next. We’ve loved seeing him blossom from a coy kid to a Kurt Cobain heartthrob on his Insta, catch him before it gets vetted due to stardom.
Ladies, he’s taken. But that won’t stop us from watching his IGTV performances and imagining becoming Mrs. Waddington… His cover of Japanese Denim by Daniel Caesar is one you’ve likely heard, however this guy started his journey on BGT back in 2015 as a spring chicken. Gathering a YouTube and Instagram following from day dot, ‘Wadders’ has captivated our hearts. There’s a raspy softness to his voice that there is no comparison to, and we can’t get enough as he keeps on getting better and better. HOI tip – this one likes his secret intimate gigs!
This polyglot of an artist blows us away in English, Norwegian, or the Game Of Thrones Dothraki language as far as we’re concerned. Her essence translates without any alteration from culture to culture, showing the collaboration of her roots of Persian and a Nordic upbringing as a huge influence in her style. Voice aside, the melodies give us a mood boosting, gentle confidence you might want to sachay around by the pool. Don’t underestimate the gentleness in her voice, for her lyrics express deeper meanings in both politics and philosophy. She’s profound and unapologetically so. We can hear a Delara-army marching over the horizon…
It’s the year 1999, Dido & Macy Gray have had a secret affair, and made this raspy soulful love child. *This happened in our wild HOI imaginations.
Antigone is the voice that we didn’t know we needed; with the stripped back lyrics to match the raw unadulterated voice. Nostalgia in music without a sense of imitation is a rare musical talent, a unicorn of music, but Antigone gives us this feeling of familiarity of days gone by right to our bones. Did we mention that she’s an absolute rocket, too? All round goals, this girl.
We have a wildcard, ladies and gentleman. There might be a touch of marmite spread on your morning toast with this one, but we think it’s worth the listen, and the credit for artistic license. If you aren’t converted upon a 2nd or 3rd listen that is. Their ethereal sound transports us both to 1970’s California, and 1990’s Glastonbury simultaneously. What a wonderful time machine that is. These kids dare to be different, and with that bravery has come a sound like no other we can drum up in the past 20 years. One of our favourite lines reads; “Lucky to have people in my life with the power to break my heart.” This line alone perfectly sums up their achey-breakey yet electric tone. DEHD, are certainly well and alive, and going places.