As the year is quickly coming to an end, we’ve been looking back at all of the talented up-and-coming artists and bands that have made appearances on the NSM pages this past year. This list isn’t a definitive, “Best Of” but more of a list of our own personal favorites and who we believe has really progressed and grown musically throughout 2015. Hopefully, you find an old favorite or peep a new artist you’ve never heard before. We’re looking forward to bringing you even more dope sounds from hard-working artists in the new year.
Just Juice is an artist who I discovered and fell in love with the great sound to his music. As 2015 wore on, you heard his overall song structure improve each time. His flow is tough to match and just brings an authentic hip-hop sound that you instantly vibe to. His most underrated song that I love is “The Wish,” which is off his album Lavish Life.I also appreciate the way he markets his music. He makes these freestyle videos that go viral on Twitter. He continues to think outside the box. He’s geared up for a solid 2016. Don’t sleep on him.
-Ryan Pod (@RyanPod)
Brandon Perry, a.k.a. K.A.A.N, has taken the underground rap world by storm. With his viscous cadence , conscious lyrics and uptempo flow, K.A.A.N. has showed the world what he brings to the table. In 2015, he dropped his first mixtape (Abstract Art), a remix project of countless hip hop classics (1/2/199?), and countless other singles and mixes. He’s gained a steady following of devoted fans on social media and we’re ready to see where 2016 takes him.
-Megan Berberich (@megberb)
The Toronto-native busted onto everyone’s radar with the April release of Marauding in Paradise. At 16-songs in length, the project is jam packed with high-quality tracks and rivals the quality of any album put out by an established rapper this year. Jazz shows off a great range of flows in tracks like “New Religion”, “Rose Quartz/Like Crazy”, “Switch”. “The Downtown Cliche”, “Dead or Alive”, and “Wake Me Up When It’s Over”. The versatility on these tracks is second-to-none. Cuzzi and producer Michael Lantz appear to be a match made in heaven and if 2015 was any indication, 2016 could very well be the year of Jazz Cartier.
– Braden Young (@thebradenyoung)
The elusive future bass producer Marshmello, as personified by a happy little bat-like marshmellow creature, is my staff favourite for 2015. When WaVeZ first came crashing down in March – swiftly followed by 5 more happy trappy party tunes – the name Marshmello quickly began to grab attention, arguably prompted by his (or her) suspiciously high-profile support on Soundcloud and Skrillex Selects. And as we reach the end of 2015, speculation is still rife as to the producers actual identity, but that hasn’t stopped him (presumably) from selling out tours across North America and reeling more and more “deep fluffy hybrid melodic sexy trap” fiends into his mellogang.
– Paula Truscott (@beatPrescrption)
When I learned that NSM was doing a staff favorites list for 2015, one artist came to mind. Leif. Although his music has evolved so much over the past year, “Discover” (which was released early 2015) is still one of my favorite songs from the young emcee. If you aren’t familiar with Leifer, I highly suggest you check out more tracks via his Soundcloud and be on the look-out for big things from Leif and his team in 2016. And if ya don’t know, know ya know.
-Chris Tanner (@Chris_NSM)
Radio On have a huge energy and a great artistic perspective. They bring retro new wave vibes into 2015 with grace and aplomb, and their emphasis on the interconnections between art forms seem to me almost unparalleled. Their EP, Coast, is one of my most anticipated projects of 2016, as the track “Lost in the Crowd” always manages to cheer me up (and get stuck in my head).
-Kaitlin Ruether (@Kaitlin_Ruether)
2015 really opened my eyes to The Weeknd and based off the year he’s had, many people share the same opinion. I’ve always known The Weeknd to be an artist with a distinct voice who’s best sound came from a slower, darker beat with lyrical themes of sex and drugs, but Beauty Behind The Madness showed how diverse he can really be. With tempo changes throughout and a list of credible features, The Weeknd has shown he is a forced to be reckoned with in mainstream Pop/R&B… And hey, don’t believe me? Check the Grammy nominations. #XO
-Bryan Montesano (@BryMontesano)
It’s been a big year for Lord Apex, and he has consistently proved that he’s got one of the hardest work ethics in the UK scene. This release sticks out for me this year due to the unique nature of its theme and the fact that I find something new every time I listen!
– Sam Conley (@CareerEnderSam)