Photobombshell is an on-air personality, playlist curator, music writer, and performance photographer, who specializes in the independent music scene.
There are just a few weeks left until 2022, and it has been nothing short of a remarkable year. As someone always on the hunt for new music and rising stars, I have unearthed my fair share of independent artist and musician gems in 2021. In no particular order, here are my top ten independent artists that you need to hear in 2021. Happy Listening!
Dutch Brown’s Lyrically Loaded “Deus Per Vicos” LP is Poised to Smash Records
Dutch Brown has released a masterpiece, carefully crafted and poured over, from the title to the intricately laid rap bars in his latest LP, 'Deus Per Vicos.' The title, translating to "God through the villages," explains a lot about Dutch. Dutch Brown's history on the streets, in cipher after cipher, refining his craft day in and day out, eventually caused a buzz in New York without the help of social media. Dutch's talent, lyricism, and gritty energy, were discussed far and wide, and the news about someone spitting heat traveled by word of mouth. I can only expect with this latest project that the good news about 'Deus Per Vicos' will surely go just as far, if not exponentially farther, given the well-laid plans for its release.
Loving The Game
Today I had the pleasure of checking out the newly released song from D.A. (also known under the performance name of Most Official), entitled "Loving The Game." To understand the piece and the journey more completely, let me share a little about the artist. D.A. and I crossed paths on the 'gram, as with most musicians I connect with, and while talking about artist services, he shared his unique and incredible journey with his life's passion: music. D.A. is an independent artist from the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area of Minnesota with a long and impressive past in the industry. In 2008, as Most Official, he placed second out of over 30,000 entrants in the Loud.com competition, scored a record contract with SRC/Universal, eventually exited that contract, took a break from the business to pursue life, and is now back with a ton of head knowledge and more than an ounce of heart learning. As a seasoned hip-hop artist influenced by the heavy hitters and greats of the '90s, you'll hear that vibe, energy, and sound come through in all of his work. "Loving The Game" is no outlier from his signature, sharing a focused message that hip-hop is not dead.
Meet the Artist: Pap Star
One of the easiest ways to find new music for me these days, particularly independent music, seems to be scrolling through Instagram at 3:00 am. I'm tired, impressionable, and looking to soothe that Millenial Anxiety. I get loads of music suggestions from the playlists that I curate, from music-loving friends and connections in my DMs, but I find a certain level of satisfaction when I hunt down a well-mixed melodic rap with solid bars all on my own (with the help of the algorithm). While I didn't find the artist I am sharing today through a late-night scroll, I did connect with him through the 'gram and have loved every post and reel since - for real.
Independent Artist, 2woAM, Releases Full Moon
Shortly after midnight on January 18, 2022, a familiar notification blinked on my phone screen. It was an Instagram DM. It was my favorite type of message; a link to a newly released album. Because my friends are so incredibly dope, it isn't rare that a new song, track, beat, or project comes my way in the late hours, but this one was a surprise. I opened the link, added the project to my New New 2022 playlist, and immediately caught a vibe. The project, Full Moon from 2woAM, is a slow ride, and I know anyone who trusts my curation will fall in love with this one.
RichFraz Releases 'Tale of Two Kingz'
Happy New Year! The turn of the new year is fitting for a change of pace, change of plans, or refocusing professional goals. Working closely with artist and MC, RichFraz for the past several years, I can say with confidence that he most certainly took advantage of the new year to turn over a new leaf musically. RichFraz has developed and finely tuned his sound, his brand as an artist and musician, and is finally ready to show people what he can do on the microphone. If you have not yet heard of the rapper/singer/songwriter, I'll briefly walk you through how he got here in 2022 with the release of his first album, Tale of Two Kingz.
During the course of my time as a radio show host, I came to learn that my tastes in music are diverse in many ways, both in time periods and in genres. One of the show formats that I tested out was an educational format, knitting together my educational background, my culture as a fifth-generation musician, and the number of music-related subcultures I have found myself to be a part of.
Live with Jae Lynn
Jae Lynn AKA JaeButta is an independent artist, photographer, and the Hip-Hop Oracle, hailing from Reading, Pennsylvania. I found her music through mutual social media connections and was drawn in by her smooth, chill vibe, creative visuals, and cleverly laid bars. This was my first interview with her on Season 1 of my "Live With" Series on Stationhead in 2020.
Wiz Hits Top 100 on Independent Charts with Rap Masterpiece, “Vanish.”
Wiz, from Hard Hittin Entertainment, is an American artist, rapper, and musician out of Boston, Massachusetts, with a passion for the Hip Hop and Rap genres of music. He satisfied his craving for quality music by establishing HHiL music studios and later Hard Hittin Entertainment in 2008. His music has rapidly grown his credibility and earned acknowledgment in the rap industry. Wiz's previous project entitled "Low Key" featured on "Independent Still Major," was a colossal accomplishment, soaring past 1 million views on Youtube. Wiz has released numerous songs that have quickly gained popularity in the past decade, so his explosive success on his latest project is no surprise.
Live with Jerellz
In 2019, I started hosting a streaming radio show on the Stationhead app as an ambassador. For a year, the show was all over the place, finding the sweet spot for a show time, covering various genres, and offering lots of giggles. It wasn't until January of 2020 that I focused my ideas and energy on creating a consistent show featuring independent musicians and artists on what became the "Friday Night Frequency."
A Beast in Any Language
Hey, Vocal. Meet Jantu. This Atlanta-based independent artist operates just as his name means, like a beast. Jantu has tackled the music scene with his unique sound, described as mixed a little loud - but with an audio grit that makes his sound unique. He is an artist in many ways, multi-talented, ambitious, and always on to the next venture! Over time I have enjoyed watching him evolve in the scene from an artist, producer, businessman, and more. Perhaps one of the most spectacular things about this beast is that he is ever-changing.
What Do You Say?
New York-based artist and producer, .Jxck is relatively new on the music scene. He debuted his first album in 2017, but his seasoned vocals are nothing short of an audio escape. With roots in Portland, Maine multi-instrumentalist, .Jxck brings a refreshing energy to that of the New York music landscape. A good Instagram put me on to his music a few days ago. After all, what are Instagram friends for, if not for sending good music your way? Well, thank you, Instagram fam, because this one was an absolute win.