Who’s topping the charts, going viral, and ruling our earbuds? Each month, EW’s introducing the freshest music talent you have to hear now. Below, get to know D.R.A.M., Roosevelt, Goldroom, The Last Bandoleros, Sad13, Maria Hazell, Tkay Maidza, Gnash, and Melanie Martinez.
Who: Maybe you know D.R.A.M. as the biggest name since Dana Carvey to turn “Broccoli” into a major hit song, but the 28-year-old Virginia-born rapper made his debut in March 2015 with his first major label EP #! Epic. Inspired by George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, and Gary Shider — “Ya know the P-Funk wave,” he says — D.R.A.M. describes his sound as “trappy-go-lucky.”
Claim to Fame Though his cult fanbase is strong, D.R.A.M. rose to mainstream fame this year with “Broccoli,” his smash single with Lil Yachty. “I thought it was going to be a success for the culture, for the internet,” he says. “But not in my wildest dreams… I didn’t know it was gonna be the number one rap song in the country.” He’s also collaborated with Chance the Rapper on Coloring Book, E-40 on “Slappin,” and Rob Stone on the remix of his debut single “Chill Bill.”
What’s Next: D.R.A.M. announced his debut album Big Baby D.R.A.M., out Oct. 21, on Friday — the amazing album art, which features D.R.A.M. smiling and posing with an adorable dog, went viral after its release — and a 2017 tour, making stops all across the U.S. “Expect the ‘Cash Machine’ record as the next outright single from the Big Baby D.R.A.M.,” he says, “but expect more importantly to see me somewhere in your city.”
Key Track: Sing-along summer anthem “Broccoli” has gone 2x Platinum, keeps rising on the Billboard Hot 100, and is a total party.
Who: Berlin-based Marius Lauber started out playing drums in rock bands before writing and recording his own stylish brand of electronic music with a psychedelic bent. His stunning debut, Roosevelt, builds upon that sound with big pop hooks and Lauber’s impossibly cool lead vocals. Achieving such a heavenly vibe was grueling for Lauber: “I built my own studio in Cologne to record most of the record and it was quite an intense working progress,” he says. As for the meaning behind his moniker, he admits there isn’t one: “I just stumbled upon it and went with it.”
Claim to Fame: Roosevelt was tapped by Hot Chip member Joel Goddard’s label Greco-Roman—and Lauber, along with a back-up band, just finished his biggest tour of the U.S. yet. “It’s been a brutal schedule, 11 shows in 11 days,” he says. “The audiences here are amazing though — it felt great to do our first proper tour over here.”
What’s Next:He’s already working on new music and he hopes to travel the world more to work on it. “I’m thinking of going to different places,” he says. “I have a strong idea of how the second album should sound already — I can’t wait to start writing and recording it.”
Key Track: The blissed-out gem “Fever.”
Who: The Zimbabwean-born, Australian-bred rapper-singer studied architecture before committing herself to music full time. Now, she’s just as comfortable singing over EDM beats (see: her Martin Solveig collab “Do It Right” as she is spitting rapid-fire rhymes on her upcoming debut album, Tkay, out Oct. 28. “I think they came together at the same time,” she says of her skill set. “Sometimes I favor one more than the other. I just thought that it was more efficient for me to do everything vocal-wise on my songs when I started rather than trying to get guests for everything.”
Claim To Fame: Run the Jewels’ Killer Mike raved about Maidza during a lecture at M.I.T. last year before hopping on her new single, “Carry On,” this year. “It was a super special moment,” she says. “Run the Jewels was one of the first acts I discovered at my now favorite music festival, and to have to the backing of someone so experienced is so amazing. It’s certainly a moment where I felt like I fit in somewhere and had support from someone I looked up to.” She’s also toured with Charli XCX and collaborated with fellow Aussie Troye Sivan on his debut album.
What’s Next: She’s touring the U.S. this month before playing shows in Australia and New Zealand. “It’s always nerve-wracking playing in a different country because I’m basically starting over and trying to please different crowds to win people over,” she says. “[But] it’s been a good experience seeing so many pretty towns and cities I wouldn’t have ever expected to see.” Between all that, she’s planning to shoot more music videos and is already writing new songs.
Key Track: “Carry On,” stuttering showcase for Maidza’s feisty verses and natural charisma.