Predicting 3 Breakout Artists for 2018

By July 13, 2018Artists, Music

Happy 2018, with a New Year comes new music. Which is something we, at Zimrii, love. Our soundtrack to 2017 included the likes of Taylor Swift, Sia, and we’re not shy to admit it, that hip-twisting Despacito remix with Justin Bieber. While it definitely didn’t make our Spanish any better, it did make us feel like we were stuck in summer for the whole year round.

If only the weather had felt the same way.

Music, whether you consider yourself a melody manic, or a casual harmony hummer, is one of the biggest modifiers of your mood. Science actually shows that music stimulates around ten different parts of your brain, mostly the centres responsible for being creative, what you perceive, emote, and react to.

So, it’s no surprise that, each new year, people scramble to predict breakout artists for the coming 12 months. When you look for your new favourite tunes, where do you start? At Imperial Beats, here’s who we think are going to be storming the stairway to the music hall of fame in 2018. Don’t say we didn’t warn you…

Pale Waves

Pale Waves met at The University of Manchester in 2014. They were formed by ‘musical soul-mates’ Heather Barron-Gracie, who’ll be your modern-day Nancy from The Craft; and Ciara Doran, who’ll do the same for Steve Severin. Quickly they adopted two more members, who helped them turn into the powerhouse you see before you.

This year they built up a cult following in Manchester, before touring with The 1975. They say they make music ‘to make people cry’, and that’s exactly what they deliver.

With their classically 90’s sounding reverb intros, Pale Waves skirt many genres, Pop, Electro, Indie-goth, Dream Pop, Grunge, all soaked with a heavy dose of glam-glitter. Never quite dropping firmly in one genre or the other, and the result is an incredible, head-bouncing way-more-than-the-sum-of-its-parts blast that just won’t leave your brain.

Fall in love with their lullaby riffs, that find their way deep into your psyche before you even realise it, and be carried off to candy-goth dreamscapes by memorable lyrics such as “oh baby won’t you stop it, you and I haven’t got it got it”. Their sound is a sleek, clean, twenty-first century take on dirty new-glam that was pioneered 20-30 years ago by bands such a Hole, My Vitriol and Suede.

If you ask us, that sound is way due a resurgence. They’re our favourite one to watch, and that’s why they’re top of the list.

Check out their track Television Romance to kick off your Pale Waves revolution.

For fans of: Hole, The Birthday Massacre, Suede, Chvrches.

Billie Eilish

If you can believe it, Billie Eilish was born this side of the millennium (we know, we know).

She set out to record the song Ocean Eyes (actually a cover) as the backdrop to a dance routine, and thought she might as well post it to Soundcloud for friends and family. She was lucky, because it became a viral hit, and cemented her firmly as a recording artist.

Billie delivers songs that are laden with a honey-heavy dose of teenage trauma, without the fall into tired teen-angst clichés. There is no hackneyed pining about the pretty boy in P.E. here, and Eilish delivers perfect pop power, with adult lyrics that contain a clever dose of gravitas.

A few of our favourites are “Sitting all alone, mouth full of gun, in the driveway”, “Maybe it’s in the gutter, where I left my lover” and “I’ll sit and watch your car burn, with the fire you started in me”. Intense, but we love it.

Eilish’s range is able to contain a sense of sexiness, from the syrup of Lana Del Rey right down to the gravel of Nina Simone. Uncharacteristic for songs this sad, Eilish is wise enough to leave room to dance – upping the tempo with time changes, allowing your feet to tippity-tap.

She also has three middle names, and one is “Pirate”. No kidding.

Check out my boy as a place to start.

For fans of: Lana Del Rey, Nina Simone, Polly Scattergood, Blonde Redhead.


American Khalid, born to Sudanese parents, wrote his first album whilst still in high-school.

American Teen shot him into the U.S. Top Ten, and now he’s due to do the same across the pond.

Where American Teen is a bore-breaking chant for his troubled teen-peers, we can’t ignore the connotations of his post-American Teen hit Young, Dumb & Broke being titled almost the same as Nina Simone’s revolutionary To be Young, Gifted & Black. Indeed, as the political climate in America grows increasingly tense for minority communities, and with mainstream artists such as Beyoncé using their platform to boost the Black Lives Matter movement, it’s inspiring to see a kid from Georgia growing up and getting political.

Khalid produces mantra-music, which is as much at home on a summer road-trip as it is after a long day working for the establishment. He slips with ease into the hazy, high landscapes of Rihanna and D-12.

Overall, Khalid finds it easy to produce the sounds you’ll sing next summer. He’s a babe as well, and he states the only intention of his music is too ‘create happiness’. Sweetheart Drake is about to get a run for his money.

Don’t feel too bad though, there’s already evidence they’ve been hanging out.

Check out Young, Dumb & Broke as a place to begin.

For fans of: Drake, Rihanna, D-12, Cypress Hill.

Found your new favourite sound? Bet your band is better? Check out Imperial Beats, the App that’s revolutionising social networks for music. Artist? Connect directly with producers and other musically similar artists and create something mind-blowing. Producer? Scroll, hear sounds, select and save your next pop-prodigy ready for world domination. You’ll all be getting awards.

Also published on Medium.

Mo Jalloh

Author Mo Jalloh

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