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GUYS, We’ve teamed up with an awesome site over in America called KingstontoLA.com, and we’re very pleased to announce that every month we’ll be bringing you a guest post from them. Just like us, they’re all about dancehall and reggae music, lifestyle and culture – the only difference is their warm, sun-kissed backdrop of LA… I’m not jealous at all. Here’s the first one!

Artists To Watch

5 American Artists to Watch in 2016

Leilani Wolfgramm

 Leilani Wolfgramm is a singer-songwriter making a name for herself as one of reggae music’s newest female voices. Born in Orlando of Tongan descent, Wolfgramm exudes empowerment and positivity. It just so happens her name Leilani personifies the singer’s profile, as it is defined as “royal child” or “heavenly flower.” With her incredible voice Wolgramm has made it her mission to stay true to her roots. In a recent interview the singer stated, her cultural influence has allowed her to find her true passion. As her music becomes more known, Wolfgramm is steadily expanding her reach by collaborating with known acts such as The Green, SOJA and Common Kings. Up next, Wolfgramm will be heading to Hawaii where she will be the headliner at The Republik on Friday May 20 in Honolulu. Her debut album Rebel is available on iTunes.

 

Artists to Watch

Sturgill Simpson

 Who doesn’t want to feel like a 2016 outlaw, reminiscent of Josie Wails but with a designer pancho and cowboy boots.  That’s how Sturgill Simpson makes you feel.  His most recent record, with it’s breakout hit Turtles all the way Down, quickly tagged him as country music’s second coming. Soon, the comparisons began to happen: Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson. Yet, even though he was tagged with the outlaw country monicor, his “now” sound made it hard to pin him down at times. Well, it seems as though that elusiveness is more than just a feeling. His upcoming record is an R&B record. It is being tagged as Gulf Coast Soul. One part New Orleans grooviness, one part Houston Texas blues. I don’t know what that even sounds like, but it definetly peaks my interest. So, be on the lookout for this artist and his upcoming record sure to

 

Artists to Watch

Anderson Paak

Who is that? That was probably your reaction to hearing Anderson Paak on the new Doctor Dre record. Well, here in Los Angeles, we have known about Anderson for some time.  His live show and his most recent record Malibu have set the tone for how to kill with creativity. Recently signed to Aftermath, and fresh off killer sets at SXSW, it does not seem like this Angelino will be stopping anytime soon. So, check out his new record and go see him live.

 

Artists To Watch

Lion Babe

 Lion Babe is a neo-soul duo based out of NYC consisting of singer Jillian Harvey and producer Lucas Goodman whose musical influences include Erika Badu, Marvin Gaye, J Dilla, Timbaland, Tina Turner, Pharrell and Lauren Hill making up quite an eclectic mix.  Lion Babe placed number 9 on Billboard’s Interactive Charts in 2015 through the help of their very active Twitter profile. The duo has been making sweet music together since 2012 and in February released their full length debut album, Begin, with popular track Jump High featuring Childish Gambino and production credits from one of their musical inspirations, Pharrell.  They recently performed during the first weekend of Coachella and have an upcoming show in the UK on June 1st. There’s much to come from this young and happening pair.

 

Artists to Watch

Jidenna

 With eccentric beats and lyrics that really make an impact, Jidenna is an artist to watch. He is an artist that uses his platform to speak out about difficult issues, including the Black Lives Matter campaign. In order to make an impact, the artist is known for placing a significant emphasis on his visual imagery. The ambiguity of his music is well known but those tuned in are able to decipher the true meaning behind his music. Blending his American and Nigerian heritage, Jidenna uses hard breaking hip-hop beats. Jidenna was recently nominated for a Grammy for his single “Classic Man.” While he was nominated in the hip-hop category, he describes his music genre as Swank which blends the hip-hop and funky electro beats with his classic fashion-forward style. Signed to Wondaland Records, headed by fellow fashion-forward artist Janelle Monae, Jidenna has already received great acclaim for his music. Fresh off the label’s tour EEPHUS, Jidenna newest single “Knickers” hits on his topic of choice giving to empower his community.

 

Thats it!

So that’s 5 US artists set for huge things this year, and no doubt they’ll be breaking into the UK music scene anytime now. We’ll have another guest post next month, but until then head on over to kingstontola.com for more music, lifestyle and events news, views and reviews from the magical city of LA. You can also follow them on Twitter: @KingstontoLA.