I didn’t always use to be like this. An underrated music junkie that is. Just a year ago, it was foreign and unwelcome to my ears. Before then all I cared about was pop music and the latest hits, like every other human being on earth. (Did I hear someone say “Rick Dees, and the Weekly Top 40″).
But to be honest with you, I had no clue what I was missing.
With a reliable Internet connection and an open mind, you can nowadays find any kind of music online, from YouTube to Soundcloud. And that is how I went underrated – listening to songs that have not met a local TV or radio in their life. Yup, I’m officially part of the weird club now. Thanks Internet and dear friends.
But why is some music underappreciated? Maybe it’s because these musicians do not conform to the popular trends of music. Like us, they are also tired of the recycled lyrics, and the same old beats.
Instead of singing about sex, money, and drugs like every other person with access to a studio does, they create something unique that is true to themselves. Music from their heart to our hearts. And you know what, we’ve been sleeping on them for far too long!
It’s time to get woke. Here are 7 of the most underrated artists of our time.
Dotan is a shy 29-year-old Dutch singer who prefers to perform in houses rather than on stage. Although most of the world doesn’t know about him, his indie folk music is loved all around Europe.
His 2014 debut album has already gone gold and double platinum in Belgium and Netherlands. If you haven’t listened to it, it is basically 7 Layers of raw beauty.
This is my definitely my favorite track from the album. Those beautiful acoustic tones know exactly how to get you “Hungry” for love. (Thanks Mwaniki).
Kwabena Sarkodee or simply Kwabs, is a British Ghanaian singer and a vocal powerhouse. What I love about this guy is his touching music, rich in his soulful R&B voice. I first heard of him from his 2014 hit “Walk” – a song I still jam to today.
“Perfect Ruin” also from his Love + War album, is another of my favorites from Kwabs. That’s because it always gets me so emotional. Few things in the world move me like this.
But somehow it moves me, this song has power over me (holds back tears)
Let’s lighten things up with Kaytranada. Real name Louis Celestin, the Canadian DJ and producer is truly one of a kind. With influences from his Haitian roots, Kaytra’s music involves a lot of percussions and musicality. His beats have the power to make you get up from your chair and move your freaking body.
Not only can he make danceable beats, but he can also dance too. “Lite Spots” is all the proof you need. There are more musical gems like this on his critically acclaimed debut album 99.9%
The 24-year-old producer from Australia is something the world hasn’t seen before. Flume – real name Harley Streten – is all about experimental music. He creates beats in genres we rarely hear of including trip hop and future bass. (I know, what are thoose?)
“Never be like you“ featuring Canadian singer Kai – another underrated artist – is his first number one song. And as soon as the beat dropped, I fell hard. It even made me get his latest music project Skin.
Who says there’s no underrated music in Africa. From the land of Patoranking and Yemi Alade comes the seasoned artist Nneka. She’s been singing since 2003 and unlike most urban artists, she performs conscious music about African issues like poverty and capitalism. She also dabbles in various music genres including soul, reggae, and hip-hop. Talk about being versatile.
This Nigerian Rapunzel (have you seen her hair) is probably the reason you like Rita Ora’s music. Here is what I mean.
Can you feel her heartbeat?
Remember Hozier? He’s the Irish musician who gave you your 2014 hit song “Take Me to Church” (which has a deeper meaning than you might think).
In his folk blues music, he couples his powerful voice with deep lyrics only he can write. Many music junkies agree that his calming music is perfect for a drive along the countryside.
Hozier is also a master at making beautiful romantic music. He even created the soundtrack song “Better Love” for the 2016 movie The Legend of Tarzan. (Weren’t Alexander Skasgard aka Tarzan and Margot Robbie such a cute on-screen couple?)
“From Eden” is another alluring love song that includes his signature church vibe. It’s off his self-titled album Hozier, which both music critics and friends have approved. Please keep stealing my heart Hozier.
7. The Internet
You cannot end the day without listening to this underrated neo-soul band from California. The six-member group is probably the best thing since well, the Internet.
They’ve already collaborated with Kaytranada on a couple of singles. And their smooth soulful vibes are just so infectious that their third album Ego Death was nominated for a 2016 Grammy Award for Best Urban Contemporary Album. (It didn’t win, unfortunately).
“Special Affair” is the song responsible for making me fall in love with The Internet. It’s easy to lose yourself in Syd Tha Kid a.k.a. the gender bender’s mellow voice, backed up by the funky instrumentals. There’s even a special appearance from Tyler the Creator on this song mashup.
I don’t know about you, but I’m proud to be part of the weird club. It’s finally time to pay attention to quality underrated music that doesn’t sound like anything on mainstream media.
As Nneka once said, wake up world, wake up and stop sleeping.