Following the news of Rafael Nadal’s WImbledon defeat to 19 year-old Australian Nick Kygrios overnight we thought we’d find the best eight tracks right now by artists under 21. Why? Because it seems at the moment, once you’ve reached 21 your life is over. These youngsters are impossibly talented and while these songs will delight they will also make you more unhappy than when Adele hit number one all around the world at the age of 21. Don’t even get us started on Lorde.
XXYYXX is not necessarily a new artist anymore, the American producer has been making releasing beats for over two years, however, he’s still impossibly young. At 18 years of age, XXYYXX has amassed a Soundcloud following of 165,000 and already toured Australia with Laneway Festival. Zygote is his Mary J. Blige-sampling track released today. It’s an unrelenting, tempo-raiser inspired by future RnB. Another notch on XXYYXX’s belt.
It’s enough that this Californian producer is only 16, however, he’s also been producing beats for three years. Most of us couldn’t even work Garageband by that age let alone produce audible music. Crash is a smooth, laid-back that pumps along in no hurry. It’s such a self-assured effort for a sixteen year-old that shows incredible restraint and a feel for hidden melody.
Thomston- Motley Crue
Being only 16 and from New Zealand, Thomston was always going to draw comparisons to Lorde, however, with his new Argonaut EP he is forging his own identity. Motley Crue is a standout from that EP, and acts as a certain ode to youth. “Drive all night, sleep all day” he sings over a throbbing, dark beat joint by the odd handclap. It’s slightly dissatisfied and derranged like any teenage anthem should be.
Tove Styrke- Even If I’m Loud It Doesn’t Mean I’m Talking To You
So many young artists try to act beyond their years, that’s why it’s so refreshing that Swedish artist Tove Styrke sounds every bit her 21 years. Even If I’m Loud It Doesn’t Mean I’m Talking To You is an obnoxious chant song that sounds sassy, youthful and rhythmic. She barely gets a breather in this three-minute runaway train that gets better with every listen.
K Stewart- Speechless
19 year-old K Stewart was the live vocalist for fellow youngsters Bondax, but has now broken out as a soloist. Her latest track, Speechless, was produced by Karma Kid and featured by Radio 1 presenter Annie Mac. It follows in the path ‘90s throwback RnB, as she runs through her vocal range like Mariah while having the restraint and fragility of Ashanti. There’s a huge future ahead for this Londonder.
Little Simz is a 20 year old rapper from North London who is making a name for herself with her brash, aggressive raps laid upon smooth beats. Devour is off her latest EP E.D.G.E and is produced by acclaimed British producer Jakwob. There’s a certain Azealia Banks flavour to it without the feeling that she’s going to fly off the handle at any second. She’s sounds confident yet organic and totally committed to her craft.
Aleksander is an 18 year-old singer/songwriter from Brisbane who’s just released his debut EP, Mah, Jong, Jong! His look and sound channels bold male songwriters like Alex Turner, Jake Bugg and even Johnny Cash. A few weeks back he dropped a cover of Lana Del Rey’s Ultraviolence on his Soundcloud which showcases the very strength of his voice. To have a tone and presence such as his at the age of 18 is baffling.
Darcy Baylis- How Can I Live?
Darcy Baylis is a 19 year old producer from Melbourne who’s already made a name for himself as electronic maestro Namine. He’s now ditched the moniker and is doing it under his own name. How Can I Love? is the most immediately melodic track he’s made yet. It’s underlined by a pulsating beat and peppered with ‘90s keys. It sounds like an anthem in its most minimal and stylistic form.