We can finally put to rest all of our Best of 2015 lists along with the beautiful music and great discoveries that were made last year.
Looking forward, we joined all of our collective heads and asked the MIMS collaborators to contribute one act that was their choice for breakthrough artist for 2016.
Ever since Kamasi Washington’s The Epic I’ve had my fingers tightly crossed for similarly daring albums from real musicians. Things look exciting for violinist Kadjha Bonet and her blend of gorgeously arranged orchestral soul. Something like Minnie Ripperton and Dmitri Shostakovich making sweet love in the back of a Ford Pinto. Debut LP arriving in Spring 2016. For now check out her cover of 21st Century’s “Remember The Rain”.
– Pick by Naz Malik
THE NEW YORK SECTION
It’s a bit biased but the artist I would say to watch is The New York Rhythm Section. Their flavorful combination of jazz, merengue, funk, and soul is all underlined with a Hip-Hop sensibility that sounds like a sweaty night of dancing in New York City. Definitely pay attention as they have a sound that will resonate heavy this year.
– Pick by Christian Martir
YUSSEF KAMAAL TRIO
Henry Wu would have been on my shortlist of favorite artists of 2015. The South London producer smashed it on all sides (solo EP’s on Ho_Tep and Rhythm Section and collab EP with K15 on Eglo Records). I think he will have another strong year, as part of his new project The Yussef Kamaal Trio featuring Yussef Dayes on drums and Henry Wu on keys . We only heard a few tastes of the things to come – most notably their Boiler Room appearance – but definitely enough for me to call 2016 for YLT! My honorable mentions: Sampa The Great (amazing young female MC from Australia) and Sixtus Preiss (producer from Vienna)
– Pick by Lexis
Underground raconteur, Throwing Shade will be 2016’s breakthrough – the stalwart NTS Presenter, Producer, DJ and live performer is readying the next addition to her bunch of singles and the super tight, metamorphic remix of Dayme Arocena’s ‘Madres’. A forthcoming release on a powerhouse imprint will mark Throwing Shade’s international arrival
– Pick by Pete OnTheCorner
Govales is a bonafide star in the making. Smooth, sophisticated bedroom R&B that takes bump and grind to the next level. He started 2015 with a featured track in Spike Lee’s Da Sweet Blood of Jesus, and capped it off with a killer collabo with Kaytranada. Now Govales is readying more music along with self-directed videos for a conceptual release series. Heads may not be ready. Look out Weeknd, here he comes…
– Pick by Tasha A
Twins Amber and Paris Strother alongside friend Anita Bias make up the LA based RnB trio KING (all caps when you spell the name!). After a couple of wonderful EPs and singles in 2011 & 2013 where they showcased their trademark dreamy, sparkling sound, they landed a feature on Robert Glasper’s Grammy awarded LP “Black Radio”. After more than a few postponements, the soulstresses are set to release their long-awaited debut album “We are KING” on February 6th!
– Pick by Spacewalker
New Zealand’s Lord Echo has always been an artist to watch. Both his full length LPs are heralded worldwide and his truly unique brand of music has always had the potential to blowup with each album containing sureshot singles. After collaborating on EPs with Dj Day (PL70) and Julien Dyne (BBE) Echo has set up a new studio in a new home and if the snippets released on his facebook account are any indication this may be the year where he becomes a household name!
Pick by Asma
As it must inevitably be the artist to watch in 2016. Looking back at his previous releases, he has kept delivering consistent fire with his feature on Side trakx vol.3 “Faahhuuuuu” and following his two power EPs Where My Roots Lie and Alone. 2016 will be a sureshot rope to the bestest year for John F.M. Expect to hear his first full-lengh album, a feature collaboration on new Omar S album early this year and lookout for solid EPs releases throughout the year on FXHE Records.
– Pick by Rahel
A duo from Boston that sounds like a 10 piece, throwing together pop, psychedelic rock, hip-hop, and electronics into gloriously catchy riffs that ring through your head for days. Reminiscent of The Avalanches, with a DIY pop touch. As long as they keep the raps outta the cuts, they could very well shape the sound of pop to come.
– Pick by Tasha A