Features

Ones To Watch 2019 – Part 1

2018 brought us a plethora of fantastic music. From the weird and wonderful of Death Grips to the sublime of Janelle Monáe we had some amazing albums to sink our teeth into, and 2019 will be no different. In this two part series we’ll be looking at the ones to watch in 2019, part one displaying some of the worlds biggest artists we expect to drop, with part two looking at some lesser known artists who could rise through the ranks this year.

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Bit of an obvious one really. Kanye West had a whirlwind of a 2018, he released two incredible albums, got caught in countless Twitter storms, and also announced his next project, Yandhi. It appears that this album will be a follow up to Kanye’s most experimental album, Yeezus, it also appears that their will be an abundance of features. With Kid Cudi, XXXTENTACION, Lauryn Hill, Young Thug and The Migos all rumoured to be making an appearance it could be a massive hit for Ye. Three delays of the album and recordings in Uganda and Chicago have built major hype, and like most recent Kanye projects it feels like there’s a high level of promotion going into it, just a shame it’s all the nonsense we see on Twitter.

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Boy am I glad to be writing this. Following on from releasing Viberant’s album of the year, A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships, Matty and the gang are following up quickly with another album releasing in May titled, Notes on a Conditional form. Along with what should be a quality album, the band are touring essentially the entire year as they make huge stops at Reading & Leeds festival along with a major trip to Coachella.

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It’s been a very long time, but Tame Impala are back. Kevin Parker and co will be returning to music this year as they headline Coachella, and we could very well be seeing the first Tame Impala album in the last four years. Tame Impala are capable of making some incredible music that is always going to be considered some of the biggest and best of it’s respective year, so don’t be surprised to see Tame Impala towards the top of our end of year list when December comes.

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If memory serves me correct, Billie Eilish was on this same post last year, and quite frankly as long as she wants to make music she’ll be on it. Eilish has uncapped potential and a brilliant work ethic and musical IQ, and it benefited her in a 2018 that allowed her to reach her biggest audience ever. Towards the end of 2018 she released a few singles that I would argue is her best work yet, and I can’t help but feel that it’s part of something bigger. Her debut studio album should be released this year, I’m hoping for first quarter but we’ll have to wait and see.

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Chance low key fell off early 2018, but the latter half of the year proven he was back. There might have been a couple par level singles released by Chance, but all that changed when he released The Man Who Has Everything. Sublimely produced with brilliant lyricism, it felt like Chance of old, and if he can put a few tracks like this together on a 2019 project, we could be looking at Chance snatching a couple more Grammy’s. As it happens, there’s always been rumours of a project with a certain man…

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A work horse in every sense. When he’s not directing his own TV shows or acting in some of the years biggest movies, he’s dropping bangers like he did in 2018. This Is America and his Summertime Pack were both strong indicators that Gambino is gearing up for something special. Whether it’s a solo rap project, solo RnB project, or that Chance The Rapper collab, we’ll be getting something that’s damn good.

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There’s quite the theme with Tyler’s solo projects, they’ve been released every two years. Flower Boy was released in 2017 so all the maths is pointing towards an album this year. Another theme with Tyler’s solo projects is that they get better time and again, so I’ve got it fixed into my brain that Tyler is going to drop his best album yet this year. If I’m wrong about that I hope it’s because of a collab album with A$AP Rocky after the Wangsap hype in 2018.

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Blake is back. After an accidental leak of Blake’s album details, it appears that we will be getting a new album this month titled Assume Form. The album should feature Andre 3000, Travis Scott and Metro Boomin. If it’s anything like If The Car Besides You Moves Ahead from 2018, we could be looking at James Blake’s most experimental and possibly best album to date.

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Three brilliant albums as a duo, Killer Mike and El-P stake a serious claim to be the most technically astute rap group in the world right now with their loud and in-your-face rap hits. El-P confirmed that work had begun on RTJ4 earlier in 2018 and it seems a safe bet to assume it will drop at some stage in 2019. Whenever it surfaces we have a lot to be excited for, they’ve not missed a beat yet and I’d be very surprised to see them do so here.

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We will get a new single title and a release date next week for Lana Del Rey’s next album; a project we know is to be titled Norman Fucking Rockwell. The singles released in 2018 (Venice Bitch and Mariners Apartment Complex) were beautiful cuts that rank amongst her very best music, so it is only right to feel excited for what the queen of angst has for us. Either way we know it is going to be moody, melodic, and refuse to give a single fuck (just look at the title).

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Our favourite Canadian weirdo is back in 2019 with a new album. Following on from the brilliance of her 2015 album Art Angels will be a tall order, but if anyone can pull it out the bag, it is Claire Elise Boucher. Her latest single We Appreciate Power is a daring post-punk electro-pop crossover and has certainly raised anticipation for the new album; I cannot wait to see what she has in store for us.

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Sheffield rockers Bring Me The Horizon are set to release their first album in just under three and a half years in 2019. It is titled amo and is scheduled for January 25th; and given the sheer quality of the singles we have heard so far I would expect a whole lot of fireworks, as well as the group’s most expansive project to date. There is also a Grimes feature on there which is a very exciting prospect indeed.

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It is rumoured to be called Chapter 6, but nothing has been confirmed yet. No news on release dates other than “soon” have been mentioned but when it comes to The Weeknd, you don’t really need much else other than the news that new music is on the way. He has become a global megastar since his 2011 mixtape breakout, and it will be a very intriguing journey to follow what direction he goes in with this next album; especially after his back -to-his-roots approach on 2018 EP My Dear, Melancholy.

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Contender for the worst album title of the year here, but I don’t care because a new Skepta album is always good news. SKLevel is penned in for release in 2019 after a couple of years of relevancy in the form of singles from the London-bred grime king, all of which have sparked major interest and gained him huge acclaim all over the world. If it sounds remotely like the likes of No Security or even his featured smash hit with A$AP Rocky, Praise The Lord (Da Shine), then we are in for a treat.

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RiRi confirmed on Instagram that she had an album on the way in 2019 and fans simultaneously lost their minds. While her 2016 album ANTI wasn’t necessarily to my taste, it would be naïve to suggest that she doesn’t have a big draw; continuing to remain one of the most prominent figures in the music industry. This album will be a huge seller, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it broke streaming/sales records at some stage in 2019.

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