And just like that, summer is nearing its end, but not before some fresh talent has caught our attention. With August's lineup, our starting six are all making plays in their own right, adding to their highlight reels. Learn more about all six talents below.
Hometown: Staten Island, NY
Recommended Tracks: "miss me" "lose it" "hi hater!"
Spotify Monthlies: 12,403
In today’s modern music scene, so much emphasis is put on meticulously planned campaigns and focus-grouped marketing. Staten Island’s wolfacejoeyy is outpacing many of his contemporaries, with a disregard for this traditional approach. With a D.I.Y. attitude, he lets his music speak for itself. Personal favorites such as “hi hater!,” “miss me,” and the most recent “dnd” are undeniable melodic hip hop singles with earworm hooks likely to stick with you for days.
wolfacejoeyy’s debut EP, it’s just us, showcases his endless potential while acting as a precursor for what was to come. The standout track “lose it” defines what makes the young artist so exciting, and is the perfect starting point if you’re looking to dive in. The four singles following this EP show wolfacejoeyy’s incredible consistency as he improves from track to track. “miss me” is wolfacejoeyy at his catchiest, with a vocal performance that immediately pulls in listeners. The production by iankon matches perfectly with the tone of the track. “dnd” shows a different side to the multi-talented artist. The hard-hitting cgm, ninetyniiine, and 4am production is unlike any instrumental he has rapped over before, but his effortless ability to adapt over different style displays impressive versatility. wolfacejoeyy is just getting started and there’s nowhere to go except up. – Tyler Borland
Hometown: Providence, Rhode Island
Recommended Tracks: "JELEEL JUICE!" "SOMEONE!" "ASSASSIN"
Spotify Monthlies: 81,087
JELEEL! quite simply makes crazy music. Ever since his first release in 2018, JEELEEL! has blessed listeners with a steady, consistent stream of releases that not only push the boundaries of hip hop, but also showcase his highly stylized brand. Blending aspects of rock, trap, drill, and afrobeats, JELEEL! is paving his own way in the industry and not looking back. It is rare for an artist to achieve the level of consistency that JELEEL! has from his very first release, which makes me even more excited to hear what he has in store for us in the future. His first single "Glo Up" flows seamlessly into his newest release, "JELEEL JUICE!," as both feature raw, yet melodic vocals accompanied by equally distorted and smooth production. "JELEEL JUICE!," released on July 30th, 2021, is a feel-good bop that boasts raw energy and creativity, perfect to slap on at any worthy social gathering.
One of the most intriguing aspects of JELEEL! is his willingness to experiment with different voices and different beats. Tracks like ‘BIG BAD!’ are slowed-down, trap bangers, while tracks like "Attention!" are utterly unique and can only be described as fitting JELEEL!’s sound. JELEEL!’s tone is reminiscent of Trippie Redd, 6ix9ine, and XXXTENTACION, all while being undeniably him. When a new JELEEL! song drops, we have no idea how it will sound, but we do know that it will slap. It’s unclear exactly what JELEEL has in store for us, but ‘JELEEL JUICE!’ is a clear indication that this highly energized artist is showing no signs of slowing down. – Phin Choukas
Hometown: Auckland, NZ
Recommended Track: "Let It Go"
Spotify Monthlies: 1,925
As most of us know well, it’s not uncommon for TikTok to spawn some of the top trending musicians. Megan Thee Stallion, Olivia Rodrigo, and Arizona Zervas are just the tip of the iceberg. Less common however, is Will Swinton’s story. Comic turned musician, Will Swinton harnessed the power of his humor through TikTok to amass hundreds of thousands of followers before announcing he was entering the music sphere.
Now, after only one release, he has already proved his talents extend past TikTok. Landing somewhere in between Post Malone and Aries, Swinton’s debut single “Let It Go” sets the tone for the self-produced artist for an exciting career ahead. Creating a distinct sound for himself through polished production and raw melodic delivery, Swinton defines his potential as extraordinary. We’re excited to see what’s next from the Swinton in his upcoming release titled “Cocaine,” set to drop on August 31st. – Miles Opton
Hometown: Fort Lauderdale, FL
Recommended Tracks: "Money" "Play Too Much" "Placebo" "69 Camaro"
Spotify Monthlies: 645,607
In a vogue era of self-love and affirmations, Kyle Dion is a trailblazer. With soulful undertones providing the backbone of every track, Dion has created a growing aura around his R&B crooning and measured songwriting.
Dion recently released his single, "Money," the first off his upcoming album, showing an unrestrained side to his vocal talents and personality. Since it's drop, "Money" has managed to dominate my listening habits, shamelessly abusing the repeat feature on Spotify. Perhaps it's Dion's pure vocal tone, or maybe his clever vernacular? No, no, probably the heartfelt pitch-perfect falsettos and chord progressions that keep bringing me back. Ok, you get the point. Kyle Dion came out swinging with his album's lead single – which if this direction is any indication of what's to come – we're in for a treat. Not to mention, he's already caught attention for his playfully uptempo 2020 single, "Play Too Much," featuring Duckwrth and UMI, and his indie-leaning 2021 release "Placebo," featuring industry veteran Ja Rule. Backed by the AWAL machine, it feels like Kyle Dion is on the verge of breaking into the mainstream conscious.
Only time will tell, but I have a feeling it won't be too long. For NY natives, you can catch Dion perform at Elsewhere's Rooftop on September 22nd, a venue known for bringing in the hottest rising talent. Dive in to Dion's highly addicting, "Money," below, and welcome to the Lineup, Mr. Dion. – Perry Avgerinos
Hometown: Hot Springs, Arkansas
Recommended Tracks: "Don't Recommend" "On the Loose" "Thought"
Spotify Monthlies: 17,583
Music may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Arkansas, but thanks to Reagan Capaci – that may change soon. Home to Johnny Cash and Kari Faux, the pantheon of Arkansas musicians grows this year with the addition of the young singer/songwriter, who has been making waves recently with her sultry and eclectic style. Synthesizing elements of R&B, soul, and pop music into one harmonious package, Reagan Capaci is a living testament to the age-old adage that change is natural – and in her case, that’s a beautiful thing.
Though she’s been making music over the past few years, Reagan Capaci’s burgeoning-yet-devoted fan base exploded almost overnight due to her gaining T-Pain’s nod of approval on one of her most recent tracks “Don’t Recommend." It’s not hard to see why, her voice is just as forward thinking as the track’s mix – featuring thundering bass signals and mechanical hi-hats that serve as the perfect foundation for Reagan’s effortlessly primed vocals. It’s the kind of song that you might hear when out at the club, or maybe on your midnight drive – and like “Don’t Recommend” itself, Reagan’s infectious style is just as dynamic as it is understated.
Though 2021 is certainly shaping up to be Reagan Capaci’s year, tracks like 2020’s “Attachment” with Jr Aquino and Venus showcase a more low-key side of the Arkansas prodigy. It’s a little jazzy, a little soul-inspired, and Reagan’s D’Angelo-esque falsetto is so smooth, it practically seeps out of your speakers. “Let Me” is another neo-soul-type-banger from Reagan, with her holding nothing back over a jazz-piano mix that sounds like it could have been produced by Knxwledge in secret.
Whether you are a fan of her more poppy cuts like “Pop Tarts," or of her more vulnerable and heartfelt ballads like “THIS ISN’T ABOUT YOU” with Moflo Music, we can all agree that Reagan’s voice carries a unique vocal timbre that stays stuck in your head long after the song is over. Equally full of swagger and promise, Reagan Capaci is an artist that needs to be on your radar this year. With more music likely planned for the remainder of 2021 – consider this a strong suggestion for you to not be late to one of music’s brightest rising stars. Take some time to dive into her back catalog, and you’ll see exactly what I mean. – Carter Fife
Hometown: Upper Marlboro, Maryland
Recommended Tracks: "Realize" "Pink Roses" "Batman"
Spotify Monthlies: 13,157
Many critics believe that the genre of rap has become oversaturated with artists copying each other’s style and biting other artists’ flow. However, every once in a while, you come across an artist who feels like a breath of fresh air, disproving those critics. SportVVS is that artist. The 20-year-old Maryland native – born Samuel Atkins – continues to show why he is destined to take over the rap game with his infectious new release “Realize.” The addictive melody and attention-grabbing intro have propelled the song to rack up over 315,000 streams on Spotify in less than a year. SportVVS has kept busy over the past two years – he’s dropped an album, an EP, and numerous singles. With each release, he displays his ever-expanding sound and his versatility as an artist. Having been compared to other artists like SSGKobe and SoFaygo, SportVVS has shown lots of promise in his young career. There is no doubt that he will continue to pave his own way to the top. Don’t sleep on SportVVS, you’ll regret it. – Nate Fenningdorf