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The Lineup: The Best 6 Artists of May 2021

Perry Avgerinos
Design by Andy Regos

We're back with our May Lineup – featuring the best 6 rising artists each month. With a diverse mix of sounds and styles, get familiar with the faces behind the music industry's next wave. Learn more about all six artists below.

Showjoe

Hometown: Reston, Virginia

Recommended Tracks: "Derek Jeter" "Batman n Robin" "Stuck In Place"

Spotify Monthlies: 24,142

Showjoe - Sheesh May Lineup 2021

After releasing 48 songs in 2020 and locking away many more in his vault, Showjoe has demonstrated an unmatched work ethic. Comparing his project Weirdo released in May, and his 8 track album Life Before Love released in late July, the jump in quality after a few short months is equally stark and impressive. Despite the apparent improvements, there’s always been a raw, undeniable charism in Showjoe’s music dating back to his self titled project in 2019, which caught eyes on Soundcloud. Now coming about it in a more refined state, Showjoe’s last two singles have climbed to the top of his catalogue in a few short weeks.

Showjoe’s recent success can be attributed to both the relentless consistency he’s put in, but also a significant boost in TikTok engagement. After multiple videos popping from teasing “Batman n Robin” on TikTok, the 18 year old from Virginia has continued to post snippets on his account – and the consistent viewership he’s gained is impressive to say the least. With plenty of ammo for 2021 and with the help of super producer Supahmario, keep an eye out for a meteoric rise from Showjoe. - Timothy Weber

Mai Anna

Hometown: Queens, NY

Recommended Tracks: "FWU"

Spotify Monthlies: 1,447

Mai Anna - Sheesh May Lineup 2021

Queens, NY native Mai Anna is a 20 year old Harvard student. And as if that’s not impressive enough, she’s got the songwriting and vocal prowess of an industry mogul. Intertwining classic R&B vibes, soul, and pop, Mai Anna creates songs that flow effortlessly – her vocals like velvet over smooth beats. A self-described audio engineer, multi-instrumentalist, and creative director, Mai Anna’s vision is entirely her own. Playing with themes of young love, relationship frustration, and self-reflection, Mai Anna’s lyricism is relatable and comforting with a sonic quality that evokes a warm summer night in the city.

With only three official tracks out – two of which were released this Spring, Mai Anna is already attracting attention. “DUBBIN,’” complete with a self-made music video, features the singer-songwriter crooning about overthinking in a relationship to a laid back melody. Despite the frustration behind the lyrics, the song itself is a beautiful listen – perfectly peaceful and rhythmic. Meanwhile, her latest single, “FWU” takes a more upbeat route, capturing the butterflies and happiness that comes with a new crush. With a strong R&B influence, the catchy track features smooth verses and a chorus you won’t be able to get out of your head. Mai Anna’s musical vision has only just been introduced. And it’s been a strong introduction at that. She’s proven her potential, and we won’t be taking our eyes (and ears) off of her. - Audrey Brandes

Quail P

Hometown: Macclenny, FL

Recommended Tracks: "Alone" "Charlamagne" "What You Got"

Spotify Monthlies: 13,382

Quail P - Sheesh May Lineup 2021

If you’re a Georgia State fan, then you probably already know of Quail P, since he was formerly a running back for the football team. After opting to leave the team simultaneously at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic with goals of pursuing his career as an artist, Quail P is quickly proving he made the right decision.

With the recent release of his album, Who is Quail?, he has been able to build a new reputation for himself musically, with his captivating melodic verses, and instrumentally driven trap sound. The album displays his artistic range, all while sustaining a cohesive uplifting and motivational tone throughout, co-existing with the progressiveness of each track as a cohesive project. A standout from the album is the song, “What You Got,” displaying Quail P’s effortless storytelling abilities. His vocals sound extremely organic and authentic, which allows listeners to feel the lust, love, and desperation in his voice.

Quail P is just getting started with his music career and is showing that he means business with his impressive debut album drop in March. He's built a strong introduction and foundation as a hip-hop artist so far and his combination of melodic tones with heavy 808’s gives listeners a sound that is uniquely Quail P's. As I anxiously await more new music from him, stay in touch with Quail P on Instagram and dive into "Alone" below. - Rachel Guttman

Abby Bella May

Hometown: Sydney, AU

Recommended Tracks: "Bindii Patch" "Drive-in Movie" "Alien"

Spotify Monthlies: 37,804

Abby Bella May - Sheesh May Lineup 2021

Abby Bella May is one of the most interesting listens in the incoming scene. Her music is often exciting, bright, and poppy, mixed with various indie, bedroom, electro, and hyperpop influences in all the best ways. While this may sound like a jumble of things, it works in the best way possible. On top of this unpredictable mesh comes a lush vocal performance fronting every song that makes it that much more enjoyable.

With only a single and EP in the bucket, she’s already proven to be one to watch out for. In her latest release with EP I Am Sensitive, she wastes no time in showing you her abilities and variety. What starts as a pure indie pop tone, quickly transformers into the ensemble of sounds she’s so great at bouncing between. Her songwriting abilities should not go unmentioned though, writing about vulnerable topics like not being enough for someone, finding yourself stuck in a rut, or missing that special someone. They’re all as intimate as she’ll let them be, but no matter the moment: you feel what she feels.

I for one could not be anymore excited to watch her continue to thrive the rest of the year. Personally, she’s already an artist to watch explode in 2022. If you’re a fan of any of the single genres mentioned, you’ll definitely find yourself a fan of Abby Bella May. Especially if you take my advice and start off with one of the recommended tracks. - Seba Cowsill

Rodney

Hometown: Toronto, CA

Recommended Tracks: "Lockdown" "Don't Talk" "Fast Lane"

Spotify Monthlies: 9,638

Rodney - Sheesh May Lineup 2021

With only three singles under his belt, it’s rare that an upcoming artist is able to generate as much buzz as Rodney. Hailing from Toronto, Rodney’s music synthesizes rare elements from different genres to create seamlessly original and infectious hits that will have you eying that ‘repeat’ button instantly. Released late last month, Rodney’s newest single “Lockdown” is a breath of fresh air – albeit somewhat ironically. He ruminates on emotional and personal tension over an ambient and ethereal R&B banger. With a steady and spacious mix decorated with trap percussion, “Lockdown” sees Rodney delivering his signature smooth and melodic vocals, polished perfectly with laid-back energy. In a year that has been frankly lacking in major R&B releases, “Lockdown” is the perfect track for fans of Roy Woods, PND, and Ty Dolla $ign.

Rodney’s two prior singles, “Fast Lane” and “Don’t Talk” work well in adding another dimension to Rodney’s rare creative artistry. Released back in 2019, “Fast Lane” has more of an alt-rock/pop feel to it, but just like “Lockdown," this track’s minimalistic composition serves as the ideal foundation for him to flourish alongside guest vocalist Lexxie. The two of them also trade verses on “Don’t Talk," where their raw and earnest vocal performances are complemented by the mixes they sing over. Though fans are certain to love “Fast Lane,” “Don’t Talk” has the coolest arpeggiated melodies that make it optimal for breezy summer days or weekend excursions with your friends.

With the visual for “Lockdown” out now, consider this to be a fitting time to become a Rodney fan before he blows up. Having already amassed a solid fanbase across his social platforms, it’s only a matter of time until he breaks into the commercial spotlight. If you need me before then, you can find me waiting patiently for new music with the “Lockdown” visual on repeat. Give it a listen and watch it enter your weekly rotation immediately. - Carter Fife


faang

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

Recommended Tracks: "Satellites" "Rockstar" "Anybody Reading This"

Spotify Monthlies: 12,284

faang - Sheesh May Lineup 2021

Made up of members Ky Newman and Luke Haeger, faang sets themselves apart from contemporaries through their eclectic blend of styles and an equal emphasis on creating a visual world around them. faang combines elements from just about every corner of music from hip hop to electronic to indie rock. Going into each new faang track, it’s impossible to know what to sonically expect. However, the one commonality between every faang song is the catchy songwriting and disregard for traditional genre categorization.

Their debut project Get Wrecked pulls in listeners through its wide diversity of sounds and consistent quality. Quickly following up this debut, faang dropped two singles: “Satellites” and “Anybody Reading This.” If Get Wrecked is faang building an artistic foundation, then these two singles are them hitting a creative stride and showing their massive potential.

“Anybody Reading This” is faang’s catchiest song to date and a perfect place to start for those trying to dive into their discography. “Satellites” is equally as captivating. Its instrumental is ominous and atmospheric with fast-paced drums climactically building throughout the track. It’s difficult to predict where faang will go next, but their past material shows that it’s well worth anticipating. - Tyler Borland

Check back in next month for June's Lineup, only on Sheesh. For weekly new artists, see our Friday Finds updates on Spotify.

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