Artists Under 21 Can Rock
By Erin Christie,
Within recent years, the music industry has been buzzing with fresh young faces eager to make their mark and share their passion for music with the world (and doing so successfully, at that). During this year alone, it has become clear that despite being under twenty-one, many young artists are beginning to grab the music industry directly by the reigns. They are releasing unforgettable tracks and setting up the beginnings of meaningful careers in the “music biz.” Among the many dedicated and driven artists to take their chances in the studio, listed below is a short rundown of current artists under the age of twenty-one who have proven that they are more than capable of making a statement just as loud as their elders.
Clairo (Claire Cottrill)
Claire Cottrill, known most notably by her pseudonym, Clairo, has recently taken the world by storm by simply being herself and doing what she loves. She began by posting mixes and simple beats that she made with no intention of gaining traction, and they quickly did just that, only skyrocketing her forward ever since. Cottrill, a freshman at Syracuse University in upstate New York, has continued to branch out in terms of her craft, releasing her mind-blowingly wonderful singles “Flaming Hot Cheetos,” “Pretty Girl,” and more on her Spotify and Soundcloud, each gaining upwards of about 300,000- 600,000 plays each. These major accomplishments for the rising starlet only give way to her evident future success within the industry.
Billie Eilish, barely breaking sixteen, has stepped onto the scene within recent months. Despite her relatively new stance within this massive industry, she has still managed to make MAJOR waves, which cannot be ignored. Her angelic voice and wonderful stage presence to match, Eilish’s star-studded future is nearly set in stone, the release of her debut EP, "Don’t smile at me", only revealed how big of a power-house she already is and was destined to be. Having recently been signed to Interscope Records, Eilish has already gained a large following despite the short amount of time that she has been around, a true testament to her raw talent. Following the release of her debut single, “Ocean Eyes,” which drew the audience's attention, Eilish has only been skyrocketing since, setting her up for even further success in the future leading up to the release of her debut album.
Declan McKenna has gained international acclaim and support within the last few years, most notably following the release of one of his earliest singles, “Brazil,” which met praise in late 2014. McKenna, barely nineteen, is riding on the coattails of the release of his debut record through Columbia Records, What Do You Think About the Car? and grabs the attention of listeners everywhere with his beautiful unconventional sound and charisma. McKenna has proven his musical prowess through his incredible quality, allowing him to gain support from notable artists such as Cage the Elephant. Declan, especially eager to play his heart out - while facing injury and backlash in the process - has shown tenacity in the face of adversity. His career is bound to only go upwards from here.
Originating from Los Angeles, California, The Regrettes have taken major steps towards securing their place amongst fellow rising stars, making a true statement regarding the newly developing modern- day punk scene. The band came together during their time in music school and consists of the lead singer Lydia Night, guitarist Genessa Gariano, drummer Maxx Morandom, and bassist Sage Chavis. These four west coast locals have entered the ranks with a loud bang: They released their debut record Feel Your Feelings Fool!, with Warner Bros. Records, in January of 2017. The record was met with only praise and approval from the local scene and fans worldwide. Despite their inexperience in the industry thus far, the Regrettes seem to be revving the pop-punk genre, which is a major feat at such a young age.
Lorde (Ella Yelich- O’Connor)
Having kept her fans waiting for quite some time following the incredible release of her debut album, Pure Heroine, at only age 15, Ella Yelich- O’Connor, more well known by her stage name, Lorde, has recently returned like a phoenix rising from the ashes, which is a relief to fans everywhere. She gained extreme prominence following her debut to the scene and double Grammy wins in 2013. Now at twenty years old, she has been immediately accepted back into the community with open arms receiving endless and well-deserved recognition for her incredible vocal ability and stage presence. Far from a newcomer to the Billboard Hot 100, Lorde has continued to gain listeners every passing day, racking up an immense amount of followers, holistic plays on her sophomore record, Melodrama, which is BEYOND amazing — It came from a collaboration that she had with the talented Jack Antonoff from the bands, Bleachers, and FUN. These are all admirable accomplishments for someone as young as she.
Khalid (Khalid Robinson)
Soon-to-be setting off on an international tour with Lorde, nineteen-year-old Khalid Robinson has also begun to gain a large following. He is most well-known for his well-received debut single, “Location,” which peaked at number sixteen on the US Billboard Hot 100 and was later certified as platinum. His debut album, American Teen, has gained quite a significant amount of traction within the past few months since its release in April 2017, which allowed him to complete his first headlining tour and appear on late-night talk shows such as The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. These are a major set of accomplishments for the Georgia-native, who only recently graduated from high school. With the attention gained from his increased following, Khalid has only faced success, following in the footsteps of his biggest musical inspirations, such as Kendrick Lamar, A$AP Rocky, and Frank Ocean.
Being twenty- one is known as the time when a person’s official growth into adulthood and maturity takes form. However, these artists have beat the odds, proving that their talent and dedication are just as strong as the artists who are ahead of them in terms of years. As the years pass and the album cycles come and go, younger generations are coming onto the scene at, and as proven by the artists above, this is hardly a bad thing.