Give me 5... Emerging music artists


By Sasha Shuttleworth


Need some new music to freshen up your Spotify playlists? Here are five up-and-coming music artists to bring you just that, and more:

1. Dounia


Beginning her career as a plus size model at the age of 16, Dounia has used her social media to forge a powerful, rebellious image and an environment in which her dedicated fans can interact with her directly. She has created her music independently, for the most part styling, directing and editing her own visuals. Her verses speak on disengaging with the competitive nature of social media and appreciating and valuing yourself and your culture. She has always written her own lyrics and produced her own beats, garnering critical acclaim. Try ‘Tough Candy’, ‘If You Wanna’ or ‘Rich Girl Mood’, her collaboration with Khelani, to start with.

2. Cleo Sol


London based Cleo Sol started making music in her teens but chose to take a five year break in which to grow and develop as a person. Her 2017 track ‘Why Don’t You’ has been picking up more and more traction over the last year (as it should, it’s brilliant). Her music has a heady atmosphere: her lyrics envelop you and her harmonies are second to none.  Check out her latest release ‘Sweet Blue’ to see what I’m talking about.

3. Sophia Harari


Manchester born self-proclaimed ‘neo-neo soul’ artist Sophia Harari reflects on her experiences as a young woman negotiating her place in the world. Drawing influence from Souad Massi Desmond Dekker and Lauryn Hill her latest release ‘Go to Hell’ is an open letter to an ex lover: the lyrics are funny and passionate, as she deconstructs their attempts to belittle her during the relationship.

4. Sho Madjozi


Sho Madjozi is a rapper from South Africa whose 2018 Album ‘Limpop Champions League’ has been her most talked about release to date. Her quick, upbeat MO is consistent: known for her incredible style and formidable flow, she’s definitely one to watch. Check out Wa Penga Na? featuring Kwesta and Makwa.

5. Leikeli47


Brooklyn-born rapper Leikeli47 combines humour and confidence as she raps about her life and identity as a black woman. She’s quick, witty and thoughtful, telling stories and detailing her preconceptions regarding how she expects to be received in her lyrics, which include proud declarations like ‘historically black, I wear that on my sleeve’. You have probably heard her single ‘Money’ which features in the film ‘Booksmart’, or ‘Fuck the Summer Up’, featured on Jay Z’s 2016 playlist (which took it’s title from the track). If you want to see her at her best check out her NPR Tiny Desk concert - it’s not to be missed.

Words by
Sasha Shuttleworth

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