Smooth and soulful, yet creative, edgy and angry – New York’s unique and unparalleled character has inspired all manners of different musical dedications. From The Velvet Underground to The Talking Heads, from Blondie to Tupac, the list of New York’s musical gifts to the world is endless.
With artistic legends in all manner of genres, the Big Apple has proven a hotbed of musical talent for generations. This next batch of eager New Yorkers are hoping to take up the baton for the city that never sleeps.
Who: Julian Casablancas has described him as the “Future Prince of Anarchy”.
Sounds like: Edgy punk-driven angst on top of heavy, drum and bass beats. Signed to Cult Records, he’s only released one track so far, but it is packed with ferocious youthful angst.
For fans of: The Prodigy, Show Me The Body
Best track: ‘Take Down the House’
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Who: A pair of native, born and bred New Yorkers.
Sounds like: The perfect combination of the best New York bands in history, with a modern Kurt Vile-like twist. With their dual vocals and immediately uplifting chorus, QTY is quintessential New York indie rock.
For fans of: The Velvet Underground, The Strokes
Best track: ‘Rodeo’
Who: The Billboard record breaking, newly crowned Queen of Rap.
Sounds like: Bursting with edge and energy over trademark hip hop beats, Cardi B is New York’s latest hip hop star to make it to the big time. Less up-and-coming, and more the ‘here and now’ of New York rap.
For fans of: Nicki Minaj, Missy Elliot
Best track: ‘Bodak Yellow’
Who: Mysterious balaclava wearing producer from New Jersey.
Sounds like: Dark, brooding electro-pop. Combining equal parts psychedelic textures and dance-worthy beats. The music produced is as murky and obscure as its creator’s true identity.
For fans of: Mount Kimbie, SBKTRKT
Best track: ‘Phospholipid’
Who: Psych-soul invention of an adopted New Yorker.
Sounds like: Shimmering soundscapes drifting along effortlessly, for harking back to afternoons lazing around on sandy coastlines. Think carefree, summery vibes.
For fans of: The Beach Boys, Real Estate
Best track: Keeping U In Line
Who: Teenage MC who moved to the Big Apple in 2014.
Sounds like: Downbeat and direct rap verse, over hazy soulful beats and typically underground New York style lounge piano. An eclectic mix of his London and New York upbringing.
For fans of: Earl Sweatshirt, WIKI, Isaiah Rashad
Best track: ‘God’s With Me’
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GOD’S WITH ME by MIKE, released 06 June 2017
Words by Kai Feltham