Best New Artists of 2018

Ella Mai “Boo’d Up,” Bad Bunny got down w/ Cardi B

BY: Georgia Davis

Every year, a slew of artists enter the music word and bless listeners’ ears with beautiful melodies and catchy flows. 2018 was no exception. We were introduced to hot up-and-coming talent that will hopefully make appearances on our Spotify playlists for years to come. Here are the best new artists of 2018 and why you should be watching out for them in 2019:

Bad Bunny

Latino artist Bad Bunny has had one hell of a year. The rapper, who is from Puerto Rico, collaborated with some of the biggest names in the industry. He earned his first No. 1 atop Billboard’s Hot 100 chart for his feature on Cardi B’s “I Like It,” and his song with Drake on “MIA peaked at No. 8.

Bad Bunny’s year started with a collaboration with Enrique Iglesias, which earned a spot on PROVOKR’s list of sexiest songs of the year. It’s safe to say Bad Bunny has achieved true stardom in 2018.

Ella Mai

Ella Mai released her self-titled album in October. Until then, the British R&B artist had only released EPs. It takes some artists from the U.K. years to gain popularity in the U.S.; the fact Mai did that on her first album is impressive. People might recognize Mai from The X Factor. She auditioned as part of girl group Arize in 2014, which disbanded shortly after a first-round rejection.

But Mai didn’t need to be in a group to be successful. Her album peaked at No. 5 on the Hot 200 and her single “Boo’d Up” peaked at No. 5 on the Hot 100. Mai made her Saturday Night Live debut when Steve Carell hosted on Nov. 17.

Dua Lipa

Though Dua Lipa released her first studio album in June 2017, the British singer-songwriter made headway in 2018. She gained her first top-10 hit in February with “New Rules” and collaborated with DJ-producer Calvin Harris on “One Kiss.” The sexy singer’s year was topped off with two Grammy nominations, including one for Best New Artist.

Bebe Rexha

Also up for Best New Artist at the 2019 Grammys, Bebe Rexha had a top-10 hit under her belt before her first studio album Expectations was released in November. The bombshell was featured on Florida Georgia Line’s “Meant To Be,” which hit No. 3 on the Hot 100. In July, Rexha released a video for her single “I’m a Mess,” which has more than 192 million views on YouTube.

Greta van Fleet

This all-men rock group has been dubbed the new Led Zeppelin. Though it’s really hard to compare to one of the greatest rock bands of all time, Greta van Fleet sure knows how to write a rock song. The band cranked out 19 songs that went on the near-full length album From the Fires and 11-track album Anthem of the Peaceful Army. Those two albums were released less than a year apart. The family band comprising twin brothers Josh and Jake Kiska, younger brother Sam Kiska and longtime friend Danny Wagner, the 19- to 22-year-olds were nominated for Best New Artist at the Grammys.