Rising Artists to Watch in 2019

2018 has been a rich year for music as has expanded the limits of its genre, style, and more. With the start of 2019, learn more about who will expand and lead the music scene for this year.

The Sound is a column on all things music written by Charles Park (’20) and Mark Park (’20). -Ed.

Zacari is a new signee of the most prominent Indie Label, Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE) which consists of artists such as Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock, SZA, and more. Comparing himself as the “lone wolf,” Zacari delivers a new style of music—an amalgamation of Jazz, Soul, Hip-Hop, and lo-fi. The R&B singer first appeared in the public by featuring in Kendrick Lamar’s song “Love.” The song gained significant spotlight due to his mellifluous voice and unique R&B beats style. Then, he featured in the song “Redemption,” Black Panther album, one of the best Original Soundtrack for 2018 consisting of major artists such as Kendrick Lamar, Travis Scott, Khalid, and Swae lee. Recently, in 2019, he posted his first single, “Don’t Trip,” which has been on the rise for popularity in all music streaming services. The new single has already been appraised by critics, gleaming hope for his upcoming project many TDE fans.

Prominent songs: Don’t trip, Love, and Wat’s wrong

Source:XXL Magazine

The French DJ was already producing with major artists such as Kanye West, A$AP Rocky, Daft Punk from 2013; however, the public did not know him as he worked behind the spotlight of these artists. The recent album, “My Dear Melancholy,” by The Weekend solely features Gesaffelstein, gaining attention from the public. Following his feature, he releases a new single in collaboration with The Weekend, topping the charts. Unlike other EDM and techno artists, he carries a dark and threatening yet enchanting style of music. Finding himself in the public more than usual, many are keeping an eye on his punk-rock EDM music.

Prominent Songs: Lost in the Fire (feat. Weekend), Pursuit, Viol

Source: BBC

The South Korean Hip-hop duo XXX-rapper Kim Ximya and producer FRNK-is an outlier in any Hip-hop scene. Rather than gaining popularity from Korea, they first caught the eye of the international community. In 2017, they were the first Koreans to feature in Maison Kitsune Fashion Show playlist for its after work exhibitions. Despite their relative silence with only two album releases, XXX is considered as one of the most subversive hip-hop groups. Working with frenetic electro beats and dark and vitriolic style, the duo continues to be on the rise while being the outlier in the music industry.

Prominent songs: Flight Attendant, Sujak, Dior Homme, and Ooh-Ahh

XXX ÈüÇÕ µà¿À ÀÎÅͺä. ¹ÚÇö±¸ ±âÀÚphko@heraldcorp.com/ 2017.06.15
Source: The Korea Herald

Starting from a home-made youtube channel that remixes popular songs, Aries only has 8 songs released, yet most of the songs were able to rack up 1 million streams on Spotify. Merging late-stage emo and modern hip-hop, his music delivers a wide range of emotion such as rage and sadness in a flip of a dime. There’s not a lot of information about Aries, yet his music is a paradigm of the current trend in rap music-emo. However, unlike Lil peep and other emo-artists, his songs feature some light moments, establishing a diverse spectrum of his style.

Prominent Songs: Carousel, Racecar, Sayonara

Source: Youtube

Though an underground musician, Masego continues to establish a strong fan base, transforming avid, hardcore hip-hop fans into fans of jazz and soul. With his hit song, “Tadow,” Masego represents the younger generation of jazz hip-hop (as jazz was one of the most used genres in hip-hop beats by many hip hop legends). Collaborating with few R&B and unique artists such as TDE’s SiR, Masego’s style soothes out every R&B song.. Employing modern DJ sets and his iconic saxophone, his music has the elements and formula to become one of the most funk-styled artists such as Outkast.

Prominent Songs: Navajo, Pink Polo, and Tadow


Ella Mai
With her first debut album, “Ella Mai,” two of her songs were nominated for Grammys; moreover, her song, “Boo’d up,” was considered as a ‘breakthrough hit’ by charting in the Billboards. Although Ella Mai may be considered as a typical now-days R&B singer, she is able to have the perception of 90’s heartthrob emotions with break-up anthems, soulful ballads. In other words, she was an affinity for classic R&B artists. The already bright start of her debut album illustrates the bright future of her career, hyping many R&B fans.

Prominent songs: Trip, Boo’d Up, Whatchamacallit, Everything

Source: Billboard

Blueface has stirred almost all hip hop community debating about his style and controversy. Coming from the Crip gang, the Los Angeles Bluface represents the younger generation of gangster rap with the mix of trap and trendy beats. The carelessness and young energy engendered by the rapper attracted many younger followers to his fanbase. Most of his beats conform to the trend; however, his offbeat flow is what catches Internet’s attention, polarizing many rappers and fans. Consequently, the stirred controversy left the young rapper in the spotlight, getting co-signs by Drake, Lil Uzi Vert, and other artists (even Kendrick Lamar took Twitter to acknowledge his young presence).

Prominent Songs: Thotiana, Bleed it, and Studio

Source: Youtube

Appearing as the third Korean artist in the Colors Studio-an aesthetic music platform channel in Youtube-the R&B singer Colde is on the rise in the Hip-hop scene. Originally, Colde was in the OFFONOFF hip-hop duo; however, he currently came off as an independent artist, fully revealing his talents. Having a strong connection with mainstream artists such as Dean, Crush, and Punchnello, Colde continues to dominate the Korean music charts. Similar to Dean and DPR Live who both performed in the Colors Studio, Colde continues to build an international fanbase.

Prominent Songs: Your Dog Loves You, Poem, String

Source: Pinterest

As the newest member of the indie label TDE (along with Zacari), the Compton native Reason is one of the most anticipated rapper this year. His debut album, “There You Have It,” fully divulges his true rhyming skills, accounting his life story of how his come-up from Compton. Similar to major artists in TDE such as Jay Rock and Kendrick Lamar, Reason excels in telling his success story and the struggles of his neighborhood.

Prominent songs: Better Dayz, Situations, and There You Have it

Source: Rolling Out

2018 has already been a bright year for avid hip-hop and R&B fans. Rising artists topping Billboard hits with singles, not to mention old artists making a come back to the music industry. There are a handful of others that deserve this title and achieved more last year (such as all the members in 88rising Entertainment) yet these artists seem to hold the most amount of potential. All of them holds the prospect of being able to expand the limits of music.

Featured Image Source: Complex

Mark Park (’20)

The Anatomy of the Sports Luxe Trend

For decades, couture fashion has seen the most ornate and intricate styles. On runways and streets (especially during Fashion Week) alike, high-fashion icons and moguls strut around in high-heels and flowing skirts. Now, designers have taken classic sports-wear to the spotlight, with upgraded footwear and clothing.

The iconic Adidas Stan Smiths are worn by off-duty models and every day people alike, and its rising popularity has made this shoe almost a fashion-staple. (Laia Magazine)

We all recognize the classic Adidas Stan Smiths, a shoe originally launched in 1963 by the brand Adidas, which has most recently hit its peak in popularity. It’s been worn by bloggers, models, and celebrities all over the world, even in the world’s famed fashion hub Paris. However, items like these weren’t always so sought after. The Stan Smiths had been taken down from Adidas’s market in 2012 due to its unsuccessful performance in the markets. So what did start this sudden desire for comfortable yet stylish wear?


With the current rage over living new and healthy lifestyles, many have taken on different aspects of their lives to adopt habits help people balance between a work and social life. What better way to do that than exercise? Everyday there are advertisements for new workout regiments like cross-fit and yoga, new diets consisting completely of greens, and of course, sportswear for people to wear during their work-outs.


Just a few years ago it would be considered condemnable in the fashion industry to be seen wearing a hoodie and sneakers in public. While of course designers have taken such staples up a notch, it is now considered highly stylish and sensible to be walking around in a pair of Nike Roshes. The idea of sports luxe clothing is that we are all so busy, so occupied that there is little time to change from work to athletic clothing- so why not purchase attire that can function as both?


Granted, no average man or woman would wear $400 leggings on a run– just imagine the sweat that would ruin the clothing! But such apparel does help convey the idea that we all live in such productive, engaged, and robust lives- an image that is undeniably alluring.


The trend has also meant an increased number of designs inspired by varsity sportswear- on skirts, button downs, and especially on school jackets, are the classic double-lines and contrasting colours that signify of athleticism. Even in KIS, many sport their navy and white varsity jackets with pride, not only for their symbols of accomplishment but also for their simultaneous versatility and comfort.


There are multiple ways to easily incorporate this trend into your wardrobe. Here are some of Blueprint’s favorite tips:


  • Sport Fanciful Sneakers

One of the easiest ways to take on the sports luxe trend is to wear a pair of sneakers. They don’t have to be your classic wear-and-tear canvas shoes- brands like Chanel and Ash have turned this casual piece into some of the most intricate parts of an outfit, by using rich materials like tweed and leather, and adding special details like studs and glitter. Pair these sneakers with a simple tee and jeans, and you’ll be done with your look.

Screen Shot 2015-12-05 at 3.24.00 PM

  • Refurbish Your Casual Sweatshirts

Sweatshirts are arguably the comfiest tops one could wear on a casual day in- but that doesn’t mean you have to wear your old, torn, and faded grey shirt from a few years ago. High and low end brands from Kenzo to Forever 21 have released the classic terry-cloth sweatshirts with a few major modifications, like bright neon colours and quirky emblems. Some brands like Alexander Wang have even taken them a step further, by using materials like mesh and sequins to further glamorize their sweatshirts. Now, sweatshirts aren’t just for days in, but can also be worn on formal occasions out.

Screen Shot 2015-12-05 at 3.26.34 PM

  • Refuse to Sacrifice Comfort with Joggers

Who ever said baggy pants were meant to be pajamas? One truly can go creative with this style. From all out sequins to bohemian prints to tough leather, several designers have reproduced this baggy pant using different materials, allowing for people to strut in comfort while keeping their edge.

London Fashion Week SS16, Day 1

  • Look for Graphic Cuts and Stretchy Materials

Halter necks and high-neck-but-short-sleeve tops instantly give an outfit a sports-chic touch. But to further enhance the look, search for color-blocking or materials like neoprene, mesh, or jersey- anything normally related to activewear and athletics. When done right, such details will not only give off a cool laid-back vibe, but will also instantly give the impression of sleek class.

  • Sports Luxe Doesn’t Mean to Abandon, But to Upgrade!

Embracing the sports luxe trend doesn’t mean to ditch all of your fanciest clothing and wear ragged sweatpants 24/7. Sports luxe means to compromise comfort with style, adorning your more lax pieces with little details that make them high-fashion. Pair your joggers with heels, or Nikes with a dress, because mixing the different styles really is what gives an outfit dimension and interest, and after all, we all like to be a bit fancy and comfy at the same time.  

– Seiyeon Park (’17)

Featured Image: Opsh