11 Jan 2019

5 Artists You Need to Know in January

Check out the 5 artists you need to know in January, as selected by the Instrumental music scouting platform.

Our A&R scouting platform tracks over 460,000 artists and 5 million tracks on Spotify, highlighting artist momentum through dynamic audience reach data. Following our Tips for 2019, we’ve picked out our favourite fast-emerging artists for January.


Norwegian songwriter Lwam ‘Louam’ Feshatzion grew up favouring “gold-school” R&B from young female acts in the 90s and 00s. Taking this as inspiration for her early efforts, Louam has crafted her own sound around swaggering R&B beats and vocal hooks. Her energetic and playful modern R&B pop shines on new single “Body Loop”, with tight production work showcasing her stunning vocal. Set to release her debut album “Wreckless Love” on Thursday 14th February, Louam is one to watch this year.

Winning support from 18 influential Spotify playlists including Kitchen Swagger, Louam has over 2.4 million playlist followers this week, following a 976% 7-day increase. As she begins to turn first-time listeners into engaged fans, Louam’s direct following is growing at a rate of 10% (Instrumental Music Scouting Platform).

Cassette Tapes

San Francisco duo Cassette Tapes, made up of Jackson Stokes and Parker Livingston also come from musical upbringings, using life experience as the source of inspiration for their soulful and introspective, R&B infused electro-pop. Having only started making music in January 2018, they are exciting prospects moving into the New Year.

With features on 5 influential Spotify playlists, Cassette Tapes have enjoyed a surge in growth this month, picking up over 800,000 playlist followers. Their direct artist following has also just surpassed the 500 mark (Instrumental Music Scouting Platform).

Velvet Two Stripes

Back and louder than ever, with their first release since 2017, Velvet Two Stripes have released “Drinks”. Crediting Jack White for the spirit of Blues Rock in the past 15 years, the female four-piece also announced that they have banned electronic elements from their music. Having permanently swapped drum pads for a drum kit, “Drinks” is another explosive riff-heavy single, with nods to The Kills and Deap Vally.

“Drinks” has picked up plenty of support on Spotify, currently contributing over 4 million playlist followers to Velvet Two Stripes total. Their direct artist following also continues to grow at an impressive rate of 11% this week, taking them to a total of 902 (Instrumental Music Scouting Platform).


Calboy is one of the most exciting new names in hip-hop. Raised in the South Chicago suburb of Calumet City, the 19-year-old rapper faced a tough childhood. Surrounded by guns, gangs and drugs, whilst being the middle of five kids to a single Mum, Calboy is now using his music as an outlet for his early frustrations. His latest single “Envy Me” is a time capsule of that period and blew up after a viral dance challenge on TikTok was started. With melodic trap melodies and tight bars, Calboy looks set to capitalise on a huge end to 2018.

Calboy continues to fly on Spotify, with over 18 influential playlist features this week. Support from ‘Most Necessary’ and ‘Global Viral 50’, among other playlists has pushed his total playlist following to over 6.9 million. Also gaining over 1000 new followers this week, his total direct artist following is 7,246 (Instrumental Music Scouting Platform).

Emily Brimlow

California based, Canadian soul singer-songwriter Emily Brimlow has released her best single to date with “Hope”. Guided into the world of music by her father, an accomplished musician, she learnt guitar in her family home before travelling to Australia to share her music across the outback.

Aiming to connect people with her music, which she considers to be the universal language of love, her new single encapsulates her mission statement. Blending elements of R&B, soul and hip-hop, her uplifting vocal carries her latest single, radiating an honest sense of joy in the process.

Picking up features on Soft Pop Hits and Ppo Chillout among 9 influential Spotify playlists, Emily Brimlow has over 8.6 million playlist followers this week. This has also driven her direct artist following growth to 391, marking a 76.92% increase (Instrumental Music Scouting Platform).

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