Meet 2015’s Anti-“It” Girls Of Pop — From Niykee Heaton To Madison Beer
Admit it, 2015 has been one of the more blander years in recent memory with a wash of pop music that did not strike enough fire — well, save for a few notable stars (Carly Rae Jepsen, The Weeknd and Selena Gomez come to mind). But there are a select group of rising pop stars who shook up the industry and shown they have no business in being a part of Taylor Swift‘s ever-growing #squad — and we love them for that very reason!
From the clever sassiness of acts like Alessia Cara, the story-telling mentality of Halsey, the Lolita vibes of Melanie Martinez or the unabashed sex appeal of Niykee Heaton, these are ten ladies who are creating their own musical lane.
So turn the bass up on your speakers and get into our list (in no particular order) below!
1. Name: VÉRITÉ
Origin: Orange County, New York
Essential Song: “Wasteland”
Kicking off this list is a budding songstress who is making waves both in the Big Apple and beyond. VÉRITÉ first captured our attention when we premiered her electric “Weekend” single last summer. The singer/songwriter continued to build momentum in the pop world with solid sets at festivals like SXSW, which led to her ethereal second Sentiment EP that was the perfect vibe for the sweltering months. We’re crossing our fingers that a debut album is in the works soon!
2. Name: Madison Beer
Origin: Jericho, New York
Essential Song: “All For Love” feat. Jack & Jack
When a megastar like Justin Bieber is the reason behind your instant popularity, then you know you’re doing something right! But don’t let the haze of frenetic fangirls fool you — 16-year-old Madison Beer definitely has talent to boot. Thanks to Internet fame, she signed with Scooter Braun and nabbed a record deal with Island Def Jam. Sure Madison released cutesy songs like 2013’s “Melodies” and last year’s “Unbreakable,” but she proved her musical flexibility with mature and incredibly sultry dance tracks like the Jack & Jack-assisted “All For Love.” In our recent interview with the rising pop starlet, she revealed that a debut project is in the works and is more interested in R&B/pop.
3. Name: Seinabo Sey
Origin: Stockholm, Sweden
Essential Song: “Pretend”
This broodingly soulful chanteuse dropped her For Madeleine EP last year — which features tunes like “Hard Time” and “Pistols At Dawn” — and picked up a record deal at Virgin/Universal along the way. Now, Seinabo Sey is gearing up for the release of debut album Pretend (out October 23) that is led by the single of the same name. Here, the singer/songwriter shows her versatility by taking a quick step away from a previously sultry, moody vibe and diving into something more upbeat that is just on the brink of dance. It is a smart balance that makes us excited for her upcoming debut!
4. Name: Ryn Weaver
Origin: San Diego, California
Essential Song: “Octahate”
This next artist literally burst onto the pop scene last Fall with her Charli XCX-penned “Octahate” single, whose punchy, finger-snapping melodies had no choice but to grab your attention. Usually when a ubiquitous breakthrough tune drops like that seemingly out of nowhere, the artist will either crash and burn or continue to rise — and Ryn Weaver’s momentum is still riding strong. Thanks to a handful of festival appearances including SXSW and Coachella and her free-spirited debut release, the singer is proving that she is not The Fool after all.
5. Name: Halsey
Origin: Washington, New Jersey
Essential Song: “Ghost”
Ashley Frangipane, otherwise known as her music alter-ego Halsey, is a 20-year-old New Jersey native who first caught our eye last Fall when we premiered the first video version of her Room 93 EP tune — “Ghost.” Fast forward to almost a year later, and the visually-charged singer has released a killer debut album Badlands that broke out at No. 2 on the Billboard 200. Halsey also ranks as the year’s second-highest debut by a female artist, so the 21-year-old must be doing something right! The charts don’t lie…(well, sometimes).
6. Name: Niykee Heaton
Origin: Geneva, Illinois
Essential Song: “Infinity”
Don’t let her semi-NSFW Instagram profile fool you! Niykee Heaton is way more than her her boobs and ass, but she is also genius enough to use her frequently nude body as a promotional tool for her surprisingly awesome music. In the seductive midst of a thirst trap series, Niykee is the unofficial Soundcloud queen as she has dropped a handful of smoky, emotive singles — “Finessin,” “21 Grams,” “Say Yeah,” “Infinity,” etc. — that has now led up to The Bedroom Tour next month.
7. Name: FLETCHER
Origin: Wall Township, New Jersey
Essential Song: “War Paint”
FLETCHER seems to appear out of nowhere this summer, but we’re glad she came! Her monstrous “War Paint” single has everything a solid pop tune needs: heart-pounding drums, soaring synths, commanding yet slightly delicate vocals and a catchy hook. The budding singer, who describes her sound “as a mix between programmed and electronics elements with super organic earthy stuff,” revealed to us that a new EP is on the horizon.
8. Name: Alessia Cara
Origin: Toronto, Canada
Essential Song: “Here”
2015 has become the breakout year for this young Canadian starlet, and the weight of Alessia Cara‘s rising success falls on her booming debut single “Here” — one of the more memorable tracks from the past few months that was released back in April. Who knew being unapologetically anti-social could be so relatable (and also led to an incredibly charming Four Pink Walls EP)?
9. Name: Melanie Martinez
Origin: Baldwin, New York
Essential Song: “Pity Party”
Many may associate Melanie Martinez with her time on The Voice‘s third season or her awesomely creepy “Carousel” tune that themed the Freakshow season of American Horror Story, but the singer is carving her own unique and sticky-sweet name. The 20-year-old starlet combines coquettish, Lolita-esque visual charm with kitschy and slightly twisted melodic wonderment that is honestly quite a rarity in pop nowadays. Don’t believe me? Just look at her debut Cry Baby album, which popped up at No. 6 on the Billboard 200 its first week.
10. Name: Phoebe Ryan
Origin: Jersey by way of Texas
Essential Song: “Mine”
Rounding out our list is Phoebe Ryan, a singer who rocks lime-green hair with ease and has a delicate voice that was first heard on a slick mash-up of R. Kelly’s “Ignition” and Miguel’s “Do You,” before snagging a deal with Sony. Her breakout “Mine” single is a breath of fresh air (think a more subdued Ellie Goulding) is a bright insight of what’s to come on her debut EP. She also recently hit the road with Idolator favorites and dance party starters The Knocks for their Spring tour, which gives Phoebe additional cool points!