7 Eclectic Black Artists You Ought to Know

by Brittany Dawson

While many criticize artists of today’s generation for lack of lyrical integrity, colorlessness, and musicality, these 7 eclectic Black artists will lull you into a deep musical trance steeped in ingenuity, vibrant melodies, and substance. Ranging from neo soul, experimental, rap, and folk, each artist offers a unique effervescence guaranteed to leave an indelible impact on listeners worldwide.

Cold Specks

London based Al Spyx, otherwise known as Cold Specks, marries elements of r&b, soul, and indie/experimental to create a whirlwind of dark, haunting melodies guaranteed to enliven your soul.

Track to hear: “Holland” available on iTunes or Amazon

Jesse Boykins III

Elegantly dressed in vintage clothing, Jesse Boykins III vibrant charisma pours from track to track. Coupled with deeply moving vocals, 80s synth chords, and a vibe reminiscent of Robert Glasper Experiment and Dwele, Boykins is a must-have in your iTunes library.

Track to hear: “Tell Me (feat. Theophilus London )” available on iTunes and  Amazon

Laura Mvula

Originally trained in music composition, British soul tycoon Laura Mvula paints a beautifully orchestrated masterpiece imbued in polished piano licks, jazzy vocals, and a positive message.

Track to hear: “She” available on iTunes and Amazon

Lianne La Havas

Blending soul, folk, and indie, 25 year old Lianne La Havas’ angelic voice soars atop a medley of guitar riffs. Your ears will thank you later.

Track to hear: “Lost & Found” available on iTunes and Amazon

Dudley Perkins

With an acidic tongue, Dudley Perkins is a fresh addition to hip hop. Poignant critiques on society, empowerment, and oppression flow effortlessly in each track. Perkins may be rap’s new savior.

Track to hear: “Falling” available on iTunes and Amazon

Georgia Anne Muldrow

Georgia Anne Muldrow fuses a myriad of genres ranging from electro to blues. Compelling visual art and carefully crafted lyrical content is enough evidence to dub Muldrow a trailblazer in experimental music.

Track to hear: “Run Away” available on iTunes and Amazon

Mirel Wagner

Ethiopian born singer/songwriter Mirel Wagner lures listeners in a chilling coffee-shop-turned-delta-blues ballad of dark, melancholic harmonies. Mirel Wagner channels an air of nostalgia deeply rooted in an appreciation and understanding of music as a form of art.

Track to hear: “Oak Tree” available on iTunes and Amazon

Brittany Dawson is a senior at the University of South Carolina studying English.