Sure, the 23-year-old Canadian R&B singer earned two Grammy nods last year for his gospel-tinged debut album, Freudian. But the biggest stamp of approval was Barack Obama including Caesaru2019s u201cBlessedu201d on his top songs of 2017 list. (Chance the Rapperu2019s u201cFirst World Problems,u201d on which Caesar is featured, also made the list.)
See him: Essence Festival, New Orleans (July 7)
Born in Queens and raised in South Korea, the 24-year-old producer discovered electronic music while working at the college radio station at Carnegie Mellon, where she studied conceptual art. Her two 2017 EPs pair hip hopu2013inflected house with hushed, dreamy vocals in Korean and English.
See her: Panorama NYC, New York City (July 27)
W called her u201cterrifying.u201d Harperu2019s Bazaar: u201cintimidating as hell.u201d How else to sum up a pop prodigy who dropped her first single, u201cOcean Eyes,u201d at 13? (The song has since racked up nearly 53 million Spotify listens.) The 16-year-oldu2019s debut EP, dont smile at me, has earned her comparisons to Lorde and Lana Del Rey.
See her: Outside Lands, San Francisco (Aug. 10u201312)
Rex Orange County
The BRIT School (think British Fame) is renowned for churning out famous artists, from Amy Winehouse to Adele to Tom Holland. Next up is this 20-year-old pop-soul crooner, born Alex Ou2019Connor, whose u201960s-inspired, Burt Bacharachu2013esque ditties are as sunshiney as his stage name.
See him: Osheaga Festival, Montreal (Aug. 3)
The 22-year-old Memphis singeru2019s haunting ballads about faith and addiction recall Elliott Smith and Jeff Buckley (with a dash of emo earnestness), but Bakeru2014who identifies as queer and Christianu2014cites the hymns she grew up singing in church as a major songwriting influence.
See her: Pitchfork Music Festival, Chicago (July 20)