Amjad SabriAmjad Sabri is the renowned qawwali singer who was shot dead by a Taliban offshoot terrorist group after recording his first and only song Aaj Rang Hai on Coke Studio earlier this year. Sabri was known as the rockstar of qawwali in Pakistan and was an accomplished singer of Raag Bhairon and performed across the world. It’s sad that we won’t be hearing any more from Sabri, especially once you hear the passion and depth of his singing talent.
Aakanksha SharmaAakanksha Sharma first made waves in the reality shows as a finalist on Jo Jeeta Wohi Superstar and winning Voice of India before her singing career took off in Bollywood. She has sung songs like Dhal Jaun Main in Rustom, Tu Alvida in Traffic and more. The 20-year-old singer seems ready to take on the country after giving us a sample of her work this year.
Nathan SykesNathan Sykes isn’t really an unknown musical quantity. He is still known as the youngest band member of the hit group The Wanted but make no mistake, Sykes is well on his way to a solo career with his solo album titled Unfinished Business. The songs haven’t caught on yet but with his oh-so-cute looks and singing, it’s only a matter of time before he’s famous in his own right.
Majid JordanLike Nathan Sykes, Majid Jordan (comprising the duo of Majid Al Maskati and Jordan Ullman) has been in the music business for a while but we all know how things can get messed up when it’s time to debut your own album. Majid Jordan ace their eponymously titled album with aplomb with pulsating tracks that tells you they’ve learnt all the right things during his stint in the business while sticking to their pop R&B core.
Charlie PuthWe’ve been fans of Charlie Puth ever since he broke out with his YouTube channel Charlies Vlogs. His debut album Nine Track Mind has been a long time coming. And what a debut it is. With chartbusters like We Don’t Talk Anymore, Marvin Gaye and One Call Away, Puth has established himself as a musical force to be reckoned with in the days to come.
Lucy DacusNope, you don’t need to be a reality singing sensation to get a promising career in music. Lucy Dacus is proof of that. She recorded a song randomly while studying film in college and was soon discovered by a record company and has now released her debut album called No Burden. Her simple and honest lyrics have struck a chord with a fanbase that regards her as an artist to watch out for. Listen to Dacus’ confident singing and you might just find yourself agreeing with them.
Swet Shop BoysWe’re pretty sure you’ve already seen this year’s best mini-series The Night Of starring Riz Ahmed and Poorna Jagannathan (and if you haven’t, then well, please get out from under your rock and watch it asap!). Ahmed teams up with Himanshu Suri to form Swet Shop Boys and raps the hell out of a system that profiles and judges anyone with brown skin and a Muslim name. There’s even Brexit and Trump’s presidency added in this video from their debut album Cashmere. This is powerful stuff and a debut that could well lead to something significant in the coming days.
Long Way Home, LapsleyYou might not have heard of Lapsley or her debut album Long Way Home that released back in March – which is a shame because those who have discovered her are clamouring to frame her as the next Adele for her distinct and original songwriting and music. Her song 8896 also features in the Cannes award-winning film American Honey starring Shia LaBeouf and Sasha Lane. Go listen to her before the world does.
Sit Still Look Pretty, DayaYou know the Chainsmokers song Don’t Let Me Down? Of course you do! What you might not know is that the hit song also features the talent of Grace Martine Tandon (her grandfather was Indian-American) who goes by the stage name of Daya. The 18-year-old singer first exploded early this year with the superhit Hide Away and recently released her first album called Sit Still, Look Pretty to generous praise. Things look very upbeat for her as collab song Don’t Let Me Down was recently nominated for next year’s Grammy Awards.
Sundara KarmaThis indie rock band is the best discovery of 2016. They are also surprisingly underrated. We’re going to earn some karma by bringing Sundara Karma’s talent to you and the world with their debut album Youth is Only Ever Fun in Retrospect. With comparisons to Bruce Springsteen and Arcade Fire already being talked about with them, this is one band that will join your playlist very soon indeed.
Cup Song, Mithila PalkarIn March this year, a casually sung song Hi Chaal Turu Turu by Mithila Palkar became an Internet sensation and catapulted the young actor to stardom (she recently appeared in a web series called Little Things). Most of her fanbase though relates to this Cup song that was originally performed by Anna Kendrick in Pitch Perfect. This accidental super-hit song had to make this list of best music debuts!
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