It is ridiculous how fast this year has gone. It feels like just yesterday we were counting down the seconds till 2015, and here we are, 3232 days after, prepping for a brand new year.
This year, we were lucky enough to have discovered quite the number of talented artists, all of whom reside in different parts of the world. Through our ‘Artist of the Week‘ feature, we managed to introduce our readers to over 200 undeniable talents – pretty impressive, huh?
Looking back, there were some artists who truly made this year memorable, be it the music they released or their overall charisma as artists.
With that being said, here (in no particular order) are Trendio’s 2015 ✩ Artists Of The Year ✩
At this point, just the name Jon Bellion should send shivers down your spine. Prior to Jesus featuring on Trendio, I had no idea how much greatness I was missing out on, but thank God that is over and done with.
Up until discovering Jon, there wasn’t an artist who had me hyperventilating at just the thought alone of them releasing something new.
When people say there is a difference between an artist and a singer, Jon‘s the perfect definition of THE artist in question. Though the name may still be unfamiliar to some, Jon has earned the mini-legend title in our minds because time and time again, he has proven his worth, participating in every bit of curating (i.e. writing + producing) and perfecting his craft, a skill many “artists” today lack – Haley
Forget the zodiac, this was the year of the Wolf. Wolf Alice, that is.
The four-piece shoe-gaze band from North London has taken the world by storm ever since they signed up to Dirty Hit records last year, home of artists like The 1975 and past AOTW The Japanese House. Since the beginning of this year, they’ve been on two headlining tours and played the festival circuit. This June, Wolf Alice released their debut album, My Love is Cool, which peaked at number 2 in the UK album charts.
Wolf Alice’s critical acclaim doesn’t stop there. Last month, they were nominated for a Mercury Prize for Album of the Year. This month, they’ve been nominated for best British band at the NME Awards, and this week were just nominated for a freakin’ GRAMMY for best rock performance. It’s safe to say Wolf Alice’s headed straight to the top.
Their blended sound of 90’s shoegaze and soft grunge is what separates Wolf Alice from the rest of music being created today. Their sound is reminiscent of other artists like Silversun Pickups and My Bloody Valentine, which attracts an audience of all ages. Their lyrics, however, are the best bit, which range from raw, unapologetic, angsty yells to heart swooping, be-all-end-all love songs. Top that off with crashing cymbals, jangly basslines, killer guitar solos and heavy reverb and you’ll see why Wolf Alice is winning over so many critics and why they deserve absolutely all the praise and more heading into 2016. – Emlyn
April was the start of something new for Brampton-native, Alessia Cara, because Here, her debut single and one of this year’s best songs, was released.
Looking back and reminiscing, one can certainly feel the impact Cara made in the music scene, swooping onto the scene as quite the breath of fresh air – something much needed and out of the ordinary in this world.
The 19-year-old self-dubbed “anti-social pessimist” set the standards for her pop peers with each and every one of her releases. Never once did she fall short of releasing sensationally-tinged songs, an astonishing achievement for an artist notably brilliant beyond her years. Having purchased and listened to her debut album, Know-It-All, the thought of having possibly spent another year without Alessia Cara in truly upsetting – Haley
Hozier has undoubtedly been one of the most influential artists of 2015.
Since his eponymous debut album released in October of 2014, Ireland’s own Hozier has taken the world by storm. First with his single “Take Me To Church”, which boasts over 90 million views on YouTube, and then one after another with his hit singles like the explosive “From Eden”, the gospel-esque “Work Song”, feel-good “Someone New” and bluesy masterpiece “Jackie and Wilson”.
The creative storytelling and genius within Hozier’s songs is unparalleled. A song like “Cherry Wine” about an abusive relationship seems like such dark material, yet Hozier has the mastery to transform it into a gorgeous arrangement of fragile, plucked guitar and calm vocals. So sweet and delicate that it takes awhile for the song’s true meaning to come to you, and when it does you’re absolutely blown away.
On the opposite side, bluesy “In The Woods Somewhere” is laden with thick, swampy guitar, haunting vocals and a thumping, ominous drum that gets progressively closer and louder as the track progresses. There is a natural fear that fills the listener’s heart when those drums kick in, mixed with Hozier’s masterful storytelling and eerie chants. He has the musical ability to create happy-go-lucky songs like “Someone New” yet then become so dark it almost frightens you – all through music. His immense talent and understanding of sound and emotion is unlike any other artist right now.
This year alone, Hozier’s won Best Rock Artist and Best Rock Song at the Billboard Awards and just this week, he was nominated for Song of the Year for “Take Me to Church” by the Grammy’s. It’s fantastic to see him getting the recognition he deserves.
Hozier’s ability to weave such heavy subjects with the sweetest guitars and the warmest of vocals is what makes him one of the best artists this year. His dedication and inherent love for his craft is amazing and leaves us at Trendio thrilled for what he will release in 2016. – Emlyn
It would be truly astonishing if you didn’t know who Tori Kelly was at this point. Especially considering the amazing year she’s had.
Countless performances and TV appearances all across the country including a North American & UK Tour. As well as releasing her first full debut album, “Unbreakable Smile.” She’s been quite the busy bee and the work has paid off. Earlier this month it was announced that Kelly was been nominated for a Grammy in the “Best New Artist” category.
I know I can speak for all of the staff here at Trendio (that have been following Tori’s career for quite some time), when I say that we are so proud of everything this California Girl With Big Dreams has accomplished. And it’s only the beginning! 2015 was just a small taste into Tori’s talent. 2016 will be the year she dominates the World. – Renee
And we thought this young lady did big things in 2014! 2015 started off on a high for Zara, as she released her first EP in America to critical acclaim. It contained her breakthrough single “Uncover” and introduced her to a wider audience.
In the summer she released her new single “Lush Life” which as of this moment sits within the Top 30 on Spotify’s global chart. And her follow-up single, the sublime “Never Forget You” with MNEK sits even higher on that same chart.
She’s also a presence on social media (the girl put a condom on her leg) and is the epitome of cool. This girl is on the brink of superstardom and if you thought 2015 was huge, we can’t wait to see what Zara Larsson has in store for 2016. – Devan
Lena has a soft spot in our hearts here at Trendio, and 2015 proved to be another huge year for German superstar Lena.
Lena found success with the release of her fourth studio album, the magnificent “Crystal Sky” which features the phenom single “Traffic Lights”. With the album re-release in October, the single “Wild and Free” skyrocketed to the top of the charts and the top of our hearts (spoiler alert, it’s my song of the year). She then continued to delight her ever-growing fan-base with her “Carry You Home Tour”.
Adding to the list of her amazingness, she’s becoming increasingly popular on her Youtube channel, she was a judge on Germany’s The Voice Kids and she continues to be a spokesperson for L’Oréal Germany. Lena, keep on slaying the game! – Devan
This is hands down my favorite find of the year. One of my greatest accomplishments, I’m honestly considering adding this to my resume because it was that big of a deal this past year. We introduced you to the unstoppable force known as GRACE in March of this year. Since then we have been following every step of her career. She stepped out on the scene with the a revamped cover of Lesley Gore’s 1963 hit, “You Don’t Own Me,” and it was a viral hit. With some help from Bay Area rapper G-Eazy on the track GRACE made the biggest splash for her debut. A few months later she dropped her EP “Memo,” and naturally it was better than we could’ve ever imagined. It was actually one of the first five star reviews we gave this year, because it was just THAT good! Lord only knows what this girl has coming for us in 2016 when her full debut album drops. But just know that we’ll be ready for it – Renee
Ever since I heard the first seconds of their song “Technicolor Beat” earlier this year, pop duo Oh Wonder became a staple in every single one of my playlists. With minimalistic beats, gorgeous harmonies, layered vocals, and great songwriting aplenty, the pair quickly became one of my favorites.
Oh Wonder’s substantial lyrics and luscious sounds quickly resonated with me. Easily, one of my favorite discoveries of the year. Imagining my afternoons without their music almost causes me physical paint, no lie.
I selected Oh Wonder as my Trendio Artist of The Week in May of this year, and they have had quite a successful year ever since. Now the duo has a headlining tour and a shoutout in Internet Child Troye Sivan’s “Suburbia” under their name, and has captured the hearts of many along the way. – Jesus
Where to begin… I talk about LANY all of the time — to my friends, to my family, to my cat. The band and its music somehow always find their way into my daily conversations. There is something about their 80’s synths, effortlessly cool lyrics and their endearing boy-next-door attitude that made them one of my favorite acts this year.
I featured LANY in March, when they were merely an unsigned act with a couple of catchy tunes. Fast forward to December, the trio have now opened for artists such as Twin Shadow, Zella Day, and Halsey, and have now signed to major label Polydor UK. I’m excited to see what 2016 brings for the L.A/New York-based trio, but it’s looking bright. Just a few weeks ago, the band took to Twitter to announce that they will serve as the opening act for no other than Ellie Goulding during her European tour. Cannot wait for more people to be as hella obsessed with them as I am. – Jesus