Radar #17

Music is an ever-evolving art form, with new voices and styles emerging every day. As we move further into 2023, there is a multitude of exciting and talented recording artists making their mark on the industry. 

From pop to rock, hip-hop to electronic, and everything in between, the music scene is brimming with fresh faces and innovative sounds. 

In this Radar session, we’ll take a closer look at some of the most promising up-and-coming artists across a variety of genres. 

Whether you’re a die-hard fan or simply looking to discover something new, there’s sure to be something here for everyone.

 So without further ado, let’s dive in and explore the future of music!

WOTTS –Wheel

Jayem (vocals/multiple instruments) and Ricky 100 (bass/guitar) make up Wotts, an indie pop duo from Ottawa, Canada. Wotts have been praised for their performances at RBC Bluesfest, Canadian Music Week, and Junofest.

Before focusing on combining the rich sounds of major inspirations like Tyler, the Creator, Tame Impala, and Gorillaz, they got their start producing beatbox music. It’s widely believed that the wotts’ primary goal is to increase their sensory and aural horizons.

The last Wotts albums have hinted at the duo’s impending massive crossover into the mainstream music industry. The duo has already accomplished its goals and been recognized for their efforts at many phases of the process. The Wotts now have a clearer path ahead of them.

The song “Wheel” is the first release of the year from the Canadian pair. Their newest attempt deviates from their signature 1980s sound, yet the song remains faithful to their mission of fusing the old with the new. The Jayem-produced track “wheel” deals with accepting one’s fate and letting go of control. 

The song begins with a groovy guitar riff and has a very uplifting setting with a very pop-like vibe. The mix of instruments is rather complex and uncommon, which offers a sophisticated approach to their style of pop music.

KURST – Action

Canadian hip-hop artist Kurst utilizes his songs to express his emotions. Kurst calls himself a “storytelling rapper” since he uses personal anecdotes and societal envisions to comment on hot-button issues in his music.

His music may convey the artist’s true, uncensored emotions. The Kurst school shootings, parenting, love unions, heartbreak, betrayal, false friends, and much more are all discussed, as are his experiences with mental illness and drug misuse throughout his youth.

In addition to being an outreach expert for a well-known music review program and having several future collaborations with notable artists, Kurst has been a candidate for Song of the Night on many such shows.

Action, his most recent release, has been getting a lot of attention from critics and fans alike. In it, he references 37 different films in under three minutes to communicate his desire for success and illustrate the kind of mentality it takes to get there via the lens of “action.”

The song’s production is top-notch, showcasing Kurst’s rapping style as he responds with a message meant to shake up listeners with clever allusions and a unique lyrical approach.

MINDA LACY – The Eyeball Song

Portland native Minda Lacy handles vocals, guitar, and songwriting duties. She dwells deeply upon the passage of time. She is stuck in an endless dilemma, yet her songs let her get out of it sometimes.

Minda Lacy has been inspired by several genres of music and a wide range of artists. Her influences range from the more introspective and sometimes offbeat lyrical styles of Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits, Andrew Bird, Bob Dylan, and The Be Good Tanya’s to the heavier psychedelic instrumentation of Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin, even if this isn’t immediately apparent in her music.

She performed in the 2018 Seattle Folklife Festival and the inaugural Shady Pines Music Festival in 2022, respectively. She has opened for Dan Bern in the old Church and performed many times at the Holocene in Southeast Portland, both of which are famous Portland performances. 

The Eyeball tune features local Portland drummer Zanny Geffel, as well as upright bassist Trinh Youngman and harmonica player Luke Anthony. This first track from Minda’s upcoming album was recorded in the basement of Jon Wohlfert’s North Portland home. The whole production of the song was handled by him.

The song is folk-sounding, and Minda’s voice is stunning. Amazingly, this song oozes an authenticity that proves Minda was destined to make music. Even if there is an acoustic influence, the sound is fresh and well-produced, which I like.

ANCHEN JI – Wait It Out

In addition to being a scientist and a mother, Anchen Ji is also a rising star as a singer in the Boston area. By studying singing online at Berklee and learning to create a screenplay for her own life, Anchen has gone from being an amateur to a professional musician.

A significant change has occurred in her life over the last several years, including a new job, a divorce, and an increased sense of hope. She’s out on her own now, with her own stories to tell. Her first self-released single, “Stars,” was a turning point in her career and the start of a new era in her life.

Her latest single was published around a month ago, and Tang was the one who produced it, together with Bolton and Anchen Ji. Tang also contributed to the song’s composition. Anchen Entertainment LLC, which is Anchen’s imprint, is the company that made the song “Wait It Out” accessible to people all over the world.

Anchen’s love experiences served as inspiration for this song. They proved that real love can triumph over even the most insurmountable odds by overcoming obstacles like physical and temporal isolation. 

The instrumentation has a commercially attractive pop atmosphere, and the vocals in the same spirit have a relaxing, easygoing beat that complements Anchen’s singing well. The rhythm also has some light trap elements, which give it a pleasant, unobtrusive sexiness.

LEIF RIGGS – Phantom

Leif Riggs is a promising new rap recording artist releasing his first song, Phantom. He has spent almost two decades honing a distinctive approach to lyrical composition that takes into account a wide range of technical criteria.

Starting as a high school senior, Leif stuck with the same employer throughout the first eight years of his professional life. Although there was limited room for progression, he liked the people and setting where he first began making rap music and remained for some time.

In his thirties, he returned to school and earned a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics with high honors after just seven years. Now that his work life is established, he spends much of his free time getting inspired by listening to music. 

Lyrically, he uses imagery, syllable structure, rhyme schemes, and word meaning in this track produced by InsaneBeatz. It requires him to rally his squad and triumph over his opponents, who are now retreating in shame.

The song’s sinister instrumental pairs nicely with Riggs’ vocals, which rhyme steadily and recount the fights; the speed may be a touch repetitive, but that doesn’t detract from the overall effect, making this a strong effort from a novice.


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