Discover MTV's 13 Artists To Watch of 2013.
Last year around this time, we threw our support into up-and-coming artists like Lana Del Rey, Kendrick Lamar, A$AP Rocky, Alabama Shakes, Frank Ocean and fun. And at the risk of pulling a humble brag, we'd just like to point out that the latter three of those aforementioned artists now have 15 Grammy nominations among them. And now we're delving into a new batch of emerging artists for 2013, a mission we're (understandably) calling "MTV Artist to Watch." Spanning a diverse range of genres -- from EDM to hip-hop, pop, and indie rock -- we'll be spending 2013 bringing you live performances and brand-new videos as well as exclusive insider access to this new crop of artists and their music.
To kick off MTV's 2013 "Artist to Watch" short list, get to know 13 of our favorite artists on the rise, some of whom you might even recognize (hello, Mahonies!). And clear out some space on your hard drive/ phone/ music database of choice, because you're going to want to hear a lot more from these acts this year.
+ ALT-J: British indie-rock newcomers Alt-J have a taste for the obscure. Named for the keyboard shortcut used on Apple OS X to insert the Greek letter Delta (we told you things were about to get nerdy), Alt-J find a joyous medium of folk, pop, hip-hop, trip-hop, indie-rock quirk, and synth riffs -- a winning combination featured on 2012's full-length debut, An Awesome Wave, which has won the band the 2012 British Mercury Prize and was announced as BBC Radio 6 Music Album of the Year 2012. You know what? Consider us all nerds now. + WATCH ALT-J'S MTV HIVE 'LIVE IN BOSTON' PERFORMANCE.
+ AUSTIN MAHONE: At just 16 years old, pop boy wonder Austin Mahone isn't just a Justin Bieber impersonator -- dude has racked up some major cred of his own (just count the YouTube views). In 2012 alone, the "Say Somethin'" singer got picked up by Chase/Universal Republic, dropped a "Buzzworthy Live" acoustic in our studio, got himself a sweet ride, developed a pop star-appropriate six-pack, released the brand-new single "Say You're Just A Friend" (featuring Flo Rida!), announced his opening tour dates with TAYLOR SWIFT, and yes, met Justin Bieber. After fawning over Austin's smooth vocals all last year, we're convinced this teenage sweetheart will be breaking plenty more hearts in the months to come. + WATCH AUSTIN MAHONE'S 'SAY SOMETHIN'' VIDEO.
+ BECKY G: Even if her name sounds unfamiliar, you may have heard 15-year-old singer, songwriter, and rapper Becky G before -- she recently starred in Cher Lloyd’s best friend anthem, "Oath," AND even costarred in Cody Simpson’s "Wish U Were Here" video. Citing influence from names like Katy Perry, Lauryn Hill, TLC’s Lisa "Left Eye" Lopez, and Bruno Mars, the fast-talking teenage firecracker got her start in the industry unusually early. By 13 Becky taught herself to play the guitar AND began working with production team The Jam (Brandy, JoJo) on new tracks like "Novacane," "Otis," and "Lighters." If the above is any indication of her success, we're sure this pop-star sidekick will be taking center stage in no time. + WATCH BECKY G'S 'PROBLEM (THE MONSTER REMIX)' VIDEO FEATURING WILL.I.AM.
+ GOLD FIELDS: We knew we were onto a good thing after listening to (ahem, dancing like CRAZY to) Aussie hook masters Gold Fields. Channeling influences from like-minded dance floor acts Cut Copy (also from Australia!) and Bloc Party, the indie quartet have circled the rhythmic globe, expertly remixing Yelle's "Chimie Physique" and Passion Pit’s "Take A Walk" and churning out their own synth-driven playlist staples like the harmonious "Treehouse" and the glossily produced "Dark Again." Though they've only just been signed to Astralwerks Records (Hot Chip, Kraftwerk), Gold Fields have plenty to look forward to in 2013, what with the release of their debut album, Black Sun. We're sure that this opening act will be catapulted to headliner before the year is out. + WATCH GOLD FIELD'S 'DARK AGAIN' VIDEO.
+ HUNTER HAYES: Up-and-coming country crooner Hunter Hayes doesn't just have age on his side (he's only 21!), but he's been closing in on the industry vets for quite some time. The multi-instrumentalist got his start performing on shows like "Maury," "Rosie O’Donnell," "Figure It Out," and "America's Most Talented Kids," and went on to co-write "Play" for country staples Rascal Flatts and tour with pop crossover Taylor Swift in 2011. Uh, how's that for a résumé? Now signed to Atlantic Records, Hunter's been steadily promoting his self-titled debut, and has been nominated for THREE 2013 Grammy Awards including "Best New Artist." + WATCH HUNTER HAYES' 'WANTED' VIDEO.
Check out more Artists To Watch in 2013 after the jump!