Day three of DZI: The Voice‘s “25 Music Acts You Need To Know” presents a couple of musical progenies, a female singer who’s been grinding in the industry for a decade, a reality television competitor turned breakout country star, and a New York emcee who crosses generations. Go back and check out our first 10 artists in Part 1 and Part 2, and return tomorrow for the next 5 in Part 4.
I/O aka Ayo Olatunji
Hometown: Montclair, New Jersey
Description: The singer-songwriter and producer is the grandson of Grammy award winning Nigerian drummer Babatunde Olatunji. While his forebear became well known for creating World Music and film scores, this New York City based crooner is mastering electronic influenced R&B that’s an inventive mix of Frank Ocean and Thom Yorke.
Key Projects: 8 Bit Love EP; Isolation Mixtape; “Strangers” Single; “We’ll Always B” Single; “You Slay Me” Single
Connect: www.analog-dreams.com; @IOanalog
Hometown: Los Angeles, California
Description: The Def Jam Records artist began her career as an associate of B2K back in 2002, but she later joined forces with Black Hippy appearing on songs by Kendrick Lamar, ScHoolboy Q, and Ab-Soul. The sultry singer is now prepping her debut studio album Souled Out, and the child of a Japanese/Spanish/Afro-Dominican mother and African American/Jewish/Native American father is ready to make a name for herself.
Key Projects: Sailing Soul(s) Mixtape; Ab-Soul’s “Terrorist Threats” Single, “3:16am” Single
Connect: www.jheneaiko.com; @JheneAiko
Hometown: Sulphur Springs, Texas
Description: Only a handful of contestants from singing competition shows actually keep the public’s attention once their run on television ends. Like Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson, and Leona Lewis, this Nashville Star competitor seems to be heading to the pantheon of realty t.v. singers. Her major label debut Same Trailer Different Park is one of the best reviewed albums of the year so far.
Key Projects: Same Trailer Different Park Album; “Undermine” Single; “Merry Go ‘Round” Single
Connect: www.kaceymusgraves.com; @KaceyMusgraves
Lianne La Havas
Hometown: London, England
Description: As a child of accomplished musicians, the South Londoner has had music running in her veins since birth. The 23-year-old took her innate musical ability and transferred it into skills as a singer, pianist, and guitar player. Her first LP broke into the top five on the UK album chart, and last year she hit the rode with Erykah Badu and Bon Iver on their respective US tours.
Key Projects: Forget EP; Is Your Love Big Enough? Album; “Lost & Found” Single; “Elusive” Single
Connect: www.liannelahavas.com; @liannelahavas
Mr. MFN eXquire
Genre: Hip Hop
Hometown: Brooklyn, New York
Description: Anyone who’s old enough to remember Times Square before it was turned into a “Disneyfied” center of commercialism will recognize the pornographic, drug-laden vibe of early 90’s New York in the Universal Music Group signee. Even if those days of a darker NYC are a foreign concept, The Passion crew frontman will transport you to a dimension that combines Gold Era grimy rap with 21 Century rachet rap.
Key Projects: Lost In Translation Mixtape; Power and Passion EP; “The Last Huzzah (Remix)” Single; “Telephunk” Single; “The Message Pt.1 & 2” Single