There has been a lot of attention on the Chicago music scene lately, largely in thanks to artists like Chance the Rapper, Vic Mensa, Twin Peaks, Joey Purp, and many others who have been releasing some of the best projects this year. Chicago has seen these artists grow up and make a name for themselves in their respective genres. Still, the Chicago music scene shows no sign of slowing down and there are a number of promising artists on the come up in Chicago that should not be overlooked.
Check out our list of artists to keep an eye out for in Chicago.
A groovy consort of funk, jazz, hip-hop, and rock- the band Manwolves is comprised of freshly peeled 17 year olds. Though age is not related to talent, the amount of soul this band contains will have you thinking Steely Dan and a 90’s garage band came together . With tracks like “Vices,” the band channels the perfectly cacophonous vibe of Jamiroquai, and on “Sauce” the infamous Radrick Davis’ monologue about the vital necessity of having “swag” taunts us as the song’s intro. Their newest track, “These Days,” released earlier this month and is a soulful cry from heartbreak.
Varsity is a pop-rock quintet from Chicago making upbeat and dreamy music. Most recently, they released a slew of 2 song eps or in their words ‘digital 7”s which feature catchy pop songs driven by lead vocalist Stephanie Smith. Check out “Cult of Personality,” “Smash,” and “Eye to Eye.”
Initially from Milwaukee but now residing in Chicago, Odd Couple is making music for some of the biggest and most talented Chicago artists. His producing credits are impressive, but he doesn’t necessarily conform to one style or genre of music. Odd Couple stands out most in his ability to make songs that are in harmony with the style of the artists he collaborates with. Listen to “Morning Sex”by Joey Purp, “LSD” by Jamila Woods, and “Stupid Rose” by Kweku Collins.
Jinx the Natural
Hailing from St. Louis, MO. But working out of Chicago Jinx the Natural makes a bold, high octane, in your face kind of rap. A member of the Higher Learning collective, Jinx has been dropping martial at steady pace. The Natural is cleverly adept at keeping fans fed with teeth grinding rap and collaborations with artists like Saint Mille and Twista. His visuals are laced with gold teeth and gold chains and they (appropriately) call themselves ‘drip gang’ Listen to “Holy Water,” “Flexin'” feat. Roy French, and “STFU (RESPEK).”
Bunny is the baby of this list. Formed in January 2016, the alternative rock band’s sound could be described as a happy medium between grunge and folk. Although the band has a small discography, they have been making the rounds in Chicago playing shows at venues like Empty Bottle, Cole’s, and Slippery Slope. Check out their songs “Promises”, “Let Me Be Your Dog”, and “I like you.”
theMIND, though originally from Philadelphia, has been using his voice to help shape the Chicago music scene into the powerhouse it is today. While a longtime collaborator of artists like Chance the Rapper and Mick Jenkins, theMIND seems to have a hand in just about every hip-hop and R&B project coming out of Chicago this year. In addition, the singer put out his own full length release this summer appropriately titled “Summer Camp”. Listen to standouts “Pale Rose,” “Mercury Rising,” and “Come home ”