What made 2017 special for you? For some it was the movies, the TV shows, the technology-but for many it was the music. The artists of 2017 didn’t fail to treat their fans with addicting melodies and captivating lyrics, many regarding provactive and important social issues that highlighted the year. Here are some artists who stood out in the past year:
Tyler, The Creator
Tyler, The Creator, with his music production and video directing skills, is a world-known rapper. 2017 was a big year for Tyler: he dropped his album “Flower Boy,” released new, popular clothing for his line Golf Wang and extended his following to millions of fans. His song “Who Dat Boy” was uploaded to Youtube on Jun. 29 and has accumulated over 32 million views. His album listed number two on US Billboard 200 and is nominated for the 2018 Grammy Awards for best rap album of 2017. A$AP Rocky, Frank Ocean, Kali Uchis, Lil Wayne, Anna of the North, Jaden Smith, Steve Lacy, Estelle and Rex Orange County are all artists featured on the creator’s album. The versatility of Tyler’s work has gained much attention and appreciation. The album’s themes of flowers, loneliness, sexuality and cars are complemented by the songs’ heavy beats, dream-like vocals and jazzy interludes.
Brockhampton is a self-produced boy band based in the Los Angeles area that is comprised of 15 passionate and clearly talented men- all with individualistic skill-sets. The group generates music that discusses a range of topics that many artists fear mentioning such as racism, homophobia, and sexual assault. Brockhampton broke the standards for what it means not only to be a boy band, but creators. “SATURATION I”, “SATURATION II” and “SATURATION III” are albums all released by the band this year. Upon that, the group is producing trending music videos, working on a movie and TV show and performing frequently at venues across the country. While there has been speculation surrounding the band coming to an end, the creators behind Brockhampton will still be pursuing their Love Your Parents Tour and performing at upcoming music festivals like Coachella, Boston Calling and Bonnaroo.
Solána Rowe, commonly referred to as SZA, is an alternative R&B artist who broke records in 2017. Her latest album “Ctrl” released in June has touches of indie rock, soul and hip-hop. Her lyrics have resonated with millions and have connected her with individuals who face challenges surrounding self-worth, the hardships of love, social media and other pressing subjects. Her debut album reached number three on US Billboard 200 and received the gold title by Recording Industry Association of America. Additionally, she has been nominated for five Grammy awards. She has collaborated with popular artists including Kendrick Lamar, Calvin Harris and Maroon 5 and performed on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Her honest words and hauntingly-good vocals leaves fans anxiously waiting for more. Marylanders won’t have to wait much longer, however, as SZA has scheduled a concert on Feb. 5 at the Fillmore in Silver Spring in order to make up from a canceled show last August.
Lana Del Rey
Each era of Del Rey reflects the evolution of her music as well as how she has grown as an individual. Since her “Born to Die” album that possesses melancholy narratives and emotion, her latest album titled “Lust for Life” takes a contrasting perspective. Amidst the heightened global issues of 2017, Del Rey took on a more wide-scale approach for her album while still incorporating intimate elements of her own life. This shift in theme was in part caused by her newfound realization of her desire to engage in the problems beyond her personal life and her transition to a lighter, more happier mindset. Having creators The Weeknd, A$AP Rocky, Playboi Cardi, Stevie Nicks and Sean Ono Lennon on the record connected her music to people with varying tastes. Lust for Life is nominated for a Grammy Award and was number one on US Billboard 200. The Lust for Life world tour is now in session with opening acts Jhene Aiko and Kali Uchis, two on-the-rise artists whose collaboration with Del Rey will certainly elevate their status in the music world.