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5 ARTISTS TO WATCH IN 2024 : MASSACHUSETTS MINUTE

By : Shamus Hill

8 min read




It’s difficult to encapsulate an entire music scene with one list. As a matter of fact, it’s impossible. That’s not the purpose of this list. Whether you’re new to the Boston area, a native New Englander, or someone who’s immersed in the local music scene, by now you’re sure to have come across an artist from Massachusetts that you support. With such a constantly developing roster of artists clashing together to create our area’s sonic identity, we wanted to highlight 5 artists from Massachusetts who should be on your radar as we enter the new year. These are the 5 artists. 


FELIX! had quite the end to 2023. Following a feature on Brent Faiyaz’s Larger Than Life album, a pair of well-received singles, and an appearance on the widely-popular On The Radar Radio freestyle series alongside his Van Buren Records teammates, the Brockton native is ready to seize the moment. Since relocating from Massachusetts to Los Angeles a few years back, the enigmatic artist has endured ups and downs, but 2024 is shaping up to be the year where the genre-fusing sensation soars higher than ever before. If you like high fashion and eclectic music, then FELIX! is certainly the guy for you. 


Nafisa is a name that some may not be familiar with, but is one that will soon be taking Massachusetts’ music scene by storm. Based in Cambridge, the singer, songwriter, and model has quietly become one of the area’s most exceptional live performers—despite having a limited amount of music available to stream. She prefers to freestyle and flow without bounds, something which has helped the R&B and Neo-Soul talent impress everyone who’s had the privilege of hearing her perform live. There’s no telling when we’ll be receiving new sounds, but if you see her name on a performance bill this year, don’t let the show pass you by. 


Nay $peaks had the biggest year of her artistic career in 2023, and 2024 aims to be even more notable. Her mid-Summer release of Nayborhood Healer put her on radars everywhere, and even landed her a feature on BCN #160’s edition of the Massachusetts Minute column. All of this success boiled over this past December, when Nay walked out of Big Night Live as the Best New Artist at the 2023 Boston Music Awards. As a vibrant wordsmith who specializes in Hip-Hop and R&B, Nay $peaks is well on her way towards stardom.


V V N is an artist and producer attending Berklee College of Music, and is making some of the most exciting music in Massachusetts right now. The multi-instrumentalist soundscapes are unparalleled, as she routinely experiments with different sonic textures to create earworms that lock onto the listener's brain. Her October release of Tooth Dreams was her most impressive collection of songs yet, and made waves as one of 2023’s most exciting drops. She’s definitely someone to keep an eye on if you’re into planetary music. 


Clark D has been a staple in Massachusetts music over the years, but he’s really nestling into his own as an artist as of late. Last year’s release of CLARKDPROPAGANDA was living proof of this. The project was the culmination of a better part of a decade’s worth of work, and showed listeners that he’s stepping into his own. The Boston native’s year ultimately ended with the Album of the Year award at the Boston Music Awards, cementing his position as one of Boston’s foremost talents. He’s entering 2024 ready for more wins, and is certainly someone that everyone should have an eye on. 


—Shamus Hill




Originally published in-print in Boston Compass Newspaper #166 February 2024


 

Check out all the art and columns of February's Boston Compass at www.issuu.com/bostoncccompass

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