5 Black Artists Dominating Their Genres

Image Credit: Konstantin Aal for Unsplash

OTwo Co-Editor Isabella Ambrosio highlights the Black artists holding currently the music industry in the palm of their hand.

With Ireland celebrating Black History Month in October, it’s essential to highlight Black artists who have been thriving in their respective genres and deserving of a spot on your monthly playlist. While their successes deserve recognition beyond the month of October, let’s celebrate the minds and creativity of modern Black artists this month with the best of the best.

Pop – RAYE

At just 25 years old, RAYE has been in the industry circuit for years. The British singer-songwriter originally started writing and producing for other artists, winning a BMI award in 2019 for her incredible songwriting and production skills. Yet, RAYE’s sultry, soulful vocals have only recently debuted as her own with her debut record, My 21st Century Blues, released this year. She’s made a mark as an incredibly diverse vocalist with ties to multiple genres of music : her seductive pop is enough to draw you in and hold you for hours on end. 

Rap – Ice Spice

It’s impossible to open Instagram for more than five minutes without seeing something about Ice Spice. Did you know she’s only 23? Bursting onto the scene later last year, Ice Spice has been labelled “rap’s new princess” by Billboard and The New York Times, her relaxed rapping style has captured the attention of the masses. Most recently, she’s collaborated with household names like Taylor Swift and Nicki Minaj. Who knows what she’ll do in 2024.

Indie – M.A.G.S.

Indie-prog M.A.G.S., a moniker for Elliott Douglas of Buffalo, New York, newest release, Destroyer had the entire alternative music crowd buzzing. Fusing multiple genres into one mind-numbingly good record, Douglas' meticulously crafted record features tracks like “Sins” and “Elephants” that garnered significant attention across social media. Bringing something entirely new and fresh to the indie scene, M.A.G.S. is a force to be reckoned with. Having recently opened for Sleeping with Sirens during their US tour, M.A.G.S. is paving a new path in indie.

Rock – Meet Me @ The Altar

After opening for 5 Seconds of Summer on their current world tour, Me Me @ The Altar is a three-piece group that started off as a remote band, even before being remote was a thing (already in 2015, can you believe that?). Channelling signature pop-punk with powerful fronting vocals, the band breathes life into a genre that tugs on your heartstrings from both nostalgia and just being plain good. 

Pop – Labrinth

Labrinth is most known for being the mastermind behind the soundtrack of HBO’s hit show, Euphoria. Headlining Coachella earlier this year, it is no question that Labrinth is a household name thanks to his moody and otherworldly sounds and visuals. Throughout his career, he’s already worked with heavyweights such as Mike Posner, Noah Cyrus, Diplo, Beyoncé and many more. Labrinth is an excellent example of a dynamic artist with the ability to shapeshift to fit others while maintaining a recognisable identity.