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Ones To Watch: 2024 Top 30

To say we have been spoiled for choice is an understatement of the abundance of talent we witnessed in 2023. Selected carefully to honour our annual list of incredible musicians, we present to you 30 artists and producers that we hope will colour the world of R&B, Lo-Fi, Neo-Soul and Alt genres with their unique voices, and mark the year of 2024 as one of their most fruitful years in the industry. 

In no particular order, this is our 2024 'Ones to Watch' list. 

1. Madison McFerrin 

Acclaimed for her genre-defying artistry, and known for her soulful sound, dubbed "soul-appella" by Questlove, Madison graces our list to showcase her love for what she does. Madison has co-curated the BRIC Jazz Festival, aligning her MAD LOVE initiative with Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy for pandemic healing, a joyful space of bubbles, hula hoops and great music she wishes to continue to bring to life. Her sold-out London and Paris shows during her European tour followed her mesmerising performance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. 

2. Aston Rudi 

Known for his work with artists like Cat Burns, Mahalia, and 2023’s Ones To Watch artists Elli Ingram, and Jaz Karis, Aston is a hidden force in the music industry. In addition to his catalogue as a writer, engineer, and producer, he gives back to his community working as a youth mentor, nurturing the next wave of talent. This local favourite producer is cashing in his years of exceptional work to shake the industry across the globe. Check out his Behind The Music editorial piece with us.

3. Ambré 

Exceptional is one word to describe the 23-year-old artist and Grammy-winning songwriter from New Orleans. Ambré crafted an impressive career as a self-taught musician, excelling in playing instruments, singing, writing, producing, and drawing. Notable for her work on H.E.R.'s debut EP, she has released independent projects and won a Grammy for Best R&B Album in 2019. Ambré's debut EP, 'Pulp,' unfolds a psychedelic coming-of-age tale and her latest offering, the five-song EP 'who's loving you' is just what you need, complimentary to any moment of any day, and a taste of what’s yet to come.

4. Blackwave.

Known for their genre-blending approach, the Belgian hip-hop duo Blackwave., producer Willem Ardui and rapper Jay Walker have been topping the charts at home and around the world. The band, are known to have been accompanied live by 'the dot.' – three jazz musicians from the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp – distinguished through ‘Caravan Sessions’, recorded monthly inside a tiny caravan. They wrapped up 2023 with ‘no sleep in LA' and we can’t wait for what’s in store for them this year.

5. Jordan Mackampa 

Born in the Republic of Congo and raised in London, Jordan navigates the complexities of identity, evident in his debut album, ‘Foreigner’. Merging classic pop, gospel, and soul, his music is a textured blend of timeless soundscapes. Brandy's 'Full Moon' is a seminal influence, emphasising his profound understanding of the art form and his ordained vocation within the music sector. 2023 found Mackampa immersed in his role as a singer-songwriter, and rumour has it that 2024 is going to be an even bigger year for Jordan. Why not check out his video for 'Proud Of You' and 'I've Found My Home In You', directed and produced by yours truly, WE ARE SOUL.

6. Berhana

Berhana, born Amain Berhane, is an American singer-songwriter acclaimed for his casual and mellifluous alternative R&B style. Having studied screenwriting, it's appropriate that he established his fan base with 'Janet,' a wistful ballad inspired by The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and ‘Grey Luh,’ a lazing slow jam featured in an episode of Atlanta. Berhana's distinctive sound, inspired by East African influences, continued with his 2023 narrative album 'Amén,' exploring themes like Ethiopian jazz and Olympic champion Abebe Bikila. Growing up near Atlanta, Berhana initially studied screenwriting before immersing himself in music, establishing himself as a unique voice in the industry.

7. Timothy Worthington (MATHS TIME JOY) 

Known professionally as Maths Time Joy, Timothy is a versatile British artist, producer, songwriter, singer, DJ, and remixer. Highly regarded in London's music scene, he has gained recognition for his work with artists like Mahalia, Kevin Garrett, Snakehips, Bebe Rexha, Sinead Harnett, James Vickery, and Gallant, earning a Grammy nomination for the album ‘Ology’. Alongside producing, he has released two EPs as an artist, and provided official remixes for prominent names such as Ellie Goulding, Bon Iver, and Mansionair. Hunger magazine hailed him as a "key player in the UK's production revolution."

8. Reuben James 

Reuben can add risk-taker to his accomplishments as a celebrated pianist and singer, as he is known to have made the bold decision to forgo a Trinity College of Music scholarship for a chance to tour with an emerging artist, Sam Smith. Known for his collaborations with the global star and contributions to Smith's multi-million-selling album ‘The Thrill of It All,’ James has also worked with global icons Joni Mitchell, Herbie Hancock, and John Legend. His 2020 EP 'Slow Down' received critical acclaim, with lead singles 'My Line' and 'So Cool' gaining recognition on major radio platforms. Reuben continued his musical journey with the 2020 release of 'BBQ Energy' and the star-studded 'Tunnel Vision' in 2021, featuring UK based Frida Touray and Daley with Tom Misch.

9. Bina. 

Our next artist is South London-based musician Bina., who draws inspiration from Neo-Soul and Jazz. Born to Nigerian parents of Efik and Igbo heritage, Bina. has spoken on the importance of being unapologetically yourself. In an interview with YEOJA Mag, she discusses singing as her emotional outlet, prioritising self-care within the Black community, and her commitment to learning her native language, Igbo. Despite cultural challenges, BINA. remains resolute in reclaiming her heritage.

10. Mack Keane 

This Los Angeles-born singer and songwriter, is known for crafting lyrically rich Neo-Soul and R&B-infused music. In March 2022, Mack released the Intersections EP, a collaboration with 2023 Ones To Watch producer, ESTA., also featuring contributions with our honourable mentions, Destin Conrad (2023) and Joyce Wrice (2024). Included was laid-back and soulful track, 'Open Up'. Hailing from a creative lineage, his unique sound rooted in personal experiences reflects his musical journey from listening to his parents' record collection, playing piano in elementary school to studying at NYU's Clive Davis Institute of Music.

11. Humble The Great 

Kent-born musician and creative director Humble The Great distinguishes himself by embracing authenticity and imperfection in his work. In the name of staying grounded and rejecting perfection, he is known for his experimental approach to music-making, recording from his living room or under his duvet. His energy and unpredictability contribute to constant personal and professional growth. At 21, Humble navigates LA seeking sun, serotonin, and a chance encounter with one of his biggest influences, Anderson Paak

12. Jack Dine 

As a versatile producer, writer, and engineer, Jack has left an indelible mark on the music scene, collaborating with a diverse range of artists. The Bronx native atmospheric, trip-hoppy R&B style is evident in credits spanning Stormzy to Ronnie Spector. Notable collaborations include work with Alex Isley, Masego, Lucky Daye, Wale, Mac Ayres. Recognised with a SNEP Certified Platinum Record, Jack Dine's production prowess shines through, contributing to the evolving landscape of contemporary R&B.

13. Essosa

This 21-year-old singer-songwriter, dancer, all-round multifaceted talent from East London, started her musical journey at 17. Rooted in her early experiences in the choir with her mother, Essosa's evolution as a London artist reflects her versatility and passion. Her influences range from iconic figures like Janet Jackson and Beyoncé to alternative acts like A Tribe Called Quest. Infusing old-school inspiration into her work, she delivers chill retro vibes with a pure, smooth, and intricate sonic palette. The young artist wrote, produced, and performed her first song across various instruments. With more consistent offerings, Essosa promises an exciting musical journey for her audience.

14. Loie 

Back in the southern corners of London, Brixton to be more specific, we find Loie drawing inspiration from musical greats like Nina Simone, Jill Scott, and Eva Cassidy to offer a fresh perspective on R&B grooves, blending love and lust with her unique Chinese-Trinidadian heritage. This multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter, released her debut EP 'What We Become' in June 2023, combining soul, contemporary R&B, and jazz to explore the complexities of love and resilience through hardships.

15. Natanya 

Through her own creative practice, Natanya finds her inspiration from her environment and friends, reflecting on vulnerability, honesty, and a deep connection to her subjects. Sonically rich and soulful, Natanya's songs delve into themes of heartache, empathy, yearning, and the challenges of adult life, and her live performances showcase the genuine and intimate nature of her music. Her lyrical poetry, paired with gracious chord progressions and soothing beats, creates a captivating and meaningful musical experience.

16. Sekou 

The Leicester native, rising musician built his fanbase on Instagram and TikTok teasing his ability at just 16 years old with a viral video of himself singing in a car park. Catching the attention of NWS Music Group has propelled his career. Based in London and recording in LA, Sekou is putting in work to establish his place in the industry, making sure to focus on honing his craft rather than experimentation. With fans including Sam Smith, Anderson .Paak, and Leon Bridges, Sekou is living high with the perks of his talent and work.

17. Kwoli Black 

UK Hip Hop artist, Kwoli Black, has nurtured a fascination with words since an early age, drawing inspiration from poets like Rudy Francisco, Reyna Biddy, and Alysia Harris. His transition from writing poems to performing at spoken word shows eventually led him to explore rap music. Influenced by Tyler the Creator, Childish Gambino, and Kendrick Lamar, Kwoli embraces individuality, showcasing versatility in blending elements of Rap, R&B, and more in his EP 'Call Me When It's Over'. Kwoli's journey of self-discovery has led to a new phase in his life, both personally and professionally. Known for his thought-provoking lyrics, his versatility can’t be ignored, even more so in his 'Cotch Freestyle', where he confidently delivers vivid bars with a determination to succeed. Like the best writers, Kwoli effortlessly balances charm, poignancy, and vulnerability in his work.

18. Laura Roy 

Singer-songwriter Laura Roy's musical evolution is a dynamic journey inspired by iconic vocalists Brandy, Alicia Keys, and Lauryn Hill. Hailing from Nova Scotia, Canada, and now based in London, classic 70’s folk music, and 90’s r&b vocals shape her eclectic songwriting and production styles. Besides her artist ventures, she's lent her vocals to pop sensations Camila Cabello and Anne Marie while continuing to collaborate and write for others. 

19. Ahmad Anonimis 

Raised in Georgia, Ahmad found his love for music early, drawing inspiration from a wide range of artists like Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West, and Erykah Badu. Crafting his unorthodox, quirky rap style, Ahmad has gained support and co-signs from industry tastemakers and is poised to make his mark in the new decade.

20. Cherise 

Cherise marked her bold entry into soul with her EP ‘Remedy’, while ‘Calling’ established her as a unique artist exploring the nuances of love and her identity as a Black woman. With deep reflections on the Windrush generation and the 75th anniversary, she pays homage on singles like ‘2 Steppin’ and ‘Calling’. CLASH Magazine described her music as "beautiful" and "imbued with real power." Recognised as a rising star on the UK music scene, Cherise collaborates with renowned artists, showcasing her soulful vocals and expert storytelling. A notable piece of work is her contribution to the 'BlueNote Reimagined: II' album with her soulful rendition of Nora Jones' ‘Sunrise’. 

21. Bellah 

British-Nigerian singer-songwriter Bellah has quickly become a prominent figure in the UK R&B scene with a string of EPs showcasing her unique blend of industry know-how and relatable lyrics. Hailing from North London, Bellah infuses traditional R&B with an Afro influence, creating a distinctive soft sound that has earned praise from outlets like Complex and BBC 1Xtra. Her third EP, 'Adultsville', delves into the journey from girlhood to womanhood, offering an introspective exploration of her life. Bellah's captivating vocals and sincere lyricism have solidified her position as our artist to watch. 


Professionally known as IYAMAH, Sophie Bond grew up in Brighton immersed in the sounds of African drumming and reggae. Inspired by empowering female artists like Whitney Houston and Lauryn Hill, she developed a taste for Neo-Soul and hip-hop, and at the age of 13 years old, she began writing songs. Now based in London, IYAMAH has collaborated with artists such as Maverick Sabre and performed at festivals like SXSW, Latitude, and Glastonbury. As one of the freshest talents on the UK live scene, IYAMAH continues to experiment with her roots and carve her independent path.

23. Qu

With his sphere of influence and collaboration reaching far beyond Germany to London and L.A, Hamburg-based producer artist Qu has sets out to create his own rather unconventional path.

The 25 year old’s path to producing and songwriting began with his training in classical guitar, which is why his affinity for organic instrumentations in his production remain prominent. Signed to Germany’s only label for producer artists, Kabul Fire Records, he expands his soundscape by re-introducing himself as an artist first with an upcoming debut album that will serve a sonic introduction to what Qu is about.


Born Ringgo Ancheta, MNDSGN is a Filipino-American musician and producer hailing from San Diego raised in New Jersey. As the youngest of four, MNDSGN learned to play the organ before being introduced to rap music and beat production by his older brother. In 2008, he formed the collective Klipm0de with beatmakers Knxwledge, Suzi Analogue, and devonwho. He moved to Los Angeles in 2011, and gained recognition through self-released beat tapes and collaborations. 

25. ESTA.

From Temecula and San Diego, DJ and producer ESTA joined the L.A.-based Soulection imprint and crew around 2013. Discovered by Andre Power and approached by Joe Kay, this Filipino-American DJ and producer is known for his boutique mix of classic hip-hop cues, vinyl fuzz, treated vocals, and a tasteful dose of trap. He has played at events like Coachella and collaborated with artists such as Ginuwine

26. KeepVibesNear 

Hailing from Romford, is a musician who found solace in a love for English at school, leading to an interest in freestyling and songwriting. Describing his style as Noir R&B, KeepVibesNear incorporates stripped-back vocals and a moody, raw sound that emphasises vulnerability. Influenced by artists like John Mayer, King Krule, and D'Angelo, he released his first full album, 'When Will We Realise?' in 2019. His music, characterised by chilled-out vibes and personal revelations, has gained attention with features on BBC Radio 1Xtra’s Jams Supernova segment.  KVN hopes his music can change the outdated narrative that men can’t show or feel the vast spectrum of emotions, and we’re here for it. 

27. Äyanna 

Äyanna gained attention with her 2019 single 'Party Tricks', one of the first songs she ever wrote, which quickly gained popularity online. Born in Kingston, Jamaica, and raised in East London, the 23-year-old singer-songwriter creates with a unique blend of influences from R&B, 80’s pop, soul, and reggae, adopting a sound that is entirely her own. She recently dropped her EP ‘In A Perfect World’.

28. Tay Iwar 

Born in Victoria Island, Lagos, Tay Iwar, is a singer-songwriter, sound engineer, and record producer, with a solid music career going back to the age of fourteen. He gained prominence with the release of his EP titled 'Passport' alongside his brother Suté. Tay is known for his vibrant Afro-fusion style, drawing on Afrobeat, Hip-Hop, and alternative R&B. He co-founded the Bantu Collective music label and has collaborated with notable artists such as Wizkid, Odunsi, Santi, and Preye.

29. Tyler Miller

Tyler is an innovative musician driven by a visionary spirit. Based in New York City, he breaks free from conventional moulds, combining creativity with innovation in his music. Influenced by artists like Frank Ocean and Brent Faiyaz, he crafts a personal sound that sets him apart. His debut album, ‘SOPHIA’, reflects his commitment to creating a distinctive musical identity. Check out his Time With article with us!

30. Talulah Ruby 

Born and raised in Lanzarote and now part of the colourful UK music scene, is a rising songstress known for her distinctive sound. Collaborating with The Silhouettes Project and immersing herself in London's creative sphere, Talulah Ruby's music explores various genres. Her debut EP, 'HYPERDRIVE', establishes her as a multifaceted individual with a solid set of skills as a composer, vocalist, producer, and creative director. The EP blends electronic and folk elements, conveying messages of self-acceptance, purpose, and love.

A few honourable mentions for artists we’re excited to see more from this year: Kenneth Cash, Josh Kye, Joya Mooi, Tash, Maeta, Madison Ryann Ward, India Shawn, Joyce Wrice. Producers: Ethan Jupe, Busco Music, Alfred Rudman, JSTRNGS, and Sons of Sonix.

Finally, it wouldn’t be a WE ARE SOUL list without a perfectly curated playlist to pair it with! As always, we’ve put together a Hit List made up of our favourite songs by our Top 30, to help you start the New Year with the right vibes. Stream here:


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