WASHINGTON — From spitfire flow to headbanging guitars to turntables, the D.C.-area music scene has something to offer everyone.
Sure, the region gets good traffic from national and international artists who often stop by in D.C. — but the local music scene has many hidden gems and rising stars.
While some musicians made their start in the “DMV” but have since moved, others continue to enrich the D.C. area in various genres. Here are 12 area artists to watch in the coming months around the District.
Mock Identity (with Dead Rider)
This post-hardcore four-piece from D.C. takes the stage with Chicago band Dead Rider. Mock Identity formed in 2016, according to Monday, Oct. 16 — 9 p.m. at DC9 their Bandcamp, and have released a four-song demo filled with rolling guitars, charging drums and biting vocals from lead singer Adriana-Lucia Cotes. Another welcomed addition to the District’s storied punk scene.
In 2015, music news site Noisey — part of the VICE family — called the former Northern Virginia resident “ Tuesday, Oct. 17 — 7 p.m. at U Street Music Hall the most exciting voice to come out of Virginia since Missy Elliott.” At that point, Kali Uchis had garnered a lot of attention and acclaim for her soul-tinged pop sound and distinct aesthetic. Before the “Por Vida” EP dropped, her “Drunken Babble” mixtape had already generated buzz a few years earlier. And her stylish music videos solidified her artistic vision. Among her fans were Snoop Dogg and Tyler, the Creator, which would lead to sleek collaborations.
Uchis is now based in L.A. and gearing up to release her debut album. If you can’t find tickets to her show this month, you’re in luck: She’ll be supporting Lana Del Rey on her North American tour next year. So hold tight until Jan. 25, 2018.
(Photo by Mike Windle/Getty Images)
Photo by Mike Windle/Getty Images
You’ve probably heard “Crew” featuring Shy Glizzy and Brent Faiyaz on the radio. Or on Issa Rae’s hit HBO show “Insecure.” Or watched the music video, which already has more than 29 million views on YouTube.
The D.C.-area native has been steadily gaining the spotlight ever since his 2014 mixtape “The God Complex.” He was named a Friday, Oct. 20 — 8 p.m. & 11:30 p.m. at The Fillmore Silver Spring 2015 XXL Freshman, as part of an annual list that showcases the most promising rappers. He can count Grammy-winning producer Rick Rubin among his mentors. And the young rapper was caught in the studio with Andre 3000.
Following his 2017 album “At What Cost,” fans can catch him twice in one night: at 8 p.m. with Masego and at 11:30 p.m. While the earlier show has sold out, tickets to the later show are still available.
(Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images for Coachella)
Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images for Coachella
Although based in L.A. now, Thursday, Nov. 16 — 7 p.m. at U Street Music Hall Kelela was born and raised in the D.C. area. The Gaithersburg native released a debut mixtape, “Cut 4 Me,” which garnered favorable reviews. Since then, she has caught the eye of acclaimed artists such as Solange, Gorillaz and Arca. Her debut album “Take Me Apart” is expected to drop Oct. 6, and her North American and European tours already have sold-out dates.
(Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for FYF)
Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for FYF
Be Steadwell (opening for Cold Specks)
Before Somali-Canadian singer Cold Specks graces the D.C. stage with her haunting vocals, Friday, Nov. 3 — 8 p.m. at Black Cat Be Steadwell opens with her brand of intimate, layered pop music. Expect to be charmed by the jazz-inspired vocalist and to relate heavily to themes of heartbreak and resilience.
This three-piece rock band needs no introduction. Frontwoman Mary Timony has been making waves in the indie rock scene since the 1990s and is continuing her legendary career alongside Betsy Wright and Laura Harris. Give Saturday, Dec. 30 — 8 p.m. at Black Cat their debut album “Rips” (2014) a listen and be assured that rock — and the D.C. music scene — is definitely not dead.
(Photo by Mike Windle/Getty Images for Coachella)
Photo by Mike Windle/Getty Images for Coachella
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