Ever since I started this blog, I’ve made it a priority to highlight artists that I think are especially worth my readers’ time and artists who I think are going to make it big in the coming years or months (and sometimes even days).
It’s been a great time watching the artists I’ve specifically highlighted grown into having successful careers and cool to say I’ve been a fan since the start (I’m trying not to make it sound snobby!)
I decided to share a little update post on some of the artists that I’ve been a fan of for the past couple years and revisit how far they’ve come since I initially wrote about them. I’ll probably do another one of these in the upcoming months.
I hope if you haven’t heard of these artists (I’m sure you have!) you enjoy what you hear.
In alphabetical order:
If you haven’t heard of Billie Eilish you are truly living under a rock. It’s been a whirlwind watching Eilish’s career explode – and even crazier that she’s only 17-years-old. I first heard Billie on Spotify, her song “Ocean Eyes” caught my ears and I remember so vividly immediately Googling her and finding this story on by Vogue (she looks so different!)
“Ocean Eyes” is a great song but it definitely isn’t my favorite and wasn’t my favorite right when I first heard it. I was more drawn to songs like “COPYCAT” and “bellyache,” from her debut EP, Don’t Smile At Me. Released in August of 2017, this EP put Billie on the map and immediately was being compared to artists like Lorde and Alessia Cara not only for her dark lyrics – but also for her youth.
Billie embarked on a tour the following winter and spring (early 2018) and I had a chance to see her show at Lincoln Hall here in Chicago. She sold out the entire tour in under 10 minutes. She continued touring throughout a lot of 2018 and played LOTS of festival dates (including Lollapalooza), toured again (this time she returned to the Metro last fall) and will be playing two more shows at The Aragon Ballroom in June (she likely could have sold out United Center, in my opinion).
It is still so crazy to me that only a little over a year ago I saw her perform for 500 people and now she’s playing to one of the largest crowds at Coachella. Billie is the future of pop music and it’s clear based on her unique vision, massive Spotify streams and millions of Instagram followers that this is only the start of what’s coming for her.
Check out her tour dates below and click here for her Spotify page.
It’s so hard to believe that the first time I wrote about Léon was over THREE years ago. I can’t even tell you the first time I heard her song “Tired of Talking” but I do remember driving down a street in Lincoln Park during the summer of 2016 and hearing her on the radio – it was bizarre.
The first time I saw Léon perform was at her first headlining show in Chicago at Schubas – just a little over two years ago in February 2017. At this time in Léon’s career, she only had maybe six or seven songs officially released – but her performance spoke like she was a seasoned veteran (and she sold it out). Léon returned to Chicago later that year at Lollapalooza and again that fall at Lincoln Hall. This entire time I was anxiously awaiting an announcement about a debut album…it never came. Later the same year, Léon released another EP and a handful of singles in 2018, still no debut announcement.
The announcement of her debut album came just a couple days after Léon shared news of a North American headlining tour with support from Morgan Saint (another artist that I have written about extensively). The album dropped on March 1 and received positive reviews across the board for her soulful pop sound, strong vocals and catchy lyrics.
See Léon’s list of tour dates below and click here to listen to her music. Léon hits Chicago on April 29.
Like Billie, Maggie’s career has skyrocketed in the 18 months. I first heard her debut single “Alaska” WAYYYYYYYY back in the summer of 2016 (first wrote about her in-depth here) and it was such a relatable song to what I had been going through in that time of my life that it ended up being my favorite song of the year. You know the story of Maggie’s journey to stardom…Pharrell praised her music during a class at NYU…the video of the interaction went viral…etc. – and Maggie’s life was never the same.
Similar to Billie, I had a chance to see Maggie perform early on in her career in the spring of 2017 at Lincoln Hall (ironically just about a year before Billie at the same venue). Maggie had about four or five songs released at this point and she still sold out the venue and the rest of the tour. Maggie’s journey to a debut album was a long one..and she continued touring, playing festivals and releasing singles and EPs until her debut was finally released in January of this year (listen to my podcast episode on it here).
I had another chance to see her at The Riv this past October – it was her biggest show to date. Maggie just made her debut at Coachella and will be returning to Lollapalooza this summer. She’s set to tour more this fall with support from Empress Of and Jacob Banks.
Click here to check out her music on Spotify and see more tour dates below:
Thanks so much for reading. I’m excited to see what’s next for these ladies!
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