When the 2023 Grammy nominations were announced last week, the top categories included superstars with many major (and in some cases landmark) mentions, as well as some notable slights. The best new artist category, however, is more open than ever.
The nominees constitute a new breed of rising stars who have been gaining ground in an ever-changing music industry through TikTok trends, viral moments, and summer smash hits, among other avenues. In the past, stars like Olivia Rodrigo, Megan Thee Stallion and Billie Eilish have walked away with the coveted trophy, but this year’s shortlist is full of artists trying to take their next big step. It includes Latto, a new hitmaker who brought her “Big Energy” to Top 40 radio this year; Måneskin, who scored the most unlikely rock hit in recent memory with a raucous version of a song from half a century ago; Molly Tuttle, a celebrated bluegrass performer who has enough talent and style to transcend that genre; and Muni Long, who created several hits for other artists before finally scoring his own with the R&B hit “Hrs and Hrs.” But in this race, the story of each nominee is fascinating and worth discovering.
More from Billboard
Everyone is hoping for a moment of impact during the February 5, 2023 broadcast. Until then, get the backstory, sound and personality of the 10 Grammy Award nominees for Best New Artist. Here’s a breakdown of who could dazzle on stage:
The Brazilian pop star and social media giant is no stranger to award nominations: The singer/dancer/model has racked up seven Latin Grammy nominations since 2016. Her latest album, pieces of me was released in April, and her viral hit “Wrap Up” helped catapult her to global stardom. With themes in English, Spanish and Portuguese, pieces of me seamlessly blends Brazilian hip hop and funk rhythms with addictive pop melodies.
The multifaceted star has been churning out tracks with hitmakers like Cardi B and Missy Elliott, joined Snoop Dogg onstage at Coachella, and recently served as a mentor for the Billboard NXT competition. But even she was left speechless when she received her first nomination for one of the Big Four Grammy categories:
2 Omar Apollo
“Evergreen (You Didn’t Deserve Me At All),” Omar Apollo’s heartbreaking song about heartbreak, took TikTok by storm this year, inspiring thousands of teens to create their own cathartic breakup skits with Apollo’s heartbreaking pleas as background. The track helped him rack up more than seven million streams in just one week and peaked at No. 51 on the Hot 100, setting Apollo apart from run-of-the-mill viral stars.
An Indiana native and the son of Mexican immigrants, Apollo weaves elements of Latin music with alternative R&B production. He has created a unique sound that resonates with a growing audience. A viral Tiny Desk Concert may have catapulted him to stardom, but he’ll be playing to huge crowds soon enough.
Italian rock stars had an unexpected year: Vocalist Damiano David, bassist Victoria De Angelis, guitarist Thomas Raggi and drummer Ethan Torchio originally scored international success with their hard-hitting version of The Four Seasons classic “Beggin” from 1967. Actually, the cover was made and recorded in 2017, when Måneskin competed in the Italian version of The X Factorbut it came to life again after going viral on TikTok.
After winning the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest, the quartet performed their hit on the show Saturday night Live and made it to the top of the list Alternative Airplay of bill board with “Supermodel”, produced by pop heavyweight Max Martin. His new album Rush, It’s due out in January, and the band is currently touring the US.
4 Domi and JD Beck
Child prodigy Domi Louna grew up in a small riverside town in France, where she learned to play swing and jazz piano. She then teamed up with JD Beck, from Texas, to form a one-of-a-kind jazz fusion duo that caught the eye of Grammy Award winner (and former Best New Artist nominee) Anderson .Paak.
The pair have no hard and fast rules when it comes to their sound: light bass riffs layered with jazzy piano licks over an ever-changing drum beat to keep fans on their toes. After releasing her critically acclaimed debut album in July NOT TIGHTWith collaborations including Herbie Hancock, Mac DeMarco and Thundercat, there’s no telling how far the duo will go.
5 Muni Long
Muni Long continues to wow R&B listeners, but even if the name doesn’t ring a bell, you’ll no doubt be familiar with Long’s extensive songwriting work under the name Priscilla Renea: she has over a decade of experience co-writing hits like “Timber ” by Pitbull and Kesha, and “Worth It” by Fifth Harmony and Kid Ink.
After releasing his first studio album under his real name in 2009, Long continued to produce hits for pop mainstays until he released “Hrs and Hrs,” the sultry R&B track that sparked his own trend on tiktok at the end of last year. Long signed with Def Jam earlier this year and returned from the studio with a new batch of songs under his new name, while his Public Displays of Affection: The Albumwhich included “Hrs and Hrs” and collaborations with Saweetie and Ann Marie, was released in September.
6 Tobe Nwigwe
Tobe Nwigwe may seem new to the Grammy world, but for some time the Texas-born rapper and producer has been growing on the fringes of the mainstream. After a viral Tiny Desk Concert and a monumental performance at the 2020 BET Awards, Nwigwe released moMINTs last August, featuring the likes of Pharrell Williams, Chamillionaire and 2 Chainz on energetic songs that tackled everything from music industry practices to police injustice.
After dropping new songs on a weekly basis for his series Twisted Sunday during the pandemic, Nwigwe not only garnered fans like Michelle Obama and Dave Chappelle, but co-starred in the Netflix drama series Mo at the beginning of this year.
After signing with RCA Records in 2019 and slowly growing her fanbase, the Atlanta-born rapper rose to a new level of stardom thanks to her TikTok-approved “Big Energy,” which repurposed elements of her unforgettable “Fantasy.” Mariah Carey and became a summer hit. The track peaked at No. 3 on the Hot 100 and even earned Latto a remix with Carey herself, no easy feat.
Latto released his second album, 777, last spring, with all-star appearances including Childish Gambino, Lil Wayne and 21 Savage. Most recently she collaborated with a former best new artist nominee, Chlöe, of Chloe x Halle, on the song “For the Night.”
8 Samara Joy
Samara Joy has made a name for herself, in part, through the spellbinding covers of iconic jazz tunes she has shared on TikTok. After showcasing her rich, melodious voice, Joy racked up more than a million likes on that app, exposing a new generation of social media users to traditional jazz. The Bronx-native vocalist released her first album in September, Linger Awhile, and little by little he began to sell out his tours of the United States and Europe.
In typical New York fashion, Joy posted a TikTok celebrating her Grammy nominations from a crowded train platform. (Of course, the nearby New Yorkers didn’t even bother to blink.)
9 Wet Leg
After dropping their first album this year, the irreverent British indie duo have been hobnobbing with Harry Styles and racking up millions of streams for their hit “Chaise Lounge,” much to the delight of millennials and meme lovers alike.
After meeting in music school, bandmates Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chamber began writing hard-hitting music and tongue-in-cheek lyrics that seem geared especially for youngsters. zoomers, or members of Generation Z. With all their pop culture references and delicious sarcasm, Wet Leg has effortlessly become the epitome of a modern version of indie-rock cool, just because they don’t take themselves seriously. “These are really silly songs,” they told bill board at the beginning of this year. “They are not for anyone else. But now they are.”
10 Molly Tuttle
Molly Tuttle may have been born in suburban San Francisco, but that didn’t stop her from crafting warm, country-tinged tracks punctuated with bluegrass-inspired acoustic guitars and thumping banjo riffs accompanied by lyrics rich with emotional imagery. After studying music at Berklee, Tuttle moved to Nashville to hone her craft, collaborating with artists like Margo Price and Gillian Welch. Crooked Tree, The third studio album from the 30-year-old artist, it was released in the spring to critical acclaim. But Tuttle is no stranger to accolades: The songwriter made history in 2017 at the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) by becoming the first female recipient of the organization’s guitarist of the year award.
Tuttle said to bill board that she wasn’t expecting a best new artist nomination, but was honored to elevate bluegrass to a mainstream category. “I was hoping to get into the bluegrass album category because that community means a lot to me,” she said. “But this means a lot to me, because I grew up playing bluegrass and going to bluegrass festivals.”
We wish to thank the writer of this short article for this remarkable web content
Grammy for Best New Artist 2023: Meet the 10 nominees