This week’s Artist of the Week poll has some heavy hitters! Cast a vote for your favorite by next Friday at 11am EST. Choose from the list below:
Chia was born Cameroon and moved to the US at the age of six. When she was a teen, her family settled in Cleveland, where she developed as a singer and instrumentalist in school band and her church choir. Her sound combines elements of reggae, hip-hop and soul and the inspirational influence of her spiritual upbringing comes through in her music. Although her lyrics are secular, she aims to empower listeners like a soapbox preacher. She clearly has the highest standards for herself, for those around her, and doesn’t take any excuses from anyone.
Visit Jerome LOL’s website right now. Go on. See that video for the track “Delete,” in all its early Geocities-esque vintage internet glory? It’s a pretty good approximation of Jerome LOL (AKA, Jerome Potter) as a musical entity and persona, an identity formed in early recordings with Markus Garcia as the electronic duo LOL Boys. He is, in some ways, the kaleidoscopic openness promised by the early World Wide Web distilled into a single visual and sonic package.
A cosmopolitan template came naturally for Naomi Pilgrim. (Yes, that’s her real name.) Born and raised in Stockholm by her Barbadian father and Swedish mother, Pilgrim also lived in Jamaica as a kid. Adding to that cultural kaleidoscope are global jaunts as a backup singer for hometown artists like Lykke Li and Agnes Carlsson, Making multifaceted pop wasn’t really a conscious choice. Pilgrim’s sound is innate.
DJ Djeff Afrozila, also known just as Djeff, was born Tiago Barros in Alverca, Portugal to a Cape-Verdean father and an Angolan mother. As a teen, he became attracted to the Lisbon-area club scene, and house music in general, admiring artists such as Erick Morillo, Daft Punk, and Armand Van Helden. After deciding to pursue a DJ career in 2002, he cut his teeth performing all over Europe and Southern Africa. He settled in Luanda, Angola in 2008, where he became a TV personality for a music show called “Made in Angola” while achieving considerable local fame for his own productions and touring.
Illum Sphere cut his teeth as a DJ in the UK dance music scene, which might explain the cohesive feel of his new album, Ghosts of Then and Now. The album isn’t about big singles; instead, it’s a fluid procession of nocturnal tunes meant to sustain a synergetic vibe. He’s an established DJ/producer who’s remixed Radiohead, played at L.A.’s Low End Theory, and released a stream of music in the UK and beyond.