The 5 best new musical artists of 2018, from Cardi B to Greta Van Fleet

In the world of music in 2018, startups dominated the airwaves and Spotify playlists. In the world of rock, rising stars like Lucy Dacus, Soccer Mommy, Snail Mail and Jay Som brought youth and vitality to a grizzled indie-rock universe. Bronx rapper Cardi B has become the new queen of hip-hop, garnering unwavering attention from critics and tabloids alike. South Korean sensation BTS has captured the hearts of Gen Z and Greta Van Fleet has become the new darling of boomer rock fanatics.

These are the artists who have made significant waves this year.

1. little genius

“There’s no conductor, which is really great,” says Phoebe Bridgers of new supergroup boygenius. From left to right: Bridgers, Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus.
Pentelute Lera

What happens when three sad-sounding young songwriters join together to form a supergroup? They do more funky, sad music, but with a higher profile and more three-part vocal harmonies. The union of Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus has only been around for six months, but their sold-out concerts and widely acclaimed EP give us hope that their fierce vulnerability will continue to reverberate in the male-dominated halls of rock. independent for a long time.


South Korean pop group BTS performs at a Korean cultural event on October 14, 2018 in Paris.

The seven-member South Korean boy band, which has been around since 2013, is already a global phenomenon, commanding levels of screaming Beatles fans in 1964, chart records and a social media empire – the most engagements Twitter for any music group, according to Guinness World Records. But it took until 2018 for BTS to become essential in the USA: The group’s last album, Do you love: tear, became the first K-pop album to top Billboard’s US album chart; BTS is also the only Korean group to play in an American stadium.


Tierra Whack
Tierra Whack performs on September 29, 2018 at Ford Amphitheater in Brooklyn, New York.
Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images for Spotify

The oddly provocative artist from Philadelphia has turned a childhood poetry habit into a surreal hip-hop career. His beginnings, hit the world, received substantial acclaim. It is also the most structured album of the year: 15 titles of one minute each. (Each song also comes with its own unique video.) And that perfect rap name? She was born with.


Greta VanFlotte
Greta Van Fleet performs in San Bernardino, California on October 06, 2018.
Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)

If you’re younger than Justin Bieber but play music that sounds exactly like it’s from 1969, you might be part of Greta Van Fleet. The beginnings of the group Pacific Army Anthem, sold 80,000 US copies in just one week (not really typical for a rock band in 2018). Critics deride them as fake Led Zeppelin clones. Fans love them for being old-fashioned, tough Led Zeppelin clones. Anyway, when was the last time rock critics got pissed off arguing about an old-school rock ‘n’ roll band?


Fran Drescher wants Cardi B to star in reboot
Cardi B attends the 2018 American Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on October 9, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.
Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

“Bodak Yellow” hit No. 1 (spoofing none other than Taylor Swift – quite a feat for an upstart rapper) in the final months of 2017, but 2018 was the year Cardi solidified her viral rise with her first best -sell, Privacy breach. Cardi’s aggressive flow and her distinctly millennial rise from Bronx stripper to queen of rap has inspired even politicians: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, in celebrating her own working-class roots, cited Cardi’s song “Best Life.” on Twitter.