5 Of Our Favorite 21 and Under Musicians
  • FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012

  • Posted by: Malcolm Donaldson

What with the new-fangled technology and those social medias, kids these days are just getting famous at such a young age. We've comprised a list of five new, young musicians who really do deserve that attention, who are making music beyond their years. Read the list, tell us who we forgot (no Biebs, please), and -- most importantly -- don't be jealous.

1. Dylan Baldi



Cleveland's Dylan Baldi was only 20 when he released Cloud Nothings' sophomore album Attack on Memory, one of the best of 2012 thus far. Although Baldi's voice is still boyish, the maturity with which he writes about becoming an adult on his newest album is rare. During the finale of album highlight "Wasted Days" Baldi screams with such a passion that it sounds like he's tearing his vocal cords out through his neck. He screams, "I thought I would be more than this" over and over again. It's a funny thing for one of rock's most promising young songwriters to sing.

2. Tyler, The Creator



Despite all the questionable words and decisions Tyler, The Creator has made, it's hard to deny that the 21 year old rapper is talented. His mode of half-rhyming his way through rhythmic rants on violent versions of pop culture and cartoons is unique, and -- maybe not so strangely -- speaks to the feelings of a lot of today's teenagers. He's gifted with all the intangibles to keep his career going for a decade, but is also plagued with the pratfalls that come with quickly rising to fame at a very young age. Sometimes he seems to take it for granted, as if it comes so easily and he could take it or leave it at any time. Watch the rapper's most recent video, "Sam Is Dead," to see a good example of the good and bad of Tyler, The Creator. (He appears at around the 2:25 mark.)


3. Bo Burnham



A viral sensation since he was 17, Comedian/Musician Bo Burnham looks like a 6'6" toddler, he's able to be self-aware in a way very few other comedians ten years his elder can manage. Watch Bo sing "Art is Dead" to witness his blend of serious observation, moderate piano talent, and hilarious self-awareness.


4. Azelia Banks



Similar to Tyler, The Creator, Azelia Banks is undeniably gifted but is still rough around the edges. Having pushed back her debut album a number of times, she could either be a perfectionist, or not be ready for all of the new-found attention she has gathered. But from the look of ravenously catchy songs like "Liquorice" and "212," there's no doubt that the 21-year-old's light speed tongue twisters are worth keeping an ear out for.


5. King Krule/Zoo Kid



Born in 1994 (yes you read that correctly), it's hard to believe that King Krule could have such a viscerally mature voice. The love child of Tilda Swinton and Tintin has been making music for years as Zoo Kid, but changed his moniker in 2011 for his epynomous EP released on True Panther. His British accent adds to his unique aesthetic, and combines with clean guitars and warbling beats to make a sound you can only hope will continue to grow for years to come.

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