In a continued celebration of the Black Lives Matter movement, we’ve curated a playlist to showcase fifty emerging Black artists. Mostly alternative-R&B and experimental-pop, many of these artists bend both genre and societal conventions, encouraging a more active dialogue about racial justice, especially amidst protests stemming from the murder of George Floyd.

Support these up-and-coming Black artists by giving the following playlist a listen, and keep reading to learn more about our favorite tracks.

 

 


 

black artists - Sudan Archives

Sudan Archives – Limitless 

Sudan Archives knows no limits. A self-taught violinist and vocalist, the Cincinnati-born prodigy writes, plays, and produces her own music. Fusing Sudanese-style violin with electronic beats and ethereal vocals, Sudan Archives has a sound like no other.  “Limitless” is an experimental, relatable R&B song that explores an unhealthy internet relationship, something that many of us unfortunately know too well. 

 

 


 

black artists - Serena Isioma

Serena Isioma – Cookout

Serena Isioma is a 19-year-old, first-generation Nigerian-American singer whose eclectic music packs a punch. While Serena Isioma claims she’s not an activist — she’s “just black and tired” — her atmospheric R&B-rock song “Cookout” takes no mercy in calling out the current police state, with witty lines like:  “Shoutout to my lawyer but / Fuck the whole state / Fuck 12 / Fuck 12 / Fuck 12 / They just wanna put me in jail / But that ain’t gonna happen go to hell.” 

 

 


 

black artists - Deem Spencer

Deem Spencer – Soap 

Deem Spencer is an emerging artist from Jamaica, Queens with a unique, jazz-infused hip-hop sound. He wrote “Soap,” his most-streamed song, a year-and-a-half after graduating high school, when he realized that there were a lot of dumbass things I did to impress people or to fit in.” Nowadays, Deem is far more willing to go against the crowd, standing up for himself and others. “Soap” is just the beginning of his clever lyricism and off-kilter sound.

 

 


 

black artists - OSHUN

OSHUN – Burn 

Inspired by West African mythology and Afro-futurism, the hip-hop duo OSHUN, comprised of Thandiwe and Niambi Sala, strives to create an interdimensional experience for their listeners where they can connect with the spirit of their ancestors to manifest a sweeter tomorrow for all of us. Their reggaeton-inspired song “Burn,” is all about reaching this higher level of consciousness. 

 

 


 

black artists - Spencer.

Spencer. – Hold It Down

Spencer. is a genre-defying, New York-born artist whose music career really popped off after dropping out of college to pursue music full-time. Less than a year later, Spencer. got signed 4AD / Remote Control Records, and he promised he’d never go back to school. “Hold It Down” is a moody, indie-rock bop about the power of unconditional love. With chill, lo-fi guitar, a funky bassline, and velvety vocals, “Hold It Down” feels timeless, evoking nostalgia for something you may have never experienced. If you’re not in love now, you will be. 

 

 


 

black artists - shygirl

Shygirl – UCKERS 

Shygirl, the 27-year-old London-born musician and DJ, exists in paradoxes. Shy but fierce, chill but bossy, soft but hardcore, Shygirl pulls you in with her spooky club sound. Creepy club music might seem like the last thing you want to listen to during quarantine, but Shygirl’s industrial-rap sound is so hypnotic that you can’t help but dance along to her whispery vocals and eerie beats. “UCKERS” is no exception.

 

 


 

black artists - Dua Saleh

Dua Saleh – umbrellar

Dua Saleh is a grunge god. As a gender non-binary, Sudanese-American artist, Dua Saleh regularly explores her identity in her music. In her gritty, indie-rock track “umbrellar” off her most recent Rosetta EP, Dua Saleh explores the spectrum of sexuality through the story of an alien love affair. 

 

 


 

Q – Lavender

Q is a bit of a mystery. With very little social media presence, it’s hard to pin him down, not just as a person, but musically too. That being said, there’s something undeniably raw about Q’s raspy, minimalist sound. Much like the plant, his “Lavender” pulls you in with its earthiness. “There’s something in the air that makes me wanna get closer to you,” he lulls, engulfing you in a peaceful, floral landscape. 

 

 


black artists - hope tala

Hope Tala – Lovestained 

Hope Tala is a 22-year-old, London-born musician with a neo-soul sound. Inspired by queer love stories, her dreamy track “Lovestained” is exactly that. Blending bossanova and R&B, she sings about what she describes in a Complex interview as “the grey area between infatuation and love, when you just want the person you’re interested in to give you a little bit more of themselves so that you can let yourself fall for them.” 

 

 

 


 

black artists - serpentwithfeet

serpentwithfeet – A Comma

Brooklyn-based Josiah Wise, otherwise known as serpentwithfeet, is an avant-garde gospel pop artist who’s not afraid to take creative risks. “A Comma” feels like a paranormal experience, a ghoulish tale of a man trying to find his place in the world. Recently Josiah has been especially vocal not just musically, releasing his Apparition EP in May, but also politically vocal, speaking out on Twitter amidst George Floyd’s murder about abolishing the police and destabilizing whiteness.

 


 

Check out the full playlist below and make sure you follow us on Spotify to stay up-to-date on the best new music. 

 

50 Black Artists On the Rise