January 2015 edition!By Vanessa

Music is a mind-altering magician. It has the power to make you smile. It has the nerve to make you cry. It can give you energy or take you to a far away place. And sometimes, it can make you sick because you definitely just heard that song like 2 minutes ago… blehhhh!

The monotonous repetition can become too much to bear, and when that happens, a list like this is born. Veronica, co-host of the Dave & Veronica morning show on WQYK and co-host of 44 on the Town, and I teamed up to compile a list of The 4 artists to keep an ear out for this year.

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Ditch that broken record and take a listen to these up-and-coming artists!

Veronica’s Picks

Sam Hunt

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Let’s start with the fact that he’s fine. I mean fiiiiiiiiiine!! Boy is super good-looking; he’s an athlete and played football at University of Alabama at Birmingham. He majored in philosophy (swoon!!).

His music is even hotter. He released his first album, Montevallo, in October of 2014, but he began writing long before. He has written hits for Kenney Chesney, Keith Urban and Billy Currington. Hunt’s debut single, “Leave The Night On,” went number one! His debut album also debuted number one on Billboard Top Country and number three on Billboard Top 200.

Even as a new artist, he has sold out shows in 15 minutes. But above that, his sound is truly unique. In this era of “Bro Country,” Sam manages to have a fresh sound that, to me, sets him apart from other male artists. Montevallo is country, but it’s also dripping with R&B… and it totally works.

Listen: Leave the Night On

Ellie Goudling 

(Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images)

(Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images)

Yes, technically Ellie Goulding has been around for a while. She’s released several albums that have produced hits like “Lights” and “Burn.” But as far as artists go, I feel she is slowly climbing into the stratosphere. She has a very unique voice that I believe most mainstream music fans have taken a little for granted… until now.

Ellie’s new single, “Love Me Like You Do,” is featured on the soundtrack for “50 Shades of Grey.” If you haven’t paid attention yet, this sultry song will make you sit up and take notice!

Listen: Love Me Like You Do

Vanessa’s Picks

Ella Henderson

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(Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for CITI)

(Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for CITI)

Henderson was a finalist on the 2012 edition of X Factor. She released her first album, Chapter One, in October of 2014 and her first single “Ghost” remains in the top 5 on the UK Singles Chart. She finds her inspiration in Jazz and Soul music, which is evident in her work.

After hearing “Ghost” on the radio, I instantly felt something different from this British singer-songwriter. Her voice and sound is fresh and, I feel, is what’s missing from the pop-music landscape.

Listen: Ghost



18-year-old, Atlanta native Raury is 2015’s newest star. He released his first mix tape in August of 2014 entitled Indigo Child and has since been followed by endless praise. His sound is very eclectic. He is a singer, rapper, songwriter and guitar player. He is what would happen if folk, hip-hop, electro-rock and R&B all got together and had a baby. And, as it turns out, Kanye West has given Raury his stamp of approval. In fact, ‘Ye flew Raury out to meet him after watching Raury’s video for “God’s Whisper.” If Yeezy says he’s good, he’s gotta be good.

He was named one of the 5 brightest young stars on BBC’s Sound of 2015 list. He was named one of NY Daily News’ New Music Stars of 2015. Let’s face it, he’s made every “Soon to Be a Star” list imaginable. Raury is making waves because he is so unique and I think 2015 will be his year.

Listen: Raury’s Soundcloud

Honorable Mention | DJ Zedd

(Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

(Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

Zedd, born Anton Zaslavsi, is a music producer, musician and DJ. He may be best known for his club song “Clarity” and “Break Free” with vocals by Ariana Grande. He is also a remix king. He has produced remixes for Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga and The Black Eyed Peas. Although Zedd hasn’t specified the release of a new album yet, he did tell Billboard in September that he spoke to Hayley Williams about a possible collab. With that in mind, and the blossoming relationship with Selena Gomez, I predict Zedd will have a great 2015.

Did your pick make the list? Share your picks on Twitter (@CW44_TampaBay) and Facebook!

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Veronica Alfaro & Vanessa Rao | CW44 Tampa Bay