While his allegiance with rising hip-hop collective Odd Future may have put his name on the map, prodigal R&B crooner Frank Ocean is no slouch by himself. He's written songs for Justin Bieber, John Legend, and Brandy, and recently made a guest spot on Jay-Z and Kanye West's mega-collaboration Watch the Throne. With a hit single "Novacane" and an inevitable full-length record coming, expect Frankie to stay in the spotlight, whether it's with or without his buddies.
Into It. Over It. began when touring musician Evan Weiss decided to write a song a week and put it out as a record, simply titled 52 Weeks. From then on, IIOI evolved from a bedroom hobby to Weiss' musical career, as the Chicago songwriter is constantly putting out releases documenting his life on the road. All of this proliferation has culminated in Proper, his first true full-length that exhibits the blend of punk musicality and storytelling mentality that has gained Weiss a devout following.
Originally the vocalist of post-hardcore outfit Million Dead, UK songwriter Frank Turner has spent the past few years on his own, supporting his folky solo tunes all over the world. He's built up a rabid fanbase on both sides of the Atlantic, and while the punk days might be behind him, the raucous crowd sing-alongs he inspires are more blazing than ever.
Getting her start as a behind-the-scenes songwriter for Sony, Lights started coming into her own in 2008 when her addictive synth-pop started attracting ears. After a successful debut EP and LP, Lights is still as active in the electronic pop scene as ever, having just dropped her new full-length Siberia. If you're looking for music that's as heartfelt as it is unapologetically infectious, Lights is worth turning on.
This Pennsylvania songwriter is equal parts artist and activist, as he's constantly releasing new tunes while being an outspoken advocate of causes ranging from cancer research to human trafficking. After hearing his invitingly smooth voice and lyrically vivid stories, you'll likely get inspired to get behind something yourself.