One’s To Watch 2022

Mixtape Madness Bloggers

By Mixtape Madness Bloggers

Mixtape Madness Bloggers

22 Dec 2021

We’ve embraced a range of new and upcoming talents this year. One of the best things about consuming music is the amount of choice we have and once we subscribe to our favourites, we become a part of their ascending journey. 

Once again, we are on the cusp of a new beginning and there isn’t a better time to hit rewind on the past twelve months. With live music (and life as we knew it) making a comeback, we are fully tapped into emerging acts who have demanded our attention. Panning across genres, we’ve listed fourteen talents who’s success we’re willing to bet on! 

Switch OTR

Despite only dropping two songs this year, 19 year old Croydon based artist SwitchOTR has amassed more than 30 million streams this year on Spotify alone, placing him firmly on our ‘One’s to Watch’ list for 2022. The release of ‘Coming for You (Feat. A1 x J1)’ at the end of October this year saw the South Norwood raised talent showcase his melodies on a joint that went viral in a very short amount of time – expanding his audience tenfold. Switch’s versatility is presented in his other single from this year, ‘Enroute’, proving himself to be dynamic by elaborating with harder bars over a more drill incorporated beat. 2022 is set to be huge for SwitchOTR – and should he keep up momentum – is certainly a name you will be seeing in the charts. – Harvey Marwood


17-year-old North-East Londoner, Arz, entered MM’s radar, having made his appearance on the platform’s ‘Next Up?’ segment with a fluid freestyle. Prior to this, the rapper gave listeners a 6-package offering with his ‘Love Letters’ EP; a project indicative of his RnDrill origins, through the lover-esque UK Hip-Hop based sounds that have presented flawlessly in other music releases he’s given to listeners this year. The rising rapper has done numbers in streams, having delivered the infectious hit, ‘Alone With You’ (produced by 1plutobrazy), which has made multiple appearances in the UK charts, given the speed at which the song gained popularity on TikTok. With over 1.7million listeners on Spotify, and artistic qualities that are not limited to music alone, Arz’s talent is prevalent, and he’s certainly set to flourish further on our scene. – Amanda

Idi Akz

More artists from outside the capital are beginning to knock down barriers and put their city on the map, one of which is Idi Akz. Hailing from Derby, Idi Akz is one of the most exciting acts to emerge this year. Bursting onto the scene with the viral release of ‘Two Years Clear’ that blew up on TikTok, he was plunged into the world of music and in doing so, has turned the heads of many. Accumulating over 15 million streams, he recently took to the mic for Mixtape Madness’s signature ‘Next Up?’ freestyle – that not only trended on YouTube, but also gained just under 350,000 views in two weeks – placing his unapologetic approach and hard-bars to the forefront of the track. Although he’s only at the start of his career, Idi’s pen game, flows, and all-round artistry has solidified him as an artist to watch for 2022. – Elle Evans


It should come as no surprise to see this talented artist on our list. First appearing in the season 10 version of the X Factor, Tamera has truly defied all expectations and stereotypes associated with the talent show’s  contestants. Following on from debut single ‘Romeo’ and follow-up ‘Don’t Phone’, the Kent native garnered viral acclaim with breakout single ‘Flipside’. Amassing over two million streams to-date, the innovative track flaunted Tamera’s new culturally-enriched sound. Though R&B is her main ingredient, Tamera’s soundscape accommodates a melting pot of influences hence transcending the genre borders. Housing her signature sultry melodies, debut project ‘Afrodite’ is a breathtaking display of Tamera’s songwriting ability. Ruminating on themes of life, love and heartbreak, her choice of narratives are beautifully intimate. She sings for the modern day woman whether that be our hurtful experiences from toxic relationships in Strong For Me, or the yearn for sexual fulfillment in the sensual jam ‘Wickedest’. Among the 132 black creators and artists being championed by #YouTubeBlack Voices program, Tamera is undoubtedly primed for big things next year. Keep an eye on her! – Afoma Andrea


If there’s an artist who’s on their way up, and worthy of mentioning, undoubtedly, it’s Bawo. The West-London rapper has a string of eclectic tracks in his catalogue, with notable works to date including the luscious ‘Undercover’ – featuring South London’s Donalee – ‘Starts with a Text’, ‘Don’t Lie on My Head’ and ‘Building Castles’; pulled directly from his ‘Live & Let Thrive’ EP. The project’s drop set a sweet tone for the summer and had the artist going on to make multiple showcases where he demonstrated an electric stage presence in intimate settings. Bawo’s music isn’t defined by a single sound, and the visuals that accompany some of the mentioned tracks, demonstrate his natural ability to communicate through music. If there’s one thing he’s set to do for 2022, it most definitely is to thrive.Amanda


North London’s residing artist 5EB is without a doubt an artist to watch next year! Following what’s been a momentous 12 months for 19-year-old – more specifically with his ‘FENDI5IVE’ project – the genre-bending and multi-talented prodigy has proved himself time and time again. Continuing to boast his versatility and all-round quality artistry, 5EB’s London grit and unique flare is what sets him apart from others in his field. Not afraid to break boundaries or showcase his ability across various sounds, his potential to become a house-hold name speaks volumes. Steering away from the rest of the crowd sonically, tracks like ‘BTC’ alongside fellow artist Ashbeck, ‘IT’S ALL LUV’, ‘TRIBE’ and ‘YOU KNO’ only cement this. With more music on the way, 5EB is a name to look out for! – Elle Evans


The world of rap is increasingly intersectional and constantly takes on a new shape. With that being said, it can be difficult for new talents to break into the scene and stick – but not for Cristale. The South Londoner demands your ear as soon as she begins to rhyme and is reputable for knocking out freestyles, earning herself her stripes before even releasing a project. This newcomer has emerged a full-packaged artist with fierce energy driving her airtight flows and sucker-proof bars. Cristale is an artist we want to know but must catch up to, as she rapidly gets better and more focused. Making waves with her current “Morgan” smash, the rapper occupies a space in the industry that gives women who are cut from her cloth a figure to rally behind and all we want is to see this ‘round-the-way’ beast of a talent win. – Sweeney Gloria


The East London talent entered the rap scene back in 2020 with a glass-shattering bang. Boasting hard-hitting bars and staccato flows, debut single Belly was an impressive introduction to the rapper. Two minutes of blissful straight greaze, it was clear ShaSimone had paid thorough attention to the legends before her yet is using the acquired knowledge to carve her own template. A refreshingly bold move considering our current era of musical cosplay. Though only having a handful of releases under her belt, ShaSimone has already been championed by rap heavyweights such as Dave. Appearing on the masterpiece that is We’re All Alone In This Together, the newcomer’s unapologetic charm immediately caught fan attention. An impressive feat given the notable names on the project. A poet by nature, ShaSimone’s pen welds a power that would make even Shakespeare quake in his grave. If you don’t believe us quickly, go listen to her impressive reel of Afropop-tinged tracks ‘Hushpuppi’ and ‘Back To Sender’, her explosive HB Freestyle and then come back to us. Delivering one of this year’s hardest ‘Next Up’ freestyle, ShaSimone is undeniably on the rise and at this rate she may surpass her peers with swiftness. – Afoma Andrea


Breaking through earlier this year with the celebrated ‘Drunk and Confused’ single, South London newcomers JS and YD independently accumulated 2.5 million YouTube views on their own channel. Initially taking off with an explosive snippet on TikTok, future stars JS and YD are undeniably already an incredibly likeable duo with a massive support from audiences. Providing each track with energy-driven deliveries, JS and YD are described to be a “refreshing” contribution to the music scene, offering a new and distinctive execution to the drill genre. Both possessing their own unique musical qualities, the dynamic duo effortlessly complement each other’s sounds, offering an impressive talent the UK have been missing and impatiently waiting for. Reaching new milestones with achievements such as succeeding 1 million views on their recent ‘Next Up?’ Freestyle – the young, rising duo will have a huge 2022 without a doubt! – Casey Dorney

N15 D Rose

N15 D Rose has delivered some top tier tracks in 2021, and drill fans should have high hopes that he can take the genre in new directions next year. ‘When Will It Stop’ was released in July, and is demonstrative of the rappers hard hitting bars and recognisable, gritty vocal tones. This track also excites for the choice of beat and how D Rose attacked it, mixing his low vocals with the bouncy, high pitched melodies of the instrumental. Elsewhere, the rapper teamed up with another N15 man, Shambo, for the drill heater ‘Fright Night’. Perhaps his best work this year however was the track ‘Drills N Stuff’, which again sees superb choice of production and a tirade of bars and flows that show just how much of an exciting talent D Rose is. If the rapper is able to keep his own style whilst still having that ear for instrumentals, 2022 can be very exciting for him. – Joe Simpson

Nino SLG

Nino SLG is by far one of the most exciting talents we’ve seen in recent years. At just 16 years old, Nino possesses such an effortless and infectious flow – whilst also maintaining a unique ability to create music with substance and longevity. 2021 saw the London based prodigy release debut project ‘State of Mind’ – a 6 track project including ‘House Invasions’, ‘Prison Walls’ and ‘L.S.O.M’, alongside visuals to the latter two. Focusing his wordplay around societal issues as well as events in his everyday life – Nino’s relatability and intricately expressed honesty places himself at the top tier of UK newcomers. This year also saw the teenager perform a live rendition of ‘Prison Walls’ on a national Twining’s advert – a huge accomplishment for any artist. I’m predicting great things for Nino SLG not only in 2022, but over the next 5 years or so. He is going to be up there with the UK greats. – Harvey Marwood


Nippa came and busted up the silence, this year. I can’t identify what we felt was missing but, within a rap-heavy arena of music, the newest UK R&B act has enlivened the masses with silky vocals and littered our summer with infectious tunes. There is strength in numbers and Nippa’s power lies in his ability to captivate both male and female listeners who enjoy his ‘love songs for the streets’ vibe. The North London native recently scored a co-sign from LA’s Blxst when he was hand-picked to open up the star’s headline show which catapulted his ‘Nippa’ debut into heavy rotation. The future is certainly bright for the standout talent who’s sounds are reminiscent of the early 00s era.  – Sweeney Gloria


Jordy has had a fantastic 2021 that has seen him cement himself as one of the most exciting talents in the UK. Since dropping tapes with the rap collective Vibbar, as well as his own ‘Have a Good Sumer’ EP in 2019, the Essex rapper came through with his longest project, ‘SMH’, this year. Jordy demonstrated his lyrical dexterity, as well as using a mix of production and vocal performances to create a tape that was vibrant and versatile. ‘Cherry B’, one of the lead singles from the project, provided a catchy hook and a great use of flow on the second verse, while ‘Feel Right Now’ experimented excellently with the genre of Amapiano. After selling out his first headline show this year, there is a real buzz around the artist and if Jordy is able to deliver a full length project in 2022, there is no reason why he can’t become one of the most important rap voices of the new year. – Joe Simpson


Offloading an infectious string of releases this year, rising East London talent Snow effortlessly encapsulated his sound for UK audiences. Providing a compelling musical cadence throughout notable drill drops ‘Risky Business’, ‘All That I Got’ and ‘Nosey Neighbours’, Snow supplied us with some of the most gritty, hard-hitting lyrical bars matched with a constantly engaging delivery. One thing about Snow is his ability to ascend listeners through a striking beat selection, showcasing his distinguishable innovation as a growing artist. Snow continuously relays a distinctive style of rap through his releases, making his presence in the scene clearer than ever. Bringing the year to an end with recent drop ‘Habitat’ as well as his special ‘Next Up?’ debut appearance, the multi-faceted rapper proves his ability to do it all, executing an enthralling head-bopping rap flow. Showing no signs of slowing down, it is no secret that Snow is One to watch for 2022. – Casey Dorney