As described perfectly on Spotify, the music streaming platform's playlist "Pollen" is "a playlist beyond genre. Quality first always." Updated a few times a week, "Pollen" presents a mix of genre–bending songs and artists that would be hard to discover otherwise. Here are ten artists who deserve more recognition that Street found by listening to "Pollen" over the last few months.
"Rollercoaster" by Ivy Sole
Ivy Sole graduated from Wharton in 2015 and has been pursuing her musical career since her time at Penn. Her music is all about love and honesty, while she takes inspiration from jazz and indie chords. This particular song, “Rollercoaster,” is grounded by pulsing syncopated beats that ground the lyrics describing a rollercoaster relationship.
"Nana" by Polo & Pan
Nothing is better at lifting your spirits than listening to the music of electronic pop French duo, Polo & Pan. “Nana” is the upbeat track that everyone wants to listen to, with bright, heavy, fast beats, and the repetition of the lyric, “Sou de Nanã, euá, euá, euá.”
"Proud of U" by EARTHGANG
This vibrant hip–hop duo from Atlanta, Georgia is bursting with energy and catchy rhythms. “Proud of U” honors the women who are important to EARTHGANG by recognizing their hustle and hard work. It’s a tribute that makes you want to smile and dance.
"Deadass" by Kemba
Starting off as an underground hip–hop artist in the Bronx, Kemba’s breakthrough came in the form of his album, GNK, released in 2013. His sound is cool and unfazed, with a hint of shadowy darkness. “Deadass” presents a raw account of Kemba repeating “Bullshit, I’m calling bullshit” on people's expectations of him as a black man from New York.
"North Face" by ODIE
The 21–year–old Toronto singer, ODIE, brings a sound that blends both Afrobeat and R&B. His song, “North Face” describes the artist in a trance after seeing a beautiful face while working at The North Face. ODIE’s entrancing voice slowly massages through this calming, wavy track.
"23 (feat. Caroline Smith)" by Rejjie Snow
Rejjie Snow takes from soft R&B as well as hip–hop, similar to artists such as Noname and Smino, but with a heavier focus on melodies. Hailing from Dublin, Ireland, Snow brings a vibe that’s not quite one genre, but rather a mix of electronic sounds and rap features. “23” comes from his longest and most recent album, titled Dear Annie.
"Drive and Disconnect" by NAO
NAO’s music is funky and fresh. Her sound is feminine and assertive as she switches through her different vocal abilities, ranging from a higher wispy voice, to a rapper riding succinct beats. She compares her will to escape a toxic relationship to driving, and “Drive and Disconnect” was released as a single in 2018 off her album, Saturn.
"Weekend Friend" by Goth Babe
If Goth Babe were a place, he would be the fun–loving, quirky city of Portland, Oregon. A combination of folksy sounds and old indie, Goth Babe is a calming and reassuring presence. His song, “Weekend Friend” is a little different, with a more hyped–up, summery, electronic sound.
"You" by Mk.Gee
Finding inspiration from artists like Blood Orange and Jai Paul, USC School of Music senior Mk.Gee incorporates dynamic styles into his music. “You” is a fuzzy combination of unstructured, free–flowing sounds that seem to come from an old stereo. It’s groovy in the funky plucking of guitar strings and lyrics about a past summer relationship.
"MICHUUL" by Duckwrth
Duckwrth’s music is charged with hip–hop energy that’s hard to shake off. At 26 years old, he has worked with artists like Lana Del Rey and A$AP Rocky, easily molding his style to that of others. “MICHUUL” paints a carefree picture of a love story with the vibes of a fun summer day.