Sound of the Future

By Danielle Irene

You probably remember where you were when you first saw 12-year-old Grace Vanderwaal’s premiere performance on America’s Got Talent. With her song “I Don’t Know My Name,” you were likely blown away by her raw, honest, and innovative sound—just like millions of others around the world. No one was surprised when she ended up walking away months later with a first place title.

Sure, Grace is definitely talented, but most people who audition on AGT are. The real appeal of Grace is twofold: 1) she is honestly and uniquely herself, and 2) she is young.

Believe it or not, these two ideas are really one. Grace is apart of Gen Z, where being young and being yourself is the standard. What if I told you there were even more Gen Z musicians out there with the spunk, charisma, and honesty Grace possesses?

Gen Z is already breaking the sound barrier—literally and metaphorically. You wouldn’t believe how many of today’s top artists are under 23: Shawn Mendes, Khalid, Alessia Cara, Camila Cabello, Daniel Caesar, H.E.R., Billie Eilish, Dua Lipa . . . the list goes on.

But there are so many more out there. Here are ten Gen Z artists you may not have heard of that are making the sound of the future.