Summer is approaching, which means more free time is coming our way. This is a prime opportunity to explore new artists, authors, shows and destinations. Here are five underground artists to check out and add to your summertime playlist.
King Cavitt’s sound is unique, with slow hard hitting 808-drum beats and a relentless flow. Influenced by J.I.D., Kendrick Lamar, Joey BadA$$ and Isaiah Rashad, Cavitt, 22, puts lyricism and content in the forefront.
“I always make sure to put my best lyrical content into the project I’m working on,” Cavitt said.
He attributes his musical inspiration to the positive energy from his mom, brother and his friends. Rather than putting up a front and dismissing emotions, Cavitt embraces them.
“I make music for the progressive people that wear their hearts on their sleeve and don’t really have the words to say it because they’re scared to sound sensitive,” Cavitt said.
Cavitt is in the music industry for the long haul and has many lifetime goals that reflect his musical passions.
“I want to own a clothing brand and get Kendrick Lamar to listen to and approve of one of my songs,” Cavitt said.
Listen to Cavitt’s music on SoundCloud and lookout for a clothing line from him in the future.
Dari Loso, a 22-year-old South Sound native from Puyallup, has been described as having an “astral trap” sound. He has been writing music since third grade with early inspiration stemming from a mix of old school rap and the sounds of everyday life.
“It’ll sound odd but literally the patterns we hear in our daily lives have rhythms that I would make melodies to, such as the washing machine, traffic and other city sounds … everything I heard around me inspired me,” Loso said.
Rooted in the old school boom-bap sound of ’90s rap, his sound has changed over the years. According to Loso, it is conceptualized as a psychedelic trap mixed with a synth wave similar to boom-bap.
“I’d say it’s nostalgic acid rap, it’s like a upbeat MF DOOM,” Loso explained.
Loso has his eyes set on owning several record stores, playing festivals and continuing to release albums. You can find his music on Soundcloud under “DariBroko” and on YouTube by searching “Dari Loso.”
CJ Run is an alternative hip hop artist inspired by a bit of everything. He is a United Kingdom native who has lived in the U.S. for the past seven years, Run pulls most of their influences from UK greats such as Lily Allen and the Arctic Monkeys, as well as traditional Nigerian music. Run began writing music at age 13 after being inspired by a Black Entertainment Television documentary about women in hip hop.
“I wanted to rap and put on for the girls, so I picked up the pen and started going,” Run said.
Since then, they have experienced great success on streaming services and in live performances.
“My goal is to take my music to the top, [to] travel the world performing for people that look like me and rep all my queer blacks out there,” Run said.
The album they are currently working on, “Run’s World,” is set to be released this summer. All their music is available on Spotify and Soundcloud.
Kizhane Khalil Demoria Massey, twenty-one-year-old Tacoma native, seeks to spread nothing but positive vibes and good energy through his music.
“My goals are to make music that touches people’s hearts and to have a sound that even when imitated, can’t be copied,” Massey said.
He lists many musical influences that shape his style, such Michael Jackson, Chris Brown, Destiny’s Child and R Kelly.
“I’d classify my sound as groovy but also something people can relate to, a Michael [Jackson] meets Chris Brown,” Massey said.
Following these influences, Massey pursued his love for music.
“What inspired me to make music is the love of it, just the melodies and rhythms,” Massey said.
You can find his music on YouTube and SoundCloud, and soon on Spotify and iTunes as well.
Born and raised in Tacoma, Clyde Villain has an eclectic R&B sound with roots of retro soul. He channels musical influences such as Michael Jackson, Marvin Gaye, Lauryn Hill and Amy Winehouse into music that savors memories.
“Those artists impacted what I wanted to write about. It’s all so atmospheric and full of raw passion, especially when it came to songs about love,” Villain said.
He perpetuates truth and transparency through lyrics — so much so that it flows like a story.
When discussing his songs, Villain said that they “describe the weather, whether it was day or night and the mood of my thoughts … to me the greatest songs are just honest and that’s what I intend to do with my lyrics.”
Villain is also focused on creating opportunities to tour with his band and seeing different cities.
“I’m hopeful I will achieve this — and grasp some ears on the journey,” Villain said.
Find his music on SoundCloud and all social media platforms under @clydevillain.
Alex is studying sustainable urban development. She loves going to events around Tacoma and telling people about them. Her goal is to use her degree to make cities more sustainable.