I am a writer/student (Canada > Southern California). I have been covering live shows and reviewing artist releases since 2016.
If you hadn't heard her name in 2021, perhaps you had been living under a rock. No joke, one of the biggest international exports from Los Angeles had her own Disney+ special, and any change of her hair color or clothing style rippled news waves worldwide. As a teen she broke on to the scene with her infectious single “Bad Guy” and the rest is history. Her unique brand of pop, electronic and soft-spoken singing took the music industry by storm and the world may never be the same.
Almost out of nowhere came this Disney+ superstar turned full-fledged rockstar. At the ripe old age of 18, Rodrigo had people everywhere thinking “Good 4 U” as she conquered both the airwaves and network programming. The Los Angeles native has already seen her share of airplay success, drama (re: Paramore) and regardless a very bright future ahead of her.
No stranger to the music scene, pop songstress Kesha made her mark with 2009’s “Tik Tok” long before the social media platform of the same name took over. While her career has witnessed peaks and valleys, she has made a strong comeback to represent Los Angeles music with her evolving brand of pop music. In 2021, she was working on new music and announced an exciting new tour to get back on the road.
This LA rockstar is one of the defining people in alternative lifestyle and carving their own path. Phoebe Bridgers began her career in SoCal playing in bands and eventually making a debut solo album to break her to the next level of her music journey. One of 2021’s most buzzed artists overall, her album Punisher has pumped out fan favorites that include “Kyoto,” “Garden Song” and “Graceland Too.”
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Once one of Canada’s biggest pop/rock heroes, Betty Moon has been calling Los Angeles home for her unique brand of music. As a successful producer and songwriter, her music has not only been featured in major movies and media, but she has also found major success in real estate in Southern California (see LA Times and NY Post). One of her albums, Little Miss Hollywood, pays homage to the LA area that she fell in love with and continues to explore with curiosity and excitement.
Let’s not forget one of LA’s most beloved artists of all time. Cher helped put and keep LA on the map for rockstars to emerge and spread their wings. Like the Madonnas and Lady Gagas of the world, Cher managed to reinvent herself time and time again, and we can’t miss the fact that she pretty much made autotune in pop music a thing. “Believe” is not only one of the biggest pop songs of all time, but she is also a style icon that has helped make Southern California a fashion capital worldwide.
Gabriella Wilson (also known as H.E.R.) is one of the brightest faces in music to come out of LA in the 2020s. After giving a career a go under her real name, she reimagined herself as H.E.R. and has since been nominated for multiple Grammy Awards on the heels of hit singles such as “Best Part” and “Come Through.” Not only is her story of reinvention inspiring, but also in 2021 she announced a venture in acting, as she will be appearing in an adaptation of The Color Purple.
Another LA icon who flies just under the radar these days, but has more hit songs than most artists would ever dream of having. “Love Song,” “Gravity” and “King of Anything” are just a handful of the songs penned by one of the industry's most beloved and wholesome artists. She is also known for her incredible vocal control and talent, making her a go-to for other creative projects in the industry. For 2021, news has reported that Bareilles will be hitting Broadway with a star role of the rendition of the hit musical Waitress.
Another fresh face with a story similar to Olivia Rodrigo, Miranda Cosgrove began her career in acting (School of Rock, iCarly) and moved over to a double-life that includes music. Once one of the highest paid actresses in the world, the shift into music is proof that this LA artist is in it for all the right reasons. Some of her hits over the years have included tracks like “Kissin U,” “Dancing Crazy” and “About You Now.”
You may not know the name, but you surely have heard their unforgettable catalog of music on streaming services, film and television. Flying just under the radar, the incredible talent of this group of sisters turned band has led to one of the most successful pop groups of the past decade. Este, Danielle and Alana Haim are without a doubt the star guests at any family gathering, let alone music industry event around the Los Angeles area.