Five Artists that have Gotten Me Through the Year


Jamari Amrham

The year 2020 has been an especially harsh one. We’ve all lost inspirational figures in our lives. Highly anticipated plans have disappeared in a matter of hours. I can’t speak for everyone, but coping with this year and all that it has brought has been extremely difficult. Personally, whenever I find myself bombarded by the challenges and stressors of life, I turn to music. It’s honestly quite amazing what relaxing with a good pair of headphones and a solid playlist or album can do. Here are five artists you may or may not have heard of who have made 2020 just a bit more bearable for me. 

Denzel Curry:

The young lyricist out of Dade County, Fla. has come a long way since entering the scene with the viral hit “Ultimate” you definitely heard long ago in 2015. With drastic fast-paced shouts overlaid with a minor echo effect, Curry has embraced his inner artist. By combining the sounds and chord progressions of heavy metal with the lyrical poetry of conscious underground rap, Curry stands apart from many other rappers currently on the scene. His flow and the multitude of pop culture references make his music understandable and accessible. Although there are many single tracks to enjoy across his discography, Denzel Curry is best enjoyed when sitting down and listening to an album in its entirety. 

My recommendations: “CLOUT COBAIN,” “Story: No Title,” “Lay_Up.m4a,” “SPEEDBOAT,” and “BLACK BALLOONS.”


There are plenty of artists across the world that are impossible to place in a single category. EARTHGANG is possibly one of the best examples of this. The Atlanta-based duo of Johnny Venus (Olu) and Doctur Dot (WowGr8) have been considered by many to be the spiritual successors of classic hip-hop duo Outkast, a title both accurate and well-deserved. Perfect if you’re looking for upbeat, jazzy, R&B-esque vibes. The duo are also known for their group Spillage Village, founded alongside fellow Atlanta-based rapper JID and for their work with Dreamville Records.

My recommendations: “Meditate (ft. JID),” “Proud of U (ft. Young Thug),” “Tequila (ft. T-Pain),” “UP,” and “Missed Calls.”

Ari Lennox:

Hailing from the Washington D.C. area, Ari Lennox is a growing name in the R&B scene. Since her introduction to many as the first female artist signed under J. Cole’s Dreamville Records music label back in 2016 and appearing on a handful of joint projects, Ari Lennox has begun to establish herself as an artist in her own right. In 2019 she released her first full album “Shea Butter Baby” with a sound inspired by classic Motown and new-age soul. To those who may not be particularly familiar with R&B, Ari is a great way to hop on.

My recommendations: “Broke (ft. JID),” “Pedigree,” “I Been,” “BUSSIT,” and “Night Drive.”


A low-fi artist out of Nepal, sagun is a prodigy at using simple samples over reserved, melodic beats to convey a beautiful musical atmosphere. If you’ve ever clicked on one of those YouTube “low-fi tracks for studying” live streams, chances are you’ve heard a song or two. After slowly releasing a number of singles over the past few years, 2020 marks the year of sagun’s first EP “feathers,” which is definitely worth a listen. If you’re looking for some background music for chores or studying, or even just something calm and relaxing before bed, I highly suggest you grab some headphones and tune in.

My recommendations: “I’ll Keep You Safe,” “fusion,” “worst day,” “8 hours,” and “come alive (ft. Pink Sweat$).”


Founded by Lyndsey Gunnulfsen and Brian MacDonald in Lowell, Mass., rock band PVRIS (pronounced “Paris”) has amassed an international following since its conception in 2012. Mostly adopting a synth-pop alternative sound, the band has found great success, touring with rock giants such as Fall Out Boy and Thirty Seconds To Mars. Lead singer Lyndsey has captivated fans with her ability to perform at high levels with a voice that is both soft and hardcore. Don’t pass them up if you’re into a more electronic take on traditionally bass-heavy music.

My recommendations: “Holy,” “Heaven,” “White Noise,” “Hallucinations,” and “ January Rain.”