Rising Stars In Music: Meet Olivia Rodrigo, Chloe x Halle, And Phoebe Bridgers
Olivia Rodrigo, Chloe x Halle and Phoebe Bridgers are shaking up the industry with their refreshingly authentic and emotionally complex music. From energetic bops to melancholic tunes, these young women rose from the pandemic-induced creative boom in 2020 but with a special ability to connect with young listeners and help them navigate and cope with difficult times ahead.
If you haven't heard of them yet, here's why you should add them to your playlist soon.
With her debut single, drivers license, this 17-year-old Disney star has penned Gen Z's heartbreak anthem. In this song that is making its rounds as a TikTok favourite, Olivia Rodrigo recounts to her former love how she drove through the suburbs, crying in her car after getting her driver's license, far from the usual celebration of this adulthood milestone.
Amassing almost 234 million streams on Spotify and winning praise from celebrities including Taylor Swift and Hailey Bieber, the public has really responded to this new, socially-distanced break-up coping mechanism. Even rapper, Cardi B has comically shared how the song has inspired her to write about the "struggles of not having a driver's license"—that is, not being able to go for a midnight McDonald's run.
Claiming its place in the charts alongside Ariana Grande, the song recently garnered even more attention with the release of Skin by Sabrina Carpenter, rumoured to be a response to drivers license to stake claim on their shared love interest.
In the few short weeks since the release of drivers license, it is clear that the trajectory of Olivia Rodrigo's career is pointed upwards as she continues to portray her journey into adulthood with authenticity.
Chloe x Halle
Chloe and Halle Bailey, the sister duo better known as Chloe x Halle, released their album, Ungodly Hour in mid-2020, which is still trending today and has now been nominated for Grammy Awards for Best Progressive R&B Album, alongside nominations for Best R&B Song and Best Traditional R&B Performance.
They went viral with their live music performances, staged in their backyard due to the pandemic. Cinematography, staging, costumes and choreography topped off with impeccable vocals and ethereal harmonies, Chloe and Halle delivered works of art, one after another—in a fashion that mirrored one of their biggest fans and supporters, Beyoncé.
Interacting with their fans on social media via Instagram live and Twitter, these trail-blazing sisters give an insight on how social media has changed the way younger audiences consume music—with investments into different personalities, politics and individual interests. For example, Halle is leaning into her role as Ariel in the live-action reboot of The Little Mermaid while Chloe recently teased her collaboration with rapper 6lack.
The faces of Tiffany & Co.'s and with current roles on the TV series Grown-ish, Chloe x Halle are poised for to rule everything from music and television to film and fashion.
Featured on Barack Obama's annual round-up of favourite songs and nominated for four Grammy Awards in 2021, including Best New Artist and Best Alternative Music Album, Phoebe Bridgers is the darling of the indie music who has crossed over into the mainstream without losing her signature touch. Since her 2017 debut album, Stranger In the Alps, Bridgers has released the Punisher and If We Make It Through December, both receiving praise for its ability to undercut painful emotions with hints of sardonic humour.
Bridgers is known for being an online personality as much as Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter, with comical captions on social media posts and the graceful acceptance of the title bestowed upon her by the internet in December as 'Taylor Swift for girls who have crumbs in their bed', among many other memes about her music. In recognition of this, her appearance on Saturday Night Live slated for February 6 is much-anticipated.
She has experienced a meteoric rise to fame—she has since collaborated with Kid Cudi and Phoebe Waller-Bridge, the latter directing her music video. Yet, she has not forgotten her roots. Her latest endeavour is a record label called Saddest Factory, which has signed non-binary bedroom pop musician, Claud.