A Closer Look at the Grammys’ Best New Artist Nominees

WERS 88.9FM, Grammys, Best New Artist, Anitta, Samara Joy, Omar Apollo, Tobe Nwigwe, Muni Long, Latto
Graphics by Sarah Tarlin

The 65th annual Grammys Awards ceremony, one of the biggest annual celebrations of music and artistry, took place February 5th. The Grammys is one of our favorite ways of discovering artists we haven’t heard of before, the Best New Artist category especially. If you, too, want to discover more about some of music’s latest rising stars, look no further! We’re taking a closer look at all of the nominees for Best New Artist. 



Brazilian pop sensation Anitta isn’t new to the music scene in the slightest. Anitta has been putting out music since 2013. Through the years, the singer has always challenged musical and cultural norms. Anitta has become a champion of women’s expression in Brazil. While this best new artist nomination may be coming slightly late in this powerhouse’s career, the nomination is in no doubt due to her excellent 2022 album Versions of Me. The album reached audiences nationally, becoming the first Brazilian album to reach one billion streams on spotify. The acclaimed album includes features from artists such as Cardi B and Saweetie. Anitta continues to break the barriers for international pop music.

- Cate Cianci, Staff Writer



In 2022, Omar Apollo took the world by storm with the release of his viral song, “Evergreen (You Didn’t Deserve Me At All).” The song is from the musician’s latest album, Ivory, and has over 100 million streams on Spotify. Apollo is best known for his R&B sound, but he successfully navigates a variety of musical genres on Ivory— including pop, hip-hop, and funk. Apollo is a self-taught singer, songwriter and guitarist from Indiana who released his first original song in 2017. The musician’s sonorous voice is particularly noteworthy, and his lyrics are retrospective and poignant. Singing in both English and Spanish, Apollo poetically explores themes of heartbreak, identity and desire. 

- Claire Dunham, Staff Writer



Samara Joy is introducing a new audience to classic standards of jazz through her timeless, irresistible sound. The 23-year-old Bronx-native has a voice that is rich and velvety yet still precociously refined. A stand out track of hers is “Sweet Pumpkin,” reinventing Ronnell Bright’s 1960 track of the same name. The song is a reminder that the young vocalist is just having fun experimenting with classic jazz, all while paying homage to those who came before her.

- Breanna Nesbeth, Music Coordinator



Since her platinum track, “Bitch from da Souf,” Latto continues to hone her craft in the rap game, and is finally recognized with her nominations at the 2023 Grammys. Latto has been on the music radar since 2016, showcasing her talents on Jermaine DuPri’s music competition show, and spitting as a featured rapper on XXL’s Freshman Class. The 24-year old Atlanta native successfully hits the mark with certified hot girl summer anthem “Big Energy.” Through the undeniable catchiness and enticing charisma of this radio hit, Latto stamps herself as a figurehead for the age of spunky and feminine hip-hop artists. 

- Ash Jones, Staff Writer



Over the past few years, Italian rock group Måneskin has been notable for many reasons. Their cover of “Beggin’” blew up on TikTok, they were winners of Eurovision in 2021, and they also became well known in both international and US charts. This is clearly just the beginning for them, which is why they were nominated for Best New Artist. In just these few years, they have played at Coachella, Lollapalooza and more. Just into the new year, they released their fourth album RUSH! I can’t wait to see all the places they’ll go with their music!


- Erin Norton, Membership Assistant



Muni Long has been working on her craft behind the scenes years before she was on any of our radars. She began releasing music in 2009, but spent the first few years of her career writing songs for other artists. After garnering attention from writing for Selena Gomez, Fifth Harmony and Mariah Carey, Long pivoted to focus on her own career. Early in 2020 her song “Hrs and Hrs” went viral on TikTok and brought attention to her songwriting as well as singing abilities. Her sultry and passionate love songs drew in listeners and helped make her a name as a solo artist. Muni Long’s professional and experienced attitude combined with her fresh new sounds made it possible for her to solidify herself as an up and coming artist in R&B quickly and efficiently. 

- Sidnie Paisley Thomas, Staff Writer



The multitalented Tobe Nwigwe has been on the cusp of major fame for several years now. Nwigwe played collegiate football and was nearly drafted into the NFL if not for an injury that took him out of the game. He acts, currently starring in the Netflix series Mo. And last but certainly not least, he has a music career, and is currently making his name known in the hip-hop and rap spheres. Ngigwe’s track “EAT” is a strongly recommended first listen. The lead track of his debut album CINCORIGINALS (2020), Nwigwe uses the lyrics to introduce many components of who he is. He also sings the track alongside his wife, also a rapper, who performs under the name ‘Fats Nwigwe.’ As Tobe Nwigwe suggests through the song, it’s time for his name to be known. 

- Nora Onanian, Web Services Coordinator



At the ages of 22 and 19, Jazz and hip-hop fusion duo DOMi and JD Beck are bringing a new wave of appreciation of jazz to younger audiences. The two halves of the group, French keyboardist Domi Louna and American drummer JD Beck, met in 2018. Since then, they’ve had a quick rise to success, becoming the first signees to Anderson .Paak’s label and working with artists such as Thundercat, Ariana Grande, Earl Sweatshirt and Bruno Mars. 2022 saw the release of their debut album NOT TiGHT. Tracks like “TWO SHRiMPS (ft. Mac Demarco)” and the purely instrumental track “SMiLE” show off the dreamy soundscapes DOMi and JD Beck create. It’s clear this young duo is only just getting started. 

- Nora Onanian, Web Services Coordinator



Molly Tuttle is no stranger to the stage; the bluegrass singer and multi-instrumentalist started performing with her dad at the age of 11. It was actually in Boston that her career as a collaborative artist first started to take off. She attended Berklee College of Music and was a part of bluegrass collections like the Goodbye Girls and the First Ladies of Bluegrass. It was after a move to Nashville in 2015 that she dedicated time to her solo career. Especially in the past year, Tuttle has seen it pay off. While Tuttle’s first EP was put out after a crowdfunding campaign, her latest album Crooked Tree features star-studded guest spots such as Billy Strings (on “Dooley’s Farm”) and Gillian Welch (on “Side Saddle”). It is without a doubt her best work yet. 

- Nora Onanian, Web Services Coordinator



It seems like Wet Leg came out of absolutely nowhere. Formed in 2019 by Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers, the band has only been around for three years, and has already put out a number of formidable indie/alt-rock hits. In just a short time, the band has proven themselves to be great songwriters with a fresh sound. One of their biggest tracks, “Chaise Longue,” which was accompanied by an understated, yet impressive music video, is a great jumping off point into the catalog of these rising stars.

- Eden Unger, Staff Writer

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