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Rhythm Lab: 12 Seattle artists you should get to know before the NFC Championship

This Sunday will be the NFC Championship game between Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks.  There is a lot of trash talking going on between these two cities, and there is nothing wrong with a little trash talking. When I hear talk of banning cheese in parts of Seattle or banning Seattle music on radio stations, I’m not a fan.  Why would anyone deprive someone of the tasty delights of cheese, or sounds of Hendrix, and Nirvana? Silly, I say.  

Instead, I decided this is an opportunity to learn more about the Seattle music scene by picking out some cool indie Seattle artists that I could play on my show Rhythm Lab Radio. Maybe we could see some collaboration between these artists with some Milwaukee artists in the future. Besides, at least I don’t have to list any Chicago bands (just kidding)

1. Chimurenga Renaissance 

Chimurenga Renaissance is the project of Tendai Maraire from Shabazz Palaces (also from Seattle) and Hussein Kalonji. The music is a blend of Zimbabwean music with left-field hip hop.  Take a listen to their new album entitled riZe vadZimu rise

2. Jherek Bischoff 

Bischoff is a Seattle-based songwriter, performer, composer, and producer best know for collaborating with David Byrne and Caetano Veloso on his album Composed. The album contains lush and textured arrangements.

3. Lusine 

The one thing I realized about Seattle is that the city has a rich electronic music scene.  Seattle also hosts one of the country's premiere Electronic music festival called Decibel. Seattle-based producer Lusine is one of those artists that have performed at the Decibel Festival.  Signed to the label Ghostly International, Lusine recently dropped his fourth EP entitled Arterial. The EP is full of abstract and melodic production.


4. Manatee Commune

Manatee Commune is the electronic project of Seattle artist Grant L'Kayl Eadie.

<i>Combining textures of the rainy woods and the windy seas of the Pacific Northwest with the calming mood of clean surfy guitar licks and rolling arpeggiated sine waves, Manatee Commune seeks to capture the atmosphere of taking a thoughtful, self-reflecting stroll through the forest. </i><br><br>

Check out his KEXP performance


5. Naomi Wachira 

Named 2013 Best Folk Singer in the alternative publication Seattle Weekly, Naomi Wachira has been compared to artists like  Miriam Makeba, Sade and Tracy Chapman. Wachira is originally from Kenya. Check out her EP African Girl and self-title debut album.


6. Odesza 

Odesza is a production duo had huge year with their sophomore album In Return. Their single “Say My Name” featuring Zyra has received close to 5 million plays on Soundcloud.  You can catch Odesza at this year’s Bonnaroo and Hangout Festivals

7. Otieno Terry 

This R&B singer/songwriter, pianist, and guitarist reminds me of Jose James.  His music blends hip hop, soul, and jazz.  Check out his Bandcamp page for his music, and then watch him perform the song “Trouble In Mind.”

8. Porter Ray

Porter May is Hip Hop emcee part of the rich Seattle Hip Hop scene (yes, there is more to Seattle Hip Hop than Macklemore and Sir Mix-a-Lot).  Porter’s style is recalls the jazzy style of A Tribe Call Quest and Digable Planets.  Check out his latest album Fundamentals.

9. Raz Simone

Raz Simone is singer and rapper makes very soulful and futuristic hip hop. Not only Raz sings and raps, but he also produces, designs graphics  and direct videos.  Check out his song “These Words” from the album Cognitive Dissonance: Part 2

10. Shaprece

Drawing inspiration from artists like Bjork, Little Dragon and Aaliyah, Singer/Songwriter Shaprece has created her own blend of Electronic soul. Check out her EP Molting via Noisetrade.  Watch Shaprece perform on KEXP. 



Opening for artists like Allen Stone, Seattle duo SISTERS bring they own blend of soul and pop. I’m really excited to see what this duo does in 2015. Check out their latest release Diamonds of Gold especially the track “Back 2 U.” 

12. TheeSatisfaction

The 2nd hip hop act signed to iconic Seattle label Sub Pop, TheeSatisfaction has a sound that truly stands out.  The duo is set to release their sophomore album EarthEE in February.

HYFIN Program Director | Radio Milwaukee