5 Wisconsin Bands to Watch in 2016
Back in January, Piet Levy, the music critic for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, released his annual Wisconsin artists to watch list. This year's artists include Milwaukee rappers IshDARR, and WebsterX; identical twins Andi & Alex from Green Bay; DIY punk band Tenement; and Milwaukee's sister duo Reyna, formerly known as Vic and Gab.
After high school, 19-year-old rapper IshDARR started producing music and was picked up faster than expected. He has over 1.5 million steams on Spotify, 2.5 million on SoundCloud and 300,000 on YouTube. His songs are described as authentic and relatable — his song “Sugar” gained a spot on Apple Music’s Best of 2015 hip-hop playlist. Want to learn more about him? Click here.
After free-styling at parties and in his dorm room, WebsterX decided to leave college his sophomore year and pursue music. With a distinct voice and specific use of diction, WebsterX has quickly gained national acclaim. He’s seen press from Noisey and Entertainment Weekly and won the Solo Artist of the Year Award at our Radio Milwaukee Music Awards. WebsterX in studio? Yes, 414 Music. Click here.
Andi & Alex
A clip from their audition on The Voice has close to 3.5 million views on YouTube. After making all four chairs turn during their performance, Pulaski-natives Andi and Alex gained tremendous popularity. Maroon 5’s Adam Levine was blown away by their talent: “Whether you were in unison or in harmony, it was so unbelievably thoughtful. I’m gonna keep fighting as hard as I can for you guys because I think you guys are one of the most perfectly fitting duos I’ve ever heard.”
In June 2015, the New York Times praised Tenements’ album with words like, “bright” and “effective” — even comparing their sound to the Rolling Stones. Tenement, a punk-band with members from Appleton and Milwaukee, were playing in basements and bars before gaining national attention. They formed in 2006 and have since released a successful album titled, “Predatory Headlights.”
They were formerly Vic & Gab and are now reemerging as Reyna, a powerful Milwaukee sister duo with a purposeful synth element behind their lyrics. After having one of their songs on MTV’s show, Skins, the girls decided to make a career out of their talents. In addition to a strong support at home in Milwaukee, they’ve played tours across the country and even had the honor of opening for President Obama at a rally. Click here for more about them!