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5 Artists to Watch in 2023

Written by on January 9, 2023

Pictured above: Bianca Shaw performing for Vocalo’s Chi Sounds Like Showcase at the Subterranean on Dec. 13, 2022. Photo by Morgan Ciocca, Vocalo Radio / Chicago Public Media.

Your music libraries looking in need of some new artists? Don’t worry, we’ve got five recommendations of artists to check out in the New Year…

Vocalo is your place to discover new music. Stay on top of the trends and get to know these five artists we hope to hear more from in 2023, from Chicago to California.



Latest release: “Poker Faces,” 2023

Ausar creates music with soul and wit. His high energy and sonic production invite the listener to take a journey into the worlds he creates in every song. He’s made a name for himself by collaborating with Chicago greats like MfnMelo, Smino and Ro Marsalis. He’s released three new singles recently, “we all lose” and “Countdown” in December and “Poker Faces” this month, and we’re looking forward to hopefully hearing more from him this year…

– Joshua X. Miller

Bianca Shaw


Latest release: “Dance for Me,” 2023

There is nothing Bianca Shaw can’t do. Bianca is a Chicago-based rapper, producer, drummer, songwriter… the list goes on. A frequent collaborator with Taylor Bennett, her signature sound blends genres like hip-hop, alt rock and pop, and she’s noted some of her major influences are Missy Elliot, Beyoncé and Erykah Badu. Biana performed for our final Chi Sounds Like Showcase of 2022, where she commanded the stage with her larger-than-life verses, high energy and a phenomenal drum solo. Her latest single, “Dance For Me,” is a collaboration with fellow Chicago artist BeeDotKay, will get listeners moving, and we can’t wait to see what else 2023 has in store for her.

– Morgan Ciocca

RELATED: Vocalo’s December Chi Sounds Like Showcase Recap

Channel Tres 

Compton, California

Latest release: “6am,” 2022

We sat down with Channel Tres right before the new year, and he proved to be a force to be reckoned with. A producer turned performer and fashion icon in the makings, his newest single “6am” is sure to earn him a place on everyone’s party playlist. He even pioneered his own sound, mixing Chicago House Music and DC techno, which he has dubbed “Compton House.” His new EP coming this year will be greatly anticipated. 

– Joshua X. Miller

RELATED: Channel Tres Is Making His Own Lane


Minneapolis, Minnesota

Latest release: “VACATION,” 2022

I had never heard of Kinfu until I caught his set at Evanston venue Space in September, opening up for fellow Minneapolis-based artist Brotherkenzie, and I was instantly hooked. Looking up Kinfu’s Spotify immediately after his set concluded, I was shocked to find out he only has two singles released at the moment. “VACATION,” his most recent single, especially hit me as something we would 100% be playing on Vocalo. I’m certain the only reason he wasn’t on our radar is because he isn’t based in Chicago, but something tells me it won’t be long before he’s surpassed geographical listening borders and landed on your playlists. If you like the music we play on Vocalo, you’ll like Kinfu. And if you’re a new listener like I was a few months ago, you’re learning about him at the right time — his new EP, Tightrope, is dropping on Jan. 13.

– Morgan Ciocca


Madison, Wisconsin

Latest release: Monologues, 2022

Vocalo afternoons host Nudia and I saw Ogi perform when she opened up Mahalia’s show at Lincoln Hall back in April, and we were both blown away. Her voice is incredible and her stage presence is captivating. Somehow she only has one EP out right now, 2022’s Monologues, but you’d never know by her natural onstage confidence. She also toured with Paramore to open for them a few times in 2022, and I get the feeling her fanbase is only growing by the day. Another colleague recommended “IKYK” as a good introductory song, and I wholeheartedly agree! It’s a song dedicated to her brothers, a reminder that as long as she’s around, they’re never alone. Her cover of Norah Jones’ “Don’t Know Why,” which she performed at the Mahalia show, gave me chills… it’s not officially released, but please enjoy this short iPhone video clip so you can experience the same magic.

– Morgan Ciocca

Written by Morgan Ciocca and Joshua X. Miller

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