Since founding The (Heartbreak) HBK Gang in 2011, IamSu! has slowly been making waves in the hip-hop community. He received radio time being featured on tracks such as Sage the Gemini’s “Gas Pedal” and E-40’s “Function.” After releasing his debut album Sincerely Yours in May 2014, IamSu! has been hinting at the possibility of getting signed to a label other than his own.
- San Jose
- Electronic Pop
Charlie Yin — aka Giraffage — is an experimental sample-based electronic producer. After graduating with a political economy degree here at UC Berkeley, Giraffage began touring the world with prominent producer XXYYXX. Mixing twisted vocals with odd synths and beats, his songs are the future of electronic music. His most recent album ‘Needs’ continues to hypnotize the electronic community since its release last year. Be sure to catch him performing at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium on September 12th.
3. Mikal Cronin
- San Francisco
- Rock Pop
Over the past 10 years Mikal Cronin has been featured in various bands as a guitarist and vocalist, including Ty Segall’s live band. Recently, with two solo albums and a few singles in his repertoire, Cronin has begun to receive more stage time in and outside the Bay Area. Based out of the Mission district, Cronin writes and records his solo tracks on his spare time. He released the album MCII last year and it stands as proof of his future in the industry.
Despite being the only Berkeley native on the list, 100s did not always live in the US. Following his return to America after being sent to boarding school in the Ivory Coast, 100s released his debut mixtape Ice Cold Perm. He is now signed to Fool’s Gold Records Records alongside Chromeo, Giraffage, Lil B and The Cool Kids. His most notable track, “Life of a Mack” has been featured in Grand Theft Auto V. Step aside Drake, he is a true example of someone that goes 0 to 100, real quick.
Recording the sounds of real everyday objects, Insightful has a unique way of perfecting his music. Not only has he produced tracks for various GoPro videos but he was also featured in a Hyundai commercial. The Soulection member fondles (remixes) hit songs and creates originals of his own. With their raw and organic sound, his beats ignites a new feel into electronic music.
- San Francisco
- Indie Pop
Despite their modest 5,700 likes on Facebook, Cathedrals are creating a new sub-genre of indie pop. The San Francisco-based duo’s song “Want My Love” was featured as Nylon Magazine’s free download of the day in June. Look out for their debut EP to be released at the end of summer.
7. Sage the Gemini
Probably the biggest name on this list is Sage the Gemini. Best known for his standout booty music tracks “Gas Pedal” and “Red Nose,” Sage the Gemini’s debut album Remember Me proves that he isn’t a two-hit wonder. As a member of IamSu!’s The HBK Gang, Sage the Gemini is also signed to Republic Records, the label for powerhouse artists such as Drake, Taylor Swift and Ariana Grande.
- San Francisco
- Alternative Pop
Without having too many tracks out at the moment, WATERS currently performs at various pubs around the Bay Area. Although their reach seems limited at the moment, their sound is constantly compared to Grouplove. For the rest of this year the band hopes to produce much more music for their upcoming shows. Their recent performance in July 10th alongside Cathedrals flooded the The Chapel with uplifting energy and positive vibes.
9. Jay Ant
Widely known for laying down the beats on Oakland native G-Eazy’s “Far Alone” the HBK Gang rapper/producer is someone to make note of. Although he is having difficulty gaining traction rapping on tracks of his own, his name is getting out there. Jay Ant appears on tracks with IamSu!, 2 Chainz and Sage the Gemini.
10. Warm Soda
- Alternative Rock
Nobody likes Warm Soda, or do they? Warm Soda is a refreshing gulp of old school alternative rock. With their rad Weezer-esque vibe, Warm Soda radiates with the vibe of Haight street. Lead by singer Matthew Melton, the band is currently signed to Castle Face Records. Their sound is for the young and the reckless and luckily the four-piece will be going on tour in the West Coast in September so be sure to stay updated.