This Black History Month, Atwood Magazine has invited artists to participate in a series of essays, interviews, reviews, poetry, playlists, and more features in recognition of, and out of respect for the symbolism and significance of this month.
Today, London-based DIY bedroom pop artist keaton dekker highlights ten of his favorite Black pop artists as a part of Atwood Magazine’s Black History Month series. A fresh, but fast-rising face on the pop scene, dekker debuted in spring 2020 with the pulsing glitz and sonic glamor of “makeup” – a seductive rush of sweet melodies instantly reminiscent of Troye Sivan and BØRNS, yet with its own uniquely charismatic essence.
Dekker independently released his debut EP the unwelcome series in mid-September, leaving a buoyant mark on a difficult year through five songs that rise and fall with bubbling, bursting sonics and visceral, raw emotions. Dekker’s soaring synths and guitars, intimate vocal performances and driving drum work feel familiar, yet nonetheless invigorating and new. Dreamy, refreshingly upbeat, and tantalizingly colorful, the unwelcome series is a much-needed kick of youthful energy that gives us all a reason to smile. For Dekker, it’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Highlighting Black Pop Artists
by Keaton Dekker
You can see the genuine concept she brings to her visuals and it’s inspiring. She’s so dope, I’m excited to see what she does next. ‘ATM’ is the first song I’ve heard in a while where the vocal delivery is so exciting and charismatic.
‘Crazy About Me’. I found this song last year and still play it a lot now! It carries this intimacy throughout which is crazy beautiful. It’s laid back-ness makes it the most perfect thing to listen to sometimes.
Coco & Clair Clair
I heard ‘Pop Star’ and honestly, if life was back to normal that would be the song I’d walk down the street to with my friends haha. the video is super cute, also loving their tracks ‘Pretty’ and ‘Sims 2’.
They dropped ‘Baby Blue’ a few months ago and you neeeed to know it! I played a virtual show with them last summer and I’m happy to call them friends. Really excited for what they release next.
‘Downtown and Cigarettes’ is this unravelling story which just goes so hard. Super happy I found this artist and song, it’s a sound I hadn’t heard at all at the time and the lyrics make you feel like you’re somehow part of this story that’s being told.
I’ve been obsessed with ‘boys lie’ to a point where it’s funny. It’s a great pop song, I think she’s a really fun artist – I played this song on repeat last month, danced a lot to it in my bedroom.
Toro y Moi
I love Chaz, his sound moves around so freely. from his early stuff to what he’s put out more recently, you notice things becoming more varied yet they’re always still completely his own. ‘Monte Carlo’ lyrically feels like a stream-of-conscious-story type pop song which is interesting. It’s one of my favorites from him!
The Egyptian Lover
‘I Cry (Night after Night)’ might be the oldest track I added on here, yet I think it could have been released today. The production feels timeless. It’s a track I think more people should know.
‘DONE TALKING’ is crazy good, the flow is so wild. It feels like a Kelis song from a new dimension, truly something in it’s own lane which is awesome.
I had to include ‘You Sad’ in this, I’ve played ‘Shook’ so much since I first heard it, Tkay is so versatile and this one feels like the epitome of a good pop song. I can imagine it must have been real fun to write, there’s some real funny lyric moments in it too.
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📸 © Jonathan Wykes
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