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10 Under-the-Radar Artists to Listen to Now

Leikeli47, Mereba, and Mickey Guyton headline our list of musicians who deserve your attention

Christina M. Tapper
Published in
4 min readJun 15, 2020


This story is a part of the ZORA Music Canon, a celebration of Black women musical artists.

The ZORA Music Canon, our list of the 100 greatest albums by African American women, celebrates iconic music and the artists behind it. We don’t stop there. To put us on to Black women on the rise in music — artists who might otherwise be overlooked, under the radar, or slept on — we enlisted the guidance of panelists from the ZORA Music Canon — MC Lyte, Naima Cochrane, Olivia Dope, Jordannah Elizabeth, and Naomi Andre. We also added a few of our own. Here are the selections.

Gaby Duran

With Triangles, the R&B singer from Miami takes us back to the ’90s. I love the guitar and cadences. Her vocals sit heavy on the groove at times, bopping in and out the pockets, reminiscent of an MC. Extremely refreshing. —MC Lyte

Listen to: Duran’s EP Triangles.


Leikeli47 was donning face masks well before the pandemic to make sure we focused on her crazy rhyming skills, melodic tone, and empowering lyrics. It’s easy to get distracted by beauty standards, twerking, and other quick gimmicks that are social-media-based, but her focus is on fun, danceable music and the inspiring culture that Black women created. —Olivia Dope

Listen to: Leikeli47’s album Acrylic.

Angel Bat Dawid

She made every best of jazz list in 2019 with The Oracle, propelling her into 2020 as one of the most celebrated emerging artists in jazz. This Chicago-based multi-instrumentalist, composer, and producer is a musical visionary who taps into her mystical gifts and connection to her spirit guides and ancestors. The Oracle is one of the most creative jazz albums to emerge in years. —Jordannah Elizabeth

Listen to: Dawid’s album The Oracle.



Christina M. Tapper
Writer for

Rule breaker, champion of women and education, and recovering sports journalist.