2020 saw the music industry hit a temporary pause at the onset of the pandemic, but as time went on, artists were forced to adapt to the ‘new normal’.

Heading into 2021, the music industry without live events will see artists struggling to gain new audiences from the usual concerts or festivals.

With that in mind, here are three artists who paved their way in 2020 and are set to produce big things this year.


British-Jamaican singer Celeste won BBC Music’s Sound of 2020, given to artists who are tipped for success in the coming year.

She won over fans with her beautifully textured voice and heartfelt lyrics.

The most successful track of hers, ‘Strange’ is a quietly sorrowful ballad, with weeping pianos and an incredibly emotional chorus that laments: “Isn’t it strange / How people can change / From strangers to friends /Friends into lovers / And strangers again.”

Performing at the BRIT Awards 2020, Celeste sang ‘Strange’ and bumped into a new fan of hers backstage; rapper Stormzy. He commended the singer and said he wish he wrote the song because he was so overwhelmed by the lyrics.

Celeste also took home the Brit Rising Star Award, another barometer of future success.

She’s certainly one to keep an eye on in 2021.

Listen: Strange

Arlo Parks

South London-based artist Arlo Parks had a whirlwind of a year in 2020, and we believe this year is only going to be bigger for her.

Named BBC’s Introducing Artist at only 20 years old, the poet-turned-musician is coming into her own in a big way, her debut album ‘Collapsed in Sunbeams having dropped on January 29.

Nearly every song has a message of comfort, the chorus of ‘Hope‘ goes, “You’re not alone/Like you think you are”. Creating an amalgamation of emotionally raw lyricism and incredibly moving instrumentals, Arlo Parks is an artist that we will be keeping a close eye on this year.

If we look to her break-through song ‘Cola‘ from 2018, Arlo’s soft neo-soul voice over the acoustic guitar tells a disarmingly intimate tale of infidelity. ‘Collapsed In Sunbeams’ for all its illusive softness also discuss real-life issues and challenges aged perceptions of sexuality and mental health.

Listen: Hurt

Victoria Monét

2020 was a phenomenal year for Victoria Monét who is set to make a huge impression on the music industry in 2021.

Her first record ‘Jaguar’ released in August 2020, was a collaboration with Ariana Grande and was nominated for 4 Grammys.

Victoria has also written for Chloe x Halle, Brandy and Nas.

Her sound is unique, carefully equipped with a collection of funk, R&B beats and alternative vocals. She features on Apple Music as the “New Up Artist” and has 3.6 million listeners every month on Spotify.

Her latest track ‘F.U.C.K’ is out now.

Listen: F.U.C.K

Let us know @pieradioUK what you think of these up-and-coming genre defying artists.