It's Here! Our 2022 List of the Emerging Musicians to Know Now

Live music is back in a big way, and boy does it feel good! In the last month alone, we’ve seen our favorite artists serving on tour (we’re looking at you, Dua Lipa), the Grammys delivered an epic night of showstopping performances (we tear up just thinking about Lady Gaga’s emotional Tony Bennett tribute), and Coachella kicked off the summer festival season with a bang. With so many incredible artists hitting the stage, it feels like a perfect time to queue up our annual Fresh Faces in Music feature, where we shine a light on the emerging talent to have on your radar now. 

We’ve been monitoring the charts and streaming numbers and have curated an exceptional list—if we do say so ourselves—of on-the-rise acts not to be missed. From a buzzy indie-rock duo out of Isle of Wight to a Gen Z punk band representing L.A.’s riot grrrl scene, this group of female musicians spans styles and genres, offering something for everyone and every playlist. So whether you are looking for something chill to elevate your golden-hour mix or the perfect new album to be the soundtrack for your summer, you’ve come to the right place.


(Image credit: Hollie Fernando)

WHO: Wet Leg

WHAT: A buzzy duo hailing from the Isle of Wight, college friends turned bandmates Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers have made an explosive debut with their self-titled album featuring catchy indie-rock tracks like their beloved first single, "Chaise Longue.” With early endorsements from the likes of Elton John and Dave Grohl, the band quickly ascended from obscurity to performing sold-out shows across the UK and U.S., all the while racking up over 40 million global streams. Not only do their tongue-in-cheek lyrics about sex, dating apps, and endless scrolling hit home with the 20-something set, but their music videos are also a must-see, offering enough fashion fodder to make a Who What Wear editor squeal with delight.

WEAR: Eclectic cottagecore. 

For people discovering you for the first time, how would you describe your music? What song of yours should they start with? 

Rhian Teasdale: A bit all over the place really. I wouldn’t say we’re the type of band that sticks to a single genre. I guess … we’d call ourselves an indie-rock band, but rules are there ain’t no rules. 

I’d say to start from the very beginning—the first single we released, "Chaise Longue.”

How did you two meet, and at what point did you decide to become a musical duo?

RT: We met when we were 16 and 17 in college, but we didn’t start Wet Leg ‘til 10 years after that. Starting a band is like asking someone out on a date. It’s kinda scary to proposition for fear of failure and rejection, so I’m glad we plucked up the courage to have that first Wet Leg band practice. 

Your self-titled debut album arrives this month. How does this collection of songs reflect where you are at personally and as artists?

RT: It’s odd reflecting on the album that we’ve made. To me, it feels like a precise snapshot of a moment in time—a clear picture of past times and a past version of myself written into the lyrics. 

As artists… ha ha. These songs make up our debut album, right, which feels like a bit of a big deal. I don’t think either of us had really thought it was achievable, even though we had plenty of songs. It just felt like a huge leap somehow even though, in hindsight, it was kinda easy. Having an album out kinda makes you feel like a legit artist, ha ha. We did have an amazing producer, though, so that helps! We’re kinda a bit obsessed with everything that Dan Carey works on, so it was amazing that we got to make the album with him. Couldn’t imagine doing it with anyone else. 

How would you describe your songwriting process as a duo?

RT: A fair chunk of it was written in lockdown, so we we’re forced to write individually. I just used GarageBand and borrowed a microphone and interface from a friend and made some real trashy demos. It was so fun when practice rooms finally opened back up. It’s just such a good feeling making a shitty demo by yourself and then getting to work out how to play it with the rest of the band. "Chaise Longue” and "Wet Dream” were written before lockdown, though. I was staying at Hester’s flat. We went through a phase of staying up really, really late just watching films, painting, or baking cookies with either happy or sad faces on them (depending on our mood), but our fave late-night activity was these silly impromptu jams, which is where those songs came from. 

What would you say is a Wet Leg style signature?

RT: We both wear a lot of vintage. HC has a healthy collection of the world’s greatest vintage tees.

I love that there is always some sort of noteworthy fashion moment in your videos, like the striped bathrobes in "Too Late Now” and the infamous rope costume in "Oh No.” Do you have a personal favorite? 

RT: Ooh, that’s a toughy. I like our lewks in "Chaise Longue.” We teamed these shitty ’90s flame-shaped mirror sunglasses with a long, white prairie dress and big straw hat. It was fun to have this ultra-traditional femme, kinda chaste look juxtaposed with the song. In "Wet Dream,” we did a similar ‘cottagecore’ thing but teamed our dresses with home-sewn lobster claws and bonnets. It’s cool how you can create a whole world just through an outfit. 

What are you looking forward to most this year?

RT: Getting back to festivals—playing gigs outdoors in the sun and getting to serendipitously wander around a field discovering new music.


(Image credit: Phoebe Fox)

WHO: Holly Humberstone

WHAT: A singer-songwriter delivering vulnerable pop tracks, Holly Humberstone has been on a hot streak since her debut in 2020, and deservedly so. The English artist is amassing a legion of devoted fans thanks to her deeply personal and relatable storytelling. Following the release of her critically acclaimed sophomore EP, The Walls Are Way Too Thin, Humberstone nabbed the covetable BRITs Rising Star award—previously won by the likes of Adele and Sam Smith—the NME Best Mixtape award, and a spot on this year’s Coachella lineup, and she is opening up for the second half of Olivia Rodrigo’s Sour Tour. Safe to say, you’ll be hearing a lot from this artist in 2022. 

WEAR: Artfully layered vintage threads accompanied by cool jewelry finds.

For people discovering you for the first time, how would you describe your music? And what song of yours should they start with?

I feel like the music I make changes all the time depending on what’s going on in my life and what type of music I’m into at the time. I’d probably describe it as dark electronic pop with really personal lyrics. The first song I ever put out was a track called "Deep End,” which I wrote about someone close to me struggling with their mental health. I put so much of myself into that song, and I’d probably say that song says the most about me. 

The Walls Are Way Too Thin is your sophomore EP. How does this collection of songs reflect where you are at personally and as a songwriter?

I love releasing songs as part of an EP just because, when I return to them, it sounds like a little time capsule that takes me back to what I was going through and how I was feeling at the time. When I was writing the songs for Walls, I had just moved to London on my own and was trying to figure out how to be an adult while simultaneously feeling like I was growing up incredibly fast. I felt like going into the studio was my only constant safe space, one that I could always go to to work through all the confusing feelings of growing up. 

Is there a song on this EP that is particularly close to your heart?

All of the songs I release have to have meaning for me. Otherwise, I end up hating them! They are all so special to me, but I think the one that really still hits me hard is "Friendly Fire.” I wrote it about my first breakup and everything I was going through at the time, caring so deeply about the other person that it was too painful to cut it off and put myself first. 

You are going to be on the road for the next few months performing alongside Girl in Red and Olivia Rodrigo, while also making your Coachella debut. What are you most looking forward to while out on tour?

I feel so lucky that I get to tour with two of my all-time favourite artists, Girl in Red and Olivia Rodrigo. I’m looking forward to being able to watch the shows every night and feeling inspired to go back into the studio and write. I also have never been lucky enough to travel around the States, so I can’t wait to see places I never ever thought I’d get to see. 

What would you say is a Holly Humberstone style signature?

I think the main thing on stage is that I’m comfortable so I can enjoy myself as much as possible. I wear big shoes a lot of the time because I’m really small, and I’ve gotten used to having a bit of height. I also wear a lot of kids clothes from eBay. 

You set up the Fifth Sister Swap initiative as a way for you and your fans to swap clothes without relying on fast fashion. Can you expand on how the Fifth Sister Swap came to be, how often you do swaps, how people can participate, etc.?

I set up the Fifth Sister Swap over the pandemic as a way of connecting with my fans who I couldn’t see, as we weren’t able to play shows. I grew up with three sisters, and we are all the same size, so we just have one big collective wardrobe that we all wear, and we are constantly swapping stuff amongst ourselves. We love recycling and going charity-shopping together, and sustainable fashion is truly important to us, so it’s really cool to get to do that with my fans too. So far, I’ve only been able to bring the swap shop to live shows and over social media, but I’d love to expand it so that people can swap online with each other as well as with myself. 

Outside of touring, what else can fans expect from you this year?

I’m currently writing an album, which is really exciting but quite a scary concept for me. I’m a bit of a perfectionist, so I don’t think I’ll ever feel like I’ve finished writing for it. There’s nothing more inspiring than being on the road and seeing people in the room enjoying the music and reacting to the songs right in front of me, so I’m excited to release more tracks that I can bring to people in that setting. More than anything, I just feel so lucky to be doing what I love after such a weird time over the pandemic.


(Image credit: Zen Sekizawa; Zac Farro)

WHO: The Linda Lindas

WHAT: An all-female punk band breathing new life into the Los Angeles riot grrrl scene, The Linda Lindas comprises sisters Mila de la Garza (drummer) and Lucia de la Garza (vocals and guitar), cousin Eloise Wong (bass), and family friend Bela Salazar (guitar). The group of teens developed their chops playing matinees in Chinatown before opening for the likes of Bikini Kill and Best Coast and landing a track in Amy Poehler’s Netflix movie Moxie. However, their performance of "Racist, Sexist Boy” at the Los Angeles Public Library in May of last year officially put the band on the map, and shortly thereafter, they signed with Epitaph Records and got to work on their debut album, Growing Up. Their "Growing Up” video, directed by Opening Ceremony co-founder and Chifa restaurant owner Humberto Leon, is four minutes very well spent.

WEAR: Batsheva dresses and the perfect cat-eye makeup.

For people discovering you for the first time, how would you describe your music? And what song of yours should they start with?

Bela Salazar: Well, all four of us have overlapping but different tastes and styles of songwriting, so our sound really varies. So do our topics. We sing about racism and sexism but also my cats.

Lucia de la Garza: We called our album "Growing Up” because it pretty much covers everything. So maybe that’s a good song to start with.

Eloise Wong: And we’ll never stop growing up, even when we’re not kids anymore.

Mila de la Garza: Plus, the video has cats in it!

Your first full-length LP, Growing Up, drops this month and was written during the isolation period of the pandemic. How does this collection of songs reflect that time for you as a band? In the spirit of the album title, how would you say you’ve grown up since self-releasing your first EP in 2020?

LG: The EP and LP were written when we were sheltering in place, going to school remotely, and often couldn’t even practice together. So there are recurring themes about missing friends, family, and each other in both releases.

EW: But when we were making the LP, there was a lot going on with the BLM movement, hate crimes against Asians, immigrants being detained at the border, legislation against LGBTQ+ kids, and other stuff. And that affected us as well.

BS: Hopefully, you can tell we’re better at songwriting and playing our instruments, too. 

Who are some artists or other all-female punk groups who inspire you? 

EW: There are so many! 

MG: The Go-Go’s, Best Coast, Bleached, X-Ray Spex…

LG: All of Kathleen Hanna’s bands, Sleater-Kinney, The Beths, Heavenly… 

BS: Hayley Williams and Paramore, Chrissie Hynde and the Pretenders, Astrud Gilberto…

EW: Alice Bag, Phranc, Lois, Neighborhood Brats, Slaughterhouse…

What has been a pinch-me moment in your career thus far?

LG: Opening for Bikini Kill at the Palladium.

BS: Being in Moxie.

MG: Having Gina Schock from The Go-Go’s sit in and play with us.

EW: That was at The Smell, which is a legendary DIY punk venue in L.A., and then this past weekend at SFMOMA!

MG: We’ve had a lot of pinch-me moments.

Your video for the single "Growing Up” was a real fashion affair. Not only did Opening Ceremony co-founder Humberto Leon direct it, but you (and your cats) also wore original designs by Batsheva along with looks by Rodarte. How did this collaboration with Leon come about, and how does fashion play a role in the overall aesthetic of The Linda Lindas?

LG: Humberto sent us a message on Instagram inviting us to a party at his restaurant Chifa. That’s where we met him, and he sprung his idea for a video on us.

BS: He said it would involve cats and then asked us what brands we like. I like clothes from thrift stores and vintage clothes as well as Fruits-era Japanese streetwear a lot. I also make my own clothes. But this was a chance to wear some fancy stuff!

LG: I like flowy, comfortable clothes, so it worked out.

MG: And I can drum in almost anything. So we dressed up, and so did the cats. Our hairdresser, Thy Mai, even made wigs so the cats would match our hair as well as our outfits.

EW: On most days, I just wear T-shirts from my favorite bands or Snoopy, though.

What would you say is a style signature of The Linda Lindas?

BS: That, too, really varies from person to person and day to day. But lots of patterns and colors.

MG: And Tees 4 Togo.

MG: Vans and Docs.

EW: And sometimes Creepers or Keeps.

What are you most looking forward to in the year ahead?

EW: Playing shows!

LG: Going on tour!

BS: Traveling the world!

MG: And getting boba at every stop.


(Image credit: Kanya Iwana)

WHO: Ogi

WHAT: A newcomer who will win you over with her smooth lyricism and jazz-infused beats, Ogi is a testament to trusting your gut. The Wisconsin native was well on track to pursue a law degree at Northwestern when her instincts pushed her to take a chance on her true passion, music. So after graduation, she packed her bags, moved to Los Angeles, and put her jazz and choir background to work. The result? Her debut single "I Got It,” a hypnotic introduction to the artist’s fresh blend of soul and R&B. Shortly after her arrival, Ogi gained traction, supporting The Marias on their North American tour, and she quickly followed that up by joining Snoh Aalegra on her Ugh, These Temporary Highs Tour through May. Your chill playlist is about to get that much better.

WEAR: It’s all about the powerful silhouette.

For people discovering you for the first time, how would you describe your music? And what song of yours should they start with?

I would describe my music as rooted in R&B but laced with soul, hip-hop, and some highlife flair. It’s layered and energetic and a little silly, but I like it. I’d say start with "I Got It” because that’s the first single. Start with me from the very beginning.

You were on track to pursue a law career before pivoting to music full-time. How did your passion for music evolve? 

Very different. I’ve always loved making melodies or figuring out a new instrument, but the fact is I’m Nigerian, and for those who know, the only real options are lawyer, doctor, and engineer. So I picked one. I kept the love alive by being in an acapella group in college and writing little songs, but the path was set. So it’s more so that my love for music was always there, but it had to be forgone for "practical reasons.” Not anymore, though!

You released your debut single "I Got It” earlier this year, followed by the track "Envy.” How do these two songs reflect where you are at personally and as an artist?

"I Got It” represents a playful confidence that I’ve never felt comfortable expressing up until now. I used to hate that song so much because a) it was written as a joke, b) the lyrics felt stupid to me because they’re so braggadocious, and c) people were telling me they liked it during a time when I wasn’t confident in being an artist. But as I’ve seen things move and change, I think it now represents how I feel stepping into being a musician. I got it. Like, I’ve. Got. It. And God willing, I’ll be able to step into what’s mine.

On the other hand, "Envy” represents where I’ve been. I’m trying to work on it, but there is a really petty part of me that I don’t express, but it really eats at me from the inside because I try to be passive. My songs tend to be where I put that repressed aggression, and "Envy” is a great example of that. Some guy got upset that I didn’t follow him on Instagram, and then I made a whole song about how he’s bitter that he wishes he had what I have. So it might point to some frustration that needs to be released. 

You have joined The Marias and Snoh Aalegra on tour this spring. What has been a memorable experience being on the road so far?

For either tour, performing in New York was definitely a highlight. Both of these acts were so generous in allowing me to tag along for their sold-out tours with barely any songs out, and New York just brought out something special and informative. Aside from that, I think the best thing throughout has been the people who’ve come with me. My dear friend Jacob Galdes and I have been playing music in college for years, so it’s been so dope for him to be my music director. And Blak Foks is a beyond-incredible tour manager. More than stellar and an awesome person. That’s on print.

You have so many gorgeous looks in the "I Got It” video. Can you walk us through the fashion direction for that one?

 Thank you! I created a mood board for the looks that I labeled "Black Renaissance.” I wanted it to feel big and regal but still very fye. I was so glad that the director Kanya Iwana was able to bring it to life with an incredible team behind her. My stylist Jackie DiMailig and her assistant Al B were able to find some of the looks to a T and then some. Fesa Nu moved us effortlessly from hairstyle to stunning hairstyle, and Shanice Jones made me up flawlessly. So obviously, a strong group effort. 

What would you say is an Ogi style signature?

TBD honestly. I’m starting to really love playing with different textures and silhouettes. But whatever I choose, I want to exude something powerful right now.

What can we expect next from you this year?

Maximum effort. Like I said, God willing, I’m taking what’s meant for me, and that takes time and work. I’m willing to put in both because I’m so grateful to be here and not in law school.


(Image credit: Jade Sadler; Natalie Goldstein)

WHO: Spill Tab

WHAT: A multi-instrumentalist crafting playful and unpredictable melodies while seamlessly drifting between English and French, this French Korean American artist from Los Angeles was once an A&R intern and merch manager for Gus Dapperton before releasing her own brand of energy-infused bedroom pop and breaking out in late 2020 with her debut EP, Oatmilk. The artist released her second EP, Bonnie, a year later to rave reviews, solidifying her next-gen status with a slew of noteworthy collaborations with Tommy Genesis ("Indecisive”), Jawny ("Grade A”), and Gus Dapperton ("Velcro”). Up next? Touring with the alt-rock band Wallows and playing at The Great Escape festival this May. 

WEAR: Neon hues with a splash of perfect Y2K throwbacks.

For people discovering you for the first time, how would you describe your music? And what song of yours should they start with?

Diet chaos, and maybe a good starting point would be "PistolWhip” or "Sunburn” ‘cause that’s my new fave.

Where did the moniker Spill Tab come from? 

It’s the tab that some bartenders use for spilled drinks/mostly for drinks for their homies.

You released your second EP, Bonnie, in December. How does this collection of songs reflect where you are at personally anda as an artist? 

The Bonnie EP ended up being a lot about relationships and concepts of commitment, the good and the bad that comes with trusting someone. I was definitely going through those things last year, but it was cool to see it also in the music.

You released your first single of 2022, "Sunburn,” last month and are heading out on tour with the indie-rock band Wallows and joining The Great Escape festival this May. What are you most looking forward to in terms of playing live this spring? 

Performing live is one of the most gratifying things about making music for me. To get to meet people who have been fucking with the music before I ever even thought this could be a real thing for me is absolutely insane and heartwarming.

How does fashion play a role in who you are as an artist? 

I’m honestly still figuring that out, because I feel like so many different styles inspire me, and it really depends on how I’m feeling that day in regard to how I wanna dress. I love texture in my music and having sonically grating or aggressive tones, and I think I feel the same way about clothes and fashion—weird cutouts or color combos, off-putting textures, etc…

What would you say is a Spill Tab style signature? 

I’ve been on a comfy-baggy-jeans wave lately, which is not very specific, but it is very comfortable.

What’s next for you this year? 

I wanna get really good at pool and also put out more tunes.

Discover more music: Orion Sun Is Just What Your Playlist Is Missing

Executive Director, Entertainment

Jessica Baker is Who What Wear’s Executive Director, Entertainment, where she ideates, books, writes, and edits celebrity and entertainment features.