OPINION: Give these UA artists a listen to freshen up your playlist

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Nettie Gastelum | The Daily Wildcat

Digital illustration of alien listening to music in headphones. 

During the past few summer months of unbearable sweating and Tucson monotony, I got stuck shuffling the same music I have been for years now. I was never — and still am not — quite sure why I became so apprehensive towards any new artists. I used to keep up with my Spotify-curated Discover Weekly playlist, and I used to spend my nights exploring indie music while surfing Pinterest trying to manifest my vision of a dream aesthetic. 

Although simple, those times brought so much productivity. When I had new music to listen to, I looked forward to waking up, walking out the door and strolling to class with some fresh tunes to make me feel cool in front of all the strangers I walked past. I even felt cool in the library while I was struggling so hard to understand cellular respiration and organelle functions. No matter how boring or arduous life became, I at least had music to come back to.

Since I spent the whole summer on a constant Tame Impala, Wallows and Phoenix loop, I figured the beginning of the school year would be the right time to start exploring once again as I melt on my way to class. New year, new me. Even better, I decided to abridge my search to strictly University of Arizona student artists and found quite a range of genres (although I will be making no attempt to define or identify them here). 

Whether you find yourself in the same boat as me or not, I invite you to give these four artists a listen. After all, they may be in your psych discussion group or you might walk past them at the same time every Thursday afternoon on your way to the Student Union Memorial Center. Plus, listening to them now will grant you bragging rights in the future because you discovered them before they became a huge deal.

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Vic Mystic

You can listen to Vic Mystic on Spotify and Apple Music and give him a follow on Instagram.

Solo artist Vic Mystic offers his rhythm and cool tone in a very unique way. I often find small artists can blend together, though his sound is distinctive and his songs have a way of lingering in my mind. I find his subdued voice to be the perfect accompaniment to his electronic skills and sweet guitar riffs. At the same time, as I scrolled through his discography, his growth is apparent. From 2019’s “Sonic Summer” to “Broken Screen” released this year, he shows impressive improvement with his guitar riffs, creativity behind production and voice tonality. It’s difficult to compare Vic Mystic to any popular artist, but if you enjoy Djo, Foster the People or Still Woozy, Vic Mystic’s inventive music is sure to catch your attention.

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ettkhett

You can listen to ettkhett on Spotify and Apple Music and give her a follow on Instagram.

On Sept. 1, an artist by the name of ettkhett released her second strictly instrumental album. She is a self-described industrial trip-hop producer which sounds like the perfect description to me — someone who knows nothing about subgenres of music and subgenres of those subgenres. What I admire about her music is that she is evidently imaginative and, through her music, carries a certain dark brilliance about her. With titles like “the promised land,” “I Don't Need to Be Human” and “child eater,” ettkhett’s music radiates an obscure vibe. At times, she uses the common piano or drums melody but always manages to include something bizarre like zombie-esque screams, drilling noises or crackling static that elevates her creativity to a level like none other.

moon nite

You can listen to moon nite on Spotify and Apple Music and give him a follow on Instagram.

If you want to wallow in your sorrows but feel comforted that you are not alone, I suggest checking out moon nite. He presents a lovely softness in his voice and melodies alike as he sings about longing, loneliness and love: the three deadly ls. “Shedding My Skin in the Front Yard” may give you the mental image of a heavy metal concert nightmare, though you would be surprised by its calm repetition. I want to say moon nite draws inspiration from Radiohead and lightly resembles Eyedress with his laidback voice and almost somber guitar. Overall, there is great quality behind his production and each instrumental accompaniment and guitar riff seems to be carefully and effectively chosen to enhance his lyrics.

Dante Olita

You can listen to Dante Olita on YouTube and give him a follow on Instagram.

Let us not forget that good music can be classical too. A very skilled artist from UA is classical guitar student Olita. To put it simply, watching Olita play is inspiring. He almost always plays with his eyes closed which is even more impressive considering he uses finger-picking techniques as opposed to strumming. He becomes one with his guitar, dancing along with the phrases as each breath in leads up to a climax and each exhale makes its way to a resolution. Please, I beg you, do not sleep on unprocessed music without lyrics. You may be unmotivated to try it out, but Olita's playing is both rewarding and stimulating. Although he has yet to publicly release original pieces, Olita possesses a unique sense of music theory and emotion that will lead him to compose and arrange without flaw. 

Final Thoughts 

After dabbling in a bit of these four very distinct sounds, I look forward to expanding my pursuit of new music. I find that the music you listen to at any given time in your life can bring back memories and feelings when you listen to it again in the future. Maybe some of these artists will become nostalgic for you at some point; maybe the artists they lead you to will. Even if you don’t relate to them, I hope you at least appreciate their artistry and recognize that to find some of the most innovative young artists, you don’t have to venture too far.


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Noor Haghighi is a second-year student exploring ways to harness her passions in environmental science and journalism. She loves wildlife photography and portraiture, fashion, music and film.


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