Tkay Maidza: U-Huh

Five promising acts who performed (officially and unofficially) during CMJ week

Zimbabwe-born Aussie teen songwriter and rapper Tkay Maidza graced the East Coast with her presence at multiple CMJ showcases this past week at Pianos, Santos Party House and more. Her confidence-boosting single “U-Huh” fuses pop, rap and electronic music for a track that’s as catchy as it is fierce—her lyrics reference “shooting” away the haters (metaphorically, of course). While the M.I.A and Azaelia Banks comparisons …

Courtship Ritual: Kingdom of Beauty

Five promising acts who performed (officially and unofficially) during CMJ week

Courtship Ritual can be spotted performing their restrained tunes with an equally minimal setup in Brooklyn venues like Baby’s All Right—regularly joined on stage by hired belly dancers whose hypnotic choreography enhance the otherworldly mood. “Kingdom of Beauty” is a particularly poignant track that demonstrates Monica Salazar’s covetable vocal timbre, along with her and guitarist Jared Olmsted’s penchant for augmenting sparseness to great effect. Courtship …

Asante Phenix: Nameless

Five promising acts who performed (officially and unofficially) during CMJ week

Brooklyn’s own Asante Phenix stood out amid a slurry of new acts that this year’s CMJ brought into the city. The MC effortlessly blends witty yet heartfelt bars with buttery smooth vocals on his latest track “Nameless.” A downtempo beat puts Phenix’s vocal range at the forefront of the single, while kaleidoscopic sonic textures create a lush soundscape to get lost in. A must listen …