These under-30 music prodigies and industry insiders keep their finger on the pulse of the present and the future, bringing Latin pop, Afrobeat and other genres into the mainstream through unconventional tactics.
from Charlotte Burney
Slocated in Manhattan’s East Village from 1973 to 2006, CBGB was a New York City staple. The self-proclaimed “undisputed birthplace of punk” has been home to many artists, including the Ramones, Patti Smith and the Talking Heads, among other music legends. Over the decades of its existence, CBGB has seen hundreds of hard rock stars, tattoo artists and harried bikers pass through its doors, but not many little girls. In 2005 Blu DeTigerthen just 7 years old, took the stage at the historic club with a bass guitar almost as big as her before the iconic venue closed its doors for good.
Now DeTiger, 24, is one of the few female bass players in the industry and the only woman with a partnership with Fender that includes a line of her own bass guitars to be released next year. “I just want to inspire and empower,” says DeTiger, who made this year’s 30 Music Under 30 list Forbes. “And if someone is inspired by me to pick up a bass or an instrument, or follow their passion, that’s the best legacy I can leave.”
The music industry is evolving. For more than a decade, Forbes highlighted young success stories for our annual 30 Music Under 30 list using audience nominations. To be considered for this year’s list, all applicants had to be under the age of 30 as of December 31, 2022, and not have appeared on a previous under-30 list. Forbes selected a panel of expert judges to narrow down this year’s cohort: Joe Jonasclass of 2018, musician; Remy Wolffclass of 2022, musician; Chadrick FellersClass of 2022, Founder, WastedPotential.
These 30 young artists, executives, producers and entrepreneurs from the world of music don’t just create, they listen for sounds and voices that are less often heard. They listen differently to create more successfully and share with the world what the future sounds like.
For example, a pop star born in Brazil Anita, 29, rose to the top of her regional music scene and quickly went global with the April release of her trilingual album, Versions of me, who sings in Spanish, English and Portuguese. Her hit single “Envolver” has over 500 million streams on Spotify and took her less than a day to write, and in November she received a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist.
Earlier this year at an altitude of 32,000 feet, Darryl Dwayne Granbury JrAlso known as DDGThe 25-year-old became the first rapper in history to film a music video emulating a space mission. During filming, the aircraft entered a zero-gravity phase, and DDG documented the entire process on his YouTube channel, which has over 2.54 million subscribers.
Cole BennettThe 26-year-old founded Chicago-based multimedia company Lyrical Lemonade at the age of 17. Bennett began blogging about up-and-coming rappers in the local Chicago scene. His passion project has since evolved into a one-stop music promotions and events company. He collaborated with Nike, Jordan Brand, Despicable Me‘s minions and pop tarts. Bennett and his brand are behind the visuals for up-and-coming names in the Gen Z rap scene (Lil Pump, Juice WRLD), and he’s also worked with mainstream hip-hop figures like J. Cole, Wiz Khalifa and Eminem.
And Sarah Lorenz, 25, is senior director of international A&R at RCA Records. Raised in a Nigerian and Danish household, Lorenzen was inspired by the rise of African music in the mainstream global context and was behind the signing of Nigerian Afrobeat artists Tems and Mannywellz to RCA Records.
A substantial following on TikTok is something else Forbes 2023 Under 30 Music playlists have one thing in common. Whether millennials, Gen Xers, or baby boomers like it, TikTok is changing the music industry for musicians and executives alike. Viral TikTok songs top the charts and boost artists’ virality and financial success. Madison beer, 23, is a perfect example. The singer and social media sensation has over 4.2 billion streams in her catalog worldwide and has a TikTok following of over 17 million. DeTiger is no different. She may have picked up her first bass guitar as a toddler, but she gained momentum after amassing 1.3 million fans on TikTok and going viral with her bass-heavy covers of popular songs, including Megan Thee Stallion’s “Savage” and “Kiss.” of Prince.
Like Forbes As the list under 30 grows to 12, there is one more industry that continues to influence every category: technology and its development. Georgio Constantinou, 28, co-founded DAO Jones, a venture capital firm that raised $3.5 million to invest in early-stage Web3 startups. Concurrently, he co-founded the NFT consultancy Six.xyz, where he was part of the team that brokered the $4 million sale of the one-of-a-kind Wu-Tang Clan, Once upon a time in Shaolin album to make it available as an NFT.
Technology and music mix in other ways too. Arushi Jain, 29, is a South Asian technologist who popularized Hindustani classical music for our modern generation. Jain’s music uses a modular synthesizer to integrate the drones of Indian classical music into her 21st-century electronic take on a genre dating back to the 15th century. Atri Rajchowdhury, 29, co-founded Sony Music’s data strategy group, where he launched two analytics tools: one for artists and one for label executives. Raychowdhury also conceived and now directs the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Leadership Program, created to promote diversity in the field and provide visibility to diverse STEM career paths in the music industry for underserved youth.
In addition to Anitta, Becky G25, Josh Conway, 28 and Cruel Alejandro, 29, are all US-born artists falling under the umbrella of Latin music and culture, contributing to the reason why Latin music is projected to generate over $1 billion in revenue in the United States in 2022. As these artists topping the charts and scoring Grammy nominations, forecasts say annual revenue should continue to rise. Even better, though, is that Latin music is (finally) getting its rightful place at the table.
This year’s list was edited by Lisette Vojtko, Charlotte Burney and Jacqueline Schneider. For a link to our full music list, Press hereand for full 30 Under 30 coverage, Press here.