2015 had its fair share of big music moments. There was Madonna's 13th (!!) studio album, the Drake v. Meek Mill battle and subsequent diss tracks, and, of course, Adele's 25. But as the big-name players were plotting their respective returns to the top of the charts, a handful of under-the-radar artists were sharpening their vocal cords and honing their dance moves, prepping for their moment in the spotlight.
BJ the Chicago Kid, Alessia Cara, and Tor Miller are just a few of the promising names on Pandora's just-released "Artists to Watch in 2016" list, selected by the music discovery platform's in-house team of analytics experts. The 25-person group spans a wide range of music genres, including indie, hip-hop, country, and pop. Scroll through below to see the full list of names, and click here to listen to a playlist created exclusively for InStyle featuring their most played songs.
1. BJ the Chicago Kid
A soulful R&B singer from—you guessed it!—Chicago who's collaborated with the likes of Chance the Rapper and Schoolboy Q.
2. Post Malone
The Dallas-based artist can be easily identified by either his cornrows or his inimitable voice, which fuses hip-hop, R&B, and alternative rock.
The Brooklyn trio may have opened for CHVRCHES this year, but their special brand of ethereal dream-pop is so infectious that they'll be embarking on their own headling tour in 2016.
A country star who was raised on Patsy Cline and Willie Nelson, and has the vocal chops to prove it.
5. Ruth B.
Peter Pan's Lost Boys could learn a thing or two from this singer-songwriter slash Vine star's hit song.
6. Bryson Tiller
If accolades from the likes of Timbaland and Drake's OVO label aren't enough to sway you, Tiller's fresh approach to R&B surely will.
If you're a fan of Lorde and Halsey, you'll take to this 17-year-old artist who puts an individualistic spin on classic pop and plays no less than five instruments.
8. Tory Lanez
Yet another one of Drake's chosen talents, Toronto-based Lanez created his own term to describe his style: "Swavey." And his music is just that.
The U.K. quartet has received a substantial amount of critical acclaim across the pond, and we anticipate their latest will garner a similar reaction over here, too. Having Ed Sheeran on guest vocals also doesn't hurt.
10. Alessia Cara
The 19-year-old singer-songwriter recently performed her hit song "Here" with Taylor Swift on her 1989 tour, and is therefore officially a member of her #squad and poised to be the next big thing.
11. Jess Glynne
Remember that voice from Clean Bandit's "Rather Be"? That was Glynne. And her debut solo album, I Cry When I Laugh, is just as dancey.
The Maryland-born singer sounds like a mix of Prince and The Weeknd, in the best way.
13. Lawrence Taylor
The 22-year-old specializes in catchy guitar melodies and soothing vocals, citing rock legends like Led Zeppelin and Bob Dylan as his influences. And it shows.
Bluesy rock perfect for head-bopping in a dive bar with cans of PBR in hand.
An Aussie electronic duo that layers heady dubstep and electro under rappers like Big K.R.I.T.
16. Ty Dolla $ign
He's logged studio time with Fetty Wap and Tyga; now the L.A.-based artist is taking a semi-solo approach to his remixed songs, which sample everyone from Zedd to The Doors.
17. The Struts
The U.K. foursome looks like they could've opened for the Rolling Stones, so it comes as no big surprise that they have.
18. William Michael Morgan
A country ballad pro with years of musical experience behind his western belt.
Pulsating, moody house that's ideal for a Friday night on the town.
Catchy punk-pop reminiscent of your favorite Brit indie bands of the early aughts.
Michael Musto, known by his stage moniker Blackbear, wrote Justin Bieber's "Boyfriend," and we sense that he's got a slew of other chart toppers up his plaid sleeve, too.
While this all-female band is not related like Haim, their melodic '60s-tinged rock is so sonically cohesive, it's like they could be.
23. Tor Miller
The N.Y.C.-based singer shares a label with Phoenix, Mumford & Sons, and CHVRCHES, and his powerful rock ballads make it easy to understand why.
24. Jacob Whitesides
À la Bieber, Whitesides started getting noticed after posting covers of songs on YouTube, and his original tunes are just as good.
25. Conrad Sewell
The Australian singer has a lush mane and a voice that's Adam Levine-approved: Sewell opened for Maroon 5 on the fall leg of their world tour.