For PAPER's 2019 predictions list, we looked across every aspect of pop culture — music, film, art, activism, social media, fashion, beauty — for fresh new faces that are about to look a whole lot more familiar. Tierra Whack, Slayyyter, and Tayla Parx are set to feature heavily on your pump up playlists. Justice Smith, Chance Perdomo, and Emma Nelson are starring in upcoming blockbusters in cinemas and on Netflix. Writers Sally Mao and Morgan Parker are headed to bookstore shelves, and artists like Damon Davis and Jessi Jumanji will headline gallery shows. We've figured out exactly whose profiles you're about to follow: Layla F. Saad, Allen Salway, Hunter Harris. Plus the people you'll be getting fashion, makeup, and self-love inspiration from: Isaac West, La'shaunae, Crystal Methnay. It's going to be a good year! These are the 100 names worth getting to know in advance.
Illustration by Austin Call (@Duhrivative)
Who are you?
Gay. Singer/Songwriter. Mental Health Advocate.
What do you do?
I have been writing songs professionally for the last couple of years. I have been fortunate enough to sign a gorgeous publishing deal with Warner/Chappell & Facet Publishing. It's pretty glamorous.
What are you most proud of in 2018?
Personally, I am most proud of getting through 2018 alive. I have been struggling with anxiety and severe panic attacks for most of the year and most of 2017. (Shoutout to my therapist and all the authors of the wonderful self-help books I have been reading, as well). Professionally, I am most proud of being a part of Hayley Kiyoko's debut album Expectations. I was lucky enough to co-write "Curious," "What I Need (feat. Kehlani)," "Palm Dream" and "Feelings." I think a fierce lesbian pop star is exactly what the world needs right now and I am just excited to have been a part of it.
What do you think will be your biggest challenge in 2019?
I would say controlling my perfectionist quality, especially when it comes to releasing my own music. I have spent so many years overthinking my sound, identity, look, brand, literally everything. 2019 needs to be a year of leaning into the uncomfortable and unknown, and realizing I don't need to have any certain aesthetic as long as it is all honest.
What do you think will be your biggest opportunity in 2019?
Getting a brand deal with Tom Ford because he is my kryptonite and he will be like, OMG look at that shaved head, it is perfect, you should be the face of my company, and I will graciously accept. Also all the beautiful legendary artists I will continue to work with and release music with.
Where can we follow you?
As chosen by Justin Moran, Claire Valentine, Michael Love Michael, Kat Gillespie, and Jael Goldfine
Illustrations by Austin Call (@Duhrivative)