Meet SoundCloud's Class of 2022

Meet SoundCloud's Class of 2022

Story by Matt Moen / Photography by Cian Moore

As the go-to for self-published artists and bedroom producers, SoundCloud has long held the reputation of being a breeding ground for emerging talent and sounds. Now, the platform is looking to go above and beyond beyond just a discovery platform with their "First on SoundCloud" program. Somewhat akin to XXL's Freshman Class or Red Bell's Music Academy back in the day, the incubator program was designed as a way for the platform to help foster and promote the next generation of artists that originated on SoundCloud to achieve breakout moments and crucial career milestones.

The year-long artist residency has already had many notable alumni such as Kehlani, Lil Tecca, Ela Minus and Pa Salieu in the few years since it kicked off in 2018. In addition to launching the previously mentioned musicians, the First on SoundCloud program has helped put on SoFaygo's sold out first performance in his hometown of Atlanta, throw a music video release party for Charmaine in Toronto and hosted a skate park hangout for Payday.

This year's lineup of artists includes EKKSTACY, Isabella Lovestory, Kelow LaTesha, KenTheMan, Nezi Momodu, Pote Baby, riela, ROSEMARIE and TITUS. Handpicked by SoundCloud's music team, the diverse roster of artists covers a wide array of genres, from Latin-pop to alt-rock and rap, that defies easy categorization. The 2022 artist class will have access to a support fund to help them put on their first show or film a music video, as well as participate in hosting First on SoundCloud events and activities.

“This group of nine artists, each with their own sounds and identities, represent the next wave of stars in music on the cusp of breakout success," SoundCloud's VP of Artist and Label Partnerships, Erika Montes, says. “Like so many of today’s most influential artists first discovered on SoundCloud, these emerging artists are growing their communities and connections with day-one fans on the platform. The First on SoundCloud program is about that unique journey, and we can’t wait to create new opportunities with them to amplify their careers and share memorable experiences with their fans on SoundCloud and beyond.”

Get to know the 2022 First on SoundCloud Artist Class a little bit better before they blow-up, below.


Houston rapper KenTheMan has been making waves with her recent breakout single, "He Be Like," and EP, What's My Name, which featured the 2Chainz collaboration, "Rose Gold Stripper Pole." She's already gotten the attention of Rolling Stone, landing on their "Best Hip Hop Albums of 2021" and the excitement is already building for her debut album, which is slated to arrive later this year.

Isabella Lovestory

Honduras-born, Latin-pop artist Isabella Lovestory is hoping to charm listeners with her unique blend of reggaeton, experimental and alternative electronic music. She's already showed off her versatile brand of Perreo-pop with her EP, Mariposa, and is ready to accomplish even more.

Kelow LaTesha

DMV rap scene mainstay Kelow LaTesha made a big splash with her landmark album, TSA, and is poised to keep her fanbase going into 2022. "SoundCloud is for the people. It's created a space for all kinds of artists to communicate and connect," LaTesha says. "I've been on SoundCloud from the start, and it's great to be recognized and working with First on SoundCloud to build connections and help more fans discover my music."

Nezi Momodou

Dubbed "The Wordplay Queen," hip-hop artist Nezi has not only made a name for herself through her eclectic music, but has also used her art to help the younger generation use "their work speak for themselves." In addition to being a recording artist, Nezi is also a painter who has created murals and her own album art.


Miami born and raised, riela makes music inspired by her multi-lingual, multi-sensory upbringing in South Florida. Drawing on elements of reggaeton, R&B and pop, riela music has been best described as a particular mix of "mellow and tortured, tough and tender."

Pote Baby

Savannah rapper Pote Baby is already looking forward to a big year. On top of supporting EarthGang this May, Pote Baby is set to drop his latest project, Turtle Crossing, as well as host his third annual "Pote Day 2022" in his hometown.


Discovered by Roddy Ricch's manager, LA-based R&B artist Rosemarie has already amassed a decent following with tracks like "Henny Talk," "Catch 22" and "Vision." Heading into 2022, Rosemarie is currently gearing up to embark on her first-ever tour, as well a working on new music.


Alt-rock artist TITUS has a look as edgy as his music. Having already collaborated with 070 Shake's "Guilty Conscience," TITUS is currently working on the follow-up to his recent Lost Valley EP.


Fresh off a collab with HEALTH, the genre-bending artist EKKSTACY is currently in the midst of working on his sophomore album, and gearing up for a US and Europe tour starting this spring.

Photography: Cian Moore