23 for 2023: M Magazine's ones to watch

From future pop stars to tomorrow's hottest indie bands, take a look at who's on our radar for the new year.

Liam Konemann
  • By Liam Konemann
  • 19 Dec 2022
  • min read

It's that time again, where we look back on the artists who've been breaking big in recent months, and sketch out what's to come in the new year. 

From rising rappers to the future of guitar music, M Magazine's ones to watch takes in award-winners and cult heroes. Read up on their stories below, and check out the playlist at the bottom of the page to get a picture of the musical landscape in 2023. 


The first ever band to win the £10,000 Welsh Music Prize twice, Adwaith formed in 2015 but have really stepped things up in 2022 with the release of their second album Bato Mato. They take up the mantle of Independent Venue Week ambassadors in 2023.

Listen toSudd

Asha Gold

Asha Gold has steadily been building a name for herself since the release of her debut single in 2019. Her debut EP, Maybe This Is Me Growing Up, dropped earlier this month and cements her reputation as one of the country’s most promising contemporary R&B artists. 

Listen to: Morning Love

Ayra Starr

Viral sensation Ayra Starr describes her sound as Afrosoul, bringing a modern touch to classic Yoruba and Beninese musical influences. Fresh off the back of her debut album, things are only going to get bigger. 

Listen to: Rush


Musician, producer and guitar hero Aziya is the kind of polymath that can push rock music to new heights. Her debut EP We Speak of Tides dropped in 2021, and sets the stage for big things to come. 

Listen to: Girl Meets World (demo)


Having just started releasing music during lockdown, beaux emerged into the light of live performances practically fully formed this year. With four EPs already under his belt, could 2023 be the year of the album for the prolific bedroom pop star?

Listen to: benadryl


Rising rock artist Cassyette had a string of stellar festival performances in 2022, and netted support slots for My Chemical Romance and Willow. After cementing a strong following with genre-bending singles like Sad Girl Summer, Cassyette is poised for a big 2023. 

Listen to: Sad Girl Summer

Cat Burns

Former BRIT School student Cat Burns has had a big year. Nominated for the BRIT Rising Star Award 2023, Cat also performed at the MOBOs this year and has over 5.5 million monthly listeners. With a trajectory like that, she’s ready to go stratospheric.

Listen to: people pleaser


South-London-via-Yorkshire's DEADLETTER put politics front and centre in their narrative-driven tracks. Blending a wry humour with an existential rage, they're one of the most exciting up-and-coming post-punk acts today. 

Listen to: Binge


Debbie describes herself as a soul singer, not in terms of genre but because that’s where her music comes from. Launching debut single Is This Real Love? in November 2021, she has made a name for herself in a short space of time, collaborating with Stormzy and earning fans in Mahalia and John Legend.

Listen to: Is This Real Love?

The Dinner Party

The Dinner Party take a maximalist approach to guitar music, drawing inspiration from Kate Bush and David Bowie, glam rock and new wave. With sets at The Great Escape and Latitude Festival on the horizon for 2023, The Dinner Party cordially invite you to join their next steps. 

The Dinner Party are yet to release tracks online, but keep an eye out for them in 2023. 

Dolores Forever

Dolores Forever’s emotional pop music has netted them critical acclaim and a solid fanbase since their first singles in 2021. Having played at Glastonbury and released their debut EP Baby Teeth in 2022, they’re set for a strong 2023. 

Listen to: Conversations With Strangers


Another artist who has had a phenomenal 2022, Dylan played packed out shows at Reading and Leeds festivals this year, alongside a sold out US debut and a track premiere on BBC Radio 1. With a major fanbase to her name and a mixtape, The Greatest Thing I'll Never Learn, to close out the year, Dylan is on firm footing for 2023. 

Listen to: Girl of Your Dreams

Eli Smart

Originally from Kauai, Eli Smart brought his Tropicana-rock to the UK this year and quickly took this very different island by storm. He's quickly cemented himself as a must-see live act, and his recent EP Aloha Soul tees him up for a strong start next year.

Listen to: Highschool Steady


The winners of the 2023 BRIT Rising Star Award, FLO are the first band to take the crown since the award’s inception. Hotly-tipped more or less across the board, with famous fans including SZA and Leigh-Anne Pinnock, it’s all eyes on FLO going forward. 

Listen to: Cardboard Box

Kid Bookie

South London trap metal artist Kid Bookie pushes genre boundaries with his work. Dropping collaborations with the likes of Corey Taylor and Wheatus, and with a slot at Download festival on the cards, there’s little doubt 2023 is going to be big.

Listen to: Bookie's Dirtbag

Lucinda Chua

The multi-talented Lucinda Chua mixes ambient, modern classical elements with a pop sensibility to create an intimate, atmospheric sound. Recent single Golden is a self-produced meditation on identity and absent role models.

Listen to: Golden

Nayana IZ

Nine8 Collective's Nayana IZ is a powerful singer and rapper just as adept at Jazz vocals as hip-hop bars. Praised for her magnetic live performances, Nayana wraps the year up with a set in Peckham ahead of Christmas.

Listen to: TNT


Known for his carefully crafted lyrics and distinct sound, teenage prodigy Nemzzz has dropped a string of powerful freestyles and high-profile collaborations this year. His track Elevate went viral on TikTok and spent five weeks in the charts. 

Listen to: Elevate

Nia Archives

The first electronic artist to win BBC Introducing's Artist of the Year, Nia Archives was shortlisted for the 2023 BRIT Rising Star Award and also won DJ Mag's 2022 Breakthrough Producer Award. With a strong and still-growing fanbase, Nia Archives is set for a big year. 

Listen to: So Tell Me...


Taking home the AIM Independent Music Award for Best EP / Mixtape for her 2021 release Angelica, TAAHLIAH spoke powerfully on using her music to make space for the queer and trans community. An intimate exploration of identity and emotion layered with club production values sets the stage for big things to come. 

Listen to: Bourgeoisie

Terra Kin

Glasgow newcomer Terra Kin dropped their debut EP Too Far Gone in November this year, and has already established themselves as something of a critical darling. With a Fred Again.. collaboration under their belt and previous support slots for KOKOROKO and Arlo Parks, Terra Kin is setting the stage for an interesting career.

Listen to: Flames

Tom Rasmussen

Tom Rasmussen’s honest and emotive songwriting explores the construction and deconstruction of an alter-ego. Joyfully, radically queer and unafraid of politics, Tom blends pop bangers with piano balladry. In 2022 they supported Rina Sayama on her Hold the Girl tour, and their debut album is expected Spring next year.

Listen to: Dysphoria

Yunè Pinku

Producer and songwriter Yunè Pinku has built a massive following in a short space of time. Her debut solo EP Bluff dropped in April this year, around the same time as her debut gig, and already she brings in over half a million monthly streams of Spotify. A hotly tipped artist, Yunè Pinku is said to be currently at work on a mini-album. 

Listen to: Bluff