By Ananya Panchal
You’ve heard of makeup dupes — the cheaper version of the designer makeup nobody can afford — but have you ever heard of music dupes?
Whether you are on the search for new music outside your usual taste or on the hunt for more music that fits your style, these artists are the music world’s hidden gems — underrated or yet to be discovered. But then again, they may just be too good to be mainstream.
If you like Drake, listen to Sal Houdini. Although the artists’ genres, hip-hop + pop and R&B + soul, respectively, are far from similar, there’s just something about their sing-songy rap voices that put me in the same mood, specifically some of Drake’s older hits from “Views.”
Trust me. If you close your eyes and listen to one of Drake or Houdini’s songs that you haven’t heard before, you won’t be able to tell the difference. I discovered Houdini a few years ago when I was going through an R&B phase, and I’m STILL so hooked to the first song I heard from him.
Judah & the Lion
If you enjoy a blend between folk and pop, like Imagine Dragons and Coldplay, or enjoy pretending you’re in a music video looking out to a rainy city from the window, listen to Judah & the Lion.
This alternative trio met at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. They originally began as a Christian worship group but strayed from their roots after deciding they wanted to expand their audience. In 2018, they started to pick up speed and gain attention and made it onto the “Late Late Show with James Corden,” “Good Morning America” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”
If Billie Eilish’s dulcet tones and Halsey’s slow tracks are your cup of tea, Gabbie Hanna will satisfy your ear buds. Her career — like that of several other noteworthy artists — started on Vine (RIP), and then she began a YouTube channel before she worked her way to Shorty, Teen Choice and iHeartRadio Music awards nominations over the past few years.
The 28-year-old has several singles on Spotify and is releasing her debut album, “This Time Next Year,” later this year.
If you like the whiny — and I mean that in the best way possible — voice of Fetty Wap mixed with Kid Cudi-esque slow rap, you will LOVE Elijah Blake. His soft and soothing voice somewhat resembles Daniel Caesar’s, bringing me into the absolute depths of the feels.
If you do decide to make your way down to Spotify and listen to his most recent album “Bijoux 23,” put in your headphones and crank the volume all the way up. If you are currently going through a heartbreak, I also strongly suggest doing this in private with a box of tissues by your side. Just trust me.
If you like more acoustic, but still powerful artists like LAUV and Troye Sivan or lowkey Indie music, you will adore Jack Larsen. Though I would categorize him as alternative pop, he is far from mainstream. The 21-year-old and St. Charles, Illinois, native released his first EP “Push-Ups” in May 2018.