The 4 Breakthrough Artists of the Year: 2020

One of my favourite weeks of the year is upon us – family celebrations, holiday and of course, In Search Of Media end-of-year lists. This year I’ve decided to shed light on artists that have, in my opinion, had musical breakthroughs in 2020. They’re not necessarily new artists who have just released their debut projects – all of them have already released great work in the past, but these 4 artists have in my eyes exceeded expectations, pushing their artistry to new heights. Seeing their growth throughout the year is what made me create this list, and I can’t wait to see them continue to grow and thrive musically in the years to come. Without further ado, here are my 4 Breakthrough Artists of 2020!

Goya Gumbani

Goya Gumbani’s work ethic has been unparalleled this year. The London-based, New York artist has released 6 projects in 2020, all with different producers and sounds. There’s a soul and passion in his voice that make him such a compelling lyricist. Collaborating with some of the most innovative and independent artists from the UK and the US has made him a recognizable name within this tight knit music scene we’ve come to love. From the lush and soulful beats and introspective lyricism on A Thousand Months to the atmospheric and incredibly textured Children of Ra, Goya never fails to liven up the music with his character and charisma. His level of consistency is just so inspiring, and the times I have seen him perform live, he really gives his heart and soul to his craft. To a bigger and better 2021! Twitter / Instagram / Bandcamp

Favourite projects: A Thousand Months, The Lesser-Known, Truth Be Told

Favourite tracks: “Thing for Risk”, “Confrontation & Conversations”, “Blasé”, “Shu & Tefnut”, “MLK”, “Round 4” feat. MIKE, “Signs*” & “Hither Green” ft Elijah Maja


I run this website for a plethora of reasons but the joy and excitement of discovering new talented artists is probably number one for me. Discovering her earlier this year, South London soul singer & songwriter VEDA BLACK has had a true breakthrough year musically. She released her debut project Sad Girls Club back in July, and listening to her powerful, emotive and gorgeous vocal delivery, I was (and still am) enamored with her vocal range and tone. Handling the production as well, the EP sounds textured, groovy and utterly soulful. Her relatable lyrics and catchy melodies has made it a favourite of mine and my partner, and we have spent numerous occasions listening to her music together. I’m also happy she’s getting the love and coverage from other music publications such as Soul Surge and The Hype Magazine, which is a testament to how good her music really is and how timeless it is. She’s definitely an artist to watch for next year – a supreme talent! Twitter / Instagram / Bandcamp

Favourite projects: Sad Girls Club

Favourte tracks: “Serious”, “Call It Love”, “Only You”

Pa Salieu

This has been a career-defining year from the gifted Gambian and Coventry artist. In January of this year, Pa Salieu released his debut single “Frontline” to widespread acclaim, and nothing has been the same since. The release of his debut project Send Them To Coventry propelled his career even further, with many praising his textured, engaging and colourful sound. For me, Pa Salieu’s music is a celebration of life. Not only is his music lavish, textured and incredible throughout, it’s his story and his personality throughout his 15-track project that truly stood out to me. Never have I reloaded a a track in recent memory as “No Warnin'” featuring Boy Boy, while one of the lead singles “My Family” featuring BackRoad Gee is still one of the hardest tracks to come out this year. My love for this man’s music goes deep, so expect his project to be on my favourite albums list of the year, and I’m really excited to see him perform live. Twitter / Instagram / Website

Favourite projects: Send Them To Coventry

Favourite tracks: “Block Boy”, “No Warnin'” ft Boy Boy, “Informa” ft M1llionz, “Betty”, “My Family” ft Backroad Gee, “B***K”, “Energy” ft Mahalia


South London-based artist Jords has been making music for a while now, but 2020 has been a defining year musically for this young and talented artist. Almost An Adult was his defining work of art this year – a vast 10-track project that gave us so much heart and soul. I feel like I learnt a lot from him as an artist and as a person, reminiscing about his childhood, highlighting some of his experiences with mental health and celebrating his heritage and the people around him he loves the most. It wasn’t only the music this year though. The 8-minute film for his album went somewhat viral as peeps in the UK finally started to recognise the extent of his talents. The visuals on that film were superb and his ability to convey such a heartfelt and inspiring message through his art is just so inspiring and beautiful to see. He has continued to strengthen throughout the years, but I feel like people finally started giving the flowers he deserves this year. What a moment Almost An Adult was, and I predict even bigger things for the talented musician. Amazing work indeed! Twitter / Instagram / Website

Favourite projects: Almost An Adult

Favourite tracks: “My City”, “Patterned” ft Dotty, “Dangerous”, “You’re Welcome”

Hey everyone, thanks for stopping by. I run In Search Of Media with the aim of giving a platform to independent beatmakers, rappers and talented musicians. I also hope to make this a home for music discovery, interesting film analysis, exhibition reviews and other interesting content for all of you guys to dive in to. I hope to start a podcast and documentary-style project soon. If you're looking to be a part of this creative project, please go to the contact page and drop me an email, or connect via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. I also write for 'Music Is My Sanctuary.' Thanks 🙏

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