This article first appeared on KCPR.orgMustang Media Group is a student-run organization that includes Mustang News and KCPR. They collaborate to cover news, arts, and culture for Cal Poly and the greater San Luis Obispo community. 

Last year the Black Lives Matter Movement became much more prominent. With it the efforts to support Black-owned businesses and Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) creators and artists has grown. 

Music would not be where it is today without BIPOC artists, such as Prince who gave us classics like “When Doves Cry” or “Purple Rain;” N.W.A using their music to speak up against systemic racism with “F*ck Tha Police;” or Selena Quintanilla becoming an international pop-star and paving the way for Latinx representation in music and fashion. 

Here is a list of BIPOC artists you should be listening to if you aren’t already: 


Kali Uchis

This Colombian-American, eccentrically dressed artist has made headlines with her strong voice and recently released Spanish album “Sin Miedo (del Amor y Otros Demonios).”  

My favorite songs: “Your Teeth In My Neck” and“Dead To Me,” both off of her 2018 album “Isolation” 

Listen to her if you like: SZA or Raveena

Summer Walker

Walker’s songs are all very easy and enjoyable to listen to. Her voice and the beats backing her are often very suave and relaxing. 

My favorite songs: “Girls Need Love” and “ I’ll Kill You” featuring Jhené Aiko 

Listen to her if you like: Ella Mai, H.E.R., 6LACK or SZA

Vetta Borne

Vetta Borne is a Melbourne based artist I recently discovered that doesn’t have that large of a following yet. 

My favorite songs: “Girls”and “Hey”

The songs are very different in energy but share a similar dominant bass line that really puts a nice and somewhat artistic touch on both. 

Listen to her if you like: Vera Blue or Dua Lipa

Anderson .Paak

Paak has an incredibly distinct voice and a unique stylistic approach to his music. This summer he released a powerful song and music video about the Black Lives Matter Movement called “Lockdown” that is definitely worth a listen. 

My favorite songs:  “Twilight” and a song he is featured on, “Dang!,” by Mac Miller

Listen to if you like: Vince Staples or BJ the Chicago Kid

Jelani Aryeh

This young artist makes pretty energetic and uplifting music. His voice is light which allows the listener to really hear what he is saying and singing above it all. 

My favorite songs: “Stella Brown” and “The Garden”  

Listen to them if you like: Wallows, Clairo or Dominic Fike

Indie/ Indie-Rock


This Japanese-American artist is someone I just recently started listening to after one of her songs, “Me and My Husband,” became a popular sound on Tik Tok. 

My favorite songs: “Nobody” (which weirdly reminds me of “Tom’s Diner” by Suzanne Vega) and “ Your Best American Girl”

Listen to her if you like: Phoebe Bridgers or Snail Mail

Steve Lacy

Lacy began his music career with the band The Internet and is another BIPOC artist who’s talent should not be overlooked. He was also featured on two songs off of Vampire Weekend’s last album “Father of the Bride.” 

My favorite songs: “Dark Red,”  “Playground” and “N Side” 

Listen to him if you like: Smino, Solange, or Anderson .Paak

Omar Apollo

Apollo has put out three albums within the last three years. His music ranges in style, tempo and even language, since some of his songs are sung in Spanish.

My favorite songs: “U Got Me” and “Frío”

Listen to him if you like: Still Woozy, Mac Miller, Khalid


Bakar is best known for his song “Hell n Back” off of his 2019 record “Will You Be My Yellow.” 

My favorite songs: “Stop Selling Her Drugs” featuring Dominic Fike and “Big Dreams” 

Listen to him if you like: Cosmo Pyke, Still Woozy, Yellow Days, or Gus Dapperton

Alternative Rock


She is a Filipina-British artist that has a sort of grunge style and makes guitar-heaving, energetic music. Last year, her song “Coffee” was sampled in the song “death bed” by Powfu and went viral on Tik Tok. 

My favorite songs: “She Plays Bass” and “I Wish I Was Stephen Malkmus”

Listen to her if you like: Clairo, Beach Bunny or Soccer Mommy

Beach Goons

Beach Goons are a band from San Diego that incorporate a lot of Spanish and Mexican slang into their songs. 

My favorite songs: “A.M.”and “Vatos Tristes” both off of their 2018 album “hoodratscumbags”

Listen to them if you like: The Frights, Surf Curse or Hot Flash Heat Wave



Maia, or mxmtoon, got her start on Vine and Youtube until she moved to Tik Tok where she gained a large following and where many of her songs, like “Prom Dress,” have gone viral. 

My favorite songs: “show and tell” and “porcelain”

Listen to her if you like: Chloe Moriondo, Concan Gray or dodie

Seth Malvín

About three years ago I discovered Malvín when I was learning how to play the ukulele. His voice and all of his music is very soothing and warm. 

My favorite songs: “Out of My Mind” and “Down Again”

Listen to him if you like: Ingrid Michaelson or Twenty One Pilots

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