With music from megastars like Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry coming fast and furious this fall, there’s been no shortage of highly anticipated releases to look forward to. But even with so many heavy-hitters hitting on the charts, we couldn’t help but notice a certain newbie holding strong with the vets: Last week, Lorde leaped to #1 on the Digital Songs chart with “Royals,” topping even Katy.
And the New Zealand newcomer is just one of a batch of brand-new artists that shouldn’t be overlooked. They’re the Fresh Faces of Pop, and though some are barely old enough to drive — Lorde’s just 16! — there’s no question they’re ready to take their places alongside the pros.
“I’m just excited because for the longest time my fans have known me as my character Cat on Nickelodeon and now, this is, like, me,” Grande told MTV News. “People got to know me first as an actress but my mom says, I’m not, like — I’m a singer who acts on the side but now they’ll get to know Ariana, the brunette girl from Boca [Raton Florida], who loves music more than anything.”
Lorde has been shaking up the charts: Her hit “Royals,” not only landed at #3 on the Hot 100, it’s helping change the way people perceive pop too.
“It’s really difficult because for so long pop music has been this super shameful, you know like, almost a taboo, like, ’I don’t want to be associated with pop music, I want to be alternative,’ ” Lorde told MTV News over the summer. “But the way I see it is pop music doesn’t have to be stupid and alternative music doesn’t have to be boring. You can mesh the two together and make something cool that people will like.”
The 16-year-old dropped her highly anticipated debut album, Pure Heroine on Monday. That means she’s going head-to-head with former boy bander Timberlake in the first-week sales race.
Another up-and-comer to keep an eye on is Madison Beer. The 14-year-old got her start making music on YouTube when she was just 12, and caught the attention of Justin Bieber and his manager, Scooter Braun.
“My best friend Nicole called me and she was like, ’Justin Bieber just tweeted about you!’ And I’m like, ’What are you talking about?’ She’s like, ’Go look at his Twitter,’ and I’m like, ’OK, bye,’ ” Beer recalled to MTV News last month. “I remember looking at my Twitter and I was like, ’Oh my god.’ I started crying and it was like a dream come true.”
Since then, Beer has released her first single, “Melodies,” with the video racking up more than 1 million views online in its first week.
Last but definitely not least is Zendaya. She’s only 17, but this girl can do it all. The triple threat stars as Rocky Blue in the hit Disney Channel show “Shake It Up,” took second place in season 16 of “Dancing With the Stars” and dropped her self-titled debut her self-titled debut last month. “Replay,” the first single off the album is sitting pretty on the Hot 100 and has been watched more than 18 million times online.
“I feel just generally, as a young artist, we’re just kind of put in a category to where we’re just not treated as seriously sometimes as, you know, the older folks,” Zendaya said. “I feel like it’s really important that when you’re young, that you have to come out even stronger than anyone else and you have to work extra hard to prove yourself.”
Think someone’s missing from our Fresh Faces of Pop list? Tell us about it in the comments below!