Future Stars: blackbear (Interscope)

Taken from this week’s Future Pop mailer. Click here to subscribe.

26-year-old Matthew Tyler Musto has released three albums as blackbear, but only now is he experiencing his first hit… or two. The rapper/singer had a slow-burner with IDFC, his 2014 single which eventually peaked at no.19 in the Billboard R&B chart last November, and is still hanging around today. His current single Do Re Mi has gone one better, reaching the R&B chart top 10, and entering the overall US singles chart, the Billboard Hot 100. Although he is classified as an R&B artist, blackbear’s history as a teenage rock band frontman shows through in the quirky, alternative vibe of Do Re Mi, which reminds me of Melanie Martinez’s cute/dark sound and aesthetic. The track will be pitched to pop radio stations on 22nd August, so its rise is likely to continue as it reaches a wider audience over the next month. This might be the first time pop fans are hearing of blackbear, but his sound might seem familiar. His biggest achievement is co-writing Boyfriend for Justin Bieber, and you can definitely hear the similarity in his own music. He has also collaborated with several Future Pop featured acts, such as Phoebe Ryan and Olivia O’Brien, and released an album in March as part of the duo Mansionz with his regular songwriting partner Mike Posner.

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