THREE CHART-TOPPERS AND THEIR MUSICAL DOPPLEGANGERS
If You Like One, Check Out the Other!
by Marja Koos
We all have our favorite artists—our “tried and trues,” if you will—but it’s always a good idea to explore outside our constantly replayed songs. If you don’t know where to start, we’ve got you covered. Below we’ve compiled a comparison between three household names and three lesser-known artists that occupy the same niche. If you’re a fan of one, check out the other—you might just have a new favorite!
Sam Smith and Jeuru
Sam Smith is a multi-Grammy winning English singer-songwriter and one of the biggest names in pop music of the last decade. Their songs have been topping the charts since 2012 when they were featured on Disclosure’s track, “Latch.” Much of Smith’s music is rooted in their Catholic upbringing, combining aspects of gospel with Southern Soul and R&B.
Jeuru is truly an underrated artist, with just under 9,000 monthly listeners on Spotify. His genre-bending music contains elements of R&B vocals, Electronic-Soul and Triphop. An American musician currently based in Copenhagen, he released his debut EP “King of the Cruel” in 2018.
There are many similarities between Smith and Jeuru, especially as both artists take inspiration from prominent soul artists of the 20th century. Their soulful voices can easily switch between soft and melancholy to deep and rich. Both artists have impressive vocal ranges and technical abilities. Their songs can feel atmospheric and dance oriented or more stripped down, sometimes including harmonies reminiscent of church choirs. Jeuru’s songs occasionally take on darker, more experimental textures than Smith’s, but the emotion and soul is always there.
Lewis Capaldi and Dermot Kennedy
Scotland-born Lewis Capaldi went from an unknown playing at pubs to a chart-topping artist headlining sold-out shows all over the world. His debut single, “Someone You Loved,” broke the UK singles chart record for the longest time spent in the number one spot. His soulful music relies on his guitar and piano.
Dermot Kennedy hails from Ireland where he started off busking in the streets. After winning an original song competition, he piqued the interest of several industry professionals, consequently getting his name out there and amassing an impressive fan base. His music is an unconventional blend of hip-hop and folk music.
These two artists gained large audiences in record amounts of time, and the similarities don’t stop there. Both of these artists’ beautiful, raspy voices take center stage in their music. Their songs are fairly stripped down, mainly featuring piano, guitar and minimalistic synths and beats to best allow for their heart-wrenching high notes and emotional lyrics to shine through.
Bebe Rexha and GALXARA
Bebe Rexha started off just writing songs for big name artists like Rihanna and Eminem, but before long, she was teaming up on tracks with the likes of David Guetta, Nicki Minaj and G-Eazy, to name a few. She pulls from hip-hop, electronica and R&B in her solo material, which has a darker and more emotional pop vibe. Some of her influences and inspirations include Madonna, Lauryn Hill and Christina Auguilera.
At just 19 years old, GALXARA was featured on Saweetie’s track, “Sway With Me,” and thus garnered critics’ attention and landed a spot in Idolator’s “40 Artists to Watch in 2020.” Her self-released electro-pop single, “KILLA KILLA,” contains themes of fantasy and futurism. The subject matter of her songs also depict the darker side to her emotions, such as fury and mania.
GALXARA is often compared with Rexha, and for good reason. Both artists clearly write from the depths of their souls. Their rich voices, impressive ranges, and ethereal harmonies contrast nicely with the gritty textures and trap beats of their songs. The two artists have dabbled in many genres, including electronica, stripped-down pop and hip-hop.