Who’s Next

JOEL CROUSE

JOEL CROUSE
JOEL CROUSE HOMETOWN: Holland, Mass. INFLUENCES: Waylon Jennings, Keith Urban, Tom Petty ALBUM: Even the River Runs, out now WEBSITE: joelcrouse.com A pastor’s son from a small farming town outside Boston, Crouse started singing in church at an early age. At 13, his Alabama-bred grandfather gave him his first guitar and introduced him to such legendary artists as Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings. Three years later he was playing... 

SKYLAR STECKER

SKYLAR STECKER
SKYLAR STECKER HOMETOWN: Middleton, Wisc. INFLUENCES: Beyoncé, Bruno Mars, Ne-Yo ALBUM: Firecracker, out now WEBSITE: skylarstar.com At just 12 years old, Skylar Stecker has a vocal range and a drive to succeed that rivals artists twice her age. Daughter of former NFL running back Aaron Stecker, she wrote her first song in the third grade, the same year she made her onstage debut at a hometown talent show. “That’s when I knew music was what... 

KÊTA

KÊTA
KÊTA HOMETOWN: Greenwood, Ind. influences: Elvis Presley, Imogen Heap, the Supremes ALBUM: Generation Call EP, out now WEBSITE: whoisketa.com Born into a musical home—her mother was a classically trained violinist and vocalist, and her father played guitar—Kêta grew up singing at church and county fairs. But at the age of 10, her budding career was halted after contracting Lyme disease. “My life was all doctor’s appointments, tests, needles... 

LARKIN POE

LARKIN POE
LARKIN POE HOMETOWN: Atlanta INFLUENCES: Fleetwood Mac, Pink Floyd, the Band ALBUM: Kin, out now WEBSITE: larkinpoe.com As descendants of Edgar Allan Poe, sister duo Larkin Poe has extended a long line of talented yet tempestuous artists. “We have a very colorful family history,” says Rebecca Lovell, 23. “There were a lot of creative, hot-headed and intelligent branches that went against the grain in our family tree.” Early on, Larkin Poe... 

RO SHON

RO SHON
RO SHON HOMETOWN: L.A. INFLUENCES: Prince, will.i.am, Michael Jackson ALBUM: I Am Ro Shon EP, out now WEBSITE: roshon.com Ro Shon burst onto the scene as star of the Disney hit show Shake It Up and celebrity dancer on Dancing With the Stars. But he decided to take a break from TV to focus on his greatest passion. “Music is something I’ve done all my life,” says Ro Shon, 23. “But I haven’t really taken that step to say, ‘Here I am!’... 

KANDACE SPRINGS

KANDACE SPRINGS
KANDACE SPRINGS HOMETOWN: Nashville INFLUENCES: Aretha Franklin, Nina Simone, Billie Holiday ALBUM: Kandace Springs EP, out now WEBSITE: kandacesprings.com “Ever since I can remember, music has been a part of my life,” says Kandace Springs. “My dad was always playing music in the house, in the car, singing in the mall—everywhere! He taught me how to harmonize.” An R&B singer-songwriter, Spring’s father also imparted an appreciation... 

JACQUIE LEE

JACQUIE LEE
JACQUIE LEE HOMETOWN: Colts Neck, N.J. INFLUENCES: Alicia Keys, Corinne Bailey Rae, Adele ALBUM: Broken Ones EP, out now WEBSITE: jacquielee.com Jacquie Lee was a shy young girl who bravely conquered a tough case of stage fright in fifth grade after securing the title role in her school’s production of Mulan. A half-dozen years later, Lee grew up to be a poised, talented performer who finished as the runner-up on the fifth season of The Voice.... 

MATTHEW KOMA

MATTHEW KOMA
MATTHEW KOMA HOMETOWN: Long Island, N.Y. INFLUENCES: Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, Don Henley ALBUM: As-yet-untitled LP, out 2015 WEBSITE: matthewkoma.com The son of a New York singer-songwriter, EDM musician Matthew Koma aspired to write compelling songs at a young age—and he succeeded, landing a publishing deal at just 16. “My favorite songwriters are the ones who tell stories that are rooted in real emotion, but who find a way to get... 

LIV WARFIELD

LIV WARFIELD
LIV WARFIELD HOMETOWN: Peoria, Ill. INFLUENCES: Nina Simone, Etta James, Tina Turner ALBUM: The Unexpected, out now WEBSITE: livwarfieldmusic.com The daughter of a Pentecostal deacon, LiV Warfield grew up in a household where musical entertainment was discouraged, so she set her sights on a different path—as a sprinter. “I kept my voice a secret for more than 20 years,” she says. “Athletics were my primary discipline and the encouraged formula... 

GRACE WEBER

GRACE WEBER
GRACE WEBER HOMETOWN: Wauwatosa, Wisc. INFLUENCES: Aretha Franklin, Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan ALBUM: The Refinery, due October 2014 WEBSITE: graceweber.com Growing up in the Milwaukee suburbs, young Grace Weber drew musical inspiration from a somewhat unlikely source. “When I was 12, I joined a gospel choir in the inner city and discovered this amazing soul scene,” she says. In 2006, Weber earned the prestigious Presidential Scholar in the... 

SEVYN STREETER

SEVYN STREETER
SEVYN STREETER HOMETOWN: Haines City, Fla. INFLUENCES: Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Yolanda Adams ALBUM: Album due out 2014 WEBSITE: sevynstreeter.com Sevyn Streeter believes the art of live singing is therapeutic for the performer and audience. “Music is emotional. Your job is to make people feel something,” she says. “The best way to do that is to sing and speak to something they’ve personally been through.” Streeter first achieved... 

ROXANNA

ROXANNA
ROXANNA HOMETOWN: Tehran, Iran INFLUENCES: Julio Iglesias, Olivia Newton-John, Michael Jackson ALBUM: Exotica, out now WEBSITE: roxannamusic.com A native of Tehran, Roxanna has fond memories of a childhood spent listening to her idol, Olivia Newton-John. When her family immigrated to Istanbul, Turkey, during the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s, she expanded her horizons. “It opened my heart so much more,” she says. “I was able to catch up with the... 

MALINA MOYE

MALINA MOYE
MALINA MOYE HOMETOWN: Cleveland, Ohio INFLUENCES: Prince, Sly and the Family Stone, Funkadelic ALBUM: Rock & Roll Baby, due out in October WEBSITE: malinamoye.com Malina Moye boasts an impressive musical pedigree: Her father was a session bassist and her mother sang backing vocals for Tina Turner. Following in their footsteps, Moye began playing guitar at 9, and fronted the family R&B group Les Moye Ice as a teenager. With a distinctive upside-down... 

CHELSEA BAIN

CHELSEA BAIN
CHELSEA BAIN HOMETOWN: Phoenix, Ariz. influences: Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, George Strait ALBUM: All American Country Girl EP, out now WEBSITE: chelseabainmusic.com Chelsea Bain grew up riding horses—a pastime that became serious. A testament to her prowess, she won a dozen national and world championship titles from the American Paint Horse Association. “I’m always up for a good challenge,” she says. “Growing up in that environment made... 

J’CHELLE

J’CHELLE
J’CHELLE HOMETOWN: Long Beach, Calif. INFLUENCES: Alicia Keys, Mariah Carey, Stevie Wonder ALBUM: J’Chelle, TBA WEBSITE: jchelle.com J’Chelle was preparing to enter law school when her life took a dramatic turn—she auditioned for America’s Got Talent. While the singer-songwriter born J’Chelle Magbitang, only made it to the week three semifinals, she became a background vocalist on American Idol, supporting acts like Mary J. Blige, Chaka... 

KORBY LENKER

KORBY LENKER
KORBY LENKER HOMETOWN: Twin Falls, Idaho INFLUENCES: Neil Young, Paul Simon, Doc Watson ALBUM:Korby Lenker, out now WEBSITE: korbylenker.com The son of a mortician and an educator, Americana singer-songwriter Korby Lenker began taking piano lessons at age 8. He spent his teen years as the leader of alt-rock band Clockwork Orange, singing cover tunes in coffee shops around his hometown. “We covered ‘Under the Bridge’ by Red Hot Chili Peppers,”... 

KAYLEE RUTLAND

KAYLEE RUTLAND
KAYLEE RUTLAND HOMETOWN: Dallas, Texas INFLUENCES: Reba McEntire, Carrie Underwood, Sara Evans ALBUM: Kaylee Rutland EP, out now WEBSITE: kayleerutland.com Singer-songwriter Kaylee Rutland’s first gig in front of a live audience happened in an unlikely place—the Dallas Zoo. “Aside from my family, I think there were more animals watching than people,” she says, “but it was a great first experience.” Later appearances at the Hard Rock... 

THE BRIGHT SMOKE

THE BRIGHT SMOKE
THE BRIGHT SMOKE HOMETOWN: Chicago, Ill. INFLUENCES: Junior Kimbrough, the National, Patti Smith ALBUM: Virginia Et Al. EP, out now WEBSITE: thebrightsmoke.bandcamp.com A former classical ballet dancer, the Bright Smoke (née Mia Wilson) abandoned her career plans following a serious injury in training.  So she shifted her interest to music, and credits her parents with encouraging her to explore artistic avenues beyond the barre. “Growing up,... 

ALUS

ALUS
ALUS HOMETOWN: Montville, N.J. INFLUENCES: Billie Holiday, Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin ALBUM: Alustrious EP, out now WEBSITE: facebook.com/alusmovement Born and raised in New Jersey, Alus comes by her musical talent honestly. Her grandmother, a Juilliard graduate, was once a renowned musician in the Violinaires, a group of violinists that regularly performed with Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and the rest of the Rat Pack. Meanwhile, her father... 

JENNA TORRES

JENNA TORRES
JENNA TORRES HOMETOWN: New York City INFLUENCES: Sheryl Crow, Dolly Parton, Bruce Springsteen ALBUM: A Woman’s Touch, out now WEBSITE: jennatorres.com To some, singer-songwriter Jenna Torres is a study in contrasts, but she doesn’t see it that way. “I guess being a New York City girl and a country music artist might seem like a contradiction,” she says, “but to me the big city is the heartland. Every day I’m surrounded by 8 million stories... 

J RAND

J RAND
J RAND HOMETOWN: Delray Beach, Fla. INFLUENCES: Eminem, Stevie Wonder, Donny Hathaway ALBUM: As-yet-untitled LP, due out 2014 WEBSITE: jrandmusic.com As a teenager, J Rand groomed himself for the spotlight by singing Michael Jackson songs at a local karaoke bar in his hometown. “When I was a kid I was always fascinated by entertainers,” he says. While pursuing a solo career, he performed with various local cover bands. In 2010, Rand signed with... 

DARNAA

DARNAA
DARNAA HOMETOWN: Sacramento, Calif. INFLUENCES: Yolanda Adams, Kirk Franklin, Destiny’s Child ALBUM: Album due out 2014 WEBSITE: darnaamusic.com As one of nine siblings, Darnaa was determined to stand up and be heard. “I grew up singing a lot to princesses in cartoons like The Little Mermaid,” she says. “In our neighborhood there was a rock, and I’d get on the rock and pretend I was her.” Inspired by Lauryn Hill’s performance in Sister... 

IRINA

IRINA
IRINA HOMETOWN: Moscow, Russia INFLUENCES: influences: Abba, Whitney Houston, Barbra Streisand ALBUM: Album due out 2014 WEBSITE: irinaglobal.com “I was always involved in theater when I was in school,” says Irina, who was born and raised in Moscow. “I was singing in the choir as a mezzo-soprano when I was 6.” Later, Irina earned degrees in psychology and economics—but she eventually returned to her first love. She began writing songs... 

YONAS MICHAEL

YONAS MICHAEL
YONAS MICHAEL HOMETOWN: Seattle, Wash. INFLUENCES: Michael Jackson, the Roots, Wu-Tang Clan ALBUM: The Black Swan Theory, out 2014 WEBSITE: yonasmichael.com Enamored of his grandmother’s extensive vinyl collection, Yonas Michael spent his early years practicing Michael Jackson’s signature dance moves. When he was a teenager, Michael’s family moved to the L.A. suburbs and he immersed himself in the world of hip-hop. After performing in talent... 

BLOOM TWINS

BLOOM TWINS
BLOOM TWINS HOMETOWN: Kiev, Ukraine INFLUENCES: The Beatles, Muse, Rudimental ALBUM: Bloom Twins, TBA WEBSITE: bloomtwins.com The Bloom Twins—Anna and Sonia Kuprienko—have been sharing a stage together for most of their lives. “Music was and is the language we speak the best,” Anna says. Growing up in a small Ukrainian town outside Kiev, the 17-year-old twins participated in various entertainment competitions and performed at venues throughout... 

LACEY CAROLINE

LACEY CAROLINE
LACEY CAROLINE HOMETOWN: Sparta, N.J. INFLUENCES: Brandi Carlile, Sheryl Crow, Bruce Springsteen ALBUM: Songbird EP, out now WEBSITE: laceycaroline.com Growing up in a small town in northern New Jersey, country singer-songwriter Lacey Caroline, born Lacey Steinel, spent much of her childhood writing short stories driven by strong female characters. As a teenager, she married her love of words with melodies, teaching herself to play guitar and recording... 

CODY KAREY

CODY KAREY
CODY KAREY HOMETOWN: Fort St. James, B.C., Canada INFLUENCES: Josh Groban, Andrea Bocelli, Alan Jackson ALBUM: Cody Karey, out now WEBSITE: codykarey.com Clad in cowboy boots and jeans he’d been given by his grandmother, British Columbia native Cody Karey began performing at age 6. As a teen, he shifted musical styles from country to traditional pop. “I was pretty certain that was the music I wanted to do,” he says, “which was certainly weird... 

Bonnie Mckee

Bonnie Mckee
Bonnie Mckee HOMETOWN: Vacaville, Calif. INFLUENCES: Madonna, Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper ALBUM: As-yet-untitled LP, due out 2014 WEBSITE: bonniemckee.com Bonnie McKee started her musical education early, studying classical piano and touring Europe and North America with the Seattle Girls Choir. At the age of 12, she recorded a demo of Bette Midler and Fiona Apple songs that landed in the lap of family friend and Sub Pop label co-founder Jonathan... 

Brett Eldredge

Brett Eldredge
Brett Eldredge HOMETOWN: Paris, Ill. INFLUENCES: Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, Ronnie Dunn ALBUM: Bring You Back, out now WEBSITE: bretteldredge.com Brett Eldredge grew up listening to Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles and Ronnie Dunn. “I always gravitated toward big voices, because as a kid I had this big voice coming out of me,” he says. “I got hooked on the stories singers would tell through their voice.” Eldredge’s parents bought him a guitar... 

Julie Kathryn

Julie Kathryn
Julie Kathryn HOMETOWN: Lake Placid, N.Y. INFLUENCES: Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Crosby, Stills & Nash ALBUM: Black Trees, out now WEBSITE: juliekathryn.com Julie Kathryn studied classical piano, guitar and songwriting. But by the time she graduated high school she’d chosen an entirely different career path: social work. Kathryn received a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and a master’s from Columbia University. But the pull of... 

CARLY RITTER

CARLY RITTER
CARLY RITTER HOMETOWN: Los Angeles, Calif. INFLUENCES: Hank Williams, Jackie DeShannon, Nancy Sinatra ALBUM: Carly Ritter, out now WEBSITE: carlyritter.com The daughter of actor John Ritter and granddaughter of country singer Tex Ritter, Carly Ritter has a rich entertainment pedigree. She grew up listening to the rock ’n’ roll in her parents’ record collection, and played classical piano and harp as a teen. But it wasn’t until Ritter began... 

JENN BOSTIC

JENN BOSTIC
JENN BOSTIC HOMETOWN: Waconia, Minn. INFLUENCES: Emmylou Harris, Bonnie Raitt, Stevie Wonder ALBUM: Missin’ a Man EP, out September WEBSITE: jennbostic.com At the age of 10, Jenn Bostic survived a horrific car accident that took the life of her father, a musician who taught her to play piano. To cope with the loss, she began writing songs. “The first time I sat at the piano after the accident, I shut my eyes and honestly felt my dad’s presence... 

LEE DEWYZE

LEE DEWYZE
LEE DEWYZE HOMETOWN: Chicago, Ill. INFLUENCES: Cat Stevens, Kris Kristofferson,   Simon and Garfunkel ALBUM: Frames, out now WEBSITE: leedewyzeofficial.com Lee DeWyze, winner of 2010’s American Idol, recorded his new album, Frames, with one goal in mind. “I wanted to take it back to what I’m really about, which is writing emotionally charged, meaningful songs,” he says. “It feels really good to get back to the grass roots of what I’m... 

GINNY BLACKMORE

GINNY BLACKMORE
GINNY BLACKMORE HOMETOWN: Auckland, New Zealand INFLUENCES: Mariah Carey, Michael Jackson, Lauryn Hill ALBUM: Due out late fall WEBSITE: ginnyblackmore.com New Zealand native Ginny Blackmore remembers precisely the moment she decided to be an entertainer: She was 9 and sitting in a movie theater captivated by Lauryn Hill’s performance in Sister Act 2. Blackmore was raised in a religious family and had little knowledge of secular music. “It... 

JADE

JADE
JADE HOMETOWN: New Orleans INFLUENCES: Sade, Billie Holiday, Donny Hathaway ALBUM: Jaded EP, due out fall WEBSITE: jadesbrownbox.com Born and raised in the New Orleans suburb of Houma, Jade spent her childhood immersed in music, dance and theater. She was inspired by the sounds of the bayou, incorporating them into her own blend of R&B and hip-hop. After competing in local talent shows, Jade helped form the girl group Sophia Fresh, which signed... 

KYLE

KYLE
KYLE HOMETOWN: Ventura, Calif. INFLUENCES: Jadakiss, Weezer, Drake ALBUM: Beautiful Loser, out now WEBSITE: superduperkyle.com Artist Kyle—born Kyle Harvey—began singing along to the sounds of classical music and crooner tunes that his mother played in the house when he was just 6. Four years later, the lure of Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s “Got Your Money” had the youngster hooked on hip-hop. In high school, Kyle performed at talent... 

VALERIE JUNE

VALERIE JUNE
VALERIE JUNE HOMETOWN: Humboldt, Tenn. INFLUENCES: Wanda Jackson, Dolly Parton, Nina Simone ALBUM: Pushin’ Against a Stone, out August WEBSITE: valeriejune.com Valerie June showed off her vocal chops by singing in church as a child in West Tennessee, where she soaked up the region’s rich musical culture. She landed her first gig as a teen with the help of her father, a promoter for gospel musicians. “It was and still is hard to go anywhere without... 

natalie gelman

natalie gelman
NATALIE GELMAN HOMETOWN: New York City INFLUENCES: Sheryl Crow, Jewel, Fiona Apple ALBUM: Streetlamp Musician, out now WEBSITE: nataliegelman.com Natalie Gelman grew up training with professionals from the Juilliard School and the New York City Opera. At 16, she borrowed a friend’s guitar and began writing songs. Too young to play the clubs, Gelman hit the city’s subways, busking on platforms for tips. She eventually became a popular fixture... 

ROD MELANCON

ROD MELANCON
ROD MELANCON HOMETOWN: Wright, La. INFLUENCES: Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Merle Haggard ALBUM: Mad Talkin’ Man EP, out now WEBSITE: rodmelancon.com As a boy in the bayou country of southern Louisiana, Rod Melancon was a faithful disciple of playwright Tennessee Williams. Committed to pursuing a career in acting, he moved to Hollywood in his early 20s. However, he changed course one Christmas when his parents gave him an acoustic guitar. “That... 

STEPH MACPHERSON

STEPH MACPHERSON
STEPH MACPHERSON HOMETOWN: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada INFLUENCES: Bob Dylan, Fleetwood Mac, Joni Mitchell                                              ALBUM: Bells & Whistles, out now WEBSITE: stephmacpherson.com As a child in British Columbia, Steph Macpherson entertained family and friends by singing along with pop divas Madonna and Tiffany and Disney movies like The Little Mermaid. Soon she began taking piano... 

KREE WOODS

KREE WOODS
KREE WOODS HOMETOWN: Memphis, Tenn. INFLUENCES: Joni Mitchell, Patty Griffin, John Mayer ALBUM: Talking Underwater, out now WEBSITE: kreewoods.com After graduating from Auburn University with a degree in musical theater, Kree Woods was headed to New York City. That is, until a meeting in Nashville with Grammy Award-winning engineer and producer John Jaszcz. Sensing her potential, he convinced her to reconsider and record a few tracks. Her self-titled... 

CHARLIE WORSHAM

CHARLIE WORSHAM
CHARLIE WORSHAM HOMETOWN: Grenada, Miss. INFLUENCES: Vince Gill, Marty Stuart, ZZ Top ALBUM: As yet untitled LP, out 2013 WEBSITE: charlieworsham.com Born and raised in Mississippi hill country, Charlie Worsham was a child prodigy, playing banjo with bluegrass legend Jimmy Martin at the Ryman Auditorium at the age of 10. Two years later, he performed at the Grand Ole Opry with Mike Snider. Studying at Boston’s Berklee College of Music further honed... 

ASHLEY MONROE

ASHLEY MONROE
ASHLEY MONROE HOMETOWN: Knoxville, Tenn. INFLUENCES: Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris,Patsy Cline ALBUM: Like a Rose, out now WEBSITE: ashleymonroe.com A publishing deal as a Nashville songwriter helped Ashley Monroe land a major record deal in 2006. Although the deal fell through, she remained undaunted, scoring cuts with Jason Aldean and Carrie Underwood, collaborating with the Raconteurs, Ricky Skaggs and Trent Dabbs, and lending her voice to projects... 

ROZZI CRANE

ROZZI CRANE
ROZZI CRANE HOMETOWN: San Francisco, Calif. INFLUENCES: Lauryn Hill, Outkast,Destiny’s Child ALBUM: Rozzi Crane EP, out now WEBSITE: rozzicrane.com Rozzi Crane began performing while she pursued her degree at University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music in L.A. “I’d play anywhere they’d let me,” she says. “Whether it was a dorm Christmas party or a formal USC event, I’d do it, because I love performing.” After earning... 

SPENCER DAY

SPENCER DAY
SPENCER DAY HOMETOWN: East Layton, Utah INFUENCES: Joni Mitchell, John Lennon, Paul Simon ALBUM: The Mystery of You, out now WEBSITE: spencerday.com Modern jazz singer and pianist Spencer Day learned the power of music during his troubled childhood. He grew up in a strict Mormon household in small-town Utah, and his parents divorced when he was young. His mother, a classical opera singer turned teacher, encouraged his love of music as a means of... 

LINDSEY STIRLING

LINDSEY STIRLING
LINDSEY STIRLING HOMETOWN: Gilbert, Ariz. INFLUENCES: Bond, Vanessa-Mae, David Garrett ALBUM: Lindsey Stirling, out now WEBSITE: lindseystirlingviolin.com Lindsey Stirling is a fiddler who really could dance on a roof. The 26-year-old violinist, who was reared on masters like Tchaikovsky, Beethoven and Mozart, has created her own style fusing classical with pop, house and hip-hop. Her spunky stage presence, top-notch technical chops and ninja-like... 

MICHELLE RENE

MICHELLE RENE
MICHELLE RENE HOMETOWN: Phoenix, Ariz. INFLUENCES: Fleetwood Mac, Ella Fitzgerald, Patsy Cline ALBUM: As yet untitled EP, out 2013 WEBSITE: michellerene.com As a teen, Michelle Rene performed at county fairs, music festivals and sports arenas in her hometown of Phoenix. She even hosted her own weekly live concert event, but a crowning moment came when she was named the best new act in country music’s largest talent competition, Country Showdown,... 

ERIN BOHEME

ERIN BOHEME
ERIN BOHEME HOMETOWN: Oshkosh, Wisc. INFLUENCES: Billie Holiday, Carly Simon, Dean Martin ALBUM: What a Life, out Feb. 5 WEBSITE: erinbohememusic.com Erin Boheme’s father introduced his daughter to the music of Frank Sinatra and Billie Holiday, while her mom watched her sing to Al Green, Aretha Franklin and Earth, Wind & Fire. Erin soon followed her own passion for many styles, and began singing at weddings and private parties before landing... 

MORGAN JAMES

MORGAN JAMES
MORGAN JAMES HOMETOWN: Modesto, Calif. INFLUENCES: Etta James, Donny Hathaway, Eva Cassidy ALBUM: Morgan James Live, out now WEBSITE: morganjamesonline.com Singer Morgan James entered the Juilliard School at age 18 as an opera student, but eventually abandoned that career path to pursue musical theater. “For a long time I wasn’t sure what to do with the fact that I’ve got this gigantic voice that doesn’t quite match how I look,” she says,... 

ALISHA ZALKIN

ALISHA ZALKIN
ALISHA ZALKIN HOMETOWN: San Diego, Calif. INFLUENCES: Carole King, Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin ALBUM: March to a Different Beat EP, out now WEBSITE: alishazmusic.com  Singer-songwriter Alisha Zalkin’s love of music is deeply rooted in her Mexican and Jewish heritage. Her Jewish grandmother, a survivor of the Holocaust, was the youngest opera singer to be admitted into the Vienna Conservatory of Music before she was forced to flee Europe.... 
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