2020 was a very tumultuous year for all. In the USA, the year started very normal until news broke about suspected cases of Covid19 discovered in the USA, which was up till that point a “Chinese” problem. The USA went on to become the number one host for the virus and the rest is history. However, the global pandemic that ensured caused millions of people to lose their lives , shut down a lot of businesses, and crippled the normal day to day activities for people all over the world. One can argue that artists and entertainers were the most affected because these people basically make all their money from touring, but with the grounding of flights in airports across the world , it meant no income for artists.
Surprisingly , there was still a reasonable amount of activity in the music industry, artists turned to streaming services for income which led to a more than anticipated amount of albums and EPs being released. In Indianapolis, a few artists had a very strong year and here are the nine artists that had a very solid 2020.
Oluwatimileyin keeps impressing us long after we first stumbled on his work and projects. The Nigerian artist from Indianapolis USA released several compelling singles in 2020 which cumulated in the release of his Debut EP titled “The first Epistle of Oluwatimileyin” . A videographer by trade , he is also making sure his videos match the vibe of his singles and projects. His hard work has earned him a spot on this list. We are looking forward to his sophomore EP and listening party.
Rilo had a very productive year starting off with the release of his “Out of the blue” EP around the second quarter of the year. The impressive EP showed a lot of growth and versatility from the young Afrobeat artist and endeared him to Afrobeat faithful’s in Indianapolis . His sound bore a close similarity to that of the original Afrobeat sound created by Fela Kuti in the early 70s.The high point of 2020 for Rilo came when he lent his voice to the End sars protest in Nigeria, the song and the video went viral.
7. Hamzy west
Hamzy west started the year quite strong with the release of his single and then followed it up with the release of the music video much later in the year. We were really expecting to see much more from Hamzy west but his EP was pushed to the first quarter of 2021. Hamzy west also made some very meaningful appearances in events and shows for 2020 and earned himself a spot on this list.
6. Timmy Rochy
Timmy Rochy put in a very productive year with the release of singles like “Dem say” and “International Kondo” alongside T-ME Singsong. His self titled EP has been in the works for while and the tracklist reveals massive singles featuring the likes of Dotman and General Pype. Through out the year, Timmy Rochy was a constant feature in events in and outside Indianapolis while also making appearances at shows and clubs.
This is by far the number one French artist in Indianapolis . The Togolese artists is a regular on chats in Indianapolis and did not disappoint in 2020. The only reason he is not further up the list is the fact that he barely appears in shows and events in Indianapolis USA, hence we are not able to determine how much fans in this city engage with him while on stage . After speaking to him, it looks like this is about to change in 2021 as his management is on the verge of releasing schedules for a few shows and events he will he will be headlining in 2021. He is a multiple award winner in his home country of Togo.
Teeklef always seems to be around every year and even in a pandemic year with all the distractions around he still able to put in a very impressive year comparable with previous years. His music videos “A prayer for Black America” detailing the social injustice and the struggles of the black man in USA, which was released during the George Floyd protest and another single “Wanting” featuring Camerudeboy really shaped the music scene in Indiana USA in 2020. He also released a Joint album titled “NonZeroSum” with Skypp and played a huge part in Afrorolls massive single “Trianna”.
Afrorolls had a hugely successful year with the release of his “Don Corleone” EP. We were not only impressed with the content of the EP but we were also taken aback on how organized the entire process was. From the photoshoot to the actual release party Afrorolls managed to pull off the “Don Corleone” look. Wizkid’s longtime Producer and friend Samklef was also in Indianapolis, USA to witness the release of the EP. Afrorolls continues to set the pace and set trends with his music.
We were particularly impressed with Olawalekentucky this year. He seemed to have gotten a lot of things right with his Branding in 2020. The Brand is looking Prim and proper. He also packs a crowd and is able to fill up descent sized event halls and venues. This is something you cannot take for granted. His Publicity skills is far superior to what i expect from a local artist in Indiana, and if there is one thing we learnt from Olawalekentucky this year, it is the ability to keep your fans entertained and thrilled on social media. He has by far one of the most engaging social media pages in Indianapolis and is attracting a lot of business to himself. He also appeared in multiple paid events in 2020.
In our opinion T-ME singsong had the strongest year in 2020 releasing his much anticipated “Take II” EP and moving on to become the most booked artist in Indianapolis for 2020. One can argue that while many artists were refusing to be booked for events , T-ME and his team were busy scheduling events, but the truth is that the number of private shows and parties T-ME Singsong was booked for shows how much his influence has grown in the city and how much people crave for his music. He also released strong singles like “Low” and “international Kondo” while featuring in almost everyone’s project. “Holiday” by Zarnotti and “Tonight” by Mr. Carter are some of the most notable. His “Superwoman” video featured top business women from the city of Indianapolis.
Tell us below who you think Indiana’s strongest artist for 2020 is and also name artists we may not have added to the list.