Stephen Wrabel, nixing his first name and being professionally known as Wrabel, began by writing songs for the likes of Ellie Goulding and Adam Lambert. Afrojack remixed Wrabel’s song “Ten Feet Tall” from his E.P. Sideways and featured it on his own album. The Afrojack song reached international success, being played over 72 million times on YouTube while the original version hit just over 1 million views on WrabelVEVO. The account has just over 25, 000 subscribers. His single “11 Blocks” was heavily praised and promoted by Kesha, a friend of Wrabel’s, and is a haunting song reminiscent of Adele’s early music on the connection between past lovers and moving on. Wrabel’s latest hit, “Bloodstain”, adds a more electro beat over the chorus of his soulful singing but it’s the chilling lyrics that drew me in. The music video aired earlier this month. Heartbreak seems to be Wrabel’s forte, drawing upon simplistic tones to get across the raw passion and emotion he’s experienced in his past relationships with men.
Best known for her cover of Lesley Gore’s “You Don’t Know Me” featuring G-Eazy, Grace Sewell is an Australian singer with so much more to offer than a one-hit-wonder cover. Like Wrabel, she is professionally known by a single name (her first) and like Wrabel her VEVO YouTube account has a criminally low number of subs. The Aussie singer’s debut album, FMA – Forgive My Attitude – features some of the bluesest, jazziest stuff since Amy Winehouse (who is actually one of her biggest inspirations, and you can really tell!). The singles off the album so far have been “Boyfriend Jeans” and “Hell Of A Girl” – songs that, while great, unfortunately don’t show-off her smokey vocals as much as, say “Church on Sunday” or “Hope You Understand” could. The singles also seem to typecast her in an off-brand to suit her seemingly FMA demeanour but there’s so many more layers behind her emotionally exposed songs that would be better off with their own music videos and promotion. From her Instagram @iamgrace, her latest project is a slow and sultry collab on DJ Cassidy’s song “Honor” with Lil Yachty.
A YouTuber who started with covers, Brandon Skeie’s singles “So Bad” and “No More Love Songs” are probably some of my favourite songs. Their attempt at unravelling the complexity of the toxic relationships Skeie has gone through not only fascinate me, they overwhelm me. Skeie’s music is simultaneously similar and different to current pop music; he somehow manages to make his sound individualistic in such an over-saturated genre that leaves his voice ringing in your ear. His powerful vocal range further emphasises the vulnerability of his lyrics. His cover of Adele’s “Hello” is his most watched video, landing him an interview with Huffington Post, but while his original songs don’t lack the quality of his covers they do lack the views. Recently, Skeie has been less active on his channel. His most recent publication was a duet dedicated to the victims of the Pulse mass shooting on Eli Lieb’s channel, and while he has been active on his Instagram there hasn’t really been news on his status with singing/songwriting. Hopefully, as there’s a post of him with Sabrina Carpenter, there’s some new projects in the works featuring his honeyed voice that finally lands him in a major media spotlight.