5 Up-and-Comers You Should Know
Predicting the stars of tomorrow is a tricky thing. Scores of up-and-coming musicians, actors and artists have come close to stardom over the years, only to fall short — the victims of bad timing, public indifference or simply bad judgment. It’s a true shame — after all, who knows who might have delivered our favorite song or starred in our favorite movie? When these should-be superstars miss the mark, we all lose.
Predicting the stars of tomorrow is a tricky thing. Scores of up-and-coming musicians, actors and artists have come close to stardom over the years, only to fall short — the victims of bad timing, public indifference or simply bad judgment. It’s a true shame — after all, who knows who might have delivered our favorite song or starred in our favorite movie? When these should-be superstars miss the mark, we all lose.The following five up-and-comers aren’t guaranteed to make it — although they’ve all experienced early success and have potentially huge projects on the horizon, there are no guarantees in the pursuit of stardom. All that’s certain about them is that they deserve to get big … and we deserve to enjoy the great work these potential stars will deliver.
Natalie Morales is a familiar face to anyone who watched ABC Family’s terrific, short-lived series “The Middleman,” which, sadly, no one really did. The Cuban-American actress followed it up with small roles in “White Collar” and “Parks and Recreation,” and is currently appearing in Aaron Sorkin’s new HBO series “The Newsroom.” Sorkin must have seen some “Middleman” and recognized Morales’ gift for delivering rapid-fire dialogue alongside her effortless charm and stunning beauty. Either that, or he simply lucked out and hired the next Salma Hayek without knowing how brilliant Natalie Morales really is.
Pogo (Nick Bertke)
Nick Bertke is an electronic music artist from Perth, Western Australia, who records under the name Pogo, distributes his own music, and remixes your childhood. Pogo takes bits of sound, music and dialogue from classic films — “Toy Story,” “Terminator 2” and “Cinderella,” to name a few — and refashions them into shimmering techno tracks that can fill dance floors and inspire colorful dreams. Recently, Pogo has taken to remixing entire cities — “Joburg Jam” transforms all of Johannesburg, South Africa, into a musical instrument. And he’s talking of creating an entire theatrical show around his tracks, which have been downloaded and shared by hundreds of thousands worldwide.
Compared to that of pop music, the world of pop art is a relatively small one, and it’s dominated by men with funny names: Banksy, Shag, Shepard Fairey. Though her surreal, nearly monochromatic paintings of haunted women aren’t as in-your-face as the works of those artists, Los Angeles-based painter Audrey Kawasaki has everything it takes to reach that level of cultural ubiquity. Her work is so inviting, accessible and singularly exotic that it’s only a matter of time before Audrey Kawasaki makes the jump from respected to household name.
If you live in the United Kingdom, you know Richard Ayoade — he co-stars on the hilarious sitcom “The IT Crowd,” and he got raves for his Wes Anderson-ish directorial debut, “Submarine.” But the rest of the world has yet to discover Ayoade’s note-perfect comic delivery and handsome face, and when it does, he will be the talent around which multimillion-dollar comic franchises are built. Ayoade's first big American film — “The Watch,” starring Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn — was released in July.
Born John Armour, this Tulsa, Oklahoma-based rapper walks and talks as if he’s already made it. Johnny Polygon’s swagger is backed up by some fairly impressive accomplishments, including backing vocals on Nas’ “Black President,” a song on the “Grand Theft Auto IV” soundtrack, and a track used in HBO’s “How to Make It in America” — and he seems confident that his new single, “LimoSexSuperstar,” is prophetically named. Kid Cudi thinks that Polygon is set to blow up, and when a Grammy Award winner makes that call, you gotta believe.