12 Los Angeles Based Solo Artists

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Los Angeles solo artist musicians

This post is a collection of 11—rather different but all interesting—Los Angeles based solo artists. Most of them are singer/songwriters (if not all.) Some are with labels, some aren’t. They’re each telling unique stories, personal and intimate in all the ways we love to experience through song. And some of them give me goosebumps.

Details and YouTube videos can be found below!

Let’s get into these 11 Los Angeles based solo artists to know. (And add to your playlist.)

Lili Kendall

IMG_3724.jpgLili Kendall debuted a full-length project called love, herself., a transformative and healing body of work that chronicles womanhood, self-empowerment, love, and life.

Her sound goes beyond any single genre or style, encompassing elements of soul, R&B and pop. love, herself. The LP was written during a transformative period in Lili’s life, which followed a move from Brisbane, Australia to Los Angeles, CA.

“I’ve found peace in the lyrics of these songs, writing this project has been how I processed and released all that I’ve encountered over the last two years, and I hope listening to these songs has the same effect on people that they’ve had on me.”

The project is part fantastical, part soul, all depth. In certain parts, we feel like we’re waking up in the midst of one of Lili’s dreams, at other moments like we might be making observations on the passing happenings of a warm night.

The title track “love, herself” dives into feeling “irrational when it comes to men.”

And later the discovery:

“I think I am in love with love, herself.”

“Hallelujah” is one of the deeper soul songs of the project which built up, and might make you want to belt.

“In love we trust/’cause god damn it you’re worth it.”

Some of the songs feature voices speaking, one time discussing the power dynamic between men and women, another time questioning “what does Lili want.” Lili is joined by rapper pineappleCITI on the “closed door interlude.”

Gavin Haley

In 2019 indie-pop artist Gavin Haley released the single and music video for “Show Me.” The video was directed by Carla Dauden and starring America’s Next Top Model star Cherish Waters.

After that, the Redbull artist was set to join Ashe on her ‘Mom’s First Headline Tour,’ presented by Ones To Watch. The tour will kicked off in Washington D.C. before visiting various towns in the U.S. and Canada.

“Show Me” was Gavin’s second single release via Red Bull Records, following “96.

Bryce Vine

During quarantine, Bryce Vine released an introspective EP called Problems. The multi-platinum artist wrote three of the personal songs during that time, and the EP also features the previously released tracks “Problems” and “Life Goes On.”

Bryce says, “As life gets harder, I try to write things that make me feel better. It’s what I do. I never want to make the same song twice. A lot of this music was inspired while I was sitting by myself in my room during quarantine with nothing else to do but get better at guitar. That’s how I wrote as a kid in the living room or in my garage. It was a return to that.”

He describes the EP’s focal track “It Falls Apart” as “a day-in-the-life of a shitty time. All of these songs have a sadness to them, but there’s hopefulness—because I will always try to stay hopeful.”

“I’m just as lost as you are, blame it all on the stars, if it falls apart, it falls apartyou light me up, I’ve been in the dark…” 

The track “Problems” hopes “their mostly gone by June.” (The problems. What a time.)

Bryce has over a billion streams from past EP releases like Lazy Fair (2014) and Night Circus (2016.) The Los Angeles-based multiplatinum singer, songwriter, producer, and guitarist came onto the music scene in 2013, and first hit the international level with the double-platinum smash “Drew Barrymore.”

CAPPA

CAPPA Los Angeles

Originally hailing from Philadelphia, CAPPA first landed in Nashville and quickly became synonymous with the emerging pop scene there. Buoyed by her success in Nashville, CAPPA made the leap to Los Angeles a few years back and has continued to expand her resume as an artist, songwriter, and vocalist.

In 2021 pop artist CAPPA released a single called “Colder,” the second single from an EP to be released that same year.

“Colder” is a testament to CAPPA’s knack for creating catchy yet clever pop numbers. It’s an instantly infectious track tethered by snappy pop grooves, sparkly synths, and CAPPA’s honeyed vocals.

“I wrote this song about when you’re going through a breakup and trying to replace the person but nothing quite feels the same. You want to feel a warm body next to you but it never feels quite like it did with the person you were in love with.”

Well-known for her hypnotic vocal stylings, CAPPA has featured on tracks for major electronic acts like SNBRN, Dirty Audio Justin Caruso, and TELYKast, and curated an exclusive vocal sample pack for SPLICE.

Since her 2015 breakout, “Hush,” CAPPA has released two EPs – ‘CAPPA’ & ‘Queen of Hearts’ – and a steady stream of effervescent singles which can be heard on hit TV shows like Riverdale, Selling Sunset, and Siesta Keys, as well as in commercials for Lady Gaga’s HAUS Laboratories and Under Armour.

 

Liminal

L.A.-based artist Liminal (Tom Crouch) has dropped a live studio video for the single “Inner Talk/Over Thought.” I had the pleasure of sitting down to talk with the very talented artist at one point for a full-length interview.

Liminal takes an experimental approach to the concept of being an artist. The room allows for interesting collaborations and truly beautiful, transcendent music.

This latest video was directed by two-time Emmy-award-winning filmmaker Ben Hunter of Life & Thyme‘s The Migrant Kitchen. It’s a notably warm and full experience while sustaining so much depth and mood. (Both to listen and to view.)

Tom’s voice and focused immersion in the music are, I’d have to say, somewhat enchanting. I could sing his praises all day. But for now, let’s just listen to him sing…

Justin Jesso

Justin Jesso first broke out as a featured artist and co-writer of Kygo’s hit “Stargazing.” He’s amassed over 650 million streams and commands 4.1 million monthly listeners at Spotify with tracks like “Getting Closer,”Bigger Than” and the recent “If You’re Meant To Come Back.”

In 2020 Justin Jesso released a single called “Too Good To Lose.” The idea for the song came about during a trip to Sweden when Justin was telling his co-writer/producer team Anton Rundberg and Julia Karlsson (Carly Rae JepsonMNEKGalantis) about his weaknesses in the relationship he was in at that time.

 

“’Too Good To Lose’ is about knowing that you’re being unfair to someone, but loving them so much you can’t let go. I realized I wasn’t a good match for my significant other. I was away all the time traveling, wrapped up in my work and stubborn. I realized I should let this person go so they can find happiness somewhere else, but I couldn’t do it. It’s also about being able to accept yourself and your partner for who you both are. We all have things about ourselves we wish we could change for the person we love.”

Zoe Zobrist

Hailing from Dallas, Texas—now living in Los Angeles—singer-songwriter Zoe Zobrist crafts songs that are as personal as they are dynamic. Her single “Fade Away” is both an exercise in self-forgiveness and an acceptance of unresolved trauma.

Zoe Zobrist

Zobrist says, “It’s about growing pains and healing as you work your way to and from different chapters in your life. It’s about looking towards something better while also embracing the process that it takes to get there.”

Zobrist’s dusty vocals and stripped-back acoustic guitar guide the track with a raw intimacy. The sound immediately envelops the listener in a way that feels like a peek inside her personal diary. “Fade Away” is another defiant, deliberate, and deeply personal addition to her fast-growing repertoire. It closely follows her 2020 singles, “Fire,” “Who You Gonna Be,” and “All My Friends Are Dead.”

Like many of her contemporaries, Zoe’s love affair with music began at an early age. She was just five years old when she learned to play the piano, and soon began writing songs only two years later. But her passion was fully ignited when she stumbled upon her father’s 70s-era record collection in the garage of her childhood home. She fell in love with the hard-hitting choruses and memorable melodies of classic rock.

Zoe debuted her first single in 2018 and has since gone on to rack up over 40K monthly listeners. She has also performed and toured across North America, gracing the stages of iconic music venues like The Viper Room, The Troubadour, and Dallas Fort Worth’s Six Flags Amphitheater.

In 2019, Zoe was featured in John Mellencamp’s tour documentary that played on-screen during his “John Mellencamp Show” North American Tour.

Zobrist has spent the past few years refining her sound and experimenting with different styles, ultimately leading to her unique blend of classic rock-inspired indie music.

 

Cali Rodi

Los Angeles based pop artist Cali Rodi released a single called “God Save the Queen,” a punchy track she created with a team consisting of producer Lindgren (Dua Lipa, BTS) and vocal producer Emily Wright (Britney Spears, Katy Perry).

The concept for “God Save The Queen” came about after Cali experienced a physical assault in broad daylight—and no one wanted to help or get involved. This visceral example of how hard it can be to be a woman, led to her writing the song.

Cali has chosen to resist the ‘sad girl narrative,’ and rather look for the positive, and then some. The result demonstrates her ability to transform her own struggles into empowering anthems.

“I wanted to create a song that gave me hope and strength because I felt powerless in the moment. It’s an understatement to say life is hard these days. but that doesn’t mean we can’t still have a little fun.”

Cali released her first single “Party Favor” in 2017, after originally being discovered in Nashville by none other than Keith Urban. The single had an impressive release for a new independent artist, being added into rotation on Radio Disney for four months as well as gaining featured spots on top Spotify and Apple Music playlists.

Now living in Los Angeles and signed to Red Bull Songs for publishing, Cali has been working on a variety of unapologetic pop songs with vocal producer Emily Wright.

 

Austin Ward

Austin was raised splitting his time between Los Angeles and Meridian, Mississippi. This experience added to the eclectic upbringing that informs his sound today.

His lyrics explore everything from love to self-doubt. The songs are sonically mixed with intricately layered guitar parts.

In 2020 the alt-pop artist, songwriter, and producer released a remix EP for a single called “Find the Feeling,” which tackles the bittersweet and oh-so-human sentiment of longing for the past.

“In both the song’s production and its visual counterpart, I sought to capture elements of catharsis and togetherness. No one is alone in experiencing these melancholic, nostalgic sensations, and yet by simply letting oneself go, in whatever form that may take for you, one may be able to tap back into what they are looking for.”

In addition to producing his own music, Austin also produces records. He has produced for artists like UMI, Tiffany Day, and Brandon Banks, among others.

 

Greyson Chance

Greyson Chance releases new single “Boots.” The singer-songwriter co-directed the accompanying music video alongside frequent collaborator Bobby Hanaford, which was shot in the desert outside of Los Angeles.

“’Boots’ at its core, is a narrative addressing pop culture’s current usage of Western imagery. When I was writing the song, I found myself imagini ng what Johnny Cash would be like if he were around and making music in 2019. I thought about what he would wear, how he would act, and what he would write about. My conclusion was that it all would look and feel considerably different than these stars wearing cowboy hats these days. Being from Oklahoma, I understand that being ‘Western’ isn’t all about the style, it’s about an attitude, an obsessive loyalty and an unwavering wildness. ‘Boots’ is truly just an observation of what I see in pop culture currently, and what I think about it.”

Greyson Chance is a native of Edmond, Oklahoma, and first found attention as an artist after releasing a YouTube cover of Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi.”

The video quickly got over 60 million views, which sent Chance down a the media path of discussing his music on talk shows and booking shows. In 2017 Chance came out as gay and now uses his platform to champion the LGBTQ community.

Chance is signed with Arista Records.

 

Amirah

Award-winning singer-songwriter shows her spiritual side on pop hit single titled “Tell Me.”

Recorded with the help of Grammy award-winning producer Jeff Bova, “Tell Me” sonically encapsulates traditional instruments such as the tabla, gamelan, and tanpura with modern pop. Amirah’s lyrics calling for a united and peaceful world bring the coherent element to the whole, and her natural performing presence and confidence can be vividly felt throughout the song.

The song was originally composed in Malay, as Amirah explores faith, freedom, and the search for identity of a nation. 

 

Jackie Cruz

You probably know Jackie Cruz from Orange is the New Black, where she won three SAG awards for her performance as “Marisol ‘Flaca’ Gonzales.” But the actress is also an accomplished singer-songwriter, having recently released her debut album entitled ‘Hija De Chavez.’

The nine-track album release was written as an ode to the women who helped raised Cruz and features a mixture of sounds including Latin pop, electro, and soul. An uptempo honoring, if you will.

After beginning to create music as an independent artist, Cruz also decided to start her own record label called Dulce Records. She’s also launched her own production company called Unspoken Film, which intends to advocate for more inclusion and opportunity for Latina women in film.

I'm Kate Ferguson, an L.A.-based Writer, Filmmaker, Social Media Strategist, and Blogger at, right here, That's Random Kate! (Previously Divvy Mag.) I love storytelling in its various forms, growth, shooting 35mm film, learning super random facts, building community, and admiring palm trees. Find me on Instagram: @KateFerg. (Where there will definitely be 35mm photos of palm trees.)

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