As daughter of two songwriters, Elle Varner was basically born into the music industry. She attended the The Hamilton Academy of Music and also graduated from Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music in 2008. The 22-year-old singer plays the flute, guitar, and piano. Now signed to RCA Records, Varner has garnered attention for her single "Only Want To Give It To You," featuring J. Cole which peaked at number 20 on the Billboard R&B/Hip Hop charts. As the new year approaches, more will be heard from Varner's soulful raspy vocals on her upcoming debut album, Imperfectly Yours.
Since her debut album Complex Simplicity (2004), Teedra Moses has kept her name abuzz with consistent mixtape releases, selling out small venues internationally, and doing occasional interviews with R&B blogs obsessed with knowing one thing: "When is the second album dropping?" The album was pushed back indefinitely, due to issues with her previous label TVT records. But signing to Rick Ross's Maybach Music Group this year made the release of The Lioness more promising. The angelic-voiced Moses dropped Luxurious UnderGRIND through the imprint in July, and her labelmate Wale remixed the mixtape's leading track "Another Luvr," which skillfully samples A Tribe Called Quest's "Excursions." With a new label backing her, dedicated fan base, and album coming, Moses possesses the formula for great year in 2012.
Bridget Kelly is apart of the clan of fresh faces Jay-Z is responsible for bringing to the industry through his label Roc Nation. During Jay-Z's Blueprint 3 tour she filled in for Alicia Keys for the rapper's hit single "Empire State of Mind." After anxiously awaiting her own moment to shine, Kelly released her EP Every Girl in October. There's no second-guessing the fact that Kelly will become a more familiar face in the new year.
As a teenager, Jhené Aiko was signed to T.U.G./Epic Records and associated with the popular R&B group B2K. The songbird performed as the opening act on the group's 'Scream' tours and was featured on many of their albums. However, while signed to Epic, Aiko never released any full major projects. This year, the 23-year-old re-introduced herself donning a more laid back image, with her mixtape Sailing Soul(s), including features from Kendrick Lamar and Kanye West. Signing to Def Jam December helps make 2012 look promising for Aiko.