× Shop Archive About about contact jobs magazine advertising terms & conditions privacy policy Follow Instagram Facebook

Meet Amsterdam's emerging music scene

Meet five artists who are unapologetically here to stay

Listen up everyone, it’s time for new music. Now if you’re anything like us, you currently have five songs exclusively on repeat. But it’s 2024; it’s about time we all dive into the next wave of the Amsterdam scene. And don’t worry, we are already on the case. Meet JELISA, Michael Ekow, YOUANDI, Nathan Badu, and Neema Nekesa, five artists who are unapologetically here to stay – and trust, you will definitely be adding them to your mountain of liked songs.

Blending jazz and soul with the 1970s sound, JELISA crafts her own style as a multidisciplinary artist. She comes from a perspective of dance which she weaves in and through her singing, painting, and written word. With her first EP out and two accompanying music videos, van Schijndel has caught the hearts and minds of Amsterdam. Her captivating performances culminated into series of live events at Super Sonic Jazz Festival, So What’s Next Festival, and most recently Paradiso. She welcomes you into her world of dreamy atmospheres and fluid rhythms.

Having spent most of his life moving between England and Germany, Michael Ekow found solace in his songwriting. Amid the constant change, he slowly became a “wordsmith zealous to capture feeling in records and poetic expression that vividly paint moments,” shares Ekow, and we couldn’t agree more. With sounds ranging from indie to hip-hop to house, his goal is to foster an underground live music scene in Amsterdam. Well, we must admit, he’s definitely succeeded. With a residency at Kanaal40, he has been curating every last Thursday of the month, creating a special platform for the underground. So go out and see an Ekow night; you won’t regret it.

YOUANDI is a true jack of all trades. In her music, you can expect a seamless yet unexpected blend of contemporary soul, R&B, and experimental sounds that dive into the depths of the subconscious. Just last year, she dropped her debut album “isaidtome”, an introspective exploration that explores the patterns of her mind. Oh, but that’s hardly scratching the surface. YOUANDI also mentors aspiring vocalists, collaborates, and most recently started dipping her toes in filmmaking.

Nathan Badu’s life is a story immersed in music. From a young age, he was exposed to the world of Gospel, opening him up to the sounds that danced across musical disciplines. Badu has kept this background close to his heart, allowing it to shape his own personal style of today. This, mixed with a strong dedication to his craft, has created the perfect storm for success. You know what, some of you may even recognize Badu from him joining Rimon and Bnny Hunna on tour.

Born in Addis Ababa and raised in Zeeland, the Netherlands, Neema embodies the fusion of two contrasting worlds. Her powerful personality shone through as she prepared to release her debut single, “Feel Me,” in 2020. And once it was out, we could all feel it. Her voice is her greatest strength, taking listeners on an adventure through her love life and perspective of the world.

Words by Ella Paritsky
Photography by Merel Daantje
Makeup by Elif Barsboga and Dani Fuerza
Styling by Ishijah Thompson