Top Teen Artists That You Need To Know!

Several years ago (let’s not get into how many ‘several’ is), I would not have dreamed of using the phrase ‘back when I was young’.  Now, as a person in her thirties, I find myself using it almost on a daily basis.  Whether it’s to describe a television show, some weird teen fashion statement, or how kids are behaving today – the fact is I’m comparing them to my youth.  You know what?  I have to agree with My Chemical Romance when they said that ‘teenagers scare the living shit out of me’.

Yet, despite their strangeness, there are some that are causing a stir without being too annoying.  Some that have a solid work ethic, are focusing on social issues and making people pay attention without having me question their strange behaviour.  Here I have a list of the top independent teen artists I came across, and I think you should know!


Sweet Chaos

Image credit to Debra Gloria Photography

Sweet Chaos is a young hard rock duo hailing Dallas, Texas. The all-female band is comprised of Sydney Hefley (bass guitar, vocals) and Payton Taylor (drums).  Having toured the state of Texas, Sweet Chaos has gained a significant local following performing at various prestigious venues in the area.  Hefley and Taylor report having a range of musical influences, including Royal Blood and Music; however, their unique sound is undeniably their own.  To date, the band has received various accolades, including the MXD Mag Rock and Metal 2016 ‘Rising Talent in Texas’ award and individual awards from MXD Mag in 2017 for ‘Best Rising Talent in Texas Bass Guitarist’ and ‘Best Rising Talent in Texas Drummer’.

To follow Sweet Chaos, please check out their Facebook page.

What, do you think, are the challenges facing teens in the music industry today?

SH:  I think a big challenge for teens is that often they are not taken seriously.  We have gone into shows with everyone doubting us because of our age, and walked out with people apologising for their comments.

PT:  I think a lot of people discredit us because of our age.  People will usually make negative assumptions before even getting to see us play.  It’s hard when people don’t take us seriously, but it usually changes after they see us play and realise that we’re serious and passionate about our music.

How old are you in reality, but how old do you actually feel at the end of the day?

SH:  I’m nineteen, and it depends on the day.  Somedays I feel older than I am when I’m playing or touring, but in everyday life, I feel my age.

PT:  I feel like I’m pretty mature for seventeen.  I found my passion for music pretty early in life and spend every day practising and trying to better myself.  A lot of people my age haven’t really found what they want to do with their life and I’m lucky to have had a headstart on my music career.

Who inspires you to make music?

SH:  There are many artists who have inspired me to make music and pursue a career in music, like Muse and Taylor Momsen, two of my favourite rock artists.  Experiences are also a big inspiration that drives me to create music.

PT:   I find inspiration from everyone around me.  It doesn’t even have to be about music.  Seeing someone who is passionate about something they love and someone who spends all their time trying to better themselves motivates me and pushes me to practise even more.

What advice do you have for everyone reading this article?

SH:  Don’t give up or be discouraged.  It takes hard work and practise, but it’s worth it.

PT:  Don’t let people get in the way of you and your craft.  The biggest thing I regret is letting people get in between me and my music.  If you’re passionate about something, try not to let others’ opinions affect or block your motivation.  Stay focused and keep working, there’s always more to learn!

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

SH:  In ten years I see myself still making music, whether or not I have a steady career as a performer.  I also plan to be a practising music therapist or music teacher.

PT:  I would like to think that in ten years from now I’ll be a working musician, either touring or doing session work.  I do know how tough the music industry is, so right now I’m really focused on practising and learning as much as I can to help me be the best, well-rounded player I can be.


Ting Tang Tina

Image credit to Craig Marcho

Ting Tang Tina is a group of four high school children: Ruby Lewis, Aidan Bumgardner, Dillon Wilkins and Claire Marcho.  Ruby and Aidan started the band in 2016 to play at a friend’s birthday, then added Dillon two months later.  In May 2017, Claire completed the group.  Aidan and Ruby have been playing music together with School of Rock since about nine years old.  They write music about typical teenage love and angst.  This year Ting Tang Tina released Love is Trippy in March 2018 and in July of 2018 won ‘Best New Artist’ by Fort Worth Weekly. 

To follow Ting Tang Tina, check out their Facebook page.

What, do you think, are the challenges facing teens in the music industry today?

AB:  Some challenges to overcome as a teen musician are others not taking you seriously.  Others think of your work differently, even if you go to the same studio, the same everything.  They will think because we are younger it won’t be the same.

CM:  Definitely feel like older musicians look down at us and think we are immature or not capable of reaching the same goals, which usually doesn’t happen, but it’s really intimidating.  Also, being under eighteen, we miss a lot of gig opportunities because we’re not old enough or have school the next day.

RL:  Being seen as ‘teen musicians’ rather than musicians.

How old are you in reality, but how old do you actually feel at the end of the day?

AB:  In reality, I’m fifteen.  When I go shows, I have to act at least twenty-one in all the bar settings.  When you are there as a minor, you are given the privilege of being there, so you have to act very maturely.

CM:  Seventeen, but my life is what a teenager’s life should be like; so, I just feel seventeen.

RL:  Fifteen, mentally sixty-five and wise.

Who inspires you to make music?

AB:  All the local artists out of Fort Worth.  Anytime you go to a show it will be filled with these people; they are a bit, tightly-knit community full of support and love!

CM:  All the instructors at School of Rock, Fort Worth, and our friends in other local bands, along with larger bands.  Personally, Death Cab For Cutie.

RL:  The Breeders, Hole, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and many others.

What advice do you have for everyone reading this article?

AB:  If you have a dream of being a musician then just go and do it.  The only thing stopping you is yourself.  If you want to do something, you have to put in the effort and make your dreams a reality.

CM:  Don’t doubt yourself and try new things.  It’ll all work out in the end.

RL:  Support local bands and contribute what you can.  Musicians don’t make a lot in the beginning, keep that in the back of your mind.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

AB:  In ten years I hope to be Berklee college alumni graduated with a bachelors degree in music engineering or music performance, with a minor in business.

CM:  Graduated from college for music and continuing my career in a band or doing music therapy.

RL:  When I’m twenty-five?  I wanna be living on my own and pursuing what I love.  Don’t really know what this is right now, but it’s definitely tailored towards art.


Griffin Tucker

image of griffin tucker playing guitar
Image courtesy of Griffin Tucker

How does a teenage rock musician crack the music code?  First, he needs a rebellious music spirit to surpass industry standards; then, a cultural significance with stirring passion and deconstruction of the norms.  Griffin Tucker has cracked the code!  He began his musical journey at the age of eight, and since then has won several awards including the Texas ‘Ten Under Twenty’ guitar competition at the Dallas International Guitar Festival.  He has performed on The Voice in the US, was nominated for three JOSIE Awards, and nominated for the ‘Best Male Artist’ by the Fab Charts.  His debut EP, Believe It, was released in 2017.

To engage with Griffin Tucker, check out his Facebook page.

What, do you think, are the challenges facing teens in the music industry today?

GT:   I think the biggest challenge facing anyone who wants to be an artist in today’s music industry is connections.  Knowing the right people and being able to reach the top people seems to be the only way a new artist can be successful in today’s scene.  Just look around; there are lots of great artists and bands out there making amazing music, but they can’t make it to the charts because they don’t have the right connections.  In my opinion, the only difference between indie artists and top 100 artists is having those key connections.

How old are you in reality, but how old do you actually feel at the end of the day?

GT:  I’m sixteen, but my taste in music dates back to the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s.  That’s why Katy Perry called me an ‘old soul’ and said I was ‘like 7,000 years old’.  At the end of the day, it’s weird because I can’t believe I’m sixteen about to be seventeen; that’s older than I feel.  I’m definitely a child at heart.

Who inspires you to make music?

GT:  People around me inspire me to make music,  and I think friendly competition is healthy.  For example, when John Lennon came to the studio with his song, ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’, Paul McCartney came back with a song called ‘Penny Lane’.  They inspired each other and always wanted to match or even one-up each other, and the result is an amazing legacy of timeless music.  In fact, that double A-side is my all-time favourite single ever.

I am also inspired by listening to other people’s music.  For example, if I get hooked on a particular band, and I am listening to them a lot, like KISS, AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, you will always hear their influence in the music I write.

What advice do you have for everyone reading this article?

GT:  I’ve stood by this advice for a long time.  First, do what you love, and second, never give up.  Countless people have told me to give up on rock.  They’ve told me to be a pop star or play country or whatever, but that’s not who I am.  I love rock.  I am a rocker and always will be (just ask the best rock and roll fandom ever, the GrifFAN army!).  I will never give up on that.  So, you have to be true to yourself and don’t stop.  Even when you have setbacks, keep trying.  Keep putting yourself out there; you never know what will happen.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

GT:  I honestly have no clue.  If I think back to ten years ago when I was six, I only had an electronic drumset, and I was just trying to figure out how to play it.  I didn’t know how to play the guitar or anything else.  I was just trying to learn drums and see if I was any good.  I never imagined all of the great things that would happen.  I feel so blessed to have done so many cool things that not many other sixteen-year-olds (or adults) have done.  So, bring on the next ten years – I’m ready!


Love Past Blue

Image courtesy of Love Past Blue

Love Past Blue’s sound is bold and sassy, straddling the line between pop and rock, and infused with a subtle blend of jazz and funk.  Band members include vocalist Clio Cadence, guitarist Jack Hickman, bassist Joe Galate and drummer Logan Ellis Sheppard.  Since Winning Battle of the Bands at Wildflower Music Festival in May 2016, the band has been entertaining audiences from coast to coast with their dynamic, retro-inspired live show.  In October 2017 the group performed a much-anticipated showcase at The Cutting Room in New York City.  Love Past Blue also completed a mini-tour of the L.A. area, performing at several venues, and have been in the studio this summer with Mark Younger-Smith (Billy Idol) and Jimmy Quill.

To follow Love Past Blue, please check out their Facebook page.

What, do you think, are the challenges facing teens in the music industry today?

CC:  Social media is a huge challenge.  It takes a lot of time and surprisingly energy.

JG:  Ego, it’s a challenge not taking yourself too seriously because, you know, we’re teens.

LES:  I think it’s probably easier for teens in the industry now than it ever has been with social media exposure.  The live music scene for up-and-coming bands is hard though.  A lot of people go to dance clubs instead of live music venues.

How old are you in reality, but how old do you actually feel at the end of the day?

CC:  I’m seventeen, but at the end of the day I feel maybe twenty-three because of my experiences juggling music, dance, a job and school.

JG:  I’m the oldest at eighteen, but at the end of the day I feel about three or four years past my due date.

JH:  I feel like I’m sixteen because I’m fifteen.

LES:  I don’t know, do dog years count?

Who inspires you to make music?

JG:  God, Bruce Lee, my own subconscious battles, Gypsies and nomadic people inspire me.

CC:  My relationships, good and bad, inspire my songwriting.  I am always inspired by new and beautiful places.  I think getting away from the ordinary, seeing new things, and late nights spark my creativity.

LES:  My dad inspires me to make music.  He introduced me to the piano and drums, and I’ve been working to grow as a musician ever since.  I’m passionate about jazz fusion, listening to it makes me more open and creative.

JH: Greta Van Fleet, Brock Hampton and John Mayer all inspire me.  When I saw the guitar for the first time, I didn’t even know what you called it, but I knew I wanted one.

What advice do you have for everyone reading this article?

CC:  Be confident in your own individuality.  Be yourself, be unique.

LES:  PRACTISE.  LISTEN.  Be coachable.  Speak your truth.

JG:  Don’t let ego get in the way, but don’t limit yourself either.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

CC:  Happy.  Rocking a stadium stage or performing with Cirque du Soleil.

JG:  I want to have written a book and be a successful artist.

LES:  I just hope that I’m successful enough to keep doing what I love as a career.

JH:  I want to be successful and happy.  I also want to be a music producer.


Not Ur Girlfrenz

Image credit to @concertfotoschad

Girl power takes pee-wee form in the brand, spanking new Not Ur Girlfrenz!  Barely in their teens, Liv Haynes, Gigi Haynes, and Maren Alford burst onto the music scene late last year with their covers of U2’s ‘I Will Follow’ and The Cure’s ‘Friday (I’m in Love)’.  Managed by Jaret Reddick – yes, Bowling for Soup Jaret Reddick – this exceptional group has performed sold out concerts, and actually won awards!!  All before they start…y’know, being women and stuff.  Not Ur Girlfrenz’s debut EP New Kids in America is due for release in October and can be pre-ordered at www.noturgirlfrenz.com.

To engage with Not Ur Girlfrenz, check out their Facebook and Twitter pages.

What, do you think, are the challenges facing teens in the music industry today?

LH:  The biggest challenge for us has been that ALMOST everyone we meet underestimates us.  Radio stations will tell you that you’re too young, and I think that is super uninspiring to all of the kids that aren’t hearing what other kids their age CAN do and that it’s possible!!

How old are you in reality, but how old do you actually feel at the end of the day?

LH:  I am thirteen years old, and a lot of times, at the end of shows, people will ask me and my bandmates, ‘but, how old are you for real though’.  It’s kind of funny.  I have an old soul, but that’s honestly only when it comes to writing. Overall, I want to stay young as long as I can; I don’t ever want to get too serious or stressed.  I want to keep what I am doing fun!!  I think the problem with a lot of people is they forget that it’s supposed to be fun!

Who inspires you to make music?

LH:  The person who inspires me to make music is probably my dad; he played guitar for me and my sister every night before we went to bed, playing everything from Pearl Jam to The Beatles.  One day I said I wanted to pick up his guitar and play, and that’s when it all began.  He never went on stage or played in front of crowds, but hopefully, I’m just dreaming here, I will be able to bring him up to play with me at Wembley Stadium.  Then, of course, AMAZING bands like Paramore, Fall Out Boy, Thirty Seconds To Mars, and My Chemical Romance – the list goes on for days.

What advice do you have for everyone reading this article?

LH:  The advice I’d give to everyone reading this article is don’t listen to the people that will act as a road block to your dreams.  No matter what anyone says, stay true to yourself.  You have one life, so live it without regrets or worries.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

LH:  Well, in ten years I will be twenty-three; so, hopefully, Not Ur Girlfrenz will be touring and selling CD’s all around the world!  Also, meeting all of the beautiful faces of all the people that love music just as much as we do!

2 thoughts on “Top Teen Artists That You Need To Know!

  • September 14, 2018 at 10:25 pm
    Permalink

    Thanks!!

  • September 15, 2018 at 8:00 pm
    Permalink

    Ting Tang Tina was voted Best New Artist at the Recent Ft. Worth music awards and has an EP- “Love is Trippy “ available on ITunes , sound cloud. Follow them on Instagram @TingTangTina

Comments are closed.

Get your free email updates
We respect your privacy.