In the place of end-of-year lists and resolutions, we've rounded up 13 acts worth getting to know for 2013. The athlete, the artist, the rapper, the soul-singer, the ingénue, the heartthrob—check in daily as we count down the talent of the twentyteens.
If you ask José James, hip-hop is an extension of jazz music. With his third album, and first with Blue Note Records, No Beginning and No End, James is trying to reconnect the two genres. If jazz music today is divided into "easy listening" and "esoteric," James is neither. He is not a hip-hop artist, but unlike contemporaries, his songs such as "It's All Over Your Body" and "Sword + Gun" do not need to be framed by rap verses to attract a younger crowd. "I want to be a contemporary artist," James emphasizes. "I'm trying to find ways to mix in all kinds of music, and not be pigeonholed."
Easily the most expansive program on television, Game of Thrones' opening credits seem a little longer each episode as actors are added and the fictional continents of Westeros and Essos grow larger. With so many spare characters, no single one is safe. Everyone has their favorite—Lena Headey's Lady Macbeth-like Cersei, Peter Dinklage's witty Tyrion —but the resident heartthrob is the painfully earnest Jon Snow, played by British actor Kit Harington.
This September, 26-year-old designer Maki Oh made her style.com debut. Quite a feat: Oh's eponymous label is only five seasons old and she is based far away from the eyes of New York fashion editors in her home city of Lagos, Nigeria.
27-year-old artist Ben Schumacher opened this year with "Register of Documents, 1974—," his breakout show at New York's James Fuentes gallery.
"I'm not a plate thrower," says London, whose recent stint at SoHo sushi joint Niko ended after such antics by the restaurant's other staff spawned poor reviews. A self-described "egoless chef," London was born and raised in Charleston, South Carolina, where he worked in Southern barbeque restaurants before moving to New York and enrolling in the French Culinary Institute.
After a whirlwind year that included a critically lauded solo exhibition, "Magical Terrorism," at Ramiken Crucible—Roberta Smith, The New York Times chief critic, called it "a bit of institutional critique worthy of Michael Asher"—Andra Ursuta needed some breathing space. So after her solo presentation art Art Basel Miami Beach, she drove the long way home.
In hip-hop, to boast is to breathe—and some fare better than others. The genre's become so synonymous with braggadocio, it's practically a no-holds-barred palace of self-inflated "triple beam dreams," most times so extreme, listeners can never be too sure what, or rather, who to believe. For New York (by way of D.C.) newcomer, Njena Reddd Foxxx, one doesn't have to listen to deem her top-notch at anything (although it helps)—just look to her credentials.
Iman Shumpert takes his position as the Knicks' youngest member seriously. Since injuring his ACL in April of last year, he has attended every Knicks game, sitting on the sidelines with his '90s-style flat-top hair and stylish, playful suits. A fledgling rapper, Shumpert even penned the team's first-ever rap, the Knicks "Clique," blasted at every game. This week, he's releasing his mixtape debut, #Th3Post90s, under the name 2wo 1ne. Whether you're more interested in his sporting ability, style, or rap songs, Shumpert's definitely a face to watch for 2013.
Siblings 31-year-old Elliot and 23-year-old Natalie Bergman are receiving a great deal of attention for their musical duo, Wild Belle. But it's well deserved—there is not one song on their forthcoming debut album, Isles, that sends you reaching for the skip button. With touches of Motown pop and reggae beats, there is a slow groove to every song, a catchy musical hook that makes one want to get up and dance—if not a "let's rage tonight" dance, then certainly a cathartic, autonomous one. "We thought Isles because each song is its own island and each song has its own story," Natalie explains.
No one expected to see Cora Emmanuel in the opening spot at Bottega Veneta in September 2011—they may not have even recognized her when she walked out in her delicate, verdant bustier dress. But when she closed the show in a floor-length red-and-orange robe, they had to take notice.
Beginning with 50 Cent in the film adaptation of Nick McDonell's Twelve and Michael Pitt in Boardwalk Empire, Emily Meade has had her fair share of onscreen flings with older men. "I wonder what the universe is trying to tell me," she laughs when we meet her at The Mercer Hotel.
In person, Christian Cooke is convivial and relaxed, joking around with his friend and girlfriend in between our photos in Kensington Gardens in London. He's just finished filming the second season of Magic City in Miami and is happy to be home for the holidays.