Inclusive Playlist: Five Underrated Artists

Diversify your music taste with artists of all genres, backgrounds, sexualities



Sing along to underrated music and broaden your playlists.

JUSTIN WASHINGTON, Evergreen research editor

With the ever-expanding music industry, there are always musicians who go underappreciated. It is a shame because many who go unnoticed are often just as good as the popular artists on the rise. 

As someone who prides himself on listening to different singers of all genres, here are five artists who I think deserve more recognition. 

Domo Wilson (she/her)

I think many agree that when it comes to rappers, there are not nearly enough women in the industry. Domo Wilson is a woman of color who focuses a lot of her music on her identity. 

“Becoming Myself” — one of my favorite songs by her — discusses her struggle with accepting herself as LGBT and the challenges she faced coming out. However, the chorus of the song is also a message to all sexual identities that they are beautiful. It is a perfect blend of promoting unity while also addressing the stigmatization of queer individuals.

“It’s okay

No matter if you’re





Or Gay

You are worth it, and you’re beautiful.” 

By Domo Wilson, “Becoming Myself”

She also made a song titled “To My Son,” a heartwarming piece about how proud she is of her child and how much she loves him. 

Some of her other songs contain an upbeat atmosphere similar to Megan Thee Stallion and others charting on the Billboard Top 100

However, a decent collection of her songs also focuses on sadder themes, such as being heartbroken and the pains of falling in love.

Unfortunately, despite the deep and relatable messages of her music, most of her songs are not that popular.

Wilson herself is fairly well-noticed on social media with a couple million followers on both Instagram and YouTube.

Even though she has a decent following, I never see her mentioned when other prominent women of color musicians are brought up. I also never see her music in any playlists. Therefore, I would consider her to be underrated, given that the quality of her music matches many of the Billboard Top 100 songs.

Kevin Walkman (he/him)

With only a handful of songs released, it is understandable why this artist does not have a big following. However, as an indie artist, Kevin Walkman’s songs often have a vibe that could go into any queer playlist.

Being a gay artist, Walkman focuses his entire discography on singing about boys. While his music has a mellow, sometimes upbeat instrumental, the lyrics are often somber.

For example, his song “its alright :)” is about a boy who he had broken up with. Most of the lyrics focus on an unnamed guy and how the artist still thinks about him. Despite that, a prominent theme in the song is about the two of them going their separate ways. Although the instrumentals are animated and lively, there are a lot of sadder themes in the words. 

Aside from that, his songs “OhNo!” and “3:30am” are worthy of a listen and possibly an addition to your next playlist. 

While Walkman is fairly popular on Spotify, his traction is abysmal on other platforms like Twitter and YouTube. 

As he (hopefully) pushes out more music, I am confident he will gain more followers. In the meantime, I would recommend him for those who like the Gen-Z vibe in their music.

Vardaan Arora (he/him)

Given that Vardaan Arora’s sound is very in touch with most modern pop music, I was surprised to learn that he is severly underrated on streaming platforms and social media. 

As an Indian-born musician who identifies as LGBT, Arora has a smooth voice that pairs well with the melodies in his instrumentals. Songs like “Dance Like You” and “Feel Good Song” are among my favorite pop songs of all time.

Arora keeps his style fresh, and it is completely baffling that his name is not more prominent in the industry. I can see his songs being blasted in a club.

Tunde Olaniran (he/they)

Although all of their songs are not for me, like “Jean Grey” and “Coins,” Tunde Olaniran’s music contains an overall positive and self-love vibe that transcends genres. The most notable being “Vulnerable,” “Miracle” and “WDWHI.”

Olaniran, a gender-nonconforming musician of Nigerian descent, has created music since 2011. With relatively few followers on social media and listeners on Spotify, I am surprised his name is not more well-known in the music industry. His voice is angelic, and it really shows through his discography. Meanwhile, the instrumentals to some of his songs are mellow and have their own unique style to them. 

For people who like soulful, positive energy in their music, Olaniran might just be a new favorite.

Maya B (she/her)

Maya B has an amazing voice that I could listen to for hours on end. She is one of the few artists where I enjoy listening to the acoustic versions of her songs. Her voice is just that soothing.

Some of my favorite songs by her are “Balloon Bitch” and “Getty Woah,” both of which highlight her amazing vocal skills. Aside from her singing, her album covers also have visually-pleasing pictures, making them easily recognizable.

Most of her songs stay true to a chill vibe, allowing them to merge into a study or hang-out playlist seamlessly. It is a nice break from the hard-hitting party songs that typically trend in the industry.

Maya B is a woman of color with a very unique style in the pop genre. Unfortunately, her songs gain very little traction and are not as popular as they deserve.

I hope that as her career evolves, so does her following.