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Kaboom! Magazine.com Most Explosive Breakout Stars to Watch in 2019

Kaboom! Magazine.com Most Explosive Breakout Stars to Watch in 2019

As it is every year, 2018 introduced a handful of stars in entertainment. From Jesse Reyez to Awkwafina to Francia Raisa, the era of “Social Media” has ushered in a slew of newcomers that have quickly turned to bona fide stars. Today, we would like to give you a preview of 19 people who you may not know now, but by the end of the year you’re going to never forget them.

19. Naomi Scott:

It really seemed like British actress Naomi Scott was due to blow up following the release of last year’s big-screen Power Rangers reboot – in which she played Pink Ranger Kimberly Hart, but you haven’t really heard much from her since the movie left theatres. Her work did at least win the attention of Disney, who cast her in the much sought-after role of Jasmine in Guy Ritchie’s upcoming live-action Aladdin remake. If that’s not enough, she’ll also be playing one of the three lead roles in the Charlie’s Angels reboot (alongside Kristen Stewart and Ella Balinska). It’s safe to say that Naomi is entering a whole new world.

18. Brendan Scannell:

A longtime staple on L.A.’s underground sketch and stand-up scenes, and already a familiar face from appearances on Funny or Die, CollegeHumor, and Super Deluxe, Brendan Scannell is on everyone’s radar these days thanks to the Paramount Network’s recently released reboot of ’80s teen hit Heathers. Scannell is earning scores of new fans with his bitingly hilarious portrayal of Heather Duke, the titular clique’s token gay friend — plus, his recent spot on Lip Sync Battle basically electrified the internet. With the accolades he’s racking up for the role (and growing anticipation for his starring turn in Bonding, a darkly comic web series slated for release early next year), Scannell proves he’s a master at delivering endearingly biting witticisms both onstage and onscreen.

17. Caleb Jaffe:

This 21-year-old writer, director, actor, and more plays the quietest part in his Indie Episodic pilot, “It’s Not About Jimmy Keene.” Jaffe is a dry, engaging performer, moving through scenes with casual precision. But it’s his eye and ear that set him apart. He manages all these ideas quite well, exacting natural escalation and arguments without dissolving into a political lesson, and his directorial choices aren’t above intriguing, enigmatic symbolism and rich, lengthy one-shots. Young and full of big, booming ideas, watching Jaffe channel his thoughts into more and more pointed projects should be a rewarding pleasure.

16. Thomasin McKenzie:

The New Zealand actor is already a breakout talent thanks to this year’s Leave No Trace – directed by Debra Granik – where she played a teenager living in the wilderness with her PTSD-suffering father. Her performance was met with great acclaim, with critics praising her grounded, naturalistic approach. However, the 18-year-old’s star is only set to rise in 2019, thanks to several high-profile projects. She’ll appear alongside Timothée Chalamet, Joel Edgerton, and Robert Pattinson in The King, which adapts several of Shakespeare’s history plays into one film. She also has a role in Taika Waititi’s satirical Second World War comedy Jojo Rabbit, the western The True History of the Kelly Gang, and serial killer drama Lost Girls.

15. Kiana Ledé:

Kiana Ledé is no stranger to the spotlight. The singer and multi-instrumentalist became recognized for her viral song covers on Youtube, but that wasn’t her career beginning, and surely isn’t its end. In 2018, she released her debut label EP Selfless. Fusing R&B, pop, soul, alternative, and indie, Ledé is well on her way to being among the pantheon of Pop artists with an edge.  

14. Megan Thee Stallion:

Megan Thee Stallion became the new internet it-girl this year. She’s signed to 300 Entertainment, becoming the first female rapper to join the imprint. Her larger than life lust-him-and-leave-him persona is less character and more of a reality. Aware of the male-dominated scene that’s characterized the rise of rappers out of her hometown, Megan deliberately flips the dynamic and takes charge through her lyrics. She’s at the wheel, we’re just riding along.

13. Melii:

When Melii released a cover of Cardi B’s “Bodack Yellow” she garnered attention from troves of online listeners and label heads alike, landing a deal with Interscope last December. Cardi B, arguably the biggest rapper in America at the moment, is a Dominican from Uptown— and so is Melii. The public’s piqued interest in what she represents translates to newfound visibility for the Harlem rapper. And the right people are checking for her. Rihanna played her single “Icey” in a Fenty Beauty promotional video on Instagram. Then, Meek Mill featured her on “Wit The Shits” off his latest critically acclaimed album, Championships.

12. Natalia Reyes:

Already a name in her native Colombia, thanks to appearances in telenovela Lady, la vendedora de rosas and supernatural series Cumbia Ninja, Reyes attracted Hollywood’s attention with her role in Birds of Passage, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and was selected as the Colombian entry for Best Foreign Language Film at next year’s Academy Awards. Her magnetic presence in the film won over the executives at Paramount Pictures, who chose the 31-year-old to lead the upcoming Terminator movie, the sixth in the series and a direct sequel to Terminator 2: Judgement Day.

11. Hunter Schafer:

The trans activist first made a mark in 2016 when she became a plaintiff in the American Civil Liberties Union’s lawsuit against North Carolina’s “bathroom bill.” The Raleigh native moved to New York after her high school graduation in 2017 and signed with Elite model management. But now she transitioning into acting with her first major onscreen role in HBO’s hotly anticipated YA drama Euphoria. The series, produced by Drake and starring Zendaya and Kissing Booth breakout Jacob Elordi, will feature Schafer in one of the leading roles, and sources who’ve screened the first episode say she gives the standout performance.

10. Bathe:

Brooklyn duo Bathe seems to have a penchant for unorthodox combinations. They fuse surf with R&B— making surf music in New York make sense. Their 2018 debut single, “Sure Shot,” is as smooth as it is cinematic, tackling the topic of toxic masculinity endured by black men of today. The duo juxtaposes the heavy theme with an airy instrumental and glimmering vocals.

9. Louis Cole:

The singer and drummer, signed to Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder label, released his third album, Time, which featured appearances from labelmate Thundercat. Cole’s sound is stamped by his falsettos and off-kilter funk-pop fusion. If you dig deep into his galactic-themed website, you’ll find a brief bio that reads, “What do Quincy Jones, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Flying Lotus and a bunch of movie theatre janitors have in common? A: They’re all fans of Louis Cole.” That should be enough convincing.

8. Blueface:

Blueface become a polarizing force in rap this year; online critics call him “off-beat,” but Ice Cube calls him an “acquired taste.” We might want to take the West Coast rap OG’s word as bond, here. After all, Blueface takes his cues from a long line of West Coast rappers — from Suga Free to E-40. The 21-year-old Los Angeles native released three mixtapes this year, each one showcasing both his commitment and innovation to the regional sound that perplexes some while remains tradition to others. Footage of him performing live— sometimes outdoors and imprmptu— show he’s often shirtless and surrounded by a mob, many women. Sex is an integral part of Blueface’s music, persona, and appeal. He could easily be the latest star to step forward and fill the male sex symbol void in hip-hop at the moment.

7. Maliibu Mitch:

Nicki Minaj mentioned Maliibu Miitch as one of the rising women in rap to watch for. That is a rare but fitting cosign from the likes of Minaj. Maliibu Miitch is the disciple of Lil Kim, Foxy Brown, Nicki Minaj, and Azealia Banks. She is a New York rap traditionalist, and her revival of the style— as many of her peers borrow from other regional styles— is more refreshing than it is antiquated. She’s also among the most gifted of the city’s newer crop of lyricists. But, it’s not what she says, it’s how she says it. Her studied, bar-centric standard style of lyricism is powered by her husky tone, impressive inflections, and sharp voice control.

6. Noah Jupe:

It’s only one of the best pre-teen performances in recent memory. Anchoring Shia LaBeouf’s therapeutic dive into the source of his PTSD is the boy (Jupe) he use to be when he was a child actor paying his wayward father (LaBeouf himself) to be his chaperone. In LaBeouf’s and director Alma Har’el’s film about swirling emotions and toxic masculinity, the spiritual anchor becomes Jupe. It’s remarkable, layered performance, as Jupe captures the talent, loneliness, and spirit of a young soul grasping for something solid while the ground beneath him is anything but stable.

5. Winston Duke:

Winston Duke had a pretty incredible 2018, being introduced to audiences as M’Baku in Black Panther and reprising that role briefly in Avengers: Infinity War. Things are about to get even better for him, however, as 2019 will see him diversifying his role set considerably. In addition to once again playing M’Baku in Avengers: Endgame, Duke has shot a part in Jordan Peele’s highly anticipated social satire Us, and is currently filming a role in Peter Berg’s new Netflix crime thriller Wonderland (which should release near the end of next year).

4. Debra DiGiovanni:

If you ask around, many a stand-up comedian who knows better will admit that they do not want to follow Debra DiGiovanni. She is a rare breed of comedian these days in that she lives up to a high laugh-per-minute ratio (an old and stringent industry standard) with her rapid-fire rhythm, delivery, zippy energy, and instantaneous charm. DiGiovanni has conquered the comedy circuit in her home country of Canada and has come down south to dazzle U.S. crowds. She certainly has done that wherever she plays, including on her special Single Awkward Female, album Lady Jazz, and in her debut late-night set in America on Conan.

3. Joel Gascoigne:

Joel is the founder and CEO at Buffer. He is focused on the lean startup approach, user happiness, transparency & company culture. Buffer now has over 75,000 customers, the company has 70 employees, and they’re bringing in over $1.3 Million in revenue each month. The very first thing he did was build a super simple landing page with nothing more than a description of the product with a call-to-action button that people would have to click on in order to sign up. But instead of taking these early visitors to the actual product (that didn’t yet exist), it directed them to another landing page where they could enter their email address for early access when Buffer did launch. After about a month of promoting his landing page to his audience on Twitter and through HackerNews, Joel had 120 people signed up, and the rest is history. He continued working on Buffer as a side project for the next month or so, brought on his first round of paying customers, and within another 6 months they’d climbed up to around 100,000 users, most of which were on the free plan, but many of whom would later upgrade.

2. India Eisley:

The daughter of Olivia Hussey, Eisley is setting out to make her own mark in Hollywood. After appearing in shows including The Secret Life of the American Teenager and films such as Underworld: Awakening, the 25-year-old has landed a starring role of her own. She’ll play the female lead in Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins’ six-episode TNT drama I Am the Night. As Fauna “Pat” Hodel, Eisley stars opposite Chris Pine as a naïve girl growing up outside of Reno, Nevada, who embarks on a desperate quest to discover who she is. Turns out, she was given away at birth and there’s many secrets to investigate about her past. What more could an actress ask for?

1.Pardison Fontaine:

When Cardi B released her Invasion of Privacy single “Be Careful,” speculation about her writing saw grounds in a discovery that the track was “ghostwritten” by her friend Pardison Fontaine. But he didn’t ghostwrite the song; he co-wrote it. After releasing his debut mixtape, Not Supposed to Be Here in 2015, he went on to work with Cardi on her album debut in 2017. Fontaine was credited as a writer on 12 out of the 13 tracks on the record-breaking project. The 29-year-old rapper has also co-written songs for Kanye West’s 2018 album Ye. But this year, his own single “Backin’ It Up” peaked at number 65 on the US Billboard Hot 100. He and Cardi went on to perform the song live for the first time at the 2018 BET Hip Hop Awards.

What new breakout star are you most looking forward to seeing when they breakout in 2019? Allow your opinion to be heard by leaving a comment below.