Photo: Christopher Ho
KCRW's Best of 2019
KCRW's Best of 2019
KCRW's Best of 2019

Black Pumas - Black Pumas (2019)

Best New Artist

Black Pumas

It’s exciting to see Adrian Quesada, Eric Burton and the Black Pumas crew coming out of Austin, TX, taking the world by storm! From the first notes we heard of Black Pumas back in the beginning of the year, they became an instant favorite amongst the crew of KCRW DJs. Now, as we approach the tail end of the year, reflect and look back at all their accolades, it’s without a doubt and our honor to announce them as KCRW’s Best New Artist of 2019!

We’ve been huge fans of Adrian’s production work as Ocote Soul Sounds, Grupo Fantasma and his various other projects for quite some time. But it wasn’t until we heard his musical stylings, melded with the powerful lyrics and captivating energy of Mr. Burton, that the package became complete. From their incredible performance on MBE, to the summer nights series at HQ, along with sold-out and jam-packed houses all over LA - it’s obvious their infectious mix of funk, soul and bluesy influenced rock has emerged as a crowd favorite.

Their self-titled gem of an album has received some much deserved critical acclaim over the last few months. With its flawless blend of raw and uninhibited grooves and its heartfelt, and even at times, gut-wrenching vocals, the powerful journey bobs and weaves through themes of the struggles and tribulations of life to an uplifting vision of what humanity can be. Start to finish, their debut project hits hard with songs like “Fire,” “This Old Man,” “Black Moon Rising” and others.

Now, with a Grammy nomination also as Best New Artist at the upcoming awards ceremony, we definitely wish these friends of the KCRW family continued success for many years to come.

– Raul Campos