CelebMix’s 21 Songs by Under-21s

There are some huge young talents in the music industry today. CelebMix casts an eye over 21 of the best songs by Under-21s.

1. Shawn Mendes – ‘There’s Nothing Holding Me Back’

Shawn Mendes’ ‘There’s Nothing Holding Me Back’ was a mammoth success in 2017. From the opening chords to the pounding last chorus, the track is a favourite with all pop fans. This is Mendes at his best.

2. Zara Larsson – ‘Ruin My Life’

The first track from Zara Larsson’s sophomore album, ‘Ruin My Life’ is a laidback love-story. It’s release earlier this year has brought some jaw-dropping live TV performances across the globe and the new sound has fans eagerly awaiting the 20-year-old’s next move.

3. Ruel – ‘Don’t Tell Me’

It’s astonishing that Ruel isn’t reaching the audiences that the likes of Mendes and Larsson are yet. The 16-year-old has the most astonishing voice of his generation, and it is glorious in ‘Don’t Tell Me’. It’s a refusal to accept he is too young to be in love, packing a youthful punch in the soulful chorus. He’s more than just one to watch.

4. HRVY – ‘Personal’

One of the most infectious tracks of the past 12 months, HRVY’s ‘Personal’ broke the internet twice over. His rapidly growing fan base flocked in their millions (nearly 200 million in fact) to watch the music video featuring Loren Grey. With his performance at Radio 1’s Teen Awards recently, the 20-year-old is no uncovered gem. ‘Personal’ is just an early taste of an artist in the process of blowing up.

5. Billie Eilish – ‘when the party’s over’

Haunting, quirky and full of character, ‘when the party’s over’ is Eilish at her best. The track is so original, refreshing in its lyrics and production. The 16-year-old has songwriting skills far past her years.

6. Khalid – ‘Young Dumb & Broke’

Khalid’s most successful solo release, ‘Young Dumb & Broke’ is a millennial anthem. A celebration of the lost youth, it’s a track relatable to thousands of pop fans. Full of fun and delivered with a wink, the 20-year-old has years of success ahead.

7. Louisa – ‘YES’

Louisa Johnson may have taken things slowly since her X-Factor win, but the 20-year-old has plenty of time to work out her musical direction. ‘YES’ is a feisty dancefloor filler that marked Louisa’s new era of music with an almighty roar.

8. Marcus & Martinus – ‘Make You Believe In Love’


At 16-years-old, twins Marcus & Martinus are already the biggest pop act in the Nordic region. With upbeat pop tracks such as ‘Make You Believe In Love’, a flair-filled single which comes to life live, their taking over of more countries is imminent. These two youngsters put on one hell of a show.

9. Noah Cyrus – ‘Live or Die’

Showcasing Noah Cyrus’ vocals at their best, ‘Live or Die’ is a moody collaboration with Lil Xan. The 18-year-old Cyrus daughter has a voice like no other and this could well be her best track to date.

10. Bars and Melody – ‘A Thousand Years’

One of Bars and Melody’s most mature tracks to date, ‘A Thousand Years’ comes off 2017 record, Generation Z. Rapper Leondre Devries has spoken of how close the lyrics are to his heart and how they contrast with the upbeat production. There are a lot of young artists out there, but not many have their own styles like Bars and Melody.

11. GIRLI – ‘Day Month Second’

The signature feisty electronic pop of 20-year-old GIRLI, ‘Day Month Second’ is one cracking break-up song. It’s part of Girli 2.0, a new sound for the pink-haired pop star, and she sounds better than ever.

12. Au/Ra – ‘Outlaws’

The emerald-haired songstress Au/Ra has been everywhere recently. ‘Outlaws’, from the 16-year-old’s latest EP X Games, could well be her best effort to date. “We are Outlaws, brave young guns” she coos in her typical dark-pop style, calling fellow youngsters to action.

13. Sean & Conor Price – ‘Obsession’

Sean & Conor Price are at their very best in ‘Obsession’. The 18 and 16-year-olds shine vocally and lyrically in a track that strongly marks the Price-brother brand.

14. Kara Marni – ‘Move’

A kicking bassline and funky chords power Kara Marni’s single ‘Move’. If you need to end a downhill relationship, this is the soulful track to snap you into action.

15. Madison Beer – ‘Dead’

Nearing 100 million streams on Spotify, Madison Beer’s ‘Dead’ is yet another of the 19-years-old huge hits. Slow and pensive, it’s the classic Beer-sound that is gripping pop today.

16. Loren – ‘My Story’

It doesn’t come much sweeter than 16-year-old Loren Grey. Her debut single ‘My Story’ is everything it should be, it’s got teenage pop fans going crazy.

17. Sabrina Carpenter – ‘Paris’

Sabrina Carpenter’s husky vocals shine in this sensual pop flick. ‘Paris’ comes from her third studio LP, Singular Act I, by far her most mature effort to date.

18. Molly Rainford – ‘I Like You’

The debut single from former Britain’s Got Talent contestant and Friday Download host, Molly Rainford, shows she knows exactly how to write an earworm. ‘I Like You’ is superbly simple – Rainford’s playful runs in the chorus will have you singing all day.

19. Ronan Parke – ‘No Love (Like First Love)’

Another Britain’s Got Talent success, Ronan Parke has made a triumphant return in 2018. His whole sophomore record, Found My Way, is worth listening to and ‘No Love (Like First Love)’ is the lead title off that album. Parke’s voice is oh so rich and tells stories way past his 20-years of age, especially in this track.

20. Grace VanderWaal – ‘So Much More Than This’

The healing power of music is something special, and Grave VanderWaal reflects on that in ‘So Much More Like This’. The 14-year-old’s delicate voice layered over acoustic strums is fast becoming a potent recipe. She’s drawn comparisons as the next Taylor Swift, and it’s easy to see why here.

21. Tilly – ‘Unpredictable’

Another youngster playing with the synths and electronic pop we here everywhere today, Tilly shows she has what it takes to be the next big thing in ‘Unpredictable’. Upbeat and feel-good, Bars and Melody’s Leondre Devries’ younger sister sounds super confident on this track – one to watch for sure.

Which young artists do you love listening to? Let us know @CelebMix on Twitter!

Written by Toby Bryant

Journalist and pop head.

Follow me on Twitter & Instagram @toby_bryant_.