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Six Up-And-Coming Music Acts to Watch

Wonder Girls

Built on teen-idol perfection, K-pop (Korean pop music) boasts fans that make even the biggest Beliebers seem like amateurs. And these queen bees of the genre — Sohee, Yenny, Lim, Sun, and Yubin—have recruited songwriting king Claude Kelly (Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera) to help them perfect their bubblegum-meets-Motown sound for their stateside debut this summer. The quintet are currently enjoying the anonymity that comes with recording in New York City, away from the hordes of paparazzi that swarm them in Seoul. "We can be more like ourselves here," Yenny says. Though with American fame looming, that low profile won't last long. — Alex Rees

 
 
Lupe Fiasco

Since the Chicago-born rapper burst onto the scene in 2006, he has made some serious noise, picking up a Grammy and winning over an entire youth subculture with the skateboard anthem, "Kick, Push." His progressive, intellectual style also found fans in Jay-Z, Pharrell, and Kanye West. Lupe released a second LP in 2007—and then, silence. "It's been an emotional roller coaster," he says of the road leading to LASERS, his chart-topping third album. (Creative differences with his label delayed it for years.) "I'm more in touch with the thing I love about music, which is performing." He airs his grievances in songs like "The Show Goes On," but lest anyone wonder who this record is for, he says, "this is the people's album." —Jane Keltner de Valle