Radio Milwaukee Music Awards: In Case You Missed It

Last Tuesday, Radio Milwaukee released the complete list of finalists for the 2021 Radio Milwaukee Music Awards after receiving more than 3,600 votes from online voters this year. The Radio Milwaukee Music Awards began in 2007 and releases community-voted awards for Milwaukee musicians every year. Here is a recap of this year’s finalists:

Album of the Year

Buffalo Nichols – “Buffalo Nichols”

Born in Houston and raised in Milwaukee, Buffalo Nichols is a contemporary blues artist who brings the music of the 1950s to life in his first self-titled album, “Buffalo Nichols.” The eight songs feature Nichols’ soulful vocals and melancholic guitar riffs.

Gego Y Nony – “Tiempo”

Gego y Nony are brothers who sing Latin urban music. “Tiempo,” meaning “time” in Spanish, is a bilingual album written about the concept of time and love. 

Trapper Schoepp – “May Day”

Trapper Schoepp’s third solo album, “May Day,” is upbeat and celebrates springtime and the natural world. The medley’s rock guitar and character-driven lyrics pay tribute to artists like Bob Dylan and Neil Young.

Genesis Renji – “E.D.E.N.”

Emmy-nominated artist Genesis Renji’s album “E.D.E.N” encapsulates love and longing in six hip-hop songs. His tracks also reference religion and pain through slow-paced beats and lyrics that express desire.

Grace Weber – “A Beautiful Space”

Grace Weber’s debut album incorporates her angelic voice with relaxing beats and features Grammy Award-Winning artist Chance the Rapper in her song “Thru the Fire.” The sixteen songs are a variety of catchy riffs and heartfelt lyrics.

Song of the Year

Gego Y Nony – “Reloj”

Gego Y Nony returns with another nomination for their most popular song, with 4,890 streams on Spotify. “Reloj,” meaning “clock” in Spanish, is a bubbly, fast-paced song that talks about valuing time with a loved one.

Jabril Yousef – “Wild Love”

Jabril Yousef is an indie-pop artist whose Spotify biography defines them as “LA-born. MKE made. non-binary. abolitionist.” Their 2021 track, “Wild Love,” revels in acoustic guitar and techno beats, with lyrics about self-love and adventure.

WebsterX – “Huffy”

WebsterX is an alternative rap singer/songwriter who writes all his own lyrics and works with various producers to create indie rock and hip-hop beats. His rap jam “Huffy” is thoughtful and talks about politics, media corruption and longing for a simple time.

Telethon – “Checker Drive”

This five-piece alternative rock group perfects powerful guitar chords and solos along with dominant vocals. “Checker Drive” reveals influences from Blink-182 and Green Day.

Vincent Van Great & Amanda Huff – “Double Strawberry Plush”

This electric duo mixes funk and pop into unique, upbeat tracks. Vincent Van Great’s smooth, deep vocals contrast perfectly with Amanda Huff’s high-pitched, enticing voice in this groovy love song.

Solo Artist of the Year

WebsterX, Buffalo Nichols and Genesis Renji return to the finalist list.

Valerie Lighthart

Valerie Lighthart is a pop artist who mixes visual arts and music. Her songs are riddled with gender expectations and femininity. Her musical style weaves soft vocals with booming bass and percussion to create immersive songs.

Lakeyah

Lakeyah is a hip-hop artist/rapper known for her explicit, energetic tracks with witty lyrics. She began rapping at age 15. One of her most popular songs, “Female Goat” features the famous Miami hip-hop duo, City Girls.

Band of the Year

Vincent Van Great & Amanda Huff and Telethon return to the finalist list.

Browns Crew

This Latin hip-hop duo, featuring Cristo Paz and El Sebas, makes bilingual music influenced by their experience as Mexican Americans. The duo’s Caribbean sounds are toe-tapping beats and their single “Mil Aires” won Radio Milwaukee’s song of the year last year.   

Negative/Positive

Negative/Positive’s quirky lyrics and hard rock instruments breed feminist anthems and soft love songs. The indie-pop band’s founding members met at Girls Rock Milwaukee camp in 2013 when they were not even ten years old.

Moonglow

Moonglow straddles the genres of R&B, soul and punk. Their self-titled album, “Moonglow” has an unmatched variety. The group’s jazzy, lo-fi tracks encompass relaxing vibes and astonishing vocals.

From blues to rap, Radio Milwaukee and the Milwaukee voters have really covered it all with their award finalists. Stay tuned for Dec. 15, when Radio Milwaukee will announce and celebrate the winners with a special broadcast.

This story was written by Clare Lindstrom. She can be reached at clare.lindstrom@marquette.edu