Radio BurgerFuel

Ones To Watch 2022

Posted by Lee Densem


We looked back on the year past with our Best In NZ Music 2021, so now it's time to take a look forward at the year ahead. So once again, we've handpicked eight artists/groups from Aotearoa that we are expecting big things from in 2022 and you need to know about.

Headphones at the ready? Here's to Radio BurgerFuel's Ones To Watch 2022.


What a feast we've prepared! Choose from Chris RL, La Coco, Vayne, REPAIR and more. It's kind of like the ultimate BurgerFuel feed for your ears.


We loved one of REPAIR's first releases so much it ended up in our Best Of 2021. But given that this track 'Pretend' (with Reubik & Christina Harrison) is only their third release, we decided they still qualify for One's To Watch! With one half of this duo looking like Harry Potter graduated high school and got into pills, REPAIR is solid, grimy NZ DnB at it's best. In parts, uplifting, before taking you down a deep, dark, dance hole. We can't wait to hear what these two churn out this year.


He's one of the most genuine people I have met in the music industry in Aotearoa. Chris RL hails from Taranaki and seamlessly weaves his home and his whanau into some special stories on his debut release 'Guidance'. 


Although hardly unknown (she did share the same bill as Lizzo, Kaytranada, Brockhampton and Rico Nasty in 2020 pre-Covid times), Vayne was steadily dropping tracks last year and is waiting to explode. Jump on this bandwagon and hear a slice of real Aotearoa from  an unashamedly female perspective. Recently released Doors Go Up


YASHAR came to New Zealand from Turkey at a young age. After falling into music in his teens he's become a fully fledged producer who made waves with his debut single 'Fallin'. At the end of 2021 he also dropped this banger which has kept us pumping behind the grill all summer. The future looks bright with this one.


It's with apologies, that we include La Coco in this 'new' list, but we're gonig with it as last year seemed like a stepchange for a musican who has made her roots in RnB. Latoia Sasa-Tepania infuses electronic elements throughout her vocals in her latest offerings, including the magical 'Collide'. If you think you'd enjoy Ladi6 reinvented for 2022 then jump on it as we're hoping there's a lot more to come here.


Not going to lie, I gravitated towards Speech Act Theory because it reminded me of some of the best parts of Radiohead. But what Pete Hickman has created is definitely his own thing, and it's marvellous. 'Straight Lines' came out a few months back and the tone just seems to fit right now, with an Aotearoa summer that's a shade of red. It's about the struggles of trying to live a 'normal' life, which is pretty relatable right now.


I haven't got around to asking where the name Now I'm Going came from, but I'm sure James Mac has a very good story to tell. After a barnstorming debut with JQ251, the follow up 'Maybe This Time Is Different' is slightly more laid back, but full of melodic fun. And as the man says, "you always see the best in me", which is a pretty good way to be.


This Christchurch girl is all class, and her songs - all full of 90's Garbage/Weezer vibes - get better and better too. Emma Dilemma's debut album Spit is due out on 6 May. In the meantime, enjoy the awesomeness of the music and the theatre of 'Vulnerability' (some sweet cameos in there too).

Listen to our Ones To Watch 2021 playlist on Spotify below (or find it HERE) and jam it on repeat. Here's to 2021 and all the good things it will bring!