6 Local Musicians You Should Listen to Now

Looking for some new artists to spice up your playlist? There’s a lot of musical talent to be found in our own backyard. These up-and-coming stars are all in the early stages of promising musical careers, and they all hail from Sweet Home (suburbs of) Chicago. Check them out now before they hit it big!

Leah Capelle

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Behind her spunky, light-hearted personality is a mature and endearing voice that captivates audiences. Her original lyrics carry wisdom and soul far beyond that of most 20-year-olds. Following her freshman year at Berklee College of Music in Boston, the Winnetka native and New Trier grad saw her shot in Los Angeles. Now, just a year into following her passion out west, Capelle has already made her mark with tours along the coast and the hugely successful release of her self-titled EP. We especially love the music video for hit original single “Would You Know.”

Check it out below!

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John Splithoff

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Unique is an understatement when it comes to the infectious style of John Splithoff. A 2009 graduate of Glenbrook South High School, Splithoff has been said to fuse jazz, classical and pop into a compelling blend that is not to be missed. Though he’s now settled in the Big Apple, Splithoff credits his craft as “true to the spirit of his Chicago hometown.” While he has shared the stage with the likes of Cee-Lo Green and other big names, he recently played a show in the ‘burbs with Leah Capelle as an opener at a show organized by Make It Better’s own Val Haller. Check out his 2013 EP, “The Move,” in the links below:

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Kevin Quinn

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In 2013, at age 15, Quinn got his first taste of the big leagues as one of the youngest contestants to make it onto the 12th season of American Idol. This spring, within days of graduating from New Trier High School, he packed his bags and left cozy Wilmette for a promising future in Hollywood. He is now beginning his professional career as a star on the new Disney Channel series Bunk’d. Though he’s landed a gig for acting, the voice that got him there is pretty remarkable, too. Check out his music below, and don’t forget to hit the screen for his Disney debut—premiering on July 31.

Find links to Kevin’s music and more information below:

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Hadley Kennary

Photo by Josh Telles
Photo by Josh Telles

Nothing quite like a feel-good Chicago anthem to set the mood for summer in the Windy City. Hadley Kennary’s original song “With Love, From Chicago” stole our hearts, as told through her soulful and enchanting alternative-country voice. Last July, Kennary played on ABC Chicago’s “Windy City Live” for an audience of over 250,000 and was well received. After graduating from New Trier High School in 2012, Kennary went on to Berklee College of Music in Boston before settling in Nashville, where she now records and performs.

Follow her here:

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Elizabeth Lyons

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Photo by Chase Lauer Photography

With country music hype hitting Chicago like never before, we have loved following our own hometown slice of country, Elizabeth Lyons. After graduating from New Trier in 2009, Lyons took her talents to Nashville where she attended Vanderbilt University. Since then, our Midwest star has made quite the mark on the country scene. Just last year, she made an appearance in the Country Music Awards Close Up’s “Who’s New to Watch in 2014,” and her music video for hit song “#PartyRules” topped the charts—reaching No. 1 on iTunes’ Top Country Music Videos.

Check her out!

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Katie Gavin

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Though her stunning voice was well known in our community, Katie Gavin’s jaw-dropping talent wasn’t confined here for long. After posting a unique cover of “Whip My Hair” by Willow Smith on YouTube in 2010, her one-of-a-kind voice brought her nearly 200,000 views in one month, as well as attention from MTV. Shortly thereafter, Gavin made appearances on stage with Keith Urban, as well as at the Grammy Awards. After graduating from New Trier, she took her passion for songwriting to the USC Thornton School of Music. Her focus is now on her band, MUNA, and she spends her time teaching guitar and songwriting to underserved kids in the area through the USC Thornton Outreach Program.

Check her out here:

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