Without creativity, we'd all just be sheep, standing in a field, munching grass. Without creatives we would have only that which is in front of us, because creatives inspire us, they influence us, they ignite us.
Without Beethoven there wouldn't have been the Beatles; without the Beatles there wouldn't have been Bowie; without Bowie there wouldn't have been Big Sean. We're all following someone, even Kanye.
So in the spirit of that burning creativity that hits you in the middle of the night and refuses to leave until you've torn it out of your soul and shown it to the world,we've hand-picked the most influential influencers and tastemakers out there for this year's Hype List. We're talking about the ones pushing the boundaries, challenging perceptions, fucking what you know. The producers blowing up your Mixcloud, the alternative thinkers taking over your news feed, the models smashing your Insta, the designers covering your body in their dreams.
The people who create, the people who kill it, the people who matter, the people whose hype you should believe.
LION W/ NO HART
LION W/ NO HART, the Harlem-based MC/activist, first came to our attention with the 2015 mixtape Prom Kween , a sizzling piece of downtempo ghettotech that quickly became the sound of the NY underground.
The artist sometimes known as Leezy's gender-bending, genre-blending visual language and fractured, wounded flow (particularly on standout track "Lil' Baby Bitch Bo Peep") somehow manage to fuse together, finding a rare middle ground between KRS-ONE and Karlheinz Stockhausen, while retaining a visceral, club-friendly sensibility at its core. Our dancefloor discourse will never be the same again.
Highlight so far: Playing a Hot 97 party, in a wedding dress.
Photographic artist Tuesday Ferrari might hail from LA aristocracy (her mum is Alannah Myles of "Black Velvet" fame and her dad played Gunther in Friends), but don't get it twisted. She's making some of the most exciting visual art out there right now, blending her sun-drenched imagery with a post-internet savviness that's led to some to call her "the Nan Goldin of Instagram".
Provocative, yet ethereal, in-your-face, yet utterly feminine, Ferrari is the peroxide blonde voice of West Coast affluenza. A Bret Easton Ellis heroine with a Hasselblad, we just wish we could be friends with her.
Highlight so far: Splish Splash, her controversial exhibition at the prestigious Greenpoint Gallery Space, featuring candid portraits of Lourdes Ciccone Leon and others in the bath.
"Feds, you don't know about me. NSA, you don't know about me. Michael Gove, you don't know about me "
In 2015, these words became a battle-cry for a generation sick of what it was being offered. It was bellowed at Met pigs like a Hakka chant at a Hackney block party, condemned by the Daily Express and even mentioned in Parliament. Most dangerously, they were written by a 17-year-old. That 17-year-old was Genie Boy, the Right Honorable Member for The Endz.
2015 was a big one for Genie. He began the year enrolled at Wolverhampton College and ended it on the front cover of Esquire. Having refused several record deals, he continues to manage himself, handling all his own emails and train bookings. He is perhaps the only man who could work with both Preditah and Paul McCartney (at their internet-breaking Brits collab) and come out with his road-credibility intact.
Highlight so far: His dazzling Fire In The Booth session, which went so hard it reportedly made Charlie Sloth throw up afterwards.
Haggerston-based all-female creative collective HoneySpice are a breath of fresh air in the staid, blokey world of publishing. Their self-titled, print-at-home zine fuses the crisp style of a young Joan Didion with the balls-to-the-wall attitude of a pre-prison Lil' Kim.
Featuring contributions from the likes of Q's Joe Bish and features such as "The Choose Your Own Mariah Carey Tinder Adventure", the magazine is a must-have for every V-Files Carrie Bradshaw with access to a colourjet printer, while their biannual dinner party/clubnight "Bills, Bills, Bills" is a guaranteed bruk-up every time. CondeNast(y) must be shaking in their Prada pumps.
Highlight so far: Publishing a Facebook chat between Julian Assange and Skinny Girl Diet.
They say darktronica is dead, but no one told Deptford's L1t0 (pronounced 'light zero') that. The enigmatic producer/vocalist behind Soundcloud phenomenon "Salty 2" mixes old Chris Rea samples with punishing industro-grime and comes out with a sound rooted in his native Bolivia, though it lives and breathes in the chaos of south London's dancefloors.
His NTS show "Rare Minerals" has quickly become compulsory listening, and word is that that he's working with Wiz Khalifa on something pretty special right now. But since he only ever conducts interviews over Snapchat, we can't really be sure.
Highlight so far: "Salty 2". It might be the only thing he's put out, but it remains his best work.
JEN WOZ ERE
The PC Music explosion of 2014 brought its fare share of imitators, but none of them quite match what Jen Woz Ere, the virtual school bully, is doing right now. Taking the bolshy, mean-girl style of 90s pop acts such as Republica and Shampoo, then drenching it in a tweaked-up digital bog-wash courtesy of producers and collaborators Y'VON and newcomer EncartA, Jen Woz Ere is the perfect conceptual pop star for a generation raised on timelines rather than blackboards.
Her track "(I Got Fingered) Behind The Bike Shed" was the sound of last year's Venice Biennale, and she's been hinting at making a workout video with Diplo next year. As she'd say herself: "the girl sure dun gud".
Highlight so far: Launching her debut EP with a mock-viral campaign for a Korean tampon brand.
In the game for over 30 years, Riel Samms has made the rare journey from the couture house to the trap house. Ever wonder why ATL corner boys wear PVC smocks now? Riel is the reason.
Coming to mainstream attention with his infamous A/W '87 campaign, in which male models dressed as child soldiers fired off real AK47s in the Grand Palais, Riel has consistently torn up the fashion rule book (if he's ever even looked at it, that is), establishing himself as the dark heart of the Parisian fashion scene.
As he nears his 60th birthday, his style has finally gone mainstream, with a some commentators suggesting that TopShop have paid tribute to his trademark chainmail poncho (something we're sure would amuse him), and a rumoured collaboration with Wiz Khalifa is on the cards.
Highlight so far: Throwing blood diamonds in Hans Ulrich Obrist's face at Frieze 2013.
RYAN VAN BURGH
Scenes from Van Burgh's street-cast performance-installation "Pigmalion" at the Brave Propensities Car Park Gallery last year
Perhaps the only living artist to be both banned from Instagram and MOMA, 37-year-old Van Burgh is the young soul rebel of the international art scene. Meshing traditional performance art with Manga imagery and Babestation found footage, he's been called everything from a "cultural wedding DJ" to "outright charlatan".
So far, his victims have included teen idols Miley Cyrus and Pixie Lott and sacred cows such as Marina Abramovic (whose performance he interrupted dressed as The Ghost of GG Allin, prompting the now-notorious MOMA ban).
Some, like The Guardian's Jonathan Jones, say "Emperor's New Photoshop", but we reckon he's just about the most important multimedia artist working in Brooklyn today. Just don't tell him we said that.
Highlight so far: His fetish realisation of the Jihadi John story.
The name "Ronald Reagan" might still divide America, but the opinion on his great-niece Molli is pretty much unanimous: she is HOT. The face of everything from Sacai to Supreme to Saint Laurent, she has quickly become the figurehead for a new gen of models who are so privileged they're actually disadvantaged in the industry.
Like many a model before her, Molli is moving towards acting, having recently starred in a short film directed by Sofia Coppola for Bulmer's, but her creative heart really lies in her punk band Apple Juice, in which she plays bass alongside Beck and model BFF Tani-Lee Schwarzenegger.
Highlights so far: Opening the Chanel show in Paris last year with Julianne Moore and Paul Pogba.
You might not know the name, but you definitely know the look. The most prodigious son of the notorious south London art collective NVEREND, Bloom's work draws from 90s Japanese RPG games, ancient sanskrit, mid-80s punk flyers and stolen MRA scans.
Having worked with everyone from Hudson Mohawke to Lady Antebellum, he may be the closest thing the internet has to a visual architect, shaping the iconography of our times, one .PNG at a time.
Highlight so far: Collaborating with L1t0 on a Tate installation based on the life of Judge Jules.
Everyone wants to do a Bieber right now, but if anyone has a real chance of achieving it, it's Little Mix's Jesy Nelson. Stepping out from the shadow of her bandmates, Nelson has enlisted some of the underground electronic music scene's hottest producers (Lit0, Koreless, Y'VON) to create an as-yet-unheard album to be released on acclaimed label Rectangle Tapes, home of cutting-edge electronic acts like Magic Trees and D()G Shower.
Lips are sealed about what the album actually sounds like, but label founder Ronnie Brandt has said that it is at least partly inspired by "early Cyndi Lauper and Xanax". Needless to say, we can't wait to hear it.
Highlights so far: Narrowly beating Marcus Collins and Amelia Lily to claim the X Factor series eight crown.
PATRICK SWAYZE JNR
They say it's easier if your parents are famous, but tell that to Patrick Swayze Jnr. The actor, musician and Malibu native has done things his own way, turning down a lucrative modelling contract in Milan to go hike around the Orzarks for six months, an experience which formed the basis of his Mountain Songs EP last year.
Now safely back on concrete, in a Red Hook apartment he shares with Dev Hynes and Dakota Johnson, Swayze Jnr has just signed up for a Calvin Klein campaign, as well as the role of his own father in a TV movie about the making of Ghost.
A renaissance man as at home in the wilderness as he is in New York, Swayze Jnr is more than just a lucky sperm.
ALONZO IAN SMITH
We don't rank people on this list, but if anyone deserves to be at the top, it's conscious trap pioneer Alonzo Ian Smith. His stunning album How To Kill a Mockingbird was the defining cultural work of last year, smashing into our collective consciousness like the furious afterbirth of Bootsy Collins and JD Salinger.
Slyly dissecting the American Dream with his acid-hot bars, Smith has become a voice in the wilderness in what he calls "The Divided States Of America". He's an artist who uses the system to make his point, simultaneously questioning a sports company's sweatshop policies in Indonesia while working with them on a new line of sneakers emblazoned with quotes by Noam Chomsky and Nina Simone.
Highlight so far: "They say Jumpman, you say how high,"a seething parody of rap's consumer obsession in six words. Perfect.
The nightmare of the Berlin Wall might not seem like the most obvious inspiration for a one of the world's hottest designers, but Heinzy Fenstermacher is a designer who draws from his own childhood in communist-era Leipzig.
The self-proclaimed "JW Anderson from the bloc" seems to find an innate wearability and utilitarian glamour in the faded photos of teenagers from the wrong side of the wall, kitting out his A/W16 models in stone-coloured, graffiti-covered tracksuits.
It's said that Rihanna and Rory McIlroy are admirers of his creations, but he prefers to stay modest, listening to old Europop mixes in his north Kreuzberg apartment, rather than attending his own shows
Highlight so far: His collaboration with Supreme, particularly the Nikolai Gorbachev windbreakers.
They call him "the Richard Rodgers of new London cuisine", they call his restaurant "the Versailles of Peckham Rye", they call his food "slow-cooked heroin", they call him Ragnar Anderson, super chef.
From pop-up to roadblock in just 18 months, Canberra-born Anderson is doing for food what Jamie XX did for music: nailing a dynamic, affordable yet uniquely artisan product.
People are queuing half way down to Camberwell Green for his latest eaterie "Meat Fuck". The sign on the door that reads "Eat your chops and piss off" might be said with a slight tongue-in-cheek, but as anyone who's stayed much longer than half-an-hour has probably found out, he means it.
Highlight so far: Have you tried his blackened sour gammon grits?Jay Rayner described them as "a blozza from God", which is good enough for us.
Look around you: face-painted boys in sawn-off kaftans stagger out of Turkmenistani social clubs, plastic heels clip and clop down the Old Kent Road, St Martin's students in knock-off Vuitton dance to Hed Kandi remixes, the smell of Silk Cut and M-Cat lingers in the cold city air. London is burning again, and it's Paul Michael who lit the match.
The Monmouthshire native moved to London last year and hasn't looked back since, changing the city's clubbing landscape forever with his nights "Infinite" and "Paul Michael's Fandabadozie", creating vital spaces for a new generation of club kids determined to make the Blitz Club look like the Basingstoke Slug & Lettuce on a weeknight.
The dress code is simple: there isn't one. The music policy is complicated: everything from Fat Trel to Eiffel 65 to Stevie Nicks to Mudvayne. The self-styled Peter Gatien of Peckham is a man redefining what it is to party, and what it is to be young and alive in London.
Highlight so far: Charging Madonna £1.50 for use of the cloakroom at an LCM after-party last year.
In troubled times, angry music arises, and there aren't many angrier musicians out there right now than Thurrock's Shirts. Lead singer Jakob Holywell is a man who loves his country but hates what it has become. Their infamous Facebook page "The Latte Meinhof Group" is testament to their noble efforts against gentrification and high street coffee chains.
From their HQ (an abandoned teabag factory they jokingly call "Balmoral"), this band of brothers kick and spit against every facet of Cameron's Britain, from chain stores to the congestion charge, with a sound that is equal parts Crass and equal parts MC Creed.
With Genie Boy's verse on their track "House Of Boreds" becoming a genre-splicing viral classic, they've retained a sense of realness, despite the fact that they met at the South Kent School of Performing Arts.
Highlight so far: Their riotous set at the Zane Lowe Memorial Stage at Glastonbury.
As imagined by Clive Martin. All photos by Phoebe Salmon apart from Ryan Van Burgh, Heinzy Fenstermacher, Riel Samms by Gareth Wrighton.
Music by some who wish to remain anonymous.