If you’re waiting to upload your iPod or your iTunes list, you’ll want to check out some of the up-and-coming artists for 2011. Here are eight to keep an eye on.

1. Graffiti6

With music featured on top American shows, such as “CSI: New York” and “Grey’s Anatomy,” Graffiti6 is becoming well-known. As the compilation of Jamie Scott and TommyD, the pop-rock band merges fun tunes with soul.

2. Middle Class Rut

Not only is the name popular in a country still recovering from an economic slump, but it also represents the alternative rock style that debuted in the 1990s. The band’s influences include:

• Rage Against the Machine,

• The Foo Fighters, and

• Jane’s Addiction.

Blending the vocals, guitar, and drum, Sean Stockham and Zack Lopez have been working together since they were teens in the band Leisure. The new formation of Middle Class Rut has them set to gain popularity and attention in 2011.

3. A Day to Remember

The Florida-based group A Day to Remember is a punk-metal quintet. The group’s album “What Separates Me from You” hit markets on November 16, 2010 and debuted at slot 11 on the Billboard Top 200 chart. Along with Bring Me the Horizon, the band will host a tour in March 2011.

4. Wiz Khalifa

Offering a new take on skate rap, Wiz is the creation of artist Cameron Thomaz. His album “Deal or No Deal” is one of iTunes top 50 for hip-hop. His 2010 song “Kush and Orange Juice” led to a deal with Atlantic Records, and his video for “Black & Yellow” hit three million views on YouTube. In 2011, Wiz will perform at the Bamboozle Festival, an event featuring major artists, including Chiddy Bang, Motley Crue, and Lil Wayne.

5. New Politics

Take David Boyd, Soren H, Poul Amaliel. Toss in Scandinavian rock roots. Add a dash of pop. That’s what you’ll get with New Politics. With their self-titled debut, the group has attracted a new fan base in the U.S.

6. Drake

Canadian Aubrey Drake Graham, better known as Drake, began gaining fans as “Degrassi’s” Jimmy Brooks. After signing with Lil Wayne in 2009, and achieving success before he ever released his own album, Drake released “Thank Me Later”  in 2010. It has hit platinum status. The second album has an early 2011 release planned. Drake has worked with several other popular artists including Eminem and Jay-Z.

7. Florence + the Machine

Up for the 2011 Grammy for Best New Artist, Florence and the Machine is the brainchild of Florence Welch. Pairing vocals with a variety of artists, Florence delivers a sound that spans genres. Her debut album “Lungs” topped UK charts.

8. Greyson Chance

As a viral sensation on YouTube with his cover of Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi,” Greyson won over Ellen Degeneres, who signed Greyson to her new label. Set to debut in 2011, the music world is gearing up for the next Justin Bieber.

Whether or not these artists top the charts in 2011 remains to be seen. Not even a career in music production would allow one to predict what type of cultural impact these artists will have (although the training is out there for those who wish to try). So far, all have shown signs of becoming huge acts that will demand attention this year.

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