As fun as it is to see living legends like Rihanna collect Moonmen for their lustrous careers at the VMAs, it’s also important to recognize the next crop of music greats. That’s why we love the Best New Artist category, a.k.a. the most coveted vote of confidence for buzz-worthy musicians on the rise.
Between Desiigner, DNCE, Zara Larsson, Lukas Graham, and Bryson Tiller, this race was tight, y’all. But ultimately the artist who came out on top, DNCE, did so in part because they took the seemingly nonsensical idiom “cake by the ocean” and turned it into a radio-friendly staple of pop vernacular. Oh, and also because their eccentric style and contagious energy have quickly made them one of the most fun pop acts to watch in recent memory.
After accepting the Moonman from Fifth Harmony (who won the Best New Artist prize in 2014), frontman Joe Jonas, drummer Jack Lawless, guitarist JinJoo Lee, and bassist Cole Whittle bounded onstage and vowed to keep “creating and evolving.” Believe it or not, “Cake by the Ocean” only premiered less than a year ago, and while DNCE’s debut album is still forthcoming, you can bet it’ll be a must-listen. They now have the Moonman to prove it.