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Best Solo Artist Miami 2014 - Austin Paul

If music is a journey, Austin Paul has been strapped into one of those new Virgin Galactic rockets blasting off into the stratosphere. Paul had moved out of his strict Christian parents' Miami house for only a bit more than a year when everything changed for him. That's when Pharrell proclaimed the then-20-year-old Magic City native "the future" and doors began cascading open for the singer-songwriter — from a showcase at Bardot to a chance to collaborate with luminaries like Timbaland. But lest you think Paul has been the beneficiary of a famous backer, it's his music that speaks for itself — a spooky, soulful mix of R&B vocals, glitchy samples, and minimalist beats that echo James Blake and the XX. Rather than be glossed with pop sheen, his compositions find a lyrical sweet spot that establishes a deeper connection with listeners. Paul's journey is just beginning, but it's clear we're already ready to strap in alongside him for the ride.

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