The end of the year is upon us and with it one of the best years in music for the city of St. Louis. Not only did we get some top of the line projects from the indie side but we’ve also seen the emergence of artists with St. Louis roots and those born and bread explode onto a wider National scene. Once you tally up the work and its weight there was one artist in particular whose impact elevated music and the city to new heights. The DELUX Magazine 2017 Artist of the Year is Smino.

I have been following Smino’s career for almost two years now after a blog post from the Chicago based Pigeons and Planes covered his Blk Juptr project. Previously unknown to me I took the plunge into the musicality and stylings of Smi and his Zer0 Fatigue cohorts and have been pleasantly surprised at every turn.

Smino Blk Swn Available Errwhere

The most recent project is Blk Swn which is filled with vibes and styles reminiscent of D’Angelo, Andre 3000, and Chance the Rapper all rolled into a St. Louis cat. Listening to Blk Swn I would say that Smino’s sound is filled with a smooth savage swagger that younger generations identify with but added into the mix is lyricism and a groove that hip hop heads like myself love.  With the release of Blk Swn the crew set off on a 22 city Swanita Tour that had Smino hit everywhere from the Bowery Ballroom of NYC to The Roxy in West Hollywood. 2017 has seen a lot of pieces fall in place for Smino and in the midst of it all he has managed to drop an album, tour, release new music (Pecans feat Terrace Martin is a must hear groove), film videos, complete interview after interview, all while staying grounded and being true to his “realest self” as he states in a recent Vogue article.


On the tail end of the year Smino has continued his ascension with 75 shows under his belt including his tour and as support for acts like SZA and T- Pain.  In November Smino dropped his last song and video of the year, Swanita Remix  featuring none other than T-Pain! For me this exciting for a number of reasons but most of all is that I feel the game has been missing T-Pain and the combination of Smino and T-Pain on the same track is amazing.

Ending the year Smino hosted his 2nd Annual Kribmas concert at Delmar Hall. For the second year in the row it was a sold out show for the young St. Louis star. As 2018 approaches there is no limit to the amount of success that lies in wait for him and his Zer0 Fatigue family!

Be sure to follow Smino on Social Media at @sminobrown on Twitter or @Smino on Instagram.

DeWarren Smith