30 Under 30, Part 5: Sungha Jung, Michael Kiwanuka, Ben Lapps, and Laura Marling
Sungha Jung, 17
Cheongju, South Korea
You may not know who this smart-dressed 17-year-old South Korean heartthrob is, but his 2 million Youtube fans are intimately familiar with the fingerstyle guitar prodigy. We’re pretty sure Justin Bieber couldn’t go guitar-a-guitar with virtuoso Tommy Emmanuel onstage—but Jung did before he even turned 13!
VIDEO: Sungha Jung - "The Milky Way"
Michael Kiwanuka, 26
Kiwanuka’s Home Again was a big favorite among the Starbucks and NPR crowds in 2012, and for good reason: Not only does he sound like a combination of Nick Drake and Bill Withers, but he plays achingly beautiful fingerstyle and strummed guitar, also in the Drakeian vein.
VIDEO: Michael Kiwanuka - "Home Again"
Ben Lapps, 19
Not many people under 20 can boast that more than 10 million people have watched their YouTube videos (but, of course, one of his videos shows Lapps playing one-handed while bouncing a basketball before shooting a three pointer). Then again, few can demonstrate the fingerstyle chops Lapps makes look so easy. It’s no wonder his viral fame has led to a record deal and three impressive solo outings.
VIDEO: Ben Lapps - "Giraffe"
Laura Marling, 23
Los Angeles, California
A UK native living in LA, Laura Marling has become a superstar of the folk-music world. Her multidimensional fingerstyle, along with her gorgeously husky voice and impeccable songwriting, won her Best Female Solo Artist in the 2011 Brit Awards and multiple nominations for the Mercury Music Prize.
VIDEO: Laura Marling - "Don't Ask Me Why / Salinas"
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