7 Celebrities You Don’t Know But Should

Photo by Picture Perfect / Rex Features

In the realm of celebrity there is a tendency for the some of the most talented artists to slip through the cracks. There are too many variables to consider when trying to figure this phenomena, and that could serve as a list in and of itself. For the sake of brevity, and Fame10 doing the legwork, here are seven exceptionally talented individuals who you may not know, yet most definitely should. These are individuals capable of injecting a little more joy, and lot more awe into your world.

7. Jake Shimabukuro

Jake Shimabukuro is a guy you’ve probably seen on YouTube — that fella who took a ukulele, and mastered it in true virtuoso style. If there are guitar gods in the world of rock ‘n’ roll, then Jake Shimabukuro is a genuine uke god. The native Hawaiian can play anything — including personal compositions — and is so in love with his instrument he believes everyone should pick it up and give it a try. He considers the ukulele an ambassador of joy. What he can do with four strings is nothing less than magical. Rolling Stone referred to him as a musical hero, while living legends like Eddie Vedder have suggested, “Jake is taking the instrument to a place that I can’t see anybody else catching up with him.” There’s no doubt: everybody should know this guy.

6. Adam Driver

Who’s Adam Driver? It’s not a surprise if this is an unfamiliar name to the masses. Adam Driver is an actor, and if you’re not a fan of Girls, or a Star Wars nerd, you likely don’t know Adam… yet. For those who aren’t fans of Girls — the show, not females in general — Adam is about the only thing watchable on the show; however, what’s about to happen in his young career will be quite spectacular. He’s about to blow up like a half ton of dynamite. Big boom. J.J. Abrams cast Adam as Kylo Ren in the upcoming Star Wars Ep. VII, and this character is promising to turn the balance of the force on its head. We’re talking Adam Driver at the top of the IMDB Starmeter by Christmas. And fortunately, this guy is a talent worth watching. Get used to him, he’ll likely be around for a long while.

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5. Brie Larson

When it comes to women with chops, Brie Larson delivers time and time again. It’s tough to put Brie in a box, because she doesn’t really play to type. She is a bit of a chameleon when it comes to the screen, and she has shown the ability to go from sarcastic, teenage, girl next door to intensely responsible 20-something at the drop of the hat. Brie is one of those individuals who has had no problem enjoying success in both TV and film. She served as the female lead in the Jonah Hill/Channing Tatum 21 Jump Street, just after playing Toni Collette’s daughter in The United States of Tara, then she jumped into the cast of Community, and pumped out indie gold with performances in The Spectacular Now and Short Term 12. At 25, her resume reads similar to someone twice her age.

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4. Danai Gurira

Danai Gurira is now a popular acting commodity in the world of Hollywood thanks to her portrayal of Michonne in the hit AMC series, The Walking Dead. But for people who don’t like zombies…? They probably don’t know this “late bloomer.” The 37-year-old actress is as strong in real life as she is as Michonne. Danai is a first generation American, born to parents from Zimbabwe, and when she was five-years-old, the family returned to Zimbabwe, where she lived until she graduated high school. She came back to the United States, grabbed a couple degrees — including an MFA in acting from the prestigious NYU Tisch School of The Arts — then earned the reputation as an award-winning playwright and outstanding actress. If there were ever someone to play Nina Simone in a biopic… just putting it out there.

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3. Mikky Ekko

He’s a Southern boy most well known for writing the song “Stay” for Rihanna, and collaborating on her album, Unapologetic. Truth be told, the song is best when he does it solo. This cat has pipes for days, and there is something incredibly unique about what he’s writing. A meld of southern, folksy melodies, mixed with contemporary electric pop, a twist of old school rhythm and blues and a dash new school hip-hop. You can’t peg it. And there’s a little rock ‘n’ roll and gospel in the mix, too. In terms of the man himself, the artist known as Mikky Ekko is even more enriching than his music. He’s boasts qualities of Jeff Buckley, Elvis Presley and “The Killer” himself, Jerry Lee Lewis. One of the most approachable celebrities you could ever meet, the guy loves his life, and he loves his fans.

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2. Oscar Isaac

When it comes to combining an edge with tremendous vulnerability, Oscar Isaac is the man. Speaking of Oscars, how did Oscar not receive a nomination for his portrayal of the title character in the film, Inside Llewyn Davis? Or A Most Violent Year? No matter. They guy has the goods, and here’s the mark that he’s most concerned about: craftsmanship. In every film he’s done, he’s great. Not good. Great. A few? Drive, Inside Llewyn Davis, A Most Violent Year, Ex Machina… yep, he’s in the mix of Star Wars Ep. VII, too, and it was recently announced that he’ll be back in the mix for Ep. VIII. There is nothing this guy cannot do. He even played Joseph in the 2006 version of The Nativity Story. Get ahead of the curve folks… know Oscar Isaac well.

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1. Kimbra

Kimbra is what’s happening in music to which everyone should pay mind. If that doesn’t register, try this: what Jeff Buckley was to music in the 1990s, Kimbra is to the first adult generation of the 21st century. This isn’t a bold statement of conjecture. It is based on circumstantial evidence. Yes, if you’re wondering: this is the same Kimbra who was featured, and helped take the Gotye cut “Somebody That I Used to Know” to a Grammy Award winning smash hit. But… that’s not what you’ll find at the center. What you find in Kimbra is a seeker. An explorer. A 25-year-old woman with incomparable work ethic who is on a journey. A journey that is — apparently — too good for radio, but nonetheless presenting a perfect bridge to the complexities of music and lyricism. This offers the casual listener gentle permission to go deeper.

Photo by Picture Perfect / Rex Features

James Sheldon