Young musicians aren't young for very long. They grow and age and gain experience and begin to attract an audience just by "doing" what musicians do. An example that I'm watching right now is a young woman who uses the stage name, Nahre Sol. Her name in reality is Alice Hwang.
She is a pianist and composer and member of a trio of musicians that put on recitals in Toronto. Their name is Happenstance. Read more about the group and about Alice, here. I like how she is doing what she is doing. Her music is very attractive to my ear. Her work reminds me of the act of musicking (See Christopher Small's book of the same name). The ideas are very pianistic and remind me also of Christopher O'Riley's re-working of RadioHead.
Does the fact that one reminds you of another (previous) person's work make the new work derivative? I wonder if we should care at all about this question but I've heard it used in a dismissive way in music panel discussions and board rooms when describing an artist's music. I believe "derivative" is meant to be mean and critical. It makes one sound smart. It is nothing less than musical assassination. (I know this is a provocative use of language. It is meant to be.)
No creative work is possible in a vacuum. There are no original ideas, just unique applications of ideas that have been around the world, for a very long time. The world is becoming smaller and more inter-connected; we are always learning and borrowing from each other. All the time. Creative people know that they are performing a magic trick; we pass ourselves off as unique and as sprung from the brow of Orpheus. But it ain't so. We learn from each other and exchange music ideas every day. Our invention contributes to the next person's contributions which is a contribution to the next person's...and so.
Composer Randall Davidson creates music, and performs, produces, and promotes music of others. This blog is an annotated, virtual playlist of the music that he loves and that he calls "sticky" (aka memorable).