Ten new faces of music set to make waves in the charts from Lewis Capaldi to Freya Ridings and Grace Carter
2018 was a memorable year for new music but 2019 could be even better.
Here, Jacqui Swift looks at the up-and-coming singers and bands set to be making waves in the industry this year. You heard it here first.
FOLLOWING in the footsteps of Adele and Florence + The Machine, Sam claimed this year’s Critics’ Choice award at the Brits.
The North Shields lad won the prize ahead of Lewis Capaldi and Mahalia. He was discovered by Ben Howard’s manager when he was working in a bar, age 18.
Growing up with a musical father and elder brother, Sam cites Jeff Buckley and Bruce Springsteen among his inspirations and influences.
His own songs tackle topics including toxic masculinity, depression and suicide. Play God, Dead Boys and Leave Fast are standout tracks.
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He told NME: “My favourite writers are great storytellers like Bruce Springsteen. I adore Bruce.
“He doesn’t beat around the bush or overcomplicate things.”
YOU might have seen Freya play her huge track Lost Without You at last year’s Sports Personality of the Year award ceremony in Birmingham. It also featured on Love Island.
The North London singer and pianist has been compared to Florence + The Machine’s Florence Welch and Hannah Reid of London Grammar.
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Her loneliness at school led to a search for release through music. Freya, 24, told SFTW: “I really struggled at school. I was extremely dyslexic so I turned to music as an escape and a place where I could learn how to be myself.”
Her debut album is due in May.
THIS Brighton singer has been likened to Adele and Lauryn Hill and shares a manager with Dua Lipa, Ellie Goulding and Lana Del Rey.
The 21-year-old’s soulful voice brings to life songs about her upbringing and romantic troubles.
Her track Why Her Not Me covers the rejection and pain of being abandoned by her father as a child.
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Other standouts include Ashes, produced by Beyonce and Kanye collaborator Mike Dean, and Silence.
She said: “They’re stories about my life and stories that have come from an important place in my heart. Hopefully people will connect with it and see some of themselves in it.”
THE Scottish songwriter has graduated from singing in karaoke bars to supporting Sam Smith on tour and selling out London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire.
Capaldi learned to play guitar when he was 12 and performing live in pubs. Now 22, he has two EPs, Bloom and Breach, and was a nominee for the 2019 Critics’ Choice gong at the Brits.
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He has a close relationship with his fans and told SFTW: “Having lots of human interaction online and during shows is very important to me.
“How often are you sat in your room, randomly scrolling through Facebook and Twitter? I can just go and talk to people. It makes me feel more normal about everything.”
FAST becoming one of the biggest names in UK hip-hop, the 22-year-old Northampton MC started rapping aged nine, after repeatedly watching a VHS tape of Eminem’s movie 8 Mile.
Born Tyron Frampton, he was nicknamed “Slow Ty” as a youngster due to his mumbling drawl.
But now he has a reputation as a fearsomely energetic live performer, tackling modern life on uncompromising tracks such as T N Biscuits, Drug Dealer and Murder.
He told The Fader magazine: “When I’m performing, I want people to look at me and go in that zone where you don’t even know.”
THE French-born rapper, real name Oliver Godji, released his Spaceman mixtape in September and has a sold-out tour next month.
Raised in London, he dropped out of the Brit School of performing arts, where he had a scholarship, and spent a few years living on the streets.
A unique artist who refuses to be pigeonholed, his favourite artists are James Blake and Bon Iver. He says: “I’m into all types of music – house, drum and bass. I used to be a raver.
“I used to love the idea of dancing and partying to music. It’s like a release. I wanted to fuse all of that into the basic rap influence.”
He is now working on his debut album and can count Drake as a fan – an Instagram post showed the hip-hop superstar singing along to Octavian’s Party Here at a bash following the Golden Globes.
THIS 23-year-old singer-songwriter has been making music since she was 16.
Her songs are honest and open and cover eating disorders, panic attacks, failed romances and depression. She has almost 350 million streams across YouTube, Spotify and Apple Music.
Dodie, from Epping, said: “I think I do it because I’m desperate for people to understand me. Maybe that way I can learn to understand myself.
“I used to be a compulsive liar. I’d make up stupid things – I’m allergic to bees, I go to school on Sundays – just dumb things to make people think I was cool and interesting.”
Look out for her single If I’m Being Honest, from her Human EP, due for release on January 18.
HAILING from Brighton, Maisie released her debut EP Dressed Too Nice For A Jacket in November and her debut single Place We Were Made in 2017, when she was just 17.
She cites Lorde, Birdy and Taylor Swift as inspirations, calling Swift “the reason I started writing”.
Now Maisie’s folk-pop songs have earned her a famous fan in the form of Sam Smith.
She has a devoted following on YouTube, with songs Worst Of You and the stunning piano ballad Birthday especially worth a listen.
Maisie was one of the standout acts at last year’s Great Escape Festival and she begins her debut UK tour in the spring.
She has previously supported emerging star Tom Walker.
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YOU might have caught this Leicester five-piece on Later With Jools Holland performing their track Nightmares.
Singer Murray Matravers, bassist Sam Hewitt, drummer Olly Cassidy, guitarist Lewis Berry and keyboard player Jordan Birtles got together through a shared love of hip hop, punk, funk and jazz.
Easy Life came together after the guys had played in various groups across the East Midlands.
Matravers said: “We’re just like jigaw puzzle pieces, bodged together from lots of other bands doing bits in the city we grew up in.
“We have really eclectic tastes, which means it ends up sounding a bit weird. I hope it can’t be easily pigeonholed for that reason.”
IDOLS Elliott Smith, Patti Smith and Loretta Lynn inspire the country-pop songs written by this 21-year-old singer.
A graduate of the Brit School who has played the piano since she was eight, Jade began writing songs at 12 and was gigging two years later.
Her debut album, due shortly, was recorded in New York with Lumineers and Bat For Lashes producer Simone Felice. It will feature 13 or 14 songs Jade wrote.
She said: “As a songwriter, I’ve got a lot of facets. When you come to a live show, you’ll see me perform a piano ballad, some acoustic songs and some not-acoustic songs, all in the same set.
“An album is a good chance for me to show my catalogue.”
[boxout headline=”….and here’s the best of the rest”]
APRE: Duo of Charlie Brown and Jules Konieczy who first met at Ealing Chess Club in West London, and list Foals, Bombay Bicycle Club and Tears for Fears as influences. Stylish indie pop.
ROSALIA: Catalan singer you might know from the song Malamente which boasts over 23 million views on YouTube. Global domination awaits.
WESLEE: Transatlantic duo of singer Emma DD and producer Josh Grant who released their debut EP, called 9F, in September. Band named after Emma’s pet terrapin.
CHLOE BODUR: A graduate of the BIMM music institute in Brighton, she recently put out single Billie, inspired by the singer’s love of film noir.
L DEVINE: Liv, 21, is originally from Whitley Bay and was discovered by the team behind Dua Lipa. Look out for her Peer Pressure mixtape and forthcoming track Daughter, coming out mid-January.
ALICE CHATER: Singer, songwriter and dancer whose video for Hour Glass topped 1 million views on YouTube. For Ariana Grande fans.
PRETTY VICIOUS: Welsh rockers launch debut album in May and are picking up fans with their energetic live shows.
FEET: Coventry four-piece who share the same manager as Foals. Look out for new baggy single English Weather.
BAKAR: Camden-born artist with a love of hip-hop, grime as well as bands like Foals and Bloc Party. His UK tour is already sold out.
ASTRAEA: UK/US singer, producer and songwriter whose music you’ve heard on Lloyds Bank ads and has been likened to Kate Bush and Lorde.
BLACK FUTURES: Industrial rockers and project of two producers – Space and Vibes – who have recently produced for artists such as Idles and The Prodigy. Album due in spring.
AJR: Three brothers Adam (bass, vocals), Jack (vocals, guitar) and Ryan Met (ukulele, piano, vocals) are already big back home in the US but launch in the UK with their new album in April.
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