“The best way to predict the future is to create it.”
Check out Part 1 here featuring acts 1-7: Alessia Cara, Blossoms, Billie Marten, Dua Lipa, Frances, Izzy Bizu, Jack Garratt.
So, who are the artists set to make a big impression for 2016? Let’s have a look at all the nominated artists on the longlist and check out the full Spotify Playlist here.
8) Meet 20 year old east London MC, J Hus, who brought us the infectious singles ‘Lean and Bop’ and ‘Dem Boy Paigon‘. While growing up in the birthplace of Grime, J Hus incorporates various styles into his music such as reggae and Afrobeat, giving him that unique edge. Having recently received a MOBO nomination for Best Newcomer, his single Lean and Bop was signed to Black Butter Records. With his slick flows and melodic ear, 2016 looks bright for J Hus.
9) 21 year-old Benjamin Coyle-Larne, AKA Loyle Carner serves up some serious skills with his smooth flows and tight rhythms. Growing up, the London MC was heavily influenced by the Grime scene, yet there’s a distinct old school hip hop edge to him that really stands out, as heard on his latest jazz-infused single ‘Ain’t Nothing Changed’. Check out his cover of Kanye West’s Heard ‘EM Say as part of Radio 1 Piano Sessions and witness his smooth mellow vibes for yourself.
10) Having started writing from the early age of 14, Mabel’s talents are finally coming to the forefront for all to see. Daughter of pop legend Neneh Cherry and Massive Attack producer Cameron McVey, Mabel grew up with music in her blood. With the release of her debut single ‘Know Me Better’ back in July and follow up single ‘My Boy My Town‘, Mabel showcases her smooth and soulful vocals serving up a refreshing slice of R&B infused pop. Mabel is also set to perform at Annie Mac Presents Collected, at ICA London (Mar 10) alongside Billie Marten.
11) 19-year-old electronic producer and multi instrumentalist Alex Crossan, aka Mura Masa has been making an impact with his creative music stylings. With the release of his mixtape Soundtrack to a Deathon Soundcloud in 2014, his Someday Somewhere EP, and his latest collaboration with Shura on Love For That, Mura Masa’s eclectic production and irresistible beats are hard to ignore. Upcoming dates include Sheffield City Centre (Feb 27) and O2 Shepherds Bush (May 26) as part of his Spring EU tour.
12) London based Neo-soul singer NAO is making waves with her sensual R&B textures and elongated synths, as heard in recent single Bad Blood. The single serves as the follow up to her second EP February 15 released earlier this year, and Disclosure’s Superego, which she featured as vocalist. The Hackney based singer, trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where she studied vocal Jazz, but her music showcases a unique fusion of hip hop, soul, funk and UK Garage. With the success of previous singles ‘So Good’, ‘Zillionaire‘ and her latest collaboration with Mura Masa on ‘Firefly‘, expect big things from NAO in 2016, along with her highly anticipated debut album.
13) Meet Essex boy Jordan Cardy, aka Rat Boy, who’s indie punk vibes are thoroughly engaging. Not only does Rat Boy write all his own music, he also sings, plays guitar, bass, and keys, delivering a truly original sound that’s 100% authentic. With the success of his previous singles Sign On and Fake ID highlighting the every-day struggles of life after school, Rat Boy is currently signed with Parlophone Records, home to Blur and Babyshambles. Having toured with Circa Waves and The 1975, be sure to catch him at hisheadline show in London’s Heaven (Jan 26) as well as this year’s Reading & Leeds Festival. Expect a debut album later this year too!
14) Meet Section Boyz; a Grime collective from Croyden, South London. Made up of Swift, Deepee, Knine, Inch, Sleeks and Littlez, the crew have been constantly gaining momentum and exposure, earning them a co-sign from Drake. With the release of their debut mixtape Don’t Panic, and winning the covetedMOBO Award for Best Newcomer, Section Boyz are already making waves on their own without any label backing. 2016 will see the boyz appear on Rita Ora’s forthcoming album as well as performing at Rescue Rooms in Nottingham (Feb 20) and Village Underground (Feb 24).
15) WSTRN are a collective from West London made up of cousins Akelle Charles and Haile, along with their friend Louis Rei. With South London heavily represented in the music scene today, the group wanted to highlight and represent the talents from West London. With the success of their debut singleIn2, WSTRN were later signed to Atlantic Records where they continue to hone their multi eclectic sound, drawing from reggae to hip hop and R&B to motown. Check out the In2 remix featuring Wretch 32, Chip & Geko as well as their upcoming gig with Jeremih at O2 Institute, Birmingham (Jan 19).
Shortlist Update: 8/01/16
5th Place: (Tie) WSTRN & Mura Masa
4th Place: Blossoms
3rd Place: NAO
2nd Place: Alessia Cara
**1st Place: Jack Garratt**