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BBC have revealed their Sound Of 2017 longlist, naming 15 artists they think will make it big next year.
The annual list will be whittled down to five names earlier next year, before they count down to number one. It’s decided upon by a panel of 170 industry experts, and they have a pretty good track record of choosing the next best thing.
Adele, 50 Cent, Ellie Goulding, Sam Smith and Years & Years are all previous winners who have gone onto have massive success in the UK and abroad. Last year’s winner was British muso Jack Garratt, who came to Australia earlier this year for Splendour In The Grass.
This year’s list is dominated by hip-hop and R&B with roughly half the list operating in those genres.
There are number of names on the list this year that are already known by Aussie audiences. Anderson .Paak toured here for Listen Out, drawing huge crowds and Maggie Rogers, the student who made Pharrell cry with her song Alaska, is already being spun on triple j.
Elsewhere on the list there’s rising soul Queen Jorja Smith, Drake co-signed rapper Dave, punk revivalists Cabbage and electronic-centred popstar RAYE.
The winner of the Sound Of 2017 will be revealed on 6th January, with the rest of the top five being revealed in the days preceding that.
Get to know each of the artists below.
AJ Tracey is a British grime MC who looks to be following in the footsteps of the likes of Stormzy, Skepta and JME. He’s dropped two acclaimed EPs so far and will drop another Lil Tracey on 2nd December.
Watch: AJ Tracey – ‘Buster Canon’
This US soul man should need no introduction here. He attracted massive crowds when he performed at Listen Out this year off the back of his record Malibu. This year he’s also collaborated with Kaytranada, Snakehips, Mac Miller and Chance The Rapper.
Watch: Anderson .Paak – ‘Come Down’
Cabbage are a five-piece punk band from Manchester serving up raucous rock with an in-your-face immediacy. It’s 40 years since Sex Pistols released their first single so maybe it’s time for another punk champion.
Watch: Cabbage – ‘Dinner Lady’
A few weeks ago UK rapper Dave got a massive boost when Drake jumped on his track Wanna Know. People may come for Drake but they’ll stay for Dave – the youngster making some of the most international sounding hip-hop we’ve heard out of the UK in a while.
Watch: Dave – ‘Wanna Know’ (Feat. Drake)
British singer-songwriter McKenna won Glastonbury Festival’s Emerging Talent Competition and he’s been steadily dropping gold ever since. His 2016 EP Liar was a smart mix of melancholic rock n’ roll and pop sensibility.
Watch: Declan McKenna – ‘Isombard’
Smith is a British soul singer whose first single Blue Lights lit up the internet because it sounded more self-assured than any debut release this year. Since then, she’s slammed out subtle but alluring tunes culminating in her excellent EP Project 11.
Watch: Jorja Smith – ‘Where Did I Go?’
US student Rogers kickstarted her career when she played Pharrell her song Alaska while he was visiting her school. She brought him to tears and the song has since taken over the world. Her follow-up Dog Years proved it wasn’t a fluke either.
Watch: Maggie Rogers – ‘Alaska’
Rose is a sharp-tongued MC straight out of the UK with the attitude of Missy Elliot and the charisma of Lady Leshurr. She’s only 22 and she’s racking up over a million plays on some of her YouTube vids.
Watch: Nadia Rose – ‘Skwod’
Rag N Bone Man
Rag N Bone Man is the soul man of the bunch this year. He may be a superstar by the time the winner of this list is even announced given that his track Human is edging dangerously close to number one on the UK iTunes charts.
Watch: Rag N Bone Man – ‘Human’
There are so many soul names in this year’s list but each is bringing something different to the table. Brit RAY BLK bring deeply personal narratives to the table through her throwback voice. Her current single My Hood features Stormzy and is so full of passion.
Watch: RAY BLK – ‘My Hood’ (Feat. Stomzy)
RAYE is the one most likely to become a huge popstar this year. She’s churning out tunes like the sparkly I, U, Us that are destined for the charts, positioning her between Charli XCX and Elliphant. She also helped pen Charli XCX’s latest single After The Afterparty.
Watch: RAYE – ‘I, U, Us’
Another grime Queen to look out for is Stefflon Don. The 24-year-old MC is drawing comparisons to Nicki Minaj and has a new mixtape Real Ting coming out in December.
Watch: Stefflon Don – ‘Real Ting’
The Amazons are one of the few rock names on the list. The Reading-based rock band are making howling anthems destined to begin in sweaty clubs and end in huge stadiums.
Watch: The Amazons – ‘Nightdriving’
The Japanese House
Amber Bain, recording under the name The Japanese House, is making woozy, electronic pop music that feels warm and nostalgic. She counts The 1975 members as co-producers and it makes sense once you listen to her tunes.
Watch: The Japanese House – ‘Face Like Thunder’
Tom Grennan is a gravelly-voiced singer-songwriter who could sing the phonebook and sound good. The Bedford singer released his EP Something In The Water this year and it seems there is something in the water in Bedford.
Watch: Tom Grennan – ‘Something In The Water’