This month, I have a whole host of new artists you may want to keep an eye on this year. Including acts that are already BRIT award winning, Grammy nominated, to those beginning to make waves.
SAM FENDER. Having started the year by being named in BBC Radio 1’s Sound of 2018 list, Sam has gone from strength to strength, winning last year’s Brits Critics Choice Award. This follows signing to Polydor Records earlier in 2018 and releasing latest single ‘Dead Boys’ to acclaim. Having completed a successful UK tour, the North Shields native recently performed ‘Dead Boys’ on Later… With Jools Holland, and has enjoyed huge praise since the release of his debut EP which was released last Autumn.
GRACE CARTER. BBC Sound of 2019 nominee Grace Carter has recently supported UK heavyweights Dua Lipa, Jorja Smith, Mabel and Rag N Bone Man, and will be touring in her own right this year following the release of new track ‘Why Her Not Me’. Grace grew up in Brighton listening to the likes of Lauryn Hill and Nina Simone, which is evident in her powerful song writing, which shows emotional and musical maturity. Armed with emotionally exposing songs and a once-seen-never-forgotten live presence, she’s definitely one to catch in the smaller venues while you can.
SELF ESTEEM. 2019 is set to be the year that Rebecca Lucy Taylor, aka Self Esteem, drops her debut album on the world. For a long time, Rebecca was dividing her attention, working on painting, prints and video as Self Esteem, whilst the day job was writing and performing as one half of Slow Club, but now the music and the day job is Self Esteem too, and Rebecca is revelling in it. Witty, intelligent, extrovert and piercingly insightful, her recent single ‘Rollout’ has had extensive support at BBC Radio 6 Music, earning a spot on their coveted A-List, it’s only a matter of time before she explodes.
SOPHIE AND THE GIANTS. Sophie and the Giants are practitioners of innovative, left-leaning pop: a raw fusion of the band’s collective influences, which range from the likes of Siouxsie Sioux and Blondie to Radiohead and Jamie T. The band was formed by Sophie (vocals and guitar), Chris Hill (drums), Bailey Stapledon (bass) and Toby Holmes (guitar) while all four of them were still at college. Shortly after graduation they moved to their adoptive hometown of Sheffield where they’ve been refining their intense, life-affirming sound.
KAWALA. The journey of KAWALA so far has been anything but traditional. Releasing through Mahogany Records, the band, led by Jim Higson (vocals) and Daniel McCarthy (guitar), came together whilst studying at Leeds College Of Music. It was only a few months before they agreed to dropout, head back to their beloved North London and start the band. They blend enchanting melodies with captivating rhythms to create a sound that is truly their own.
DODIE. The 23-year-old singer songwriter from Epping is arguably the most successful DIY artist of recent times, having built herself a considerable fanbase since she began uploading music from her bedroom aged just 16. Dodie has now had almost 350 million streams across YouTube, Spotify and Apple Music. She has just completed a sold-out tour of the US and will undertake her biggest UK tour to date in March, culminating at London’s iconic Roundhouse. Her previous two self-released EPs, 2016’s Intertwined and last year’s You, both reached the top 40 of the UK official album charts, with You peaking at number six, despite receiving little promotion.
FERRIS & SYLVESTER. Ferris & Sylvester have been prolific names on the UK’s live scene and have played to thousands of people, with major shows alongside the likes of Jade Bird, George Ezra, Eric Clapton, Robert Plant and many more. They have played a number of high-profile festivals last summer including BST Hyde Park, the main stage at Wilderness Festival and a sold-out show at Reeperbahn Festival among many others. In just a year Ferris & Sylvester have been quick to capture the hearts of fans and critics across the country.