Artists to watch 2015

Artists to watch 2015

George the Poet

Future star … George the Poet, AKA George Mpanga

Name: George Mpanga
From: London
Label: Island Records
File under: Spoken word, gritty realism
What we said: “Mpanga’s work is accessible and skilful, fuelled by an interest in rhetoric. He talks like a politician, using slow, naturalistic speech patterns.”
Buy now: The Chicken and the Egg EP
Likely to: Be nominated for the Mercury prize.

James Bay

From: Hitchin, Hertfordshire
Label: Virgin EMI
File under: Earnest singer songwriter, authentic, hats
What the critics said: “Odds-on favourites have been known to stumble, but you’d bet your mortgage on James Bay striding to stardom. At last, Ed Sheeran and Jake Bugg have some real competition.”
Buy now: Hold Back the River EP
Likely to: Perform acoustic session during the BBC’s coverage at Glastonbury, make Fearne Cotton cry.


Name: Kwabena Sarkodee Adjepong
From: London
File under: Sad bangers, Jessie Ware, epic
Label: Atlantic Records
What we said: “Kwabs is the new Seal, and he has his Adamski in the shape of Sohn, the Vienna-via-London producer and rising star in his own right. Kwabs’s voice is powerful, a booming baritone, but it’s placed in an electronic context to make explicit the soulful/synthetic contrast.”
Buy now: Wrong or Right EP
Likely to: Soundtrack poignant sporting moments on TV in 2015.


Name: Holly Fletcher
From: Southport, Merseyside
File under: James Blake, loneliness, XL success story
Label: XL
What we said: “She’s a one-woman xx or London Grammar, early-hours ambient comedown music her speciality. She’s going to be huge.”
Buy now: Falling Short
Likely to: Get covered by Ellie Goulding, soundtrack break-ups in 2015.


Name: Kojo Kankam
From: London
File under: another XL success story, Grime
Label: XL
What the bloggers said: “Hotly tipped grime MC Novelist has reunited with one of our favourite DJ-producer talents Mumdance to produce a sharp-fanged successor to their banging Take Time collaboration.”
Buy now: With the Square
Likely to: Become mayor of Lewisham, south London (he narrowly missed out in 2012’s new Young Mayor election).

Rae Morris

From: Blackpool
Label: Atlantic Records
File under: Fiest, Coldplay, gentle emotions
What we said: “In both departments, she’s reasonably blessed. Her lustrous, emotive tones fill the Village Underground’s cavern, swelling around the Cloudbusting synthetic-string stabs of Way Back When, while the keening melodies of This Time and Not Knowing suggest that Adele might have to defend her title of World Piano Balladry sooner than she’d have liked.”
Buy now: Closer
Likely to: Perform theatrical classical pop house mashup with Clean Bandit at the Brits.


Name: Raury Tullis
From: Atlanta, Georgia
File under: Zane Lowe, ambition, hats
Label: Columbia Records
What we said: “Unlike most other young black artists from Atlanta, Raury touches on hip-hop but sidesteps the city’s signature skittering trap beat for a more diverse grab-bag of sounds. He’s been called “genreless” and the male alternative to Lorde for his ability to pull from different styles – Bon Iver, OutKast and Kid Cudi, among them – and create new music that genuinely feels fresh and accessible.
Buy now: God’s Whisper
Likely to: Be responsible for a US chat-show performance that goes viral.


Name: Shamir Bailey
From: Las Vegas
File under: Prince-esque, Princey, Prince-alike
Label: Godmode
What we said: “Even though it’s only a raw demo, it makes you hope he’ll release it and future songs in this unfinished form: it has the rough, pared-down quality of early Hercules and Love Affair, but feels authentic, even if it is delivered by keyboards and computers”
Buy now: Northtown EP
Likely to: Get invited to Paisley Park.


Name: Aleksandra Denton
From: London
File under: Chairlift, soft focus, hipster romance
Label: Polydor
What we said: “She looks a bit like 1984 Madonna in her press shots, and her latest track, Just Once (the followup to the also-excellent Touch), evokes slow-dance Madge, as well as Cyndi Lauper in ballad mode (Time After Time).”
Buy now: Touch
Likely to:
Excite fashion bloggers.


Name: Isaac Holman and Laurie Vincent
From: Kent
File under: Punk, toplessness, geezers
Label: Virgin EMI
What the bloggers said: “As a duo, they manage to carry the might of bands like Death from Above 1979 and Winnebago Deal, exuding enough fuzz to fry brain cells.”
Buy now: The Hunter
Likely to: Drum up web headlines such as: “Slaves slam Arctic Monkeys in foul-mouthed on-stage tirade.”


Name: Bridie Monds-Watson
From: Derry
File under: Teenagers, hushed gigs
Label: Rough Trade
What we said: “Her new EP, Sea Creatures, is a vivid portrait of teenage deep-thinking: intricate, ambiguous psychodramas chewed over in her distinctive Derry accent, a bit like a young Paul Brady if he were singing Joni Mitchell or reading aloud the diary of Anne Frank. Songs are generous and outward-looking: the title track captures the feeling of watching a friend suffer at school and yearning to tell her it will get better.”
Buy now: B a noBody
Likely to: Impress the grownups watching Later … With Jools Holland.


Name: Big Mike (possibly not his real name, but a name none the less)
From: Croydon
Label: Unsigned
File under: Grime, YouTube
What the bloggers said: “The [Dreamer’s Disease EP] intro immediately showcases the artist’s raw talent, with a minimalist instrumental and the rapper’s intellectual vocals giving listeners an idea of what is to come from the project. The project really does cater for a variety of musical preferences with the second track, Forever featuring 1st Born, creating a more chilled hip-hop vibe and then Dreamer’s Disease goes straight into the Stormzy we know, with the soon to be modern day grime anthem Not That Deep.”
Buy now: The Dreamer’s Disease
Likely to: Turn down a collaboration with the Chuckle Brothers.

Sunset Sons

Name: Rory (vocals/piano), Jed (drums), Rob (guitar) and Pete (bass)
From: UK and Australia via Hossegor, France
File under: American indie, snowboarding, Made in Chelsea soundtrack
Label: Polydor
What the bloggers said: “Come Easy appeals to fans from Royal Blood through Red Hot Chili Peppers with its mid-guitar melodies cranked up high in the mix, On the Road is the love child of Papa meets Kings of Leon, while She Wants is the perfect KROQ anthem for our American friends.
Buy now: Come Easy
Likely to: Achieve moderate Kings of Leon success.

Wolf Alice

Name: Ellie Rowsell (vocals), Joff Oddie (guitar), Joel Amey (drums) and Theo Ellis (bass)
From: London
File under: Guitar band, Britpop revival
Label: Dirty Hit
What we said: “Wolf Alice have been compared to everyone from the xx to Hole, and placed in pigeonholes as far apart as folk and grunge. Their new single reminds us of indie-dance, while their previous one revisited the harsher end of Britpop and the softer end of riot grrrl. As their frontwoman, Ellie Rowsell, has said of their omnivorous dilettantism: “I’m always a fan of bands who never write the same song twice.”
Buy now: Creature Songs EP
Likely to: Win an NME award.

Years & Years

Names: Olly Alexander (vocals/keyboards), Mikey Goldsworthy (bass) and Emre Turkmen (synths)
From: London
File under:
Skins, Clean Bandit, Bastille
Label: Polydor
What we said: “Opening with Alexander’s choirboy croon and a slightly sinister ever-expanding synth wobble that slowly envelops the song, [Traps] soon mutates into an elastic, almost punk-funk-esque stomper, with Alexander asking dolefully “will you lay a trap for me?”.
Buy now: Take Shelter EP
Likely to: Get blasted out of every orifice of the BBC apart from the Shipping forecast and Gardeners’ World

Author Profile

Mark Meets
Mark Meets
MarkMeets Media is British-based online news magazine covering showbiz, music, tv and movies
Latest entries

Comments are closed, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open.