Well it is safe to say that the music brought to us in 2016, was a treat to our ears with new records from the Queens in the business, Beyoncé, Rihanna and Lady Gaga, not to mention the Kings, Skepta, Childish Gambino, Kano and Frank Ocean.
But as well as the big names being a talking point throughout the year, there has been some incredible and exciting new talent coming through the wood work, and with the BBC Music Sound of 2017 list revealed earlier this week, and several other tastemakers revealing their favourite new artists for the year, we are going to narrow down and predict our favourite talents that we are hoping to see succeed throughout this year.
The future of music is certainly positive and appealing, with grime music beginning to get the recognition that it deserves, introducing artists like Dave, Novelist and Nadia Rose, genres like contemporary blues and soul are becoming more common and festivals, podcasts and magazines are beginning to highlight new talents more and more, helping these artists to build up fan-bases and allowing their music to be heard. So what artists should you be listening to and going to see live this year? Here is our pick of the bunch.
With an album and world tour already under their belt, Spanish foursome Hinds really brings the excitement and energy back to music with their unpredictable sound and wonderfully cool attitudes. Signed to Lucky Number Music, their sound is a perfectly imperfect bundle of grunge and indie with some love and emotion thrown in there too. They are the gang everyone wants to be in, I know I do. Already having performed at Glastonbury, Bestival and Reading and Leeds, these girls have definitely had a great start to their career, but I think 2017 is going to be the year of recognition with a second album on the cards.
“YVES are the best thing to come out of Swindon” claim Brum Notes, and I completely agree. This refreshing trio have been creating their own brand of heartfelt and explosive indie music for just over a year now, having already released an EP ‘When The Day Comes’, giving us an instant idea of who they are and what their sound is. The band was seen live in action performing on the main stage at Truck Festival last year alongside band Catfish and The Bottlemen.
The vocals from main singer Harry Roke, really enables the lyrics that are way beyond their young years to project through so passionately and with another EP cards, I am thoroughly confident that we will be hearing this bands name a lot more this year and will see them performing at more festivals and shows around the UK.
The 21-year-old singer/songwriter/producer from South London is certainly one of the most intriguingly new producers in the UK. Tom Misch initially grabbed my attention with his tracks “Crazy Dream” and “Nightgowns” in which he collaborates with rapper Loyle Carner, inviting nothing but funky soul and hip hop vibes.
But for his new EP Reverie, the multi-talented producer and DJ decided to take on the role of vocals himself, considering playing live with a band rather than performing on his own. With performances at prestigious festival Bestival and gaining recognition from Annie Mac and Zane Lowe all within one year, there are no limits for this wonderful talent.
From the second I was introduced to Black Honey at The Great Escape festival earlier last year, I became instantly obsessed with their individuality and charismatic personalities, which project through on every track of theirs. Their sound has been described as ‘Lana Del Ray meets cowboy pop girl’ and that is pretty much spot on.
Izzy Phillips’ vocals and persona are addictive; her woozy sound combined with such epic guitar riffs really makes Black Honey the perfect indie-pop band that they are. Following their sensational 4-track EP Headspin released in August last year, they finished the year off with single “Hello Today”, which sees them shine brighter than ever before, and leaves me intrigued to what could be next for this Brighton based quartet.
You may have heard Mura Masa’s tracks “Firefly” and “What If I Go” and thought “what a wonderful voice this singer has and where can I listen to more of it“? Well here she is… introducing Bonzai, a 20-year-old singer based in London and Dublin, producing inventive and excellent R&B music with a twist.
Bonzai went from “having no real plans” when she decided to move from Dublin to London, to touring with Mura Masa, signing to Sony records and releasing not one, but two EP’s this year. Her music really doesn’t sound like anything or anyone else and this is why she is so interesting because she is ultimately focused on what interests her and the sound that she likes. Bring on the next album!
Words by Mia Woloszczynska