New Year. New Beginnings. New Favourite Songs?
It’s a common feature for this time of year to be predicting who’s going to be the ‘next big thing’ over the the course of 2016 – and unfortunately no, that won’t include the winner of ‘The Voice’! So, by unashamedly jumping on the new music band wagon, unCOVered has listed 10 artists, both up-and-coming and established, who we think will own the next 12 months – and yes, we are prepared to take full credit, or indeed admit our horrendous mistakes, by Christmas 2016!
Widely regarded as the man to beat in 2016, Jack Garratt has already made a fantastic start, with a BRITs Critics Choice Award to his name, and nomination on the BBC Sound Of 2016 List. Although Jack has been around for much of 2015, with 3 singles in the bag already, the hype is certainly building ahead of the release of his debut album, Phase, in February. Jack writes, sings, plays and produces all his own stuff, which really is just showing off in our eyes! We cannot wait to hear more from the bearded hero, but in the meantime, here’s a taste of what to look forward to:
If Jess Glynne owning 2015 is anything to go by, then we believe Anne Marie is the one most likely to carry the baton through 2016. Like Jess, Anne Marie has been discretely crafting her talent by featuring on tracks by none other than Rudimental, Gorgon City and Wretch 32. There is no doubting this lady has raw talent, just check out this amazing live version of her rumoured debut single, Boy.
Another female solo artist tipped for great things, but possibly at the other end of the spectrum, is Frances. With beautiful piano melodies and a stunningly gentle voice, it’s easy to see why Frances also made the cut to the BRITs Critics Choice, being pipped at the post by a certain Jack Garratt. Following a string of wonderful live sessions, and the release of her debut single, Borrowed Time, a knock out album is certain to follow. We have chosen a lesser known, but equally beautiful track from Frances, Coming Up For Air.
The new year isn’t just about emerging talent popping our to our Spotify playlists, we can also look forward to another album of the new-bands-to-look-out-for-class of years gone by. Following the release of their third mixtape VS. (Other People’s Heartbreak III), Bastille are returning in 2016 with new music and a new album. After forming in 2010, and a number of under the radar singles, they made their mark in 2013 with a number one single and album. The question is, what are we going to get from Bastille? Let’s wait and see – but in the meantime, here’s a reminder of what made us fall in love with Dan & co in the first place.
The third new female solo artist to feature on our list is NAO. Although she has only been performing for around a year, NAO has swiftly accumulated some respected fans in the business including Disclosure, Annie Mac, Tinie Tempah, and Zane Lowe. This Hackney girl’s amazing, distinctive vocals and eclectic musical background is a winning combo, and if all the hype is anything to go by, NAO will be taking over the airwaves for the next 12 months and beyond.
Sometimes new artists arrive and make an impact almost immediately, but for others, patience is the key, and that major breakthrough could come when you least expect it. Step forward Ady Suleiman; a name regularly appearing on ‘ones to watch’ pieces for a couple of years now yet finding himself competing in the male solo singer space with the likes of Sam Smith and Ed Sheeran – could this finally be his time? Think Jamie T, Maverick Sabre, Mike Skinner (off of The Streets) type vibes – what a combo!
Who would have thought that the chorus voice on Chipmunk’s single Diamond Rings (#throwback) would go on to have a more successful career? Well, believe it or not, that is where we first heard the beautiful sound of Emeli Sandé, and from then on she hasn’t looked back. 2012 really was a year to remember for the Scottish superstar, bagging the biggest selling album of the year, and even performing at the London 2012 Olympics closing ceremony! After a couple of years in hiding (or just not in the media spotlight!), Emeli has been teasing an imminent return over Instagram and other social media channels recently – but will her sophmore album live up to the excellence of the first? Whatever happens, be sure that Emeli Sandé will be back with a bang.
The UK urban music scene has produced some pretty big starts over the past few years, and West London rap R&B trio WSTRN seem to be next off the production line. It’s great to see an urban group gain some real attention rather than just solo artists, and it’s difficult not to take the 3 guys seriously after their enormous ‘surprise’ hit, In2, from a couple of months back. With growing comparisons to mega stars such as Drake and The Weeknd, this is high praise to live up to, but be prepared for these guys to rip up 2016 and make it their own.
If you listen to any of the tracks from his debut EP, The Sound Experiment, then you will be blown away by how subtle his vocal is. The depth and tone of Samm’s voice (and yes, that is 2 m’s) really is something special, and after recently supporting James Bay on his UK sell out tour, a lot more people have started to take notice. And at the tender age of 21! A debut album is yet to be announced, but we predict that this experiment will turn out to be an amazing discovery!
Ending with arguably one of the biggest artists in the world, fans across the globe have been waiting for RiRi to FINALLY make her official comeback, to which she happily obliged with the announcement of her 8th studio album, Anti and accompanying world tour, in 2016. Although the album release date remains unconfirmed, it’s pretty much guaranteed to be a smash hit, and UK fans will be able to see the Bajan beauty do her thing in June, including a date in Coventry’s very own Ricoh Arena. The singer already has an extensive portfolio of tunes to choose from, including this classic, so prepare for Rihanna to further cement her place in pop royalty when the new tracks arrive.