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NEW BRITISH ACTS 2018

In the second part of our series looking at music on the way this year from our friends over the pond in Blighty, we take a look at the 10 new British acts showing the most promise of gaining widespread traction. Top of the list is Atlantic star Anne-Marie, Calum Scott (Virgin EMI) and Jorja Smith.


Based on Spotify followers, One Direction turned solo artists Liam Payne, whose debut album is expected via Capitol this year, and Louis Tomlinson (Syco) are of course top of the list. For those who haven’t had the backing of a superstar band, singer/songwriter Anne-Marie prevails in the list of priority acts from major labels with over 325k. She’s already had a Top 10 hit with “Ciao Adios,” which followed 2016’s “Alarm” hitting #16 on the U.K. Charts, and her debut album is on the way.

British singer/songwriter Calum Scott, who was a contestant on Britain’s Got Talent and hit #2 in 2016 with his cover of Robyn’s “Dancing On My Own,” is another promising breakout with over 200k Spotify followers. His debut album, Only Human, arrives on 3/9.

Independent artist Jorja Smith, who featured on Drake’s More Life EP last year, has got over 177k Spotify followers. She was crowned BRITs Critics Choice in January and will perform at the annual award ceremony in February. After releasing her Project 11 EP in 2016, will an album arrive this year? “Let Me Down” f/Stormzy was released earlier in January and is her highest charting single to date at #34.

R&B rising act Rex Orange County, who has over 125k fans on Spotify, has a publishing deal with UMPG and he’s releasing music via Kobalt for records, with two albums under his belt so far. Tyler, the Creator and Frank Ocean are fans, and he was tipped in the Top 5 of BBC’s Sound of 2018 poll. The winner of the BBC poll was Island-signed Norwegian artist Sigrid, whose “Strangers” hit its highest singles peak at #14 last week. Her Spotify follower count is up to 92k and new music is expected this year. She plays the 2k cap. Shepherd’s Bush Empire in London in March.

Relentless
act Tom Walker is a priority act for Sony in 2018 and he has over 64k Spotify followers. He plays London’s 1.4k cap. Koko in March and his highest charting track to date is “Leave a Light On” at #42. Island also has a male singer/songwriter in Dermot Kennedy, who plays two dates at the 1.1k cap. Scala club in London in February. With a number of single releases, he has 59k Spotify followers.

Polydor
signing Raye hit #3 with Jax Jones track “You Don’t Know Me” in 2016 and she has nearly 57k Spotify followers. “Decline” f/Mr Eazi is currently #18 on the U.K.’s Official Singles Chart and manager Jamie Binns says the next single coming in March “is huge,” and that she’s on the cusp of breaking internationally.

Birmingham born rapper Mist is becoming know for his high budget videos and has secured a major label deal with Warner Bros. He’s produced by label mate Steel Banglez and has gained over 43k Spotify followers since releasing his debut EP in 2016. Mixtape Diamond in the Dirt is on the way and he plays London’s 2.3k cap. O2 Forum Kentish Town in March.

Rapper Stefflon Don, who also hails from Birmingham, signed a big money deal with Universal last year that included her own label, V-IV London. After signing a publishing deal with Sony/ATV U.K., Don released her debut mixtape in 2016 and hit #7 on the U.K. Singles Chart last year with “Hurtin’ Me” f/French Montana. She also plays the O2 Forum in Kentish Town in March.

Alongside the above, we’ll be keeping an eye on Polydor signing Mabel, who peaked at #8 last year with “Finders Keepers” f/Kojo Funds and is #32 on the midweeks with latest track “Fine Line” f/Not3s, top songwriter Ina Wroldsen who has signed as an artist to Syco after co-writing hits for One Direction, James Arthur, Clean Bandit, Britney Spears and Jess Glynne, and emo pop act Pale Waves (Dirty Hit) who share the same label and management as The 1975.

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