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 WARNER MUSIC U.K.’S TIPS FOR 2016

In this second part of a three-part series detailing the acts on which Blighty’s three major labels will be focusing their efforts this year and beyond, Max Lousada’s Warner Music U.K. is in the spotlight.

Warner is the label that spawned last year’s surprise breakout star, Jess Glynne, whose debut album, I Cry When I Laugh, hit #1 on its release in August, appeared at #7 on the year-end biggest sellers and has stayed in the Top 10 for 21 weeks. Glynne is also up for three BRIT Awards in the British Female Solo Artist, Breakthrough Act and British Single categories.

WMG U.K. ended 2015 with 16.9% of the overall albums market, 19.4% of the artist albums market, and 18.0% of singles.

So what's next? Managed by Andy Wells at Elton John’s Rocket, Anne-Marie (above, right) has been creating a buzz over the past few months thanks to her smart lyrics and street sound. She debuted as one of the vocalists on Warner dance act Rudimental’s second album and has spent the past few years on tour with the group. Interestingly, Glynne also kickstarted her career as a featured singer—on Clean Bandit’s “Rather Be” and Route 94’s “My Love,” both #1 hits—while Wells has worked closely with Rocket’s Stuart Camp in managing Asylum star Ed Sheeran. Rudimental’s own label Major Toms has Anne-Marie signed in a joint deal with WMG’s Asylum (which goes through Ben Cook’s Atlantic). Listen to “Do It Right,” which has had over 1.6m plays on Spotify to date, and expect a debut album around summertime.

BBC Radio 1’s Future Festival, taking place 1/19, is a good indicator of some of the acts the national radio station will be supporting over the next 12 months, and it’s no surprise Vant is in the lineup after being championed by Annie Mac last year. Described as “the MC5 warring with DFA 1979” by Brit tastemaker mag NME, the band are looked after by songwriter Martin Brammer (James Morrison, Olly Murs). A debut album is on the way, release date TBD.

Young singer/songwriter Dua Lipa has picked up a fan in popular website Popjustice thanks to “New Love”—a song produced by Emile Haynie and Andrew Wyatt. Upcoming music reportedly includes a track that’s destined to hit #1, and she appeared on the longlist for the BBC Music Sound of 2016. Lipa’s debut album spans pop, hip-hop and soul. She's handled by Ben Mawson and Ed Millett’s TAP Management (who also look after Lana Del Rey).

Two other acts warrant keeping an eye on. Producer trio Disciples, signed to WMG in a joint deal with Pete Tong’s FFRR, had a huge hit last year with the Calvin Harris collab “How Deep Is Your Love,” which hit #2 on the U.K. Official Singles Chart, garnering BRIT nominations for British Single and Artist Video of the Year. And Bristol-born rock quintet Coasts released their debut album on Friday, and currently boast a BBC Radio 1 B List spot with “You.” 

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