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SONY'S U.K. CLASS OF 2019

Who are the new and developing acts on Sony U.K.’s roster? You’ve come to the right place. Read on for the lowdown on Tom Walker, Koffee, CamelPhat, Octavian, Fredo, JNR Williams and Dodie.

Signed to Relentless, singer/songwriter Tom Walker has been steadily building a repertoire of songs and a global fanbase over the last few years, helped along by smash single “Leave a Light On.” He has more than 6.7m monthly Spotify listeners and plays the 3k-capacity Roundhouse in London on 5/1 after selling out multiple tours around Europe. Debut album, What a Time To Be Alive, will arrive in March and has been produced by pop experts Jim Abbiss, Steve Mac and Mike Spencer. Management is Simon King at Covert Talent.

Over at Columbia, young Jamaican artist Koffee, who hails from Kingston, will be slowly introduced to the U.K. and U.S. music business worlds this year. After releasing a string of singles, she’ll be working on an EP that’s true to her reggae roots and doing a promo tour. Koffee has “an indefinable quality that I think everyone will get,” Columbia President Ferdy Unger Hamilton told us when we interviewed him last year, which you can see for yourself in this freestyle for BBC.

CamelPhat is an electronic music duo that signed to RCA last year after their collaboration with Elderbrook for “Cola” earned them a 2018 Grammy nomination and a dance chart #1. They’ve been releasing music since 2010 while touring the world, and have 4.7m monthly listeners on Spotify, and over 70k followers on SoundCloud. A sold out headline show is booked for the 1.8k capacity Electric Brixton in February.

Rapper Fredo is also an RCA artist, but signed via its newly launched imprint Since ’93. He recently hit #1 on the Official Singles Chart with “Funky Friday” alongside Dave which has nearly 35m streams. That followed a number of singles, the first of which, “They Ain’t 100,” got a spin from Drake. His debut album, Get Rich or Get Recalled, was released independently in 2017 and followed up by Tables Turn last year. Third Avenue drops on 2/1. He has more than 2.2m monthly listeners on Spotify and plays two dates at the 2.3k capacity O2 Forum Kentish Town as part of a U.K. tour in March.

Over at Black Butter, rapper Octavian was crowned winner of BBC’s Sound of 2019 earlier this month. He released his first full-length mixtape, Spaceman, last year, and has been championed by Drake as well as BBC radio DJs Annie Mac, Phil Taggart and DJ Target. Praised for his innovative approach to making music, he blends house, rap and drill with R&B, dancehall, grime and U.K. hip-hop. Publishing is Sony/ATV and Stellar Songs globally, and management is Greg Burnell and Cillian Farrell at Palm Artists. He plays the O2 Forum Kentish Town in February, and monthly Spotify listeners stand at 617k.

Sony’s Insanity imprint is hedging its bets on vocalist and songwriter JNR Williams, who released his debut single last year, “What a Difference,” a haunting cover of the Dinah Washington hit. BBC’s Annie Mac has championed the track, which will be followed by an EP in the spring. He’s managed by Machine Management.

Finally, singer/songwriter Dodie has spent the last few years building up a sizeable fanbase thanks to her popular YouTube channel, which has over 1.7m subscribers. There, she posts songs and vlogs and is known for her honest musings on mental health and sexuality. Manager Josh Edwards, who is also an A&R at Ministry of Sound, has been working with her since 2015 to help build the music side of her efforts. Her second EP, You, reached #6 on the U.K. charts in 2017 and will be followed by Human on Friday (1/18). Live wise, she plays the Roundhouse in London while on a U.K. and European tour in March.

 

 

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