The future of music has been revealed. According to votes cast by 170 international industry figures, solo stars – ranging from rap and grime MCs, soul singers and DIY producers – are going to be the ones to watch in 2017.
Next year, British hip-hop will be leading the way according to the BBC. Newcomers like Ray BLK and Nadia Rose are being tipped for success in the annual list.
The top five will be revealed in January one by one on BBC Radio 1, counting down one each day from Monday 2nd January with the BBC Music Sound Of 2017 winner announced on Friday 6th January on Clara Amfo’s show.
International artists on the list include hotly-tipped rapper Anderson .Paak, who shot to fame after featuring on Dr Dre’s Compton soundtrack last year; and Maggie Rogers, who left Pharrell Williams speechless earlier this year.
The West London rapper and grime artist has already made some waves in 2016 after having recording a string of hot radio sessions including ‘Ascend’. Drake gave the the grime talent a shout out on Beats 1, and with near perfect timing AJ Tracey is now ready to unveil his next release. Whether or not he lands the top spot for 2017, he’s a safe bet for success.
Perhaps the best-known artist on the longlist is this Californian R&B and hip-hop artist Anderson .Paak. .Paak is a singer, rapper and multi-instrumentalist, who heavily featured on Dr Dre’s 2015 album Compton: A Soundtrack. His first two albums, Venice and Malibu, have been more talked about than bought – but that could be set to change in 2017 (especially if he walks away in the top spot).
The notoriously filthy humoured band, Cabbage, are bringing back political punk in a big way. Dead Kennedy’s-esque tunes have helped the band make the list this year; they’re also phenomenal live and a good bet to make the top five.
Classically trained rapper Dave, 18, racked up more than two million YouTube plays for his self-released single Wanna Know, which was championed, and later remixed, by hip-hop star Drake. He is currently working on a debut album with producer Fraser T Smith.
Recent single Isombard harpoons right-wing US news network Fox News in the back. After winning Glastonbury Festival’s Emerging Talent Competition in 2015, Declan shot into the music industry’s spotlight. The 17-year-old from Hertfordshire previously took aim at Fifa on the song Brazil, which laments the destruction of thousands of homes in preparation for the 2016 World Cup.
Soul singer Jorja Smith is similarly self-sustaining, filming videos at her aunt’s house and creating her own artwork. Back in January this year she posted her first song, Blue Lights on SoundCloud. Within a week, it had racked up 100,000 plays, earning shout outs from Drake, Stormzy and Skrillex.
One of the bigger names on the list to watch. Her electro-pop ear-worm Alaska brought Pharrell to tears last summer. Maggie will be releasing a debut EP in February 2017, which could be the beginning of her massive career. Most definitely one to watch.
There’s no stopping London’s grime scene. Stormzy’s cousin Nadia Rose has claimed her place on the list. With a record deal at Sony and an arsenal of killer rhymes, this young rapper is set to take the UK by storm.
Rag ‘n’ Bone Man
While he may be set for 2017 success, the soulful singer has made an early charts debut and is currently sat at NO.2 with his track Human. Rag’n’Bone Man has supported Tom Odell on tour, and has an album due for release in March 2017.
Following on from her MOBO nomination, Ray BLK dominates the UK R&B scene with her true life tales. After a collaborative effort with Stormzy, Ray BLK is set to be finishing 2016 on an incredible high, leaving her likely to land a place in the top five.
Croydon teenager, RAYE, also known as Rachel Keen, is The BRIT School’s latest offering to the music industry. Late last year she debuted her EP, ‘Welcome To The Winter’. Layering her smooth voice over electronic beats and contemporary RnB, the EP proves Raye’s sound is ultra contemporary.
The track, HOTPROP, is not her first one to hit the industry hard: her remix of Rihanna’s Work featuring Sneakbo and her collaboration with Inch from Section Boyz on the track Lock Arff have also cemented her as one to watch.
After a Summer full of festival appearances and time in the studio adding the finishing touches to their debut album, an Autumn spent doing the rounds on both headline and supporting tours awaits. The Amazons are hotly tipped to be one of 2017’s biggest breakthrough rock acts.
The Japanese House
Born and raised in Buckinghamshire, The Japanese House aka 20 year old Amber Bain now lives in Camden. Despite having already released the brilliant EP, Pools To Bathe In, and Clean, Amber has only recently begun to perform her material live following a series of reportedly very fun, very loud rehearsals.
Born in Bedford but based in London, singer-songwriter Tom Grennan first found fame as the guest vocalist on Chase & Status’s track When It All Goes Wrong. His EP reached number one on music blog aggregator Hype Machine.