THINK 2017 was a good year for new music? Well, 2018 promises to be even better.
Here, JACQUI SWIFT looks at the up-and-coming singers and bands about to take the music world by storm. You heard it here first.
ALREADY the winner of 2018’s Brits Critics’ Choice, 20-year-old Jorja from Walsall is known for her stunning soul singles Beautiful Little Fools, Teenage Fantasy and Where Did I Go?
Jorja said winning the gong, which she picks up at the music awards in February, was “such a special way to end the year” and it sees her follow in the footsteps of Rag’n’ Bone Man (2017), Adele (2008), Florence + The Machine (2009) and Emeli Sande (2012).
The talented singer also guested on tracks Get It Together and Interlude on Drake’s album More Life, which was released in March.
She said: “I’m honestly so grateful for Drake letting me be a part of that album because I immediately got opened up to so many people. I guess you would have found out about me eventually, but it was a bit of a push. It was just amazing for it to happen.”
SOUTH London trio Disciples – comprising Nathan Duvall, Luke McDermott and Gavin Koolmon – worked with Calvin Harris on the No2 single How Deep Is Your Love.
Legendary DJ Pete Tong has championed them, picking them to perform at BBC Radio 1 in Ibiza. They covered dance classic Promised Land for his Ibiza Classics album and the trio have already earned quite a following.
They have held sold-out events at Ministry Of Sound and Electric Brixton for their party series The Following and recently released new single Jealousy. The hardworking group said: “Embrace the journey as there is no such thing as an overnight success, no matter how it may appear on TV.”
THE London four-piece named after the Greek god of requited love comprise of singer Laura Hayden, bassist Joshua Rumble, guitarist Charles Monneraud and drummer Harry Balazs who call their sound “bitter dream pop”.
Inspired by Blur, Oasis, Fleetwood Mac and Blondie, they recently put out their single Bonnie, “our tribute to girls” of which Laura said: “It’s time to love and accept ourselves.”
The band also put out their Breakfast and Drunk EPs made with former Kaiser Chiefs drummer Nick Hodgson.
And of their music, Laura added: “Watching people connect, smile, dance and sing along . . . it sounds cheesy but knowing our music can have that effect on people makes us really happy. That’s all we want.”
HAVING already written for the likes of Justin Bieber, Ed Sheeran, Selena Gomez, Britney Spears, Little Mix and Rita Ora, the spotlight in 2018 will be on Julia Michaels. This year, the American singer’s debut single Issues was a Top 10 hit and received a Grammy nomination for Song of the Year.
Julia has also featured on Kygo’s Carry Me and Clean Bandit’s I Miss You and performed at the closing of the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
A lot of her songs are inspired by heartache. Julia said: “Sometimes when I’m in relationships and things are going too good, I feel like I purposefully make things happen just so I can write about it.”
After the success of her Nervous System EP this year, her debut album arrives in 2018.
THE female four-piece, made up of Clottie Cream, Rosy Bones, Naima Jelly and Ellie “L.E.D”, found inspiration for their band name from a sketch by the late, great comedian Bill Hicks.
They’ve just released new single Scream and previous tracks include Country Sleaze and Scum. Signed to Rough Trade after being spotted causing a stir playing shows at Brixton’s Windmill, the South Londoners have toured with Parquet Courts and The Moonlandingz.
Rosy said: “We’re just so much more confident. It’s great to see headline bands and what they do because it’s kind of prepared us for what we’re going to have to do.” Among their influences are The Slits, Patti Smith and Billie Holiday. L.E.D added: “I think it’s important for other women to see women on stage who aren’t trying to act like men.”
BRIGHTON’S Yonaka are difficult to define – but their future is huge.
Fusing rock, hip-hop and pop into their own distinctive sound, they have a reputation for putting on wild, energetic live shows. The quartet – singer Theresa Jarvis, guitarist George Edwards, bassist Alex Crosby and drummer Robert Mason – met at BIMM music college and they take their band name from the Japanese word for midnight.
Theresa said: “We all have different influences. It was a mash-up of that. It’s quite tribal and a mixture of pop.
“We just sat down, started playing and were like, ‘Wow, this is really good!’”
They have supported Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes and The Libertines, while their fierce Heavy EP dropped in October.
ALREADY a huge online success with over 23million streams, Bristol’s Fenne Lily is definitely one to watch in 2018.
Known for tracks For A While, Top To Toe and What’s Good, Fenne has also supported Lucy Rose. She says her musical heroes are The Velvet Underground and Nico, Kurt Vile, Laura Marling and Joni Mitchell.
Fenne said: “The fact that people are listening to my music has certainly been a bit of a surprise.I write primarily for myself, to work through difficult things.”
“If the definition of success is people connecting with and appreciating what you’re articulating creatively, I guess I am succeeding, but that was never my reason for doing what I do. I see it as a bonus.”
GLASGOW-BORN, Manchester-raised singer songwriter Tom Walker just finished a sold-out UK tour. You might have also seen him support Jake Bugg and George Ezra or heard his standout single, Leave A Light On.
It was written by Tom, and Ed Sheeran/One Direction songwriter and producer Steve Mac, while his previous single Heartland was co-written and produced with Naughty Boy.
Influenced by Oasis, Foo Fighters, Muse and Paolo Nutini, Tom started playing music at school. He explained: “It was one of the few things that made sense to me.” After touring the US with The Script this year, he said: “I’m living the dream.”
Tom’s debut album is due in 2018 and he’s been working on it with Arctic Monkeys, Kasabian and Adele producer Jim Abbiss.
NORWEGIAN singer-songwriter Sigrid has had quite a year.
The 21-year-old’s acclaimed debut Don’t Kill My Vibe EP has picked up over 100million streams, she covered Leonard Cohen’s Everybody Knows for the Justice League soundtrack and features on the Topshop Christmas song Wishing on a Star, a cover of Rose Royce’s 1977 classic.
Sigrid Solbakk Raabe was encouraged to start writing music by her older brother, musician Tellef, when she was a child. She has now played to crowds at festivals across Europe, including Glastonbury, and her debut album is due in 2018.
Of her impressive success so far, Sigrid said: “I’m just honoured to be doing all of this. And I can’t wait to do more.”
DISCOVERED via her YouTube channel, which now boasts more than 750,000 followers, the Isle of Wight singer is set to be one of 2018’s brightest pop stars. Sarah, now 21, first posted a song on her online channel aged just 14.
Her debut EP Caught Up, released in April, reached No1 on the Official Physical Singles Chart and its lead track Call Me Out amassed 3.3million streams on Spotify.
Meanwhile, her debut gig sold out in 60 seconds. She recently finished a sold-out first full UK tour.
Of her crazy year, Sarah said: “It’s been so unexpected but obviously welcomed. I hoped that building my YouTube channel was going to get a reaction but the numbers I see online seem surreal.”