Facebook, Soundcloud, Youtube and MySpace (remember that?). The promotional possibilities are endless for the current generation of young musicians. No longer are musical movements defined by the whims of major label record companies but more by the sounds and styles of the individual. Our list of the ten acts to look out for in the coming year encapsulates this refreshing sense of originality.
1 Tom Misch
From his South London bedroom-cum-recording studio, 20-year-old singer-songwriter-producer Tom Misch has begun to spread his musical message across the world. Working on both vocal and instrumental projects, Misch channels the jazz and hip-hop greats while developing his own wholly unique, and often undefinable, sound. With a popular Soundcloud account, this young multi-instrumentalist has been releasing a steady stream of new music for the last few years and often for free.
Spanish foursome Hinds discovered one another through their mutual love of Madrid’s garage-rock scene and aimed to fill a gap for all-female bands in the genre. Citing indie royalty such as The Vaccines and Mac DeMarco as their main influences, the band offers refreshing throwbacks to the quintessential garage-rock sounds of the early 1990s. Their debut album, to be released on Friday January 8, will make for interesting listening.
3 Kacy Hill
Supermodel turned actress Kacy Hill is undoubtedly a talent destined for commercial success with her dream pop, electronica style of music. After meeting rap-mogul Kanye West during a stint as his backup dancer in 2014’s Yeezus tour, Hill was quick to impress and found herself snapped up by West’s G.O.O.D. Music record label. Her 2015 EP Bloo was warmly received by critics and has earned her acclaim from the likes of American recording artist and music producer Travis Scott, who provided her with a feature on his latest album Rodeo.
4 Max Graef
The consistently spectacular work of this Berlin born multi-instrumentalist proves that age is just a number. To have released your own studio album, managed your own record label and conducted your own band by the tender age of 22 is nothing short of remarkable. While Graef’s house-orientated sounds may never grant him chart-topping success, his vision and dedication to his craft certainly places him high on our must-watch list.
Brothers Will and Matt Ritson make up Formation, who perform unique bouncy snyth-driven sounds to deeper percussion-led rock. Their four-track debut EP is limited to just 300 vinyl copies, making it clear these young men have a keen sense for niche marketing. Influenced heavily by old-school disco and soul these two young Londoners also channel a sound similar to that of the ever popular LCD Soundsystem.
6 Songhoy Blues
Following a ban on music in his home town of Timbuktu, band leader and guitarist Garba Toure fled to Southern Mali and formed this band. Their 2015 debut album Music In Exile received universal acclaim and channels the power of their own political and social experiences in addition to fusing everything from American soft rock to afrobeat.
7 King Krule
Fusion artist King Krule is the most accomplished musician on this list and has finally re-emerged after a three-year hiatus. However, having released his latest project A New Place 2 Drown under his birth name Archy Marshall, this 21-year-old singer-songwriter is yet to follow up his celebrated 2013 debut album 6 Feet Beneath the Moon. With the rumour mill currently in overdrive regarding his next musical steps, his place on this list has been earned as a result of overwhelming speculation alone.
8 Loyle Carner
This young London-born emcee has been reshaping the way people understand hip-hop music for the last couple of years and tells his own story through very personal and honest rhymes. Brilliantly biding his time by releasing mixtapes and individual singles, Loyle Carner is cleverly mastering his craft before jumping into a full-length album. We see him becoming an infectiously likeable character in the hip-hop world.
9 Dayme Arocena
Previously described as having “a rare combination of youthful energy and adult composure,” Dayme Arocena offers a sound far beyond what would be expected at the age of 22. After signing to Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood Recordings at the start of 2015, Arocena released her debut album Nueva Era to critical acclaim. With last year proving a fantastic one for the emergence of this young Cuban star, we predict the 2016 will be very promising indeed for this eloquent “chantuese”.
Following the astronomical reception of her bedroom-produced EP Monday, Liverpool-born singer-songwriter and electronic musician Låpsley is one of the youngest singers to be nominated for the BBC’s Sound Of 2015 award, joining previous winners such as legends Sam Smith and Adele. Having released two EPs and with a full-length album planned for early 2016, this young singer seemingly has the musical world in the palm of her hand.