BBC Sound of 2016: A Bit of Pop Music’s Shortlist

Dua Lipa

In the past the BBC has shown they have a good eye for predicting new pop stars. Every year they have a competition called ‘Sound of …’ in which they announce their favourite new artist for the coming year. Earlier winners were Adele, Jessie J, Ellie Goulding, Sam Smith and most recently Years & Years. Big names, right? Well, the BBC just announced their long list of 15 acts for 2016 and A Bit of Pop Music picked five acts for the shortlist.

05. Jack Garratt
Jack Garratt is definitely one of BBC’s most loved darlings at the moment. He recently won the BBC Introducing Artist of the Year award and is already regularly played at Radio 1. The British artist brings us an eclectic mix of pop, R&B and soulful vocals, with layers of electronic productions. He has a good ear for catchy hooks and he cites The White Stripes and Frank Ocean as his biggest influences. With a combination of those two, you can never really go wrong, now can you?

04. Mabel
Mabel is determined to bring slick R&B back to 2016. The 18-years-old singer who grew up in Malaga, London and Stockholm is the daughter of singer Neneh Cherry and Massive Attack producer Cameron McVey. Mabel already carved out a sound for herself with sensual vocals and catchy R&B beats. The hooks are poppy and the lyrics of course deal with love, sex and that kind of thing. Definitely check her out if you like the sound of artists like Jessie Ware and BANKS.

03. Izzy Bizu
Izzy Bizu will do her best to make sure that every day of 2016 will sound like summer. The soul singer from London has the kind of voice that makes all clouds disappear. She started out as a songwriter, but recently toured with the likes of Sam Smith, Foxes and Rudimental. The breezy and swinging soul of ‘White Tiger’ is just as catchy as Jess Glynne and Clean Bandit’s recent work, but with a tropical and more soulful touch. Sounds like heaven, doesn’t it?

02. Billie Marten
A Bit of Pop Music already made ‘Bird’ by Billie Marten ‘Song of the Day’ last month. “What a way to take your still young career to the next level. Give it a month or two and this will be all over the radio”, I wrote back then and that is still very much how I feel about this utterly gorgeous song. Billie’s vocals are heavenly and considering the fact that she is only 16 years old, imagine what she will sound like when she is in her 20s. So, so promising!

01. Dua Lipa
Dua Lipa is the one in this list that makes my pop heart beat faster. Her brand new single ‘Be The One’ is nothing short of brilliant. Her slightly smoky vocals are full of life and personality and she shows she knows how to write a perfectly fine pop tune with a monster chorus that should take over radio rather sooner than later. The London born artist with parents from Kosovo and Albania is ready for international stardom and I can’t wait to watch her do it!

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