2017 just started, but I can already tell you it is going to be an exciting year when it comes to pop music! A Bit of Pop Music did a little research online and found 17 artists that have a good chance of making it big in 2017. I for one can’t wait to hear more from all of them!
17. Ashton & Love Mansuy
There is not an awful lot to be found on LA based producer Ashton McCreight and vocalist Love Mansuy when browsing the world wide web, but all you really need to know at this stage, is that they teamed up for the excellent single ‘Feelin’ Alone’. On SoundCloud the track is already getting close to 150.000 plays and this is not surprising when you listen closely to the track that seemlessly combines the smooth R&B vibe from the late 90s with a contemporary production. This track needs to blow up!
Must listen if you like: The Weeknd and Miguel
GROMz is a band from the city of Dunedin in New Zealand consisting of Semisi Maiai, Isaac Kennedy, Mo Winders and Max Gunn. They recently dropped an EP titled Two and a Half Days, created in yes, 2,5 days, including the gorgeous single ‘Mixed Up & Confused’. Describing their sound as Dunedin Salt Rock/Grom Pop, they deliver smooth guitar driven pop rock tracks with a laidback vibe and soothing vocals. If you are in New Zealand anytime soon make sure to catch them live somewhere around the country!
Must listen if you like: Tame Impala and Chet Faker
15. The Aces
The Aces is a band formed in Utah consisting of four teenage girls and there is at least one thing they have in common: there is no arguing with their great ear for strong melodies. You don’t believe me? Just have a listen to their debut single ‘Stuck’. Bright vocals and undeniable hooks! The ladies signed a contract with Red Bull Records, so it seems like we will hear more of this high paced, danceable, irresistible pop with a little twist of rock soon.
Must listen if you like: Haim and Walk The Moon
14. Dani Sylvia
Operating from London, this engaging singer-songwriter is one for dramatic melody progressions, big vocals and lyrics that come straight from the bottom of her heart. Comparisons to Adele are easy because of the heartfelt performances, but Dani Sylvia sure is more than just another aspiring ballad singer-songwriter. She launched an EP at the start of 2016, but it was her single ‘Omniscient’ which came out more recently, that landed her a spot on this list. She made some daring production choices that make the desperation and insecurities of the lyrics hit even harder. If anyone can move us with her voice in 2017, it will be Dani Sylvia.
Must listen if you like: Clare Maguire and Paloma Faith
13. Dan Owen
Dan Owen is a British singer-songwriter who has been touring as supporting act for Birdy. He impressed last year with the release of his single ‘Made To Love You’. He wrote the moving piano ballad about the abusive relationship one of his friends was in. His voice is raw and mature and cuts deeper with every word. The surprising accompanying video shows off he masters the visual side of pop stardom as well. There seems to be nothing in the way of Dan Owen becoming the next big thing!
Must listen if you like: Birdy and Lukas Graham
12. Declan McKenna
Declan McKenna was 15 years old when he won Glastonbury’s Emerging Talent Competition. Ever since he has been highly regarded as one to watch and he has proved to be an exceptional songwriter for his young age with singles like ‘Brazil’ and ‘Isombard’. The British singer-songwriter just launched a brand new single, titled ‘The Kids Don’t Wanna Come Home’, which is about being a young person in the modern world, challenging fears and being part of a movement of change, according to NME. His lyrics are clever and the hooks are there. Things look rather promising if this is what he comes up with at the age of 18!
Must listen if you like: Jamie T and Vampire Weekend
11. Billie Eilish
Some artists become successful at such a young age, they make you start to doubt your own life choices. Billie Eilish is definitely one of them. Her beautiful track ‘Ocean Eyes’, written by her brother who is only a few years older, created quite some buzz online ander her latest single ‘Six Feet Under’ is just as magical. The productions are delicate and her incredibly mature and emotive vocals take the centre stage. If this is what she is capable of at the age of 14-16, wait and see what happens in a few years from now!
Must listen if you like: Lana del Rey and Kyla La Grange
10. Jorja Smith
Just imagine yourself working at Starbucks and making some music in your spare time. You put a track online and this goes viral causing even Drake to comment on it. It is what happened to Jorja Smith. Not even a year ago she dropped ‘Blue Lights’. Her next single ‘Where Did I Go?’ turned out to be even better! Her groovy mix of soul and R&B is as infectious as it is understated and her voice is sure one of the most exciting ones I have heard in quite a while.
Must listen if you like: Lauryn Hill and Solange
09. The Japanese House
The Japanese House is the name Amber Bain uses for her solo project since she started out in 2015. The London based pop artist launched two EPs in 2015 and returned to the spotlight with the single ‘Face Like Thunder’ at the end of last year, followed by the EP Swim Against The Tide. Her sound could best be described as dream pop, dictated by synths and subtle beats. Her vocals have a soothing quality and we can only hope to be able to hear a full album of it in the near future!
Must listen if you like: The Naked and Famous and Haim
08. Kaleem Taylor
The voice of this artist from London will definitely ring a bell with a lot of listeners. His vocals did shine before on House hit ‘Promesses’ by Tchami and ‘Forever (II)’, a collaboration with Snakehips. On his own, the man with the warm and soulful voice does release more than decent material as well. His latest single ‘By My Side’ perfectly showcases this with an addictive blend of guitars and contemporary beats. The soul roots in electronic productions are a winning combination!
Must listen if you like: Miguel and Flume
07. Frida Sundemo
Swedish pop act Frida Sundemo was very close to an international breakthrough back in 2013 when she launched her EP Indigo, including delicious pop anthems like ‘Indigo’ and ‘Snow’. Over the past few years she dropped a handful of singles, but at the end of 2016 she came back swinging and she sure means business now. With ‘We Are Dreamers’ she truly steps up her game: it’s bigger, it’s bolder and above all even more catchy. You just cannot help but wanting to scream along with that larger than life chorus! Synthpop at its finest.
Must listen if you like: Robyn and Kylie Minogue
Australian singer-songwriter Kaity Dunstan, better known under her stage name Cloves, was off to a good start in her career when the single ‘Don’t Forget About Me’ was used on the soundtrack of Hollywood movie Me Before You. The producers of the movie were no doubt impressed by her incredibly mature vocals for a 20 year old. Cloves dropped a four track EP so far, but hopefully a full album is not too far away, because this piece of dark singer-songwriter pop with haunting vocals makes me craving for more!
Must listen if you like: Banks and Birdy
Why are Swedes always so bloody good at electro pop!? Duo RABBII (Revolutions Are Best Before Initial Inception), consisting of former Le Kid members Johanna and Felix, ended up in A Bit of Pop Music’s list of best songs of the year with the insanely catchy and well produced ‘New Friends’. There is just no arguing with that all consuming chorus, at all! RABBII ever since dropped the worthy follow up ‘Sadness’ where Johanna’s characteristic high pitched vocals once again take centre stage against a backdrop of strong electronic beats. Their music has a slightly haunting and creepy quality about it, in the best possible way. Bring on that debut album guys!
Must listen if you like: Robyn and Grimes
04. St. Beauty
Soulful duo St. Beauty from Atlanta has been active for a few years now, but only recently built up more hype around their latest single ‘Borders’. The band consisting of Alexe Belle and Isis Valentino, associated with Janelle Monáe’s Wondaland Collective, shines bright on the track with impeccable melodic progressions and soothing vocal work. Their eclectic mix of pop, soul and R&B will soon reach a bigger audience and rightfully so!
Must listen if you like: Lianne La Havas and Janelle Monáe
This triphop and electronica duo from the Netherlands has been on my radar ever since I saw them live as supporting act for artists like Years & Years and Kate Boy. Amsterdam based Belle and Sebastiaan released a couple of EPs with great tunes like ‘Trigger’ and ‘Tactics’, but they majorly stepped up their game with their most recent releases ‘Tune In Tune Out’ and ‘Undertow’. The choruses are way bigger than before and the productions sharp and inventive as always. These tracks sound like actual hits without having to compromise what makes their sound so special. 2017 is going to be a special one for CUT_ (Cut Underscore). Go see them live if you get the chance because with their visual shows the tracks come to live even more!
Must listen if you like: James Blake and FKA twigs.
02. Dean Lewis
Dean Lewis is an Australian singer-songwriter from Sydney who is currently gaining attention for his single ‘Waves’. In the Netherlands the track already received quite some airplay and I expect the rest of Europe to follow suit soon. ‘Waves’ is a beautiful piece of singer-songwriter pop with strong hooks, a soaring chorus, heartfelt lyrics and a convincing vocal performance. It goes to show what a talented songwriter he is! More of this please!
Must listen if you like: Tom Odell and Passenger
01. Maggie Rogers
Maggie Rogers became a hit on the internet when she presented her song ‘Alaska’ during a masterclass by Pharrell Williams. The producer (and the whole world with him) was utterly impressed with her unique blend of folk and dance music. There is just something magical about Maggie’s sound. Her vocals sound pure and emotive, her lyrics are honest and poetic and the productions of her songs are subtle and uplifting at the same time. Rogers proved with follow up single ‘Dog Years’ that she is not a one trick pony. Her debut is absolutely one of the records I look forward to the most and I am sure she has it in her to become an internationally acclaimed artist!
Must listen if you like: Lykke Li and Oh Land.
And for all the Spotify listeners out there, all the tracks in one place: