Introducing Our MTV Brand New For 2017 Shortlist...
Meet the ten artists we're backing for big things over the next twelve months...
It's mere weeks away until the New Year and with the burden of thinking up unrealistic resolutions comes the promise of 12 months of brand new music, which is why we're thrilled to reveal today our MTV Brand New For 2017 shortlist of the hottest UK music talent we think are set for great things next year...
Selected by MTV officials, key music influencers and industry representatives, our ten acts join the ranks of previous Brand New nominees which include Adele, Ellie Goulding, Florence + The Machine, Tinie Tempah, Years & Years, Anne-Marie, Krept & Konan and more.
As usual the winner will be down to a public vote, which will take place in January, but for now get to know our 10 acts here...
Who?: West London's AJ Tracey is definitely one to watch on the UK grime scene right now. 2016 alone has seen the MC gain two MOBO nominations (one of which had him up against Kano, Skepta, Stormzy and Chip no less), a remix collab with A$AP Rocky and Clams Casino, his first knock-out festival appearances and even get a shout out from Drake on Beats1.
Start paying attention now.
Listen To: 'Buster Cannon', 'Leave Me Alone', 'Thiago Silva'.
AJ Tracey says: "It feels great to be picked. Obviously having grown up watching MTV, especially with family, it's nice to get recognition from a platform that's influenced me. Everyone knows about MTV, it's something I can show my friends and family and it means something to them as well. Yeah man, it feels great."
Fun Fact: His dad was a Trinidadian rapper and his Welsh mother used to spin jungle on pirate radio.
Who?: Skirting the darker side to pop, Bishop Briggs began her musical journey in a Tokyo karaoke bar at the tender age of four, where her bug for performing was realised.
Born to Scottish parents, raised in Japan and Hong Kong before attending college in Hollywood, her world is vast, as is her voice. With a vocal strength likened to Florence Welch, Aretha Franklin and more, her music is intimate, yet rousing and packs a serious punch. 2017 looks very exciting with her in it.
Listen To: 'River', 'Wild Horses'.
Bishop Briggs says: "I'm beyond thankful to be picked as one of MTV's favourite new artists for 2017. I've always viewed MTV as ever evolving and to be a part of this new chapter is extremely rewarding."
Fun Fact: Her name comes from her family's hometown of Bishopbriggs, Scotland.
Who?: This London trio needs no introduction. A production team who write, produce, mix and vocal their own tunes, Nathan, Gavin and Luke revel in dark, moody club anthems. Making their mark with 'They Don't Know', they soon became household names when their Calvin Harris collab 'How Deep Is Your Love' gave them a UK No.2 hit plus an MTV VMA. David Guetta soon came knocking with 'No Worries', but they soon returned to the shadows with latest single 'Daylight'.
Having completed an Ibiza residency with Together @ Amnesia this summer, Disciples hit all the major festivals in 2016 and 2017 is shaping up to be even bigger...
Listen To: 'Daylight', 'They Don't Know'.
Disciples say: "Feeling so blessed to be nominated for MTV’s Brand New For 2017. So crazy because us three grew up watching MTV and seeing us on there now just continues to surprise us, let alone being shortlisted. Massive big up to Anne-Marie for taking home the 2016 title, she’s killing it right now."
Fun Fact: Nathan and Gavin previously recorded under the aliases Stylistix and Kool & Duvall.
Who?: You already know JP Cooper's voice from Jonas Blue's monster summer smash 'Perfect Strangers' but now it's time to focus on the self-made Manchester man himself. JP's effortless, soulful vocals have seen him defy the simplistic singer/songwriter label, having chosen to work with the likes of Kojey Radical, SG Lewis, Avelino and of course Jonas Blue to straddle genres from acoustic to electronic.
With his debut album in the works, 2017 looks very promising for JP and we're coming along for the ride...
Listen To: 'September Song', 'Party', and his cover of Shawn Mendes' 'Mercy'.
JP Cooper says: "I'm so happy that I've been chosen to be in MTV's 'Brand New For 2017' list. Only seems like yesterday that I was a kid watching my heroes on MTV so this means a whole lot to me."
Fun Fact: Stormzy's a massive fan, going as far to say JP is "one of the greatest musicians to ever come out of this country."
Who?: Ditching her day job in a Croydon betting shop in 2014 was the best decision Nadia Rose ever made. Having grown up around music and been writing her own rhymes since 13, fast forward to 2016 and Nadia's caught the eye of Alicia Keys, played Glastonbury and signed a record deal with Sony.
This summer, Nadia dropped the infectious 'Skwod' and entered the Official UK Singles Chart on Kideko & George Kwali's 'Crank It (Woah!)' and 2017 can't come quick enough because there's big things ahead of this multi-faceted rapper.
Listen To: 'Skwod', 'Boom'.
Nadia Rose says: "I've grown up watching MTV and to be chosen as an MTV Brand New finalist so early in my career is just beyond words - not something I'm not normally short of. Looking forward to welcoming new fans from MTV into my Skwod."
Fun Fact: Her cousin is Stormzy!
Who?: "I say it how it is," Catford's RAY BLK professes. "The music that I love is the stuff that gives it to you raw. Then you can really connect to it." And this comes across in her candid, this-isn't-a-fairtytale songwriting and music videos. From tales of a rocky relationship with a drug dealer ('5050') to depicting Jamaica's Gully Queens, a marginalised Jamaican LGBT group in 'Chill Out', RAY is taking chances and we love her for it.
If you love your R&B vibes coupled with a strong sense of empowerment, check her out.
Listen To: 'Chill Out', '5050', 'My Hood'.
RAY BLK says: "It's very surreal to be on the MTV Brand New list as I've been watching MTV since I was about 7 years old in the hope that one day I'd be on it. I appreciate the recognition."
Fun Fact: The BLK in RAY's name stands for 'Building Living Knowing', a constant reminder of her values.
Who?: Dubbed a superstar-in-waiting, at just 18 years old RAYE's CV already covers off work with Nas, Charli XCX, Emeli Sande, Labrinth and more. Her edgy, independently-funded Welcome To The Winter EP secured her a deal with Polydor (a certain good word from Years & Years' Olly Alexander to the label head must have helped too!) and her Second EP is an in-your-face collection of not-your-average pop bangers.
Currently featuring on Jonas Blue's new chart dominator 'By Your Side', RAYE says: "I want to be a massive pop artist and I've always wanted to start in the right place so that's with the music I love. I've always wanted to do it in my own way, on my own terms."
Watch. A star is rising...
Listen To: 'I, U, Us', 'Ambition', 'Bet U Wish'.
RAYE says: "It's really sick! Seeing artists be so successful from previous years is so exciting - that people think I could do the same!"
Fun Fact: Charli XCX directed RAYE's music video for 'I, U, Us'.
Who?: With wicked wordplay and bright blue hair, singer/rapper Stefflon Don caught the attention of the Internet in 2015 with her versions of Wretch 32's Six Words and Section Boyz's Lock Arf, prompting attention from every corner.
Having accepted features with Lethal Bizzle, Sneakbo, Angel and Wretch 32, the quick-witted wordsmith has chosen to remain independent for the time being saying she wants "to do everything not for money right now so I can put my stamp on everything and people can see exactly what I’m about." Her debut mixtape Real Ting is released soon and naturally we're itching to hear it.
Listen To: 'Style', 'Hot Prop'.
Stefflon Don says: "So excited to have been picked by MTV as one of their Brand New tips for 2017. MTV was massively influential whilst growing up and to be championed by such an iconic platform is mad! Massive love to MTV for supporting my music."
Fun Fact: Steff lived in Holland from the age of 5 until she was 14.
Who?: Meet Matt, Chris, Elliot and Joe - four lads intent on reinvigorating rock and roll with their aggressive and anthemic guitar-led sound. Backed by Zane Lowe, Huw Stephens, Annie Mac and more, the early 20s quartet have been playing together since they were kids, but now with their debut album due next year, their stadium-ready tunes could be filling those seats sooner than they thought.
Listen To: 'In My Mind', 'Nightdriving', 'Ultraviolet'.
The Amazons say: "It means a great deal for our music to be recognised by an institution like MTV. Brand New has featured artists over the years that we're big fans of, so we're excited to be a part of it going into 2017. We've always wanted our music to connect with as many people as possible, and there aren't many platforms bigger than MTV."
Fun Fact: They took inspiration for their name when Matt spotted Swallows and Amazons on a bookshelf.
Who?: Bedford's own gravel-toned Tom Grennan has had an awesome 12 months. He graduated from his Drama and Physical Theatre degree, released his debut LP, featured on Chase & Status' epic 'All Goes Wrong', and just started touring with said headline act.
We could sit back and let his voice melt over us continuously and, with him tipped for great things in 2017, this makes us very happy indeed.
Listen To: 'Something In The Water', 'All Goes Wrong (Acoustic)' and his Live Lounge of Kanye's 'Fade'.
Tom Grennan says: "I’ve been a huge fan of MTV since way back, their support of new artists is always bang on, so I’m honoured to be part of their Brand New List – BIG UP MTV!"
Fun Fact: Apparently Tom tries to listen to at least one Amy Winehouse tune every morning.
Past MTV Brand New Winners: Where Are They Now?
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