MTV Wrap Up's Ones To Watch: 2015
A look at some of the artists tipped to blow in 2015…
Here at The Wrap Up, we're avid supporters of the next wave of emerging musical talent. Over the years we've championed artists including Wretch 32, Jessie J, Sam Smith & Mic Righteous to name just a few. As the year drew to a close, we looked forward to 2015 and profiled the emerging artists who have risen to prominence this year and from whom we expect big things in the new year! Next wave, you're up!
In 2014, South London MC Stormzy's buzz in the UK scene was huge and resulted in his debut single 'Not That Deep' shooting straight to No. 1 on the iTunes Hip Hop chart. A MOBO Award for Best Grime Act, a BBC Live Lounge session and being the first unsigned rapper to ever perform on Jools Holland saw Big Mike celebrate an incredible climax to his year. Co-signs in the form of industry peers Wretch, Wiley and Skepta will be sure to help pave the way for more success in 2015.
Described by DJ Logan Sama as the "Poster child for the first generation of real Grime kids" as well as being in the running for the Best Grime Artist award at the 2014 MOBOs, 17 year old MC Novelist scored major spins of his music on BBC1Xtra and Rinse FM this year prior to signing with legendary label, XL Recordings.
George has captivated audiences with his unique delivery over the past few years, building a legion of devoted fans all eager to hear his work. In 2014, he dropped the Chicken and the Egg EP which garnered critical acclaim and The Poet was named as a nominee in MTV’s Brand New For 2015 list. A stellar year awaits this storyteller and Poet Laureate (in waiting).
After scoring a major label deal with Epic Records, Izzy Bizu spent the majority of 2014 working on her album. Following a mammoth 2013, which saw her tour with Sam Smith and Jamie Cullum and drop her debut EP, Izzy continued to set the festival stages alight this summer with a performance on the BBC Introducing stage at Glastonbury.
Performances across the Atlantic at SXSW and CMW festival saw 20 year old Simz' stock rise, resulting in the UK femcee being championed as one to watch on both sides of The Atlantic. Support from Jay Z's Life + Times, The Independent and The Guardian amongst others saw her invited to open up for US rapper Schoolboy Q on his Oxymoron tour before being nominated for two awards at this year’s MOBO Awards. Topping off an awesome year, Little Simz close 2014 with the release of Age 101: The Drop 3|000. Stay tuned for big things in 2015
At just 18 years old, Atlanta-born singer, songwriter and musician Raury is already a bonafide star. His full length debut LP 'Indigo Child', was released alongside an accompanying New York Times piece in a year which has seen him open for Outkast, record with SBTRKT and eat breakfast with Kanye West. This enterprising teen is set to blow over the next 12 months having sold out his first UK headline show in the Autumn, as well as receiving support from DJs Zane Lowe amongst others.
Her debut track 'Kisses For Breakfast' provided Bradford born Melissa Steel with her first Top 10 single this summer. The track launched Steel into the pop stratosphere in the second half of 2014, landing her a spot on MTV’s Brand New for 2015 list and putting her on the music map. As well as releasing her own tunes, Mel also featured on three other Top 40 records this year alongside Kove, Krishane and topping it off with a feature on Blonde’s Top 10 single 'I Loved You', proving she has the Midas touch.
Having provided vocal duties on tracks for UK powerhouses such as Wiley, Disclosure and Rudimental, alt-R&B singer Sinead Harnett is set to step out into the limelight in her own right in 2015. Her debut EP 'No Other Way' shot into the iTunes Top 20, and her collaboration with producers Snakehips saw a slew of tastemakers identify her as the modern day Aaliyah, which is no mean feat…
With his debut single, 'Drunk & Incapable' featuring Melissa Steel already under his belt, 20-year old Atlantic-signing Krishane looks set to continue his rise to the top as the leading Caribbean/dancehall-enthused R&B singer in the New Year. Although the Jamaican artist's a relative newcomer to the game, comparisons have already been made to R&B’s reigning king, Usher.
Who do you have your eye on in 2015?
Words: James Walsh (@JW_DittoMusic)