2010 Mercury Prize winners The xx are a London trio known for their captivating stripped-down minimalist sound. It's often been said that "quiet is the new loud" and The xx are certainly among the best at creating gentle yet intense atmospheric mood music. Simplistic bass and keyboards at hush levels with vocals at almost a whisper, their delicate songs have led to comparisons with Young Marble Giants and early Cocteau Twins.
Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O'Connor is better known (and easier to pronounce!) as Lorde. Taking in influences from vocalist Grimes to the haunting sounds of Lana Del Rey, sprinkled with the alt-electro of James Blake, Lorde has somehow managed to find mainstream pop success whilst still keeping a dark and alternative edge. Her hypnotic debut single 'Royals' had massive worldwide success, reaching number one in the UK, US and her native New Zealand.
With a voice mature beyond her years, not only is she is the first ever New Zealand artist to have a US number one, but she is also the youngest artist to reach number one in the past 25 years (she was a mere 16 at the time, with Tiffany's 'I Think We're Alone Now' being the last time America saw such a young chart topper).
Swedish indie-songstress whose debut album, Youth Novels, was produced by Bjorn Yttling of Peter Bjorn and John. Sparkling pop songs meet dreamy ramblings on love, life and loss, with a voice to die for.
Born Andrae Sutherland, Jamaican dancehall DJ Popcaan is the 'Raving King'. Revered and approached by artists in all genres the world over, Popcaan has found a fan and supporter in Drake, been sampled by Kanye, provided anthemic features for Jamie XX, The Gorillaz, Davido and most recently Stefflon Don, all while he continues to dominate his home turf of dancehall.
His journey has taken him from a promising young star to the leader of a generation of Jamaican and diaspora artists, a generation that feels their influence reverberate in pop's continuing interest in the sonic signifiers of dancehall.
Deep keyboard, murky bass lines, pounding exuberant drums and chilling cymbals are the hallmark sounds of this Canadian instrumental hip hop/jazz trio. They play a mix of original material and interpretations of tracks from a diverse range of artists such as Kanye West, James Blake and My Bloody Valentine.
The band is made up of Matthew Tavares on keys, Chester Hansen on bass, and Alex Sowinski on drums.
"A jazz trio on paper - but often strange, forever imaginative, and ultimately revolutionary hip-hop and electronic beatmakers at heart." (Prefix)
Stephanie Allen aka Stefflon Don is an MC with inventive rhymes and wordplay. The east Londoner first started making waves in 2015 with her versions of Wretch 32’s Six Words and Section Boyz’s Lock Arff. Since then she’s been in high demand, appearing on tracks by the likes of Lethal Bizzle, Sneakbo and Angel.
Surrey artist Alex O’Connor, aka Rex Orange County, is a multi-talented multi-instrumentalist worth getting excited about. His blend of neo-soul, hip-hop and indie with occasional jazz/swing elements make his music eclectic yet coherant. He started out as a drummer, but over time he’s refined a knack for keys, guitar and most notably a sugar-soaked vocal that could break hearts.
Hunee began his musical adventure heavily into hip hop and rap, and as he dug further into the breaks and samples of his favourite producers, he fell deeper into the disco rabbit hole.
After DJing and working at various record stores around Berlin, and meeting many of the city’s other music nerds, Hunee began to produce his own tracks. Releasing across a variety of labels such as Prins Thomas’ Internasjonal, Rush Hour, Ostgut Ton, W.T., and Permanent Vacation, Hunee’s craftily-sampled tracks, such as Rare Silk and Brother are packed full of disco sensibility and dancefloor dynamism, falling timelessly between respectful homage and modern day revamp.
His aptitude for production and shaping hypnotic sets have led him to play across continents at all the leading spots, also landing him a monthly show on BCR, and impressive mixes for the likes of Boiler Room, XLR8R, Rinse and FACT.
An electronic / hiphop / spoken word artist from London.
A firmly mixed media artist, since childhood Kojey’s interests and accolades have existed in everything from drawing to dancing, film-directing, fashion and spoken word. He ended up studying illustration at university, while exploring the world of poetry simultaneously, inspired by emerging young black poets such as Suli Breaks.
21-year-old Lil Silva is fast becoming one of the most talked about artists on the UK Bass scene. Not only does he possess the musical understanding to work with genres such as American House, Funky and Grime but his ability also allows him to merge and blend styles. Silva’s flair manifests itself in his creative production techniques, showcasing a distinct sound which he looks to continually evolve. Always looking to shy away from convention, the young producer’s talents are becoming as renowned for their innovation as they are for the effect they are having on the scene. Prominent cultural magazine factmag.com has even gone as far as describing Lil Silva’s sound as 'grime in disguise.'
Calm and understated, Bristol’s Harvey Causon is not looking to blow you away with a wall of sound. You’ll be blown away instead by his soft, glitching electronica, deft take on contemporary R&B, and reeled by his rich vocals, that sound far more world wearied than his 20 years.
‘Worn You’ is his latest collaborative single with flatmate and 'Cabrakid' producer Gabriel Gifford; the first from the pair’s forthcoming EP ‘Murphy’s Hand’. The track was premiered on The Line of Best Fit and Huw Stephen's BBC radio 1 show. With nods to other contemporary artists Jamie Isaac and James Blake, the ambient piano ballad has a nervous energy but it’s dub tinged rhythm, clever production and fragile yet soothing vocal set it apart.
After moving to Bristol last year, Harvey quickly released his ‘Introspect EP’, a collection of songs that he had been sitting on for a while. Eclectic, but polished, the stand out song from the release, ‘Systems’ was given a remix from rising hip hop duo Cabrakid. This earned Harvey an appearance at 'Cabra’s' support slot with Loyle Carner after the rapper heard the track.
In October, Harvey released his single 'Frisson' with local Bristol label Leisure Records. Not only did it gain attention from indieshuffle and Bristol Live but it was described 'an impressively diverse three minutes' for DIY's NEU Pick of the day. It has since hit 180k streams, earned spots on NME and Spotify's 'Office' and 'Left Of Centre' playlists.
The success of his material, and his enthusiasm, led to an invitation to play a full band Maida Vale Session with BBC introducing in the West. He has appeared at The Great Escape, Dot to Dot and 2000 Trees Festivals and has Puma Blue, Chelou and Childcare supports under his belt. Having multiple festivals in the pipeline for 2018 and BBC Introducing on his back can only preempt an exciting career prospect.