As the BBC’s annual Sound Of… announcement popped up on Monday, we somehow find ourselves in the final few weeks of the year. With 2016 now within eye-shot and the blogosphere’s “‘Bout to Break” long-lists are all beginning to make appearances, we thought we would join in on the rooting. Here are our writer’s picks for the coming year and who we think is destined to make it big.

Tkay Maidza – U-Huh 

Takudzwa Victoria Rosa Maidza is an Australian born singer and rapper, who after graduating from university with an architecture degree, went on to follow her main passion for music and adopt the stage name Tkay Maidza. Maidza has recently been brought to public attention after obtaining the opening act slot for tours of British 3-piece Years & Years and fellow Aussie act Troye Sivan, but even before this she has been releasing music, such as the Switch Time EP which contains production from SBTRCKT and Night Slug’s Bog Bog. Her style is the blend of pop and rap, the production on her tracks are stellar club ready beats. Her flow and delivery is similar to Azealia Banks just with less of the homophobic problematic lyrical content. I can really see Maidza making it big in 2016 and with tracks like U-Huh and M.O.B, it’ll be hard to see it not happening. Connor Spilsbury-Brown


Zara LarssonLush Life

She’s already a fairly familiar face back in her home country of Sweden, but it’s becoming ever-harder to imagine Zara Larsson not making an impact on UK shores. Topping the charts on numerous occasions, snatching 1st  place on the Swede’s version of Got Talent and racking up multiple platinum selling singles (among a scary amount of other noteworthy achievements) can already be added to the 17 (!!!) year old’s CV, whilst the glorious Never Forget You with MNEK also went top 10 in the UK a few weeks back.  Earlier this year, an Instagram post of Larsson with her entire leg in a condom for “the guys saying their dicks are too big” went viral, proof that it’s so hard not to love this Swedish pop princess. Here’s to hoping the rest of her Robyn (Carlsson and Fenty)-esque pop works its way over here in 2016. Bill Baker


Melt DunesWhat’s Your Name

Southampton-based four piece Melt Dunes; there’s no band quite like them. As you’ll hear at one of their live shows, where their two songs to date are seamlessly slotted into a ravenous psychedelic non stop set, the band have a total stranglehold on using complicated building and receding structure to their advantage. So few bands have the chemistry to be so utterly subsuming as Melt Dunes, with even fewer of them having a sound as strong as the bad acid trip of their dark psychedelia. Because their live shows are just so achingly intense, their sound is entirely their own, and it shouldn’t be long before they release something really, really interesting, Southampton’s own Melt Dunes are my number one tip to make 2016 one ethereal freak out. Calum Cashin



New Zealand is steadily becoming the new go-to place for emerging pop. Rightly so, since the music the Kiwis are keen on chucking out has been pretty amazing. Thomston, the 20 year old Auckland-er, is no stranger to these about-to-break lists, a sign of just how well his R’n’b beats and chill synth combination has been received. We’re a few EPs and stand-alone tracks down the line now, so there’s more than enough proof that he’s a deserving ruler of 2016’s already-exciting musical frontier. Brain-Dead, a birthday-gift-to-oneself having dropped on the day of his 20th, is hands-down his finest, most intriguing venture yet. For an artist whose back catalogue has been so coherent, we’re sure that 2016 is in safe hands.


Alessia CaraHere

This wave of up and coming artists starting young doesn’t show any sign of slowing down in 2016. The 19 year-old Canadian singer/songwriter Alessia Cara catapulted into fame this year with her down to earth personality and her incredible vocal and guitar talents. She was discovered through her YouTube channel, where she posted videos of her covering the likes of Drake, Amy Winehouse and The Neighbourhood. Def Jam signed her early this year and in an instant she was in the studio writing her own material, which then lead to her breakout single Here, the ultimate anti-social anthem for our generation. She has received high amounts of praise from music publications as well as some big name musicians, from the likes of native resident Drake and pop sensation Taylor Swift. Her honest lyrics, evident vocal talent and her level headed attitude to the industry has made her a force to be reckoned with and with the release of her debut album Know-It-All happening next year, it’s safe to say that Alessia Cara shows no signs of slowing down. Connor Spilsbury-Brown


Pretty ViciousAre You Ready For Me 

Pretty Vicious are the four-piece from Merthyr Tydfil in Wales who made a name for themselves at the end of last year after uploading introductory track Cave Song. Since then they’ve had record companies scrap over them, before signing to Virgin EMI, and played numerous festivals, including a headline slot on the BBC Introducing stage at Glastonbury. Their sound is energetic and emergent with frenzied and infectious guitars at the forefront of each single they have released so far. Excitingly 2016 looks set to be the year that the Merthyr quartet release an album and in turn take over the world. Shannon Cotton 


Kate BoyMidnight Sun 

Kate Boy are a duo formed of Antipodean Kate Akhurst and her Swedish Boy-friend Markus Dextegen, who’ve spent the best part of three years gifting the world with their industrial-pop, steadily racking up a 200+ gig track record. The debut LP only dropped a few weeks back, showcasing some of the most intelligently crafted pop of recent months. ONE acts as a “greatest-hits”-esque showcase of their cohesive back catalogue, with the blogosphere frequently erupting at the delight of the returning Aussie-Swede hybrid, all whilst steadily marking themselves as one of the past few years most intriguing buzz bands.  An essential debut from the past 12 months and a mere hint at what to expect from the duo in the coming year.  Bill Baker


High Tyde  – Do What You Want

High Tyde are the Brighton based band that specialise in creating feel good indie pop. So far this year the four-piece from England’s South coast have released two EPs (Fuzz and Glow) as well as performing at numerous festivals and earning a coveted appearance on Made In Chelsea’s soundtrack. Most notably the band dominated this year’s Great Escape Festival in their hometown as they showcased their confident stage presence and delicious guitar riffs. After recently selling out Camden’s Barfly, next year looks set to be an interesting one which will hopefully see more music and more live dates from the thrilling quartet. Shannon Cotton 


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: