BBC Music Sound Of 2018 reveals longlist of the best emerging music talent

BBC Music Sound Of 2018 revealed its coveted longlist of future new music talent, tipped by industry experts for success next year.

  • 16 artists named today as ones to watch in 2018 including Sound Of’s youngest ever nominee
  • Chosen by over 170 influential music experts including former winners and longlist nominees Stormzy, Ellie Goulding, Olly Alexander, Loyle Carner, Michael Kiwanuka and last year’s winner Ray BLK
  • Other previous longlist predictions include 50 Cent (2003) Adele (2008), Florence +The Machine (2009), Frank Ocean (2012), Sam Smith (2014), Dua Lipa (2016) and Rag‘n’Bone Man (2017)

Celebrating its 16th anniversary, the list (compiled annually by BBC News) has a track record of predicting who are going to be the next big thing. It is chosen by some of the most influential people at the heart of their respective musical genres. This year’s selected panel included representatives from the likes of VICE, Q Magazine and Billboard; international music festivals such as SXSW (USA), Primavera (Spain) and Belsonic (N. Ireland) as well as DJs from Dermot O’Leary to Charlie Sloth and Clara Amfo to Yasser.

For the first time since Sound Of began, the longlist has been extended to 16 artists due to a tie in the number of votes awarded and equal levels of passion for two particular artists.

The BBC Music Sound of 2018 longlist in alphabetical order is:

  • ALMA
  • Billie Eilish
  • Jade Bird
  • Khalid
  • Lewis Capaldi
  • Nilüfer Yanya
  • Not3s
  • Pale Waves
  • Rex Orange County
  • Sam Fender
  • Sigrid
  • Superorganism
  • Tom Walker
  • Yaeji
  • Yxng Bane

The class of 2018 is one of the youngest line ups ever nominated, with American singer songwriter Billie Eilish becoming the competition’s youngest ever nominee at just 15 years old. There is also a strong representation from Manchester with 3 artists, including urban jazz performer IAMDDB, indie pop band Pale Waves and singer songwriter Tom Walker making up the top 16.

Every artist on the longlist has been supported in some way by BBC Radio across Radio 1, 1Xtra, Radio 2 and 6 Music. BBC Music Introducing has also been a part of the journey for half of the artists that make the list including IAMDDB, Jade Bird, Lewis Capaldi, Nilüfer Yanya, Pale Waves, Sam Fender, Superorganism and Tom Walker, offering festival slots, live sessions and inclusion on a variety of playlists on local and national shows.

The daily countdown of the Top 5 will begin on BBC Radio 1 on Monday 8 January 2018. The winner will be announced live on air by Annie Mac in Clara Amfo’s show from 10am on Friday 12 January 2018.

Annie Mac, Radio 1 DJ, says: “I’m super excited to see so many young and innovative rising stars from around the world on this year’s Sound Of 2018 longlist. Some acts will be brand new to UK audiences and many have already started to make an impact with us at Radio 1 and 1Xtra and out performing live. Countless numbers of talented artists have featured on previous Sound Of lists and I’m delighted by the level of talent presented again this year. I can’t wait to be a part of their journey and see what the year ahead has in store for them all.”

Chris Price, Head of Music for Radio 1 and Radio 1Xtra, says: “The BBC Music Sound of 2018 longlist is impressive for its strength and diversity. The stellar list of new acts here, many of whom have seen significant early support from Radio 1 and 1Xtra, fill me with confidence that 2018 will be an exciting year for emerging talent.”

James Stirling, Editor, BBC Music, says: “BBC Music this year has launched a brand new pop show Sounds Like Friday Night for BBC One as well as At The BBC specials with Harry Styles, Sam Smith and U2, and I’m delighted that we’re also once again shining a light on, and celebrating, such incredible burgeoning talent that make up the BBC Music Sound Of 2018 longlist.”

A range of music, videos, interviews and biographies from each of the Top 16 acts can also be seen on the BBC Music Sound Of 2018 website and a playlist will be made available on streaming services.

Twitter users can tweet about the list using the hashtag #SoundOf2018

Sound Of… started in 2003. The previous winners are: Ray BLK (2017), Jack Garratt (2016), Years & Years (2015), Sam Smith (2014) HAIM (2013) Michael Kiwanuka (2012), Jessie J (2011), Ellie Goulding (2010), Little Boots (2009), Adele (2008), Mika (2007), Corinne Bailey Rae (2006), The Bravery (2005), Keane (2004) and 50 Cent (2003).

Other artists in the top five in previous years include Ran’n’Bone Man (2017) Alessia Cara (2016) Stormzy and James Bay (2015), Ella Eyre and George Ezra (2014) Laura Mvula and CHVRCHES (2013), Frank Ocean and Azealia Banks (2012), James Blake and The Vaccines (2011), Hurts (2010), Florence and the Machine (2009), Foals (2008), Klaxons and Enter Shikari (2007), Plan B (2006), Bloc Party (2005), Franz Ferdinand (2004), Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Dizzee Rascal (2003).

The list was compiled using recommendations from over 170 influential music experts, who were asked to name their three favourite new acts.

The music experts included radio DJs and producers, TV producers and music supervisors, newspaper critics, magazine and website editors and respected bloggers.

All participants were asked to name their favourite three new acts, who could be performers from any country and any musical genre, whether or not they are signed.They cannot have been the lead artist on a UK top 10 single or album before 26 October 2017.

They must not already be widely known by the UK general public (for example, a member of a hit band going solo or a soap star, a winner of a national talent search show such as X Factor or The Voice in the last three years (i.e. 2015 onwards).

Further details of the panel and how the list was compiled are available on the BBC Music Sound Of 2018 website.

November 27, 2017 6:20am ET by BBC Radio 1  

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