The list, compiled annually by 1Xtra and announced this morning by DJ Target on The 1Xtra Breakfast Show with Nadia Jae, predicts which artists are set for success and will be supported by 1Xtra over the next 12 months.
The 1Xtra Hot For 2021 artists are (in alphabetical order):
Midas The Jagaban
All ten Hot For 2021 artists will record bespoke performances of their biggest tracks to date which will be available to watch on BBC iPlayer and listen to on BBC Sounds from Monday 25th January 2021. More exclusive content will also follow later in the year.
DJ Target says: “The 1Xtra Hot For’ list has earned a reputation for being really on the pulse with who’s about to do huge things in the year to come. With the likes of Stormzy, Roddy Ricch, J Hus, Mahalia, Koffee, Young T & Bugsey, Aitch and so many more over the years being on the list, I’m super excited to see our Hot For 2021 list excel and make major waves in the next 12 months.”
Nadia Jae says: “It's been such a hard year for artists so I'm really excited to continue celebrating them into 2021. They've kept our spirits up with their music and content so I think the list this year will be a special one. We rarely get it wrong at 1X so here's a round of applause for The Hot for 2021 list!!”
2020’s line-up included the likes of Bandokay & Double Lz (OFB), Darkoo, Nafe Smallz and Shaybo who all went on to have a successful year, with support from BBC Radio 1Xtra throughout.
Other Hot For alumni include Koffee (2019), Mahalia (2018), AJ Tracey (2017), J Hus (2016) and Stormzy (2015).
The Hot For 2021 list
Born in North London, singer-songwriter Bellah grew up on a diet of R&B classics and was later gripped by Brandy, Destiny’s Child and Lauryn Hill. Her British-Nigerian heritage brings an Afro influence to her unfiltered R&B sound, which has been hailed by Complex and BBC Radio 1Xtra. She also performed at Radio 1’s Big Weekend in 2019 on the BBC Music Introducing stage.
Rapper and singer BERWYN was born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago and moved to London at the age of nine. Self-taught on the piano, guitar, drums and violin, he demonstrated his passion for music by writing his debut mixtape Vega in just two weeks. He has collaborated with the likes of Headie One and Fred again.. and was described by Pitchfork as the breakout star of Richard Russell’s collaborative project Everything Is Recorded earlier this year, as well as receiving 1Xtra playlist support.
Central Cee is an emerging artist from London, who has delivered a number of tracks and freestyles which have gained the support of artists such as Big Sean, Dave and Not3s and has also been championed by 1Xtra’s Kenny Allstar. His Dad’s old Hip Hop collection is credited as birthing his passion for music and at just 22, he has gained huge support for his versatile and distinctive delivery.
Growing up in East London, Ivorian Doll was drawn to the UK Rap scene from an early age by influences such as Skepta and Giggs. This forged her later interest in Drill music and fast forward to 2020, she has amassed millions of views on YouTube and a global fanbase, by carving out her own lane as a female in this field. Her 2020 single Rumours was playlisted by 1Xtra in April.
Lavida Loca has been described as a unique force in the UK Rap scene, who with only a few singles to her name has already been recognised by Fraser T. Smith, Virgil Abloh and 1Xtra’s Kenny Allstar and Snoochie Shy. Following her 2019 Voice Of The Streets freestyle on 1Xtra, Lavida Loca was recognised as ‘one to watch in 2020’ by Dummy and so far hasn’t disappointed.
Midas The Jagaban
From a young age, Midas learned to sing and play instruments in church and grew up influenced by artists such as Kanye West. She describes her songs as "allowing listeners to escape" and aims to tell stories through her music, which sees her also taking inspiration from anime and art. Her musical influences come from a variety of artists and genres and she is focussed on becoming a figure for women in the music scene. She has also been championed by 1Xtra’s Jeremiah Asiamah who first played her on 1Xtra.
22 year-old rapper Pa Salieu was born in Slough and spent his formative years in Gambia before moving to Coventry at the age of 10. His new home later became the inspiration behind his breakout track Frontline and his debut mixtape Send Them To Coventry, which he dropped late in 2020 to widespread acclaim. He was first played on 1Xtra by DJ Target and his recent single ‘My Family’ featuring BackRound Gee was recently longlisted for Annie Mac’s Hottest Record of the Year on Radio 1.
Born in Port Harcourt, Rivers State Nigeria, Omah Lay is a singer, songwriter and producer. He writes and produces most of his music and in 2020, he released Bad Influence and You, which propelled his debut EP to rave reviews, garnering over 100 million streams. He has also received support from 1Xtra’s DJ Edu.
22 year-old Stalk Ashley is a singer-songwriter from Jamaica. She was first exposed to music through her gospel church choir where she performed for the first time at the age of 3. Stalk Ashley released her breakout track Young in 2019 which was supported by 1Xtra and her melody-heavy strain of dancehall-inflected R&B has also garnered support from artists, including Stormzy, who enlisted her to help him cover Beyonce’s ‘Brown Skin Girl’ for BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge last September.
23 year-old Jamaican musician Skillibeng has already amassed over 6 million streams on YouTube alone for his debut song ‘Brik Pan Brik’ and has garnered support from the likes of Chronixx, Koffee, Popcaan and 1Xtra’s Seani B. As he continues to release new music, he is