Prospect Music Award, Music News, TotalNtertainment, Nominations

British Artists dominate Prospect Music Award 2022

The Prospect Music Award is back for its ninth year and its lineup has been officially announced. 

The Prospect Music Award is back for its ninth year and its lineup has been officially announced. 

The Prospect Music Award was set up back in 2013 by music journalist and broadcaster, EJ Scanlan as a way to promote brand new artists from everywhere around the world of all musical genres. Inspired by the BRITs Rising Star and the BBC Sound Of… competition, the Prospect Music Award selects 25 artists every year, each one specifically selected out of thousands across the world by music experts as the very best in their field who are confident that these artists will become massive in the future. The general public gets to vote for their favourites in two rounds, the first to choose the ten finalists alongside the panel’s scores, where the winner of the public vote will automatically go through to the final, and the second to assist the panel in choosing the overall winner of the competition.

Last year’s competition saw superstar Ashnikko become Prospect’s first international champion and the first rapper to ever win the competition, topping both the public and the expert’s votes for the first time in Prospect’s eight-year history. It has also seen artists such as Holly Humberstone, Alfie Templeman and The Snuts go on to achieve incredible success. 

Previous artists in the competition have seen Mercury Prize winners Wolf Alice, Sampha and Arlo Parks, BRIT Award winners like Years & Years, Royal Blood, Sam Fender and Dua Lipa, Grammy winners such as Billie Eilish, Alessia Cara, Koffee and Sam Smith, festival headliners including George Ezra, Jess Glynne, Anne-Marie and Catfish and the Bottlemen and worldwide megastars such as Lewis Capaldi, Melanie Martinez, Halsey and Stormzy.

This year’s Prospect line-up is dominated by British and Irish artists, with only one international artist nominated out of 25.

R&B and Rap is the main standout this year after Ashnikko’s historic win last year, with London acts Ivorian Doll, ENNY, Alewya, Bree Runway, ZieZie and Olivia Dean leading this year’s nominees. Manchester’s Pip Millett is another big standout on the R&B scene that is also nominated this year, as well as BERWYN, who became the first-ever artist to be nominated for the Mercury Prize with only a mixtape.

Indie features heavily on the line-up, with a big surge of indie artists nominated this year, with Wet Leg, Yard Act, Courting and Talk Show all on the list.

Another big part of this year’s list is the number of producers on the line-up, led by Bath’s PinkPantheress, who started producing music on TikTok and is now one of the UK’s most ambitious producers. Also included are Shygirl, who has collaborated with some of the greatest in the British music scene, Martha Skye Murphy, who collaborated with last year’s Prospect finalists, Squid on “Narrator”, the lead single to their debut album, DellaXOZ, who at 17, is this year’s youngest nominee and Nashville’s Frances Baker, who is the only artist to appear on the list that isn’t from the UK and Ireland.

Pop hasn’t been forgotten either, with artists including BRIT Award winner, Griff, electronica-pop artist Lynks and emerging pop star, L Devine all proving that pop is still one of the greatest genres in the music industry.

Three Irish artists have been nominated too, which include Smoothboi Ezra, an artist whose insightful songwriting has captured fans from across the world, CMAT, who has toured with former Prospect finalist Declan McKenna and NewDad, who sold out their first-ever headline tour.

Finally, two artists are the first of their kind in Prospect. London duo WARGASM are the first metal band to ever be nominated for the Prospect Music Award, who combine the genre with electronic, punk, pop and hip-hop in something never heard of before. Also breaking a Prospect record is London collective Steam Down, who are the first-ever jazz band to be nominated for the award, whose amalgam of R&B, jazz and hip-hop is something new and fresh to all genres.

EJ Scanlan, the founder of the Prospect Music Award has said: “It is amazing for Prospect to be back, and this year is one of the most exciting competitions yet. Myself and my team of musical experts have put together 25 of the greatest names in new music of all genres and this year is one of the most exciting lineups we’ve ever had. We have musical genres that have never been included in Prospect before and I’m confident that our audience is going to love them!”.

Returning to Prospect for his eighth year is a panellist and executive producer, Will Kent who has said: “I’m so glad it’s this time of year once again. The acts in the top 25 are, in my opinion, generally of the highest standard I’ve seen on a Prospect line-up so far. I’m so excited to find out what voters think of our list.”

Also returning to Prospect is presenter and YouTuber, Hannah Clarke (a.k.a.: HanTheLoser), who will take on presenting duties once again. In a statement, she said: “This is my second year presenting for Prospect and I’m so happy to be back! My favourite thing about Prospect is the sheer variety of artists that we include in the line-up. This year is particularly diverse, which I love, as it gives me the opportunity as a music lover to listen to and research artists from genres that I wouldn’t normally engage with. It’s really refreshing to see an award show focus specifically on underground musicians, as a lot of the music we see from Prospect nominees is so unlike anything in the mainstream. I think it’s super important to give these artists a platform to showcase their talent and to appreciate how their work is shaping the music industry from a grassroots level.”

Public Voting for the first round of the Prospect Music Award is open now. Voting closes at 23:59 on Thursday 16th December.

Link to voting video:

Link to the official Prospect 2022 playlist:

Link to cast your vote:



Genre: Hip-Hop / R&B

From: Sudan, Saudi Arabia / London, UK

Description: Versatile hip-hop with R&B influences.

FFO: J Hus, Little Simz, Pa Salieu

Listen to: Spirit_X

Press quote: “Alewya is a force to be reckoned with” – The Guardian


Genre: Hip-Hop / R&B

From: Port of Spain, Trinidad / London, UK

Description: The Mercury Prize record-breaking producer and rapper.

FFO: Ghetts, Kojey Radical, Obongjayar

Listen to: MIA

Press quote: “Berwyn’s blend of haunting hip-hop and downbeat R&B puts him in the company of singers like James Blake and Sampha.” – BBC News

BERWYN became the first artist in history to be nominated for the Mercury Prize with a mixtape. He also came third in the BBC Sound of 2021 poll.

Bree Runway

Genre: Hip-Hop / Pop

From: London, UK

Description: First Lady approving feminist power rap.

FFO: Doja Cat, Megan Thee Stallion, Rina Sawayama

Listen to: HOT HOT

Press quote: “The voice of the DIY generation.” – Evening Standard

Bree Runway has just been nominated for the BRIT Award for Rising Star. She also appeared in the BBC Sound of 2021 poll.


Genre: Indie

From: Dublin, Ireland

Description: Irish Indie-Pop with a uniquely captivating voice.

FFO: Declan McKenna, Jade Bird, Pillow Queens

Listen to: No More Virgospop songwriter and performer.” – Irish Times

Press quote: “CMAT … has developed into a fully unaffected, unambiguous and stone-cold solid pop songwriter and performer.” – Irish Times

CMAT is going on tour in April 2022, performing in Glasgow, Newcastle, Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Bristol, London and Brighton


Genre: Indie / Rock

From: Liverpool, UK

Description: Honest and thought-provoking prog-rock.

FFO: Do Nothing, Sports Team, Squid

Listen to: Crass

Press quote: “Unflinching social observations delivered with rampant sense of fun.” – NME


Genre: Indie

From: Manchester, UK

Description: 17-yearSouthamptonr with sensational soundscapes.

FFO: beabadoobee, Declan McKenna, Jorja Smith

Listen to: AHH!!

Press quote: “A full [DellaXOZ] record will likely be something very special.”. – The Guardian


Genre: Hip-Hop

From: London, UK

Description: Honest and provocative hip-hop with nostalgic tones.

FFO: IAMDDB, Mahalia, Ray BLK

Listen to: I Want

Press quote: “ENNY’s voice … is reminiscent of the golden age of hip-hop and its women empowerment movement.” – NME

Frances Baker

Genre: Indie

From: Nashville, USA
Description: Atmospheric indie-pop with impeccable production.

FFO: Arlo Parks, Clairo, Holly Humberstone

Listen to: Bringing Me Down

Press quote: “Baker toys with the geniality of her airy vocals something darker as she counsels a downward mood via her poetic lyricism.” – The Line of Best Fit


Genre: Pop

From: London, UK

Description: A BRIT Award winning pop-star in the making.

FFO: Maisie Peters, Olivia Rodrigo, Taylor Swift

Listen to: Black Hole

Press quote: “Her sparse, dramatic songs about being a “hormonal teenager” have already won her a legion of loyal fans.” – BBC News

Griff won the BRIT Award for Rising Star earlier this year. She also appeared in the BBC Sound of 2021 poll. She is going on tour in March 2022, appearing in Brighton, Bristol, Manchester, London, Leeds, Glasgow and Dublin.

Ivorian Doll

Genre: Grime

From: Flensburg, Germany / London, UK

Description: Influencer turned rapper with empowering bars. 

FFO: Dave, KAMILLE, Ms Banks

Listen to: Clout

Press quote: “Ivorian Doll’s confidence and attitude comes through loud and clear in everything that she does.” – Notion

L Devine

Genre: Pop

From: Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

Description: Non-apologetic power pop.

FFO: Dua Lipa, Liv Dawson, Rita Ora

Listen to: Die On The Dancefloor

Press quote: “[L Devine is] the motherf**king future” – Charli XCX


Genre: Electronica

From: London, UK

Description: Tongue-n-cheek queer anthems with danceable beats.

FFO: Dream Wife, SOPHIE, Working Men’s Club

Listen to: Everyone’s Hot (But I’m Not)

Press quote: “Lynks’ music is unpredictable, rendering listeners open-mouthed, as well as open-minded” – Notion

Lynks is touring in 2022, appearing in Southamption, Brighton, London, Bristol, Birmingham, Nottingham, Leeds, Birkenhead, Glasgow, Newcastle upon Tyne and Manchester.

Martha Skye Murphy

Genre: Indie

From: London, UK

Description: Atmospheric and tantalizing soundscapes with captivating vocals.

FFO: Goat Girl, Let’s Eat Grandma, Squid

Listen to: Found Out

Press quote: “There’s … a refreshing absence of pressure in Martha’s approach to writing” – Loud and Quiet


Genre: Indie

From: Galway, Ireland

Description: Dreamy Irish indie with melancholy vocals.

FFO: brdmm, Porridge Radio, Sorry

Listen to: I Don’t Recognise You

Press quote: “[NewDad] craft gorgeous shoegaze-y indie gems, with a handful of bops that have already seen them lauded as a group to keep your eyes on.” – DIY

NewDad are touring in April 2022, appearing in Brighton, London, Bristol, Birmingham, Nottingham, Manchester, Glasgow and Dublin.

Olivia Dean

Genre: Pop / R&B

From: London, UK

Description: Strikingly haunting yet alluring R&B.

FFO: Joy Crookes, Lola Young, Matilda Mann

Listen to: Ok Love You Bye

Press quote: “Olivia Dean captures the unique energy of an ever-engaged Gen Z community in London.” – Notion


Genre: Electronica

From: Bath, UK

Description: Genre-bending producer discovered through TikTok.

FFO: Clairo, girl in red, WILLOW

Listen to: I must apologise

Press quote: “Her intimate, lived-in music succeeds where cheaper imitations fail.” – Pitchfork

Pip Millett

Genre: R&B

From: Manchester, UK

Description: A beautiful fusion of British soul and R&B.

FFO: Jorja Smith, Joy Crookes, Mahalia

Listen to: Running (feat. Ghetts)

Press quote: “The latest rising R&B star who is truly a writer at heart.” – Notion


Genre: Electronica

From: London, UK

Description: Classic dance music fused with nostalgic rap.

FFO: Ashnikko, Charli XCX, Mura Masa

Listen to: Cleo

Press quote: “Shygirl is the shapeshifting rapper for head-splitting times” – Dazed

Shygirl’s debut album is scheduled for 2022.

Smoothboi Ezra

Genre: Indie

From: Greystones, Ireland

Description: Bedroom-pop producer making music for “horny teenagers in love”. 

FFO: Cavetown, Chloe Moriondo, dodie

Listen to: Without Me

Press quote: “Ezra … has a knack for searingly honest indie rock, but scraped back to its bare and exposed bones” – NME

Steam Down

Genre: Jazz / R&B

From: London, UK

Description: A new revolution for jazz music…

FFO: Ezra Collective, Moses Boyd, Sons Of Kemet

Listen to: Free My Skin – II

Press quote: “Jazz meets grime, afrobeat and funk.” – MixMag

Steam Down are the first jazz artist to feature in the Prospect Music Award.

Talk Show

Genre: Electronica / Rock

From: London, UK

Description: Electronica influenced post-punk.

FFO: Do Nothing, FEET, Kasabian

Listen to: Underworld

Press quote: “Talk Show deliver … pre-apocalyptic angst for a generation shedding the burden of political ineffectiveness, wary of change and tired of being cheated..” – Far Out


Genre: Rock

From: London, UK

Description: Nu-metal fused with electronic production.


Listen to: Salma Hayek

Press quote: “[WARGASM] pursue a … mash-up of nu-metal, punk, electronic music, pop, hip-hop and anything else they damn please..” – Revolver

Steam Down are the first metal artist to feature in the Prospect Music Award.

Wet Leg

Genre: Indie

From: Isle of Wight, UK

Description: Witty and provocative post-punk.

FFO: Self Esteem, Shame, Sports Team

Listen to: Chaise Longue

Press quote: “Quite clearly the best new band on the planet.” – Dork

Wet Leg’s self-titled debut album arrives on 8th April 2022.

Yard Act

Genre: Indie

From: Leeds, UK

Description: Explicit punk with nothing to hide.

FFO: Do Nothing, Fontaines D.C., Sleaford Mods

Listen to: The Overload

Press quote: “[Yard Act] have all the ingredients for lasting intrigue.” – Loud and Quiet

Yard Act’s debut album “The Overload” arrives on 7th January 2022.


Genre: Hip-Hop

From: London, UK

Description: Eclectic sounds embracing multiple musical styles. 

FFO: Not3s, Ramz, Steel Banglez

Listen to: Different

Press quote:”An exuberant rapper with so much potential” – EJ Scanlan