2022 will see Baby Queen -aka South African-born, London-adoptee Bella Latham – embark on her own massive headline tour, plus play Europe with Olivia Rodrigo, including dates in Glasgow, Manchester, Birmingham and London.
The release of Baby Queen’s most recent EP The Yearbook marks the culmination of the new musical era, which was ushered in at the top end of 2021 with ‘Raw Thoughts’ and follows the release of her debut Medicine EP in November. The experiences that informed the songs on The Yearbook unfolded when Bella moved to London at 18, joined rock bands and fell in love and headfirst into the city’s party scene. They are bittersweet and brilliant. “It’s important to be able to capture a full range of emotion,” she says of the songs on The Yearbook, which include previous releases ‘These Drugs’, ‘Dover Beach’, ‘American Dream’ and ‘You Shaped Hole’. “I want the listener to feel like they’re on the top of a London bus, travelling through a city they’ve moved to for the very first time, seeing the world through new eyes.”
Cementing herself as one of the breakout stars of 2021, Bree kicked off the year shortlisted for BBC Sound of 2021 and has now ended it with a BRIT Rising Star award nomination. Single releases from her widely acclaimed 2000AND4EVA Mixtape
Embracing a DIY approach to her ascent to super-stardom, Bree Runway has quickly amassed a fervent grassroots loyal following. Sonically, Bree is an enigma, forever evolving global pop into her own contortions, and never one to shy-away from fashion, she’s become a muse for some of the world’s biggest labels – Gucci — synced the star’s song of the same name just days ago. As she mentions in her 2021 PAPER cover story “It’s beyond the music, it’s a lifestyle.”
Somerset based Finn Askew is fast establishing himself as one of the most exciting UK artists to emerge in 2021. Over the past 18 months Finn has clocked up millions of streams across platforms and garnered radio support from all the right areas. He played a storming set at Reading & Leeds festival to his rabid fanbase and is set to play 4 x sold out UK shows in November.
His new EP “Tokyo” is a thrilling six-track record that moves him on in the process of honing his sound while maintaining the very Gen Z ethos of refusing to be pinned down to once genre. Title track “Daffodil” is a melody heavy, raw and organic slice of perfection. With this new release set to add more fire to his already speedy ascent and a flurry of major live shows and festival appearances in the pipeline for 2022; all focus now is on the incredibly bright future Finn Askew has ahead of him.
Away from a stage or a microphone, George O’Hanlon, the 21-year-old from Dorking might seem more inclined to simply shoot the breeze. Yet like nature itself, which with little warning can stir from merest whispers into a devastating tempest, through music O’Hanlon has the power to connect with some truly elemental forces.
It turns out that while O’Hanlon might not feel comfortable talking in a crowd, if that crowd is in front of a stage magic happens. Signed to EMI Records on the strength of his amazing songwriting ability there is a real feeling of artistic electricity behind this young yet assured voice. Expect lightning to keep striking.
2020 saw GRACEY confidently emerge as one of the most talked about and successful new British artists. Not only did she release a string of brilliantly relatable and catchy-as-hell pop gems, but the 22-year-old Brighton born star scored her first ever Top 10 single in the UK charts with the Platinum single ‘Don’t Need Love’ (also with Billen Ted as well as 220Kid), and a viral trend on TikTok, where her ‘Alone In My Room (Gone)’ became a certified lockdown anthem. She was also playlisted for the first time on BBC Radio 1, hit well over 100m streams, and released her debut mini-album, The Art Of Closure, the sound of a fiercely talented new popstar firmly in control of her ascent, celebrating everything she has achieved so far and looking forward to her brilliantly beckoning future.
Since then, things have continued to snowball – she has been nominated for a BRIT Award for Best British Single, worked with some of the biggest names in pop in the UK, and won praise from the likes of The Face, i-D, The Guardian, Sunday Times Culture, NME, Billboard and more, firmly cementing her place as one of the UK’s brightest pop stars.
The BRIT Awards 2022 with Mastercard announced that Holly Humberstoneis the winner of the prestigious BRITs Rising Star award supported by BBC Radio 1.
Holly Humberstone’s debut EP Falling Asleep At The Wheel marked the first chapter in the story of a new global talent who has garnered over 200M global streams to-date. Over the past year, the Polydor-signed rising alt-pop star has achieved everything from being nominated for the Ivor Novello Rising Star Award with Apple Music, coming runner up in the BBC Sound of 2021, chosen as YouTube’s next Artist On The Rise, and Deezer’s Focus artist, amongst intimate and groundbreaking performances on Jimmy Fallon, James Corden, and Later… With Jools Holland. Having justreleased her critically acclaimed second EP The Walls Are Way Too Thin, about being lost and questioning where you belong, whilst captivating thousands of fans across the UK and USA (including Lorde) on her debut headline tour, the Grantham-born artist has become the UK’s next great songwriting talent. It is the honest storytelling at the heart of Holly’s craft that has captured the hearts and minds of fans globally, with “tattoo lyrics” that are specific to her life, from her sisters’ struggles with mental health to growing apart from her friends, but are universal experiences.
Born and raised in Ladbroke Grove, Jelani Blackman has steadily emerged as one of London’s most rousing voices in recent years. Heavily influenced by R&B and soul, Jelani’s sound swerves stereotypes, blending the hard with the soft, the dark with the light; reflected in an impressively diverse rollcall of collaborators that spans from Brian Eno to Burna Boy, Wolf Alice to Big Zuu, and, most recently, Gorillaz and Barrington Levy, having joined Gorillaz onstage at the O2 to perform their collab single ‘Meanwhile’.
In the past year inclusions as a 1Xtra TOTW, Radio 1’s Next Wave, DIY’s Class of 2021 & Notion’s Ones To Watch followed a collab with Ghetts & Fraser T Smith as well as what was widely recognised as one of COLORS Studios’ best sessions. Jelani has been highly praised with support from the likes of DJ Target, Sian Anderson, Snoochie Shy, Reece Parkinson, Annie Mac, Jack Saunders, Rickie Melvin & Charlie, Fire In The Booth, Hypebeast & the face of Spotify’s Rap UK, Grime Shutdown & Free Form playlists. One of the most exciting, versatile and distinctive voices in the UK scene, Unlimited is set to take Jelani Blackman to the next level.
Fast becoming a key figure within the emerging indie elite, slacker-pop sensation Lauran Hibberd released her satire-fuelled, anthem-stacked ‘Goober’ EP back in July. Since then, she has signed to Virgin Music and been championed throughout the tastemaker community (NME, The Line Of Best Fit, Dork, DIY, Billboard, NYLON, Clash, Gigwise, Upset), and received significant praise across the BBC Radio 1 airwaves (Annie Mac, Jack Saunders, Gemma Bradley).
Hibberd’s status continues to grow with multiple festival dates lined up for next year.
Breakthrough singer, songwriter and TikTok star Michael Aldag is an artist, who, as quoted by The Line of Best Fit “is channelling the trials and tribulations of youth into his experimental, anthemic pop.” His deeply relatable and honest lyrics, which are often described as ‘soundtracks to life,’ have cemented his mark in the industry and made Michael an artist to watch in 2021.
His single ‘Tonsillitis,’ an emotional song depicting a bleak period in Michael’s life, landed him a feature in the prestigious The Sunday Times ‘Breaking Artist’ section [“Pay close attention to the lyrics, which mix the bruised and the brutal, with shattering results”] with further support from BBC presenter Dean Jackson on his ‘The Beat’ show [“Whatever you are doing, take a moment to sit down and just fully appreciate this track. It is so well written, it’s so well performed, it’s so well sung, it’s a very, very special track”].
Mimi Webb projects a voice as magnetic, massive and magical as her personality. As “the girl next door” with a hell of a vocal range, she’s quick to laugh, will let you know precisely what’s on her mind, and isn’t afraid to be heard. Originally hailing from the UK town of Canterbury, the pop singer and songwriter turns up the volume on every emotion with skyscraping runs and open-heart honesty.
In 2019, she uploaded a handful of early compositions and collaborations online, landed management and inked a deal with Epic Records. Mimi Webb’s impromptu acapella videos exploded with over 20 million views on TikTok, paving the way for a string of original fan favourites such as “Before I Go,” “I’ll Break My Heart Again,” “Reasons,” and “Good Without.” After amassing over 200 million streams, both of her recent singles “Dumb Love” and “Good Without” peaked in Top 15 on the UK Singles Charts, with the latter steadily climbing up the Top 40 of Billboard’s Adult Airplay and Mainstream Airplay charts.