The Ones to Watch: Who’s Up next?
The UK’s music scene, without a doubt has flourished in the last 4 years. The re-emergence of the grime scene with artists such as Stormzy and Skepta has put the UK, particularly London, at the forefront of the musical hierarchy. The likes of new generation artists such as AJ Tracey, A2, Jorja Smith and Ayar have contributed to the buzz that surrounds the UK’s music scene, and has led to British artists gaining global recognition from musicians such as Drake. The buzz around being British and a musician will undeniably continue to flourish as I believe there are more extremely talented UK artists on the come up. Here they are…
I first discovered singer/songwriter Shae on twitter. She would post 1 minute cover videos and I happened to stumble across her Krept & Konan falling challenge. Her voice is out of this world and it captivated me instantly. The effortless riffs and runs and her soulful voice definitely made me an instant fan. Shae regularly does covers on SoundCloud, and I’m of the opinion that most of her covers are better than the original. Her Rihanna ‘work’ cover is definitely a favorite of mine. I love how she intertwines different songs in her covers whilst still adding her own original spin on it. Shae is definitely one to watch !
Find Shae on Twitter: @ShaezUniverse
I’ve never heard grime the way Kwollem does it. East London producer Kwollem, curated a unique and eclectic genre known as Mellow Grime. A sound which embodies a range of soulful and melodic beats over classic and current grime vocals. I first noticed Kwollem when he released his project “Thug Essence”. Since then the beat maker has gone on to further release 2 projects known as the “Mellow EP” and “Wollem 2- Thugs Empathy” which are all available on bandcamp to purchase. The Mellow Grime genre also features an artist who goes by the name of Rayf, a producer and vocalist. Kwollem is definitely a favourite artist of mine and he and Mellow grime is due heaps more of success.
Find Kwollem on Twitter: @kwollem
3) RYAN DE LA CRUZ
I’ve been an avid fan of Ryan for quite some time now. The amazing singer/songwriter is recognised for his acting but more importantly his musical talent. His excellent vocals didn’t go a miss in his debut EP “PAGANS”. The EP focused on paying homage to the lived experiences of growing up in east London. His lyrical talent and story telling abilities were prominent in each song. The pagans EP is a unique blend of RnB, Trap and hip hop, where we see Ryan frequently switch between singing and rapping, which further showcases his versatility as an artist. His talent is undeniable and he’s definitely an artist that is up next.
Find Ryan on Twitter: @rdlcruzofficial
Afrobeat artist Akua, is continuing to take the UK afrobeat scene by storm. She has remained consistent in portraying the new generation sounds of Africa, whilst keeping things as authentic as possible.
Most people will recognise Akua for her debut Single “Wo Do Me” Translating to ‘Do You Love Me’ in english. Here the vocalist sings in both English and Twi, showing she is representing her ancestral home of Ghana. A versatile artist, the song writer also incorporates soul/RnB into her afrobeats, as was seen in her latest single “Promise To You”. Her affiliation with the London based collective EmpireSounds has also made her responsible for dance tracks such as “Move Your Body” a fun and catchy afrobeat song. The lady is destined for further success in her career and therefore I believe she is definitely a serious contender!
Find Akua on Twitter: @akuamusic_
Rappers Swarve and Crunch make up the duo known as PBGR “Play Broke Get Rich”. They are an East London group, and are pushing the boundaries for UK hip hop and rap. With amazing projects such as the “Black Market” Mixtape and their 2016 release, the “4RE PLAY” EP, its safe to say that the duo are well on their way to greater heights. Although rap based, PBGR do not shy away from incorporating other genres into their music. The RnB influences are evident in their music, especially in their latest EP. Tracks such as “All I need” featuring talented vocalist Cari, takes us into the more chilled and nonchalant realm that PBGR have to offer. I’m honestly a big fan of all their work, and see much more success for them in the future.
Find PBGR on Twitter: @PBGRmusic