We present six new artists to keep an eye on in 2018 - including Khalid, Jorja Smith, Sigrid, Superorganism, Phoebe Bridgers and Shame.
With the prospect of another great 12 months of music on the horizon in the new year, we present six new artists to watch in 2018!
The last two years have seen Walsall-born vocalist Jorja Smith enjoy a meteoric rise to prominence, and largely via the independent route. Uploading her first songs to SoundCloud in January 2016, she caught the attention of none other than Canadian megastar rapper Drake, with ‘Blue Lights’ nominated for that year’s MOBO Awards.
Her first four-track EP Project 11 was dropped this time last year, before Drake offered Jorja her biggest exposure, yet with guest vocal spots on his More Life mixtape album and two support slots on his UK tour. Earlier this month, she was named the BRIT Awards’ Critics’ Choice Award winner for 2018.
With her sound sprawling across the genre boundaries between R&B, soul, jazz and UK garage, Jorja Smith’s stock is only going to rise in 2018.
Signed to Island Records at a young age, 21 year old Norwegian singer Sigrid has already achieved a measure of mainstream success. Back in February, her debut single ‘Don’t Kill My Vibe’ became a minor hit in her homeland and in the UK, a slice of anthemic and thoroughly modern pop.
This summer just gone, she hit the British and European festival circuits hard, notching up one of the more noteworthy performances at Glastonbury. Just in the last few months, she recorded a pretty incredible cover version of the late Leonard Cohen’s ‘Everybody Knows’ for the soundtrack of blockbuster superhero movie Justice League.
Be aware poptimists – you might have a new queen for 2018!
For fans of indie and post-punk, London-based five-piece Shame look to be carrying the torch in 2018 for angular guitar music. Having formed in school and dropping their debut AA-side single ‘The Lick’ / ‘Gold Hole’ just over a year ago, their star is rising fast.
Comprised of vocalist Charlie Steen, guitarists Sean Coyle-Smith and Eddie Green, bassist John Finerty, and drummer Charlie Forbes, their politically intelligent and wiry post-punk sound is indebted to the likes of The Fall and Joy Division. Their debut album Songs of Praise is set to be released early doors in 2018, on January 12th.
Indie-rock singer-songwriter Phoebe Bridgers has been slowly getting recognition throughout 2017, with the likes of BBC Radio 6Music championing her, and her debut album Stranger In The Alps getting very positive reviews by those who picked up on it back in September.
She first emerged in 2014 doing a cover of Pixies’ ‘Gigantic’ for the Apple iPhone advert, and was then snapped up by Ryan Adams’ PAX AM label before her songs featured on TV shows like ‘Castle’ and ‘Switched At Birth’.
Now signed to the independent imprint Dead Oceans, Bridgers’ profile should continue to steadily grow throughout 2018. Hopefully another studio album will give her the final push into the mainstream.
Out of this list, Texas-based R&B star Khalid is probably the most established artist, having already found Billboard chart success over a year and a half ago when his very first single, ‘Location’, hit the American Top 20 and was then certified three times platinum!
Another single, ‘Young Dumb & Broke’, also got certified platinum, as did his debut album American Teen when dropped in March this year. He also scooped a VMA award a few months back for Best New Artist.
So that’s America cracked for Khalid, then! However, in Britain, his profile is nowhere near as big yet, so hopefully some concerted exposure and touring in 2018 will see him deservedly make a mark on the other side of the Atlantic.
Highly eclectic pop troupe Superorganism, an eight-piece hailing from all over the world and who met on music forums online, are one of the most cryptic and talked-about bands to have emerged in 2017.
Buzzed-about single ‘Something For Your M.I.N.D.’ has been tearing up BBC Radio 6Music and led to an appearance on Jools Holland’s ‘Later…’ having been released back in January, with no clues as to its origin or any social media presence.
Now with a record deal signed with Domino and a debut album slated for release at some point in the next 12 months, 2018 could be the year of Superorganism.