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BBC Sound of 2018: the talent of the future

Posted by Dan Lafferty - Director of Music and Voice at PHMG on

BBC Radio 1 has revealed the top five in this year’s ‘Sound of 2018’ poll, an annual shortlist made up of the brightest new stars in the world of music. Norwegian pop star Sigrid has been announced as the winner – and we were compelled to take a closer look at her and the other exciting new talent on the list.

Every January since 2003, BBC Music’s ‘Sound Of…’ has been predicting who’ll be the next big thing – and this year was no exception. Chosen by 170 experts from around the world  (including professional critics and past nominees), the BBC’s renowned list is seen as a fast track to stardom, and shines a spotlight on rising musicians who are set to achieve big things in the future. Previous winners include Adele, Sam Smith, Ellie Goulding, and Ray BLK – 2017’s very first unsigned front-runner –and all have gone on to receive global recognition.

At just 21, 2018’s winner Sigrid is one of the youngest artists to ever receive the honour – beaten only by Adele in 2008, who famously won aged just 19. Norway-born Sigrid only started making music four years ago, which makes it all the more impressive that her debut single released last year, ‘Don’t Kill My Vibe’ earned 23 million plays on Spotify. This breakthrough release really made the music world sit up and listen, leading to performances at Glastonbury, and Reading and Leeds festivals.  Akin to the likes of Lorde and fellow Scandinavian Robyn, Sigrid’s carefully crafted music boasts electropop sounds and unique melodies – and as she’s already stated she’s not afraid to take risks with her material. Her eagerly awaited debut album is set to be released in 2018, which includes her latest single, ‘Strangers’ – and it’s already been championed across BBC Radio 1.

But Sigrid wasn’t alone with her talent, going head-to-head against the biggest ‘Sound Of…’ longlist to date. Just missing out on the top spot was Rex Orange County, who has already featured on Tyler the Creators’ album and played live with global megastars Frank Ocean and Skepta. Third place was taken by Manchester’s latest musical export, IAMDDBB, and fourth came Khalid. Arguably the most well-known on the list, he’s already found worldwide fame with his single ‘Young, Dumb and Broke’ – and took the 2017 VMA award for ‘Best New Artist’.

With more and more musicians being longlisted for such a prestigious award, it’s easy to see why James Stirling, BBC’s Head of Content Commissioning, believes this “clearly demonstrates both the quality and breadth of music currently coming through”. Now’s an exciting time for the music industry. And as a company with our ear to the ground in music, marketing and audio branding, we’re looking forward to hearing great things from Sigrid and the other talented artists set to make it big this year.




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