From viral hits to undiscovered gems, this year has bursted with incredible talent courtesy of the music industry. Music gets us through our struggles year in, year out, with our memories forming bonds with sounds that meant so much to us throughout the year. As the new year approaches, it is the perfect time to be introduced to fresh new talent to soundtrack your 2022.
Kickstarting our list is the enchanting Holly Humberstone, who has just been announced as the recipient of the 2022 ‘Brits Rising Star’ award, following in the footsteps of Adele, Emeli Sande and Sam Fender. Her EP ‘The Walls Are Way Too Thin’ was released on the 12th of November, receiving high praise for her captivating lyricism and comforting production style. The EP’s title track has accumulated over 12 million streams, showing us why she truly is the Rising Star to watch.
Tiktok has been a haven for musicians during the pandemic, offering a free space for artists to showcase their talents and grow their fanbase. For Gayle, her track ‘ABCDEFU’ has been a part of a huge viral trend on the app, with her song now having over 200 million streams. Viral trends aside, Gayle is an incredibly talented artist and we can’t wait to hear her next angsty anthem.
The infatuating voice of Olivia Dean has been responsible for taking us out of our hectic schedules this year, as her blissful tone lifts you away from any stress you may be dealing with. Recently, Olivia released ‘The Christmas Song’, and her soulful voice put us straight in the mood to get cosy and festive.
Priya Ragu rose to fame in 2020 with her debut single ‘Good Love 2.0’, and we have been hooked on her ever since. She released her highly anticipated debut mixtape ‘damnshestamil’ on September 3rd, featuring the single ‘Lockdown’. The song went on to be the Hottest Record on Radio 1’s Future Sounds and gained high praise for its vibrant fun sound, and the relatability of the lyrics surrounding craving human contact after isolation. Priya’s music is so unique to the mainstream industry, as she blends her Sri Lanken roots into a fun pop style, making her one of the most exciting artists out right now.
Seeing the year out with perhaps one of the biggest honours for a British musician is the insanely talented Lola Young. If you aren’t familiar with the name, you will definitely be familiar with her vocals, as she is the voice for this year’s John Lewis Christmas advert. Her original music is honest with a certain edge to her lyricism that makes you feel every emotion, this is certainly apparent in her latest single ‘FAKE’.
Gracey is fast becoming one of the most relatable artists of the moment, with honest lyrics that get us right in the feels. Her latest single ‘the internet’ was written around her experience with online hate, and how it broke her heart receiving such hateful comments.
Jaz Karis has evolved into a frontrunner of the UK’s music scene, as she occupies her own unique space blending genres such as Neo Soul, R&B and jazz. Her latest single ‘Home’, is a beautiful track, telling the painful moment of discovering you have fallen out of love with someone. If you’re into deep tracks with smooth accompaniments, Jaz Karis is the artist for you.
With Tiktok sending her track ‘Just for me’ viral, 2021 has been a crazy year for Pink Pantheress. Following her viral hits, the British singer, songwriter and producer released her album ‘To Hell With It’ on October 5th. The album is complete with her viral hits and songs that are less well known, but just as joyous to listen to.
With 3 successful EPs under her belt, Pip is definitely making her mark in the industry. Her debut single ‘Make Me Cry’ has accumulated over 17 million streams, becoming her biggest single to date. Her latest EP ‘Motion Sick’ gave us the single ‘Hard Life’, a track detailing the struggles faced by many, fused with soulful and jazzy accompaniment.
Pa Salieu has been releasing music since 2018, but this year has been his most successful yet. He finished 2020 on a high after his debut single ‘Frontline’ became BBC Radio 1XTRA’s most played track of the year. He has had multiple hits this year including the collaboration with Aitch on ‘Bad’ and ‘Glidin’’ featuring slowthai. Both tracks have gone on to receive a warm response, and we can’t wait to see what 2021 has install for the rising rap star.
There is no disputing that Alewya is one of the freshest artists of the moment, as she moulds music to fit her unique style and influence. Her latest EP ‘Panther in Mode’ merges upbeat instrumentals with Neo-Soul and honest lyricism. She unveiled a visualiser for the featured track ‘Channel High’, further letting us into her creative mind. The song sees Alewya use her middle eastern heritage and influence in the vocal line, creating an enchanting and unique sound.
Striking vocals take centre stage when Mysie enters the chat. In 2020, Mysie started gaining recognition for her musical talents, leading her to receive The Ivor Novello award. This year has seen Mysie release her second EP ‘Undertones’, a record exploding with vibrant tracks and electrifying vocal lines. The song which gained the most traction from the EP is the dreamy ‘Seven Nights’, a song encapsulating the excitement of newfound love and adventure.
Ending our list is the soft storytelling Hope Tala. Hailing from West London, Hope blends R&B with rich Bossa Nova styles to create her unique and bold sound. Her latest single ‘Tiptoeing’ was dubbed ‘Hottest Record In The World’ by Clara Amfo, creating further hype around Hope’s name. Fusing the Bossa Nova beat with the tongue n cheek lyrics, Hope tells the story of being cautious not to jump straight into a romance, with tiptoeing becoming a metaphor of indecisive emotions.
Words By Nadia Clasper
Photo Credit: Olivia Dean Instagram