A look at artists who might de­fine the next 12 months

As 2010 draws to a close, Andy Welch re­veals the mu­si­cal stars who should be hit­ting the head­lines in the next 12 months.

Yorkshire Post - Culture & The Guide - - MUSIC -

IT’S never easy to work out what the fu­ture has in store, not least in the mu­si­cal world.

Only last week­end, Simon Cowell demon­strated what a fickle busi­ness it is on X Fac­tor’s spin-off show, re­veal­ing he pre­dicted Gamu Nhengu would go on to win the com­pe­ti­tion. As it turned out, the Zim­bab­wean im­mi­grant ended up back in Scot­land fight­ing a de­por­ta­tion case and it was Matt Cardle who won the hearts of view­ers.

It will be very in­ter­est­ing to see how the com­ing 12 months treat Emma’s Imag­i­na­tion. Dum­fries singer song­writer Emma Gille­spie won Must Be The Mu­sic, Sky’s an­swer to X Fac­tor, ear­lier this year.

Her de­but al­bum Stand Still and first sin­gle This Day are ready to go in Jan­uary and it’s dif­fi­cult to imag­ine Ra­dio 2 not claim­ing her for their own.

Away from the world of TV tal­ent shows, we have a very dif­fer­ent prospect in Jessie J – a 22-year-old Es­sex girl who would make Simon Cowell blush. She’s al­ready telling us to Do It Like A Dude –a song she says she wrote for Ri­hanna but de­cided to keep for her­self – and it won’t be long be­fore even more peo­ple are hang­ing on her ev­ery shouty word.

More sub­tle is Pete Lawrie. The Welsh song­writer has a voice some­where be­tween David Gray and Ray LaMontagne. If, come the sum­mer fes­ti­vals, there aren’t fields of peo­ple sing­ing The End and All That We Keep back to him, some­thing has gone very wrong in­deed. Next up, and an al­most sure-fire tip for suc­cess in 2011 are Mona.

The band from Nashville, Ten­nessee, were dubbed The Princes of Leon by NME, and they are open about want­ing to be the biggest band in the world, make no mis­take. Clare Maguire is an­other artist who could clean up next year.

Al­ready en­dorsed by the mu­sic press, it’s only a mat­ter of time be­fore the pub­lic catch on to the Birm­ing­ham singer, who cites as in­flu­ences Sis­ter Rosetta Tharpe, Por­tishead and Jay-Z.

James Blake is blessed with a dev­as­tat­ingly beau­ti­ful voice, and mu­sic blogs all over the in­ter­net have been awash with talk of his tal­ents.

The first thing most peo­ple heard was his take on Limit to Your Love, orig­i­nally by Cana­dian artist Feist, but now tracks from his forth­com­ing al­bum have started to emerge and it seems there’s a great deal of sub­stance to back up his early prom­ise.

Whether he’ll break through to the main­stream ul­ti­mately de­pends on whether ra­dio sta­tions play his mu­sic – they hold the keys to artist suc­cess these days – but do your­self a favour and in­ves­ti­gate him fur­ther. There are other artists and bands that will shine brightly over the next 12 months. Just as ev­ery­one, this time last year, was con­vinced by the likes of Del­phic, El­lie Gould­ing and Daisy Dares You, it’s been artists such as Janelle Monae, Bruno Mars, Tinie Tem­pah and Plan B who’ve de­fined the year, who hardly any­one saw com­ing.

The im­por­tant thing is to keep an open mind and open ears, and you will stum­ble across some­thing spe­cial all by your­self.

NEXT BIG THINGS: James Blake is ‘‘blessed with a dev­as­tat­ingly beau­ti­ful voice’’; Emma Gille­spie, above left, is likely to find her­self claimed by Ra­dio 2 and Jessie J is busy telling ev­ery­one to

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