‘Tis the season to be listing, but before we round up our lists from 2013, the BBC have already geared up for the year ahead, releasing the BBC Sound of 2014 longlist.
Starting in 2003, the annual Sound Of.. list has gained a reputation for providing an accurate selection of acts and musicians to look forward to in the year to come. Case in point, Adele in 2008, Ellie Goulding in 2010, Frank Ocean in 2012 and Haim and CHVRCHES in 2013 were all picked by the BBC group of “taste makers”, the Anna Wintours and Kate Mosses of the music industry, before they truly hit it big. Interestingly enough, however, some gems can evidently be hidden in the seams – this time last year, nobody in the music industry was was predicting the immense rise to fame Lorde, among others, would receive in 2013.
Each year, 15 acts receive the kiss of imminent fortune; today the BBC have included artists such as the Australian/Swedish sister duo Say Lou Lou along with Sampha – the immensely talented vocalist and collaborator with SBTRKT, who will be actively launching his solo career — and Chance The Rapper, who received fame on James Blake’s Life Round Here remix this year and is seeing his fame lift exponentially.
The prominence and notoriety of the BBC’s list has been criticised as creating a self-fulfilling prophecy; nevertheless, take note of the following slew of artists to watch in 2014. The BBC will narrow the current longlist to a top five and crown the winner on January 10, 2014.
Listen to the stellar BBC Sound of 2014 contender Sampha’s soulful and absolutely gorgeous track “Happens” below.