Music acts to watch in 2016

AOSOON at Annie Mac Presents, ICA, London, Feb 4, 2016 by Aaron Lee (1920x1080)Springtime is the start of new beginnings. Meet five young music talents who are just beginning to blossom and are already showing signs of greatness to come.

From an LA rap crew bringing back the sound of 90s hip hop to a south London producer rebelling against the selfie generation, these are the mavericks and melody makers who are brightening the music scene in 2016. Continue reading

MOBO Awards 2015: uniting with one hand, dividing with the other

MOBO Awards 2015, Section Boyz, by MOBO/PR( 900x506)It’s got moxie, that’s for sure. Because even after 20 years of handing out awards for music of black origin, and taking flak left, right and centre for it, the MOBO Awards are still with us. The MOBOs shouldn’t, and never will, be all things to all people. But, even as it unites its award-winners in celebration, it continues to divide its audience. Continue reading

Music acts to watch in 2015

Sherika Sherard, Southbank Centre press 01 (1024x576)For the mainstream and specialist music press, the annual ones to watch lists are a bit like betting horses for the Grand National. And, of course, they are bets that come with a sneaky bit of insider knowledge as well as a healthy dose of experience and independent judgement.

Apart from avid and discerning music junkies, most people aren’t going to stray beyond the round-up on their preferred media outlet of choice (BBC Sound of, The Guardian, London in Stereo, DIY, Gigwise, Pitchfork, Stereogum, Bonafide, Mixmag, Time Out London, Fact, Loud and Quiet, Echoes, Wax Poetics, The Wire, The Quietus, Pigeons & Planes, Consequence of Sound, The Line of Best Fit, et al). See what I mean?

So expect to hear plenty more about already pipped acts, such as Deers, Shura, Years & Years (this year’s BBC Sound of winner), Aquilo, Raury, Låpsley, Soak, Girlpool, Tei Shi, Coasts, Genghar, Shamir Bailey, Tkay Maidza, Vaults, Sinead Harnett, Rae Morris and Layla.

But for those of you that still aren’t satisfied, here are eight recommendations for 2015 that will give you something else to enjoy alongside this year’s track favourites. Continue reading