Introducing… the music you'll be hearing on your radio next year

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

 

An Irish country-rock band and a Native American rapper are among 15 acts vying for the title of the BBC's Sound of 2013 – the annual award which attempts to predict which musicians are due to hit the big time next year.

Indie, synth-pop and hip-hop are all represented, as well as the usual array of pop acts. It may not be an exact science, but inclusion on the annual list often heralds coming stardom.

However, it is not always the eventual winner who goes on to dominate the nation's airwaves and iPods. Adele won in 2008 and went on to find global success, but Florence + the Machine finished third the following year and are now arguably more famous than winner Little Boots.

Votes from 213 "influential UK tastemakers" were counted to compile the list, which this year includes 17-year-old pop act A*M*E, 20-year old south Londoner Arlissa – who has already recorded a single with US hip-hop star Nas – and classically trained soul singer Laura Mvula from Birmingham.

Also included is Angel Haze, a Native American rapper, alongside 17-year-old British singer King Krule. They join Glasgow band Chvrches, Dublin four-piece Kodaline, and Palma Violets. As well as indie band Peace, Irish country-rock band Little Green Cars and 22-year-old singer-songwriter Tom Odell are included. AlunaGeorge, Haim and Savages complete the longlist.

The first award was handed out in 2003, to US rapper 50 Cent. Since then, the list has been topped by Keane, The Bravery and Corinne Bailey Rae. Singer Mika won in 2007 and was followed by Adele, Little Boots and Ellie Goulding. The two most recent winners were Jessie J and Michael Kiwanuka.

Most of the artists included on past lists have gone on to have successful careers. But sometimes, it underestimates the star quality of certain acts: Lady Gaga came only sixth in 2009, but has now sold an estimated 23 million albums and has almost 32 million Twitter followers.

BBC Radio 1 DJ Huw Stephens, who will announce the final three acts in the new year, said: "This year's Sound of 2013 longlist is an exciting and vibrant one, which I think bodes well for the year ahead. It's always a varied list that surprises people, causes debate and speculation about the state of the music scene.

"For me, it's an exciting time of year, where we don't really know what the year will bring with new music, but this helps give people an indication of what might sound good."

The top five acts will be announced simultaneously on the BBC News website and Sound of 2013 website. Stephens will announce the winner live on BBC Radio 1 on 4 January.

Sound of 2013: the 15 contenders

AlunaGeorge

It's pretty much perfect modern pop. Aluna Francis is a really fascinating frontwoman and it's nicely produced by bandmate George Reid.

A*M*E

With the backing of a major label behind her, you'd be a fool to bet against this 17-year-old. I can't see what the fuss is about, though; it's a bit style over substance.

Angel Haze

The best female rapper to emerge in the past five years. Her flow is incredible and she's making better music than her rival Azealia Banks.

Arlissa

I find her music a bit naff but, again, people seem confident she's going to be huge.

Chvrches

This Scottish electropop band make pleasant enough music but I can't see them becoming all that big.

Haim

These LA-based sisters have drawn comparisons to Fleetwood Mac with their modern blending of folk and R&B. 2013 will be their year.

King Krule

Formerly known as Zoo Kid. Don't let the fact he went to the Brit School put you off; he's really rather special. He'll do very well next year.

Kodaline

Dull, dull band from Dublin. For fans of Coldplay, moaning, and maudlin guitar tracks.

Laura Mvula

She certainly has an incredible voice. Mvula has been nominated for the Brits Critics' Choice Award and seems destined for stardom.

Little Green Cars

Absolutely nothing new; unsure how anyone can really get excited about them.

Palma Violets

It will be great to see what these guys do next year; everything this indie band has put out so far has been cracking. Their track "Best of Friends" was voted song of 2012 by NME.

Peace

This Birmingham band (along with Palma Violets) should assure anyone that there's still plenty of excitement in guitar music.

Savages

This all-female post-punk band are fantastic but I can't see them setting the charts on fire. Try to see them live – that's when they're at their best.

The Weeknd

Twenty-two-year-old Canadian Abel Tesfaye has been making waves for quite some time. Last year's mix tape House of Balloons was deservedly considered as among the finest outputs of 2011. Hopefully he'll really break through next year.

Tom Odell

The Jeff Buckley comparisons are premature but he's certainly a singer-songwriter with a little bit of bite.

Arts and Entertainment
Carrie Hope Fletcher
booksFirst video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Arts and Entertainment
Damien Hirst
artCoalition's anti-culture policy and cuts in local authority spending to blame, says academic
Arts and Entertainment
A comedy show alumni who has gone on to be a big star, Jon Stewart
tvRival television sketch shows vie for influential alumni
Arts and Entertainment
Jason goes on a special mission for the queen
tvReview: Everyone loves a CGI Cyclops and the BBC's Saturday night charmer is getting epic
Arts and Entertainment
Image has been released by the BBC
tv
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Henry Marsh said he was rather 'pleased' at the nomination
booksHenry Marsh's 'Do No Harm' takes doctors off their pedestal
Arts and Entertainment
All in a day's work: the players in the forthcoming 'Posh People: Inside Tatler'

tv
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne plays Stephen Hawking in new biopic The Imitation Game

'At times I thought he was me'

film
Arts and Entertainment

books
Arts and Entertainment
One Direction go Fourth: The boys pose on the cover of their new album Four

Review: One Direction, Four

music
Arts and Entertainment
'Game of Thrones' writer George RR Martin

Review: The World of Ice and Fire

books
Arts and Entertainment
Sean Bean will play 'extraordinary hero' Inspector John Marlott in The Frankenstein Chronicles
tvHow long before he gets killed off?
Arts and Entertainment
Some like it hot: Blaise Bellville

music
Arts and Entertainment
A costume worn by model Kate Moss for the 2013 photograph

art
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Len Goodman appeared to mutter the F-word after Simon Webbe's Strictly performance

Strictly
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie T makes his long-awaited return to the London stage
musicReview: Alexandra Palace, London
Arts and Entertainment
S Club 7 back in 2001 when they also supported 'Children in Need'
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Bruce Forsyth rejoins Tess Daly to host the Strictly Come Dancing Children in Need special
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Dornan plays Christian Grey getting ready for work

Film More romcom than S&M

Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game

Review: The Imitation Game

film
Arts and Entertainment
The comedian Daniel O'Reilly appeared contrite on BBC Newsnight last night

comedy
Arts and Entertainment
The American stand-up Tig Notaro, who performed topless this week

Comedy...to show her mastectomy scars

Arts and Entertainment

TVNetflix gets cryptic

Arts and Entertainment
Claudia Winkleman is having another week off Strictly to care for her daughter
TV
Arts and Entertainment
BBC Children in Need is the BBC's UK charity. Since 1980 it has raised over £600 million to change the lives of disabled children and young people in the UK

TV review A moving film showing kids too busy to enjoy their youth

Arts and Entertainment
Richard Flanagan with his winning novel

Books Not even a Man Booker prize could save Richard Flanagan from a nomination

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

    Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

    Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
    Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

    The last Christians in Iraq

    After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
    Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

    Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

    Britain braced for Black Friday
    Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

    From America's dad to date-rape drugs

    Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
    Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

    Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

    As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
    Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

    Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

    The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
    Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

    The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

    Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
    Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

    Flogging vlogging

    First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
    Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

    Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

    US channels wage comedy star wars
    When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

    When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

    When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible
    Look what's mushrooming now! Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector

    Look what's mushrooming now!

    Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector
    Neil Findlay is more a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

    More a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

    The vilification of the potential Scottish Labour leader Neil Findlay shows how one-note politics is today, says DJ Taylor
    Bill Granger recipes: Tenderstem broccoli omelette; Fried eggs with Mexican-style tomato and chilli sauce; Pan-fried cavolo nero with soft-boiled egg

    Oeuf quake

    Bill Granger's cracking egg recipes
    Terry Venables: Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back

    Terry Venables column

    Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back
    Michael Calvin: Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

    Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

    Those at the top are allowing the same issues to go unchallenged, says Michael Calvin