Fifteen of music’s most exciting rising stars have been named on the longlist for the BBC’s Sound of 2011. The list was compiled using recommendations from more than 160 influential UK tastemakers, who were asked to name their favourite new acts. The Sound of 2011 winner and top five will be unveiled in January.
Ellie Goulding came top of last year’s list. Other winners in the list’s nine-year history include Little Boots, Adele, Mika and Corinne Bailey Rae. The up-and-coming artists on this year’s longlist range from singer-songwriters Anna Calvi, Daley and Clare Maguire to pop starlet Jessie J and London grime MC Wretch 32. Cutting-edge producers and vocalists also feature heavily. James Blake, Nero, Jai Paul and Jamie Woon have been backed after fusing dubstep and pop with influences from soul to drum and bass. Rock bands Mona and The Vaccines are named along with leftfield guitar groups Esben and the Witch, Warpaint and Yuck.
New Zealand five-piece The Naked & Famous, with their synth-rock sound, are also on the longlist. The tastemakers included radio DJs and producers, TV presenters and producers, newspaper critics, magazine and website editors and respected bloggers. All participants were asked to name their favourite three new acts, who could be performers from any country and any musical genre. They must not have had a UK top 20 single or album by 14 November 2010 and must not already be famous, for example by featuring in the final stages of a TV talent show or being a member of a successful band. The top five will be revealed in the week commencing 3 January. One act from the top five will be featured on the BBC News website and BBC Sound of 2011 website every day that week, while BBC Radio 1 will broadcast sessions and interviews with the acts.
Last year, Ellie Goulding was joined in the Sound of 2010 top five by Marina and the Diamonds, Delphic, Hurts and The Drums. The previous winners are: Little Boots (Sound of 2009), Adele (Sound of 2008), Mika (Sound of 2007), Corinne Bailey Rae (Sound of 2006), The Bravery (Sound of 2005), Keane (Sound of 2004) and 50 Cent (Sound of 2003). Other artists in the top five in previous years include Florence and the Machine and La Roux (Sound of 2009), Duffy and the Ting Tings (Sound of 2008), Klaxons (Sound of 2007), Bloc Party (Sound of 2005), Franz Ferdinand (Sound of 2004) and Dizzee Rascal (Sound of 2003). – BBC