7 New Rising Pop Artists You Need to Know
Editor’s Note: This post comes to you from British DJ Nikki Pennie, aka The SheJ, an authority on music and fashion who has spun for brands such as Jimmy Choo, Veuve Clicquot, Jaguar, and InStyle.
My friends are constantly asking me for the new, up-and-coming artists they should be listening to or who has just come onto my #SheJ radar. I have compiled a list of my new seven favorites in the pop category. These artists are a mix of pop music, from electro to dance, from boy to girl, from solo to quartet, but what they all have in common is that they make mainstream popular music that will hit the U.S. top 40 at some point in their rising pathways to stardom!
This San Diego native came onto my radar after I heard her recent hit "OctaHate," which reached 2.6 million plays on Soundcloud and became a viral sensation. Ryn Weaver has already worked with two of my fave artists: Charli XCX and 7 Cashmere Cat. Her catchy voice, upbeat vocals, and cool look are going to go onto huge things, and I love spinning her tunes.
This Cambridge-educated quartet has managed to mesh classical music with pop beats to create their first hit, "Rather Be," featuring Jess Glynne (co-written by Jimmy Napes, who helped create Disclosure's “Latch”). The song went viral and became a hit in both their U.K. hometown and the U.S. This song became so popular that they scored a Grammy win and an Ivor Novello nomination. Clean Bandit's album New Eyes is a mix of electro pop, classical, and dance. Each song has a different modern, fresh edge, and take on the quintessential pop music.
Ella Henderson is a fellow Brit and first got her start when she entered U.K.'s X Factor and finished in sixth place; she was then signed by Syco, Simon Cowell's label, and her debut single, "Ghost," became a hit worldwide. She has been compared a lot to Adele, which is probably the biggest compliment a female artist could get! Her powerful vocals and tunes definitely caught my ear immediately.
I met Canadian native Martina Sorbara, the singer and frontwoman from the band Dragonette, at Coachella this year through a mutual friend. She was there to perform her hit song with Martin Solveig, "Hello." That song definitely brings back some memories! I am ashamed to say I had no clue who this girl or her band was until I knew that, but what I did pick up instantly was how cool, gorgeous, fun, sweet, and humble she seemed. I instantly became a fan! I then listened to the "Big Data" song she currently features on "Get Some Freedom" which is übercool. I also love "Let It Go" on Dragonette's album Bodyparts. I am excited to see what’s next for this talented band!
This British boy has written some of the biggest pop songs over past few years; he co-wrote Sam Smith's "Stay With Me" and Clean Bandit's "Rather Be," and he is the mastermind behind "Latch," the tune that propelled both Sam Smith and Disclosure into the limelight. Jimmy Napes has very recently released his solo debut album, The Making of Me. The first single, "Give It Up," was produced by Howard Lawrence from Disclosure; it’s a pleasure to listen to, and I have had it on repeat all week. This boy is going to become just as big as his best friend and colleague Sam Smith, and it seems as if the bromance between them has been instrumental (excuse the pun) for both of their careers.
I first heard of Jess Glynne when she featured on Clean Bandit's track "Rather Be." I love this song so much that I spun it countless times last year at parties. The highlight of their year must have been to win a Grammy for Best Dance Recording. Then I heard the Route 94 (Brit music producer and DJ Rowan Tyler Jones) track "My Love," which is another fave of mine, and she featured on that also. She then released her own tunes; "Right Here" (produced by Brits Gorgon City) and "Hold My Hand," which are in pretty much all of my playlists. Jess is a pivotal member of the New wave British music mafia, and I am a huge fan of this girl. She's another Brit who is going to be a superstar worldwide.
I first got wind of this London-based group when they were nominated for the Critics’ Choice Award at the Brit Awards in the U.K. a few months ago. Their single "King" then became number one in the U.K. and went viral everywhere even in the U.S. I became obsessed with the song and play it nonstop at every party. It's catchy, upbeat, happy, dance, and the "coolest" type of electro-modern pop song. Years and Years are releasing their new album in July and touring the U.S. Can’t wait for this! They are literally my new favorite group to come from my hometown!