Words by Zoe Zorka
Brits. Their just like us. (Except for the tea obsession, driving on the wrong side of the road, and the whole metric system thing.) Yet last night, the BRIT Awards, the equivalent of the Grammys, honored major label artists such as Kendrick Lamar, Lorde, Alicia Keys, and more.
But more importantly, the awards served as an introduction of some of the hottest new Hip-Hop artists from across the pond, giving us at least five hot new artists to add to our playlists:
Winning Best British Album of the Year for Gang Signs and Prayer, the rapper, who got his start in London’s underground music scene with his combination of complex freestyles over classic grime beats, the album was one of the few in history to ever receive a perfect score from Britain’s NME magazine, is said to deliver “a knockout debut that’s brash and pensive in equal measure.” Proving that he’s more than a rapper, the artist demonstrates his gospel-worthy vocal talents on the album, most notably on “Blinded by Your Grace,” also dabbling with some EDM influences throughout the album.
Getting her start covering artists on YouTube, the singer/model made her way onto British pop and dance charts in 2016, making her the UK’s most streamed woman of 2017 on Spotify, and winning British Breakthrough Act of 2018 at the awards for her pop-esque dance beats.
Rag n Bone Man
The heavyset crooner’s appearance, whose appearance might be more reminiscent of a Son’s of Anarchy extra, shows that talent can be deceiving. Rag’n’Bone Man, is an English singer and songwriter, known for his deep, bass-baritone voice and range of musical capabilities. In 2017, he was named British Breakthrough Artist. His single “Broken People” also appeared on the Bright soundtrack, earning him a win in the BRIT Awards British Single category. While also contending with Stormzy in the highly competitive British Album category, he is a proving that he has the star power to become a household name worldwide.
Another strong contender in the Breakthrough Artist category, the singer/songwriter/producer has collaborated with top international talent such as Drake, Kanye West, Solange, Jessie Ware, and more. With a style that oscillates from symphony-level piano player to EDM DJ to lyrical rapper, Sampha is without a doubt a major name to watch for in 2018.
The Brits’ answer to Drake, Carner’s melodies, which have been described as “confessional hip-hop,” earned him a nod with a Breakthrough Artist nomination.
The fiery artist, known for her known for retro, soul-inspired eccentric style, received a nomination for British Female Artist, filling in the gap left by Amy Winehouse’s untimely death in 2007.
So make some room in your music collection for some of these artists as well as some of the other talent honored at last night’s awards. Kendrick, Solange, Calvin Harris, and your other faves won’t mind sharing the attention- after all, they’re collaborating with them.