It’s been an annual tradition for years now, you return back to work from the Christmas break and the January blues are well and truly set in, all until you realise that by the end of your first week back in the real world; the BBC Sound Of winner will be announced. A joyous occasion and point of interest for any music fan as it’s fed us some great new acts in the past and got our eyes firmly fixed on the future of new music.
The BBC Sound Of 2017 long list features fifteen bright new acts, three of which have already been placed in the top 5 overall. Here they are:
The Japanese House
Rag & Bone man
Already placed 5th, Nadia Rose
Already placed 4th, Jorja Smith
And placed 3rd, RAYE
With the two top spots still up for grabs, it’s anybody’s guess who’s going to be selected this year. There doesn’t appear to be a particularly diverse array of styles here. The only pre-established name on the list from my personal perspective is Rag & Bone man, as he’s featured on TV advertising and has just toured with Tom O’Dell. Does this make him an easy victory? Probably not. I’ve heard of The Amazons and Cabbage prior to this as well, but is it going to be the year for rock n roll to make a real resurgence? Probably not. Contemporary music, played on commercial radio has been poor for a while, and 2016 featured way more obnoxious and monotonous grime/R&B acts than was ever required, plus the plethora of dumbed down pop acts, writing exclusively about going out and getting pissed, and the party never ending so put your hands up like you’re not bothered anymore (yes Charli XCX, I’m looking at you) has made the radio an unreliable place to find good new music and a place to avoid if you like a little substance in what you to listen. Knowing already that 3rd placer, RAYE has the backing of our mate Charli, Stormzy off of telling people to shut up and Jonas Blue who murdered that Tracy Chapman song, so I’m really not sold on it. In fact, Jorja Smith has the backing of Stormzy too…. and 5th place is his cousin!?! What the…?
Well be that as it may, it’s great to see new talent emerge and new music, whether it looks healthy or not is being released. I tell you what though, when all is said and done, I would have to say, my pick for BBC Sound of 2017 is…Stormzy.
Words by Stuart Green (@mojo20_music)